Information about Starter Motors, Electrical Systems/Diagrams and Killswitches

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Testing the Starting Circuit -

To test the starting circuit on practically any lawn, garden or larger tractor, first, make sure that the battery is fully charged and in good condition, and the cables have a good connection. If the battery is satisfactory and the connections are good, using either a screwdriver, metal rod or jumper wire, activate the starter solenoid by jumping across the large terminal on the solenoid where the heavy battery wire connects, to the small "S" terminal on the solenoid where the starter switch connects. If the solenoid makes a single click sound and if starter motor spins, then the solenoid (and starter motor) is good. If nothing happens, check the wire connections on the terminals and that the solenoid is properly grounded. If it is grounded and still nothing happens, or if the solenoid makes a continuous clicking sound, replace the solenoid. If the ignition switch won't activate the solenoid, then check for a blown fuse, the wiring, safety switches or replace the starter switch.

When testing the starting circuit with a fully charged jumper battery, connect the negative lead to the ground of the tractor and touch the positive lead directly to the terminal on the starter motor. If the engine cranks, then the problem is in the solenoid, starter switch or wiring. But if it just spins without engaging into the flywheel, then the gear teeth is bad or the gear is binding on the spiral. But if the starter motor does nothing or turns slow, then either the bushings needs cleaning and lubricating or it's burned up. Or, the engine itself could be causing the starter to turn slow due to too heavy oil for weather conditions or damage inside the engine.

If an engine won't crank over, or cranks over slowly, and if you've checked everything else with the cranking and charging circuits and they check out okay, then the problem is obviously with the starter motor. Never assume that a starter motor is in good condition. It needs to be disassembled to verify that the windings are in fact burned up, the brushes are worn or if the magnets are broken. Because like the old saying goes: "Assumption is the mother of all foul ups."


How to Connect the Wires on the Starter Solenoid -

If a solenoid have just one 3/16" terminal, the solenoid is grounded internally through the mounting bracket. But if a solenoid has two unmarked 3/16" terminals, the solenoid is grounded externally through one of the 3/16" terminals. It doesn't matter which terminal is used. Connect one small terminal to the starter switch and the other to the ground of the tractor or negative post on the battery. When electric current is applied, the two small terminals activates a magnetic field within the solenoid so the plunger that's connected to a brass disc within can make contact across the two larger terminals to complete the circuit from the battery positive (+) post to the starter motor. On most larger solenoids having two marked 3/16" terminals, the one that's marked with an "S" connects to the starter switch. It activates the solenoid so power can be connected from the battery through the solenoid to the starter. The "I" terminal is for the ignition on certain older Ford vehicles ('56 to '88) with point ignition. When this type of solenoid is used on a garden tractor, just use the "S" terminal only. The solenoid is grounded through the mounting bracket.

A solenoid (sometimes referred to as an "electric switch") eliminates the use of a very heavy duty [push button] starter switch and heavy wiring throughout the starting circuit.

How to Test a Starter Solenoid -

Tools needed are: ohm meter, fully charged 12 volt battery and four jumper wires with clips. The test is performed as follows:

  1. Connect the negative (-) post of the battery to the mounting base on the solenoid
  2. Connect the ohm meter to the two big terminals on the solenoid.
  3. Connect a jumper wire from the positive (+) post on the battery to the small terminal on the solenoid.
  4. The solenoid should click, and the ohm meter should show a full scale reading.
  5. If the solenoid don't click, then it's bad. Or if it does click with no ohms reading between the two big terminals, the solenoid is bad.

To connect the wires on a starter solenoid to activate a starter motor:

  1. Ground the solenoid to the chassis/frame or the negative (-) post on the battery.
  2. Connect a heavy wire (8-10 gauge) from one of the big terminals on the solenoid to the positive (+) post on the battery.
  3. Connect a heavy wire (8-10 gauge) from the other big terminal on the solenoid to the starter motor.
  4. Connect the small terminal on the solenoid with a small wire (16-18 gauge) to one of the wires or terminals on a push-button starter switch.
  5. Connect another small wire (16-18 gauge) from the push-button starter switch to the positive (+) post on the battery.
  6. When the button is pushed, the solenoid should click, sending an electric current through the two big terminals to complete the circuit for the starter motor and activate the starter motor.


Using the Right Type of Starter for Your Particular Engine - Top of page

You're probably wondering with increased compression and with a high-performance camshaft with no compression release on a single cylinder Kohler engine, what models of gear starters are available that's capable of cranking the engine with no problem. Well, for the 10hp, 30ci/12hp, 14hp or 37ci/16hp engines, the OEM Kohler gear starter seem to work pretty well as long as the engine has a heavy [steel] flywheel. But if your engine needs more cranking power or if it needs a quality starter for a 50+ c.i. highly modified engine, then most import starters have a higher cranking capacity due to 20% more wire windings on the armature. Or the starter that fits Kohler's flathead twin cylinder engine models KT17, KT19, KT21, MV16, M18, MV18, M20 or MV20 can be adapted to be used on a K-series single cylinder cast iron block engine. The gear teeth on the twin cylinder starter will mesh perfectly with the ring gear on the K-series flywheel! But to use a twin cylinder starter on a single cylinder engine, a sturdy special-made bracket must be fabricated to fasten the starter on side of the block. Finally, certain [high-torque] automotive starters with a special adapter-bracket can be used to crank a high compression Kohler engine, as long as the gear teeth meshes correctly with the Kohler gear ring and the starter rotates counter-clockwise when facing the shaft.

The gear reduction/high torque automotive starter for use on the 10-16hp flatheads and the OHV K361 18hp Kohler engines is used on the 1992, '93 & '94 Toyota Camry and Lexus cars with a 2.2L and 3.0L engine. It has a counter-clockwise rotation, when facing the gear.

In some cases, it's not the starter motor who is the culprit of not being able to crank a big cubic inch or high compression engine. Sometimes the ignition timing can be so advanced, the starter tries to crank the engine to start it, but the advanced spark causes the engine to "kick back." To fix this problem, use the same starting technique as the Tecumseh cast iron engine with the crank trigger ignition. Install two separate switches - one being a push button to crank the engine and the other being an ordinary OFF/ON toggle switch. Then crank the engine, choke it and then flip the [ignition] switch to "put the spark to it." This should allow it to start every time.

If an engine is slow at cranking over or will barely crank over, then the first thing to check is the condition of the engine. If it cranks over somewhat easy by hand, then it's probably OK. The next thing to check is the condition of the battery. If it tests good, then check the wire connections and start solenoid (if equipped). If they're OK, then the lat thing to check is the condition of the starter motor. Disassemble it and observe the condition of the wire windings on the armature. If they're dark brown in color and have a burnt smell, then the motor is burned up. But if the windings are light brown or "bronze" in color, then they're in good condition. Clean the commutator (the part on the armature where the brushes make contact) and shaft where the bushings make contact with emery cloth in a metal lathe. Before reassembling the starter, lightly lubricate the bushings with motor oil. If the engine still won't crank over easy, then either the ignition timing is too advanced or the compression release isn't working. Too much valve clearances could also cause hard cranking.

Some starter motors are American made, some are imported. But most are made of excellent quality and manufactured to exceed OEM specifications.


IMPORTANT! Be gentle whenever handling a starter motor, especially one with permanent magnets! Never abuse it by dropping it on the floor or hitting it with a hammer! (Some people think that by striking a starter with a hammer will fix it if it fails to operate.) Doing this could, or most likely will, break the fragile ceramic magnets inside and render it totally useless.

IMPORTANT! Most quality-made starter motors are designed to last the life of an engine. Therefore, if a good starter burns up prematurely, then this means that it has cranked an engine for too long at one time. All starters, including automotive starters, are actually 6 volt motors operating off of 12 volts. This is what gives them so much torque to crank an engine so fast and with ease. So if a starter motor is spun too long (longer than 2 minutes), the excess voltage will burn up the windings. The longer it's spun, the hotter it will get, which causes the wire windings to get very hot, which causes the insulating/separating varnish coating on the windings to melt. When the coating melts, the windings make contact with each other and become shorted out, and you have a burned up starter on your hands. That's why most owner's and repair manuals say to never crank an engine longer than 2 minutes at a time without allowing adequate time for it to cool before cranking it again. (If an engine won't start within 2 minutes of cranking, then it obviously needs a major tune-up or repair!)

There's three things that can cause a good starter motor to burn up:

  1. Continuously cranking an engine for more than 3 minutes at one time will likely to burn up a good starter motor. They're 6 volt motors operating off of 12 volts. This is what gives them extra cranking power.
  2. Another thing that can burn up a good starter motor is using an older OEM Kohler starter. They're low torque compared to most new imported starters, which are high torque. Most engines cranks over easier and starts quicker with a high torque starter motor.
  3. Using a camshaft without the compression release usually won't burn up the starter. Sometimes the starter just isn't capable of cranking the engine due to the high compression.

IMPORTANT! If you need a starter motor to crank an engine without hesitation, you'd be better off purchasing a new one or one that's been professionally rebuilt. Never put full trust in a used electric starter to crank your engine unless your receive an unconditional guarantee that it's good. Otherwise, there's a chance that it's either 90% wore out, burned up or the magnets are broken, and the owner is just trying to sell "junk" to another person. A starter may look nice and clean on the outside, but it's what's on the inside that matters. Some of these questionable starters are sold "AS IS" on places like eBay. So remember these words... "BUYER BEWARE!" By the way - I'm not trying to sell you a new starter here, I'm only informing you of the facts.


Before reassembling a starter motor, first a brush holder tool must be fabricated from a thin piece of sheet metal to keep the brushes in their pockets before the end cap (with the brushes) can be reinstalled onto the starter housing.


Widening the Tractor Frame for Use with a Large Flywheel and Gear Starter Motor -


The frame rails on all narrow frame IH Cub Cadets (models 70, 71, 72, 73, 100, 102, 104, 105, 106, 107, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127 and 147) are too narrow for use with any 10hp-16hp Kohler engine with the larger diameter (9-1/2") flywheel (the small flywheel is 8" in diameter.), bearing plate, shroud and upper-mount gear starter motor. These larger parts, including the stator (alternator charging ring under the flywheel), can be installed on any 10hp-16hp Kohler engine with no problems.

The upper-mount gear starter can't be installed on the very early 10hp (K241) engine blocks because there's no indention in the block just above the starter's mounting holes. These blocks were designed for the starter/generator only.

To convert virtually any small gas engine to electric gear start, the parts that's needed are: Top of page
  • 12 volt battery and starter motor, both capable of cranking the engine.
  • Starter solenoid or high amperage starter switch.
  • Charging system (to recharge battery and power electrical accessories). Use either a flywheel w/ring gear with internal ring of magnets, stator with voltage rectifier/regulator [if stator produces more than 3 amps]; an automotive-type generator/alternator with voltage regulator/rectifier; or an auxiliary 12 volt battery charger.
  • # 16 gauge wiring to connect solenoid to starter switch and connect charging system.
  • # 6 gauge wiring to connect between starter and solenoid or high amperage starter switch, and between solenoid or high amperage starter switch and battery.

The parts needed to convert a Kohler K-series engine with a starter/generator to a gear starter are as follows:
  • Large diameter (9-1/2") flywheel with a starter ring gear.
  • Large bearing plate that's designed for a gear starter and charging stator.
  • Flywheel shroud for bearing plate above (for either an upper-mount or lower-mount starter).
  • Gear starter (OEM type). (Lower-mount for 7-8hp engines, and lower-mount on the 10-16hp engines if the gas tank is in the way - not for Cub Cadets. Upper-mount only on 10-16hp engines for Cub Cadets.)
  • Starter solenoid (if your particular tractor requires one).
  • Charging stator and voltage rectifier.

Depending on battery drainage and need for recharging, to be precise, and with the engine running at 3,600 rpm, the generator part of the starter/generator unit or alternator stator uses about 3/8hp (of engine power) when it recharges a fully discharged battery at full 15 amps; about 5/8hp at full 20 amps; and about 7/8hp at full 30 amps. But if the battery doesn't need much recharging, the charging system draws less hp from the engine. I know this small amount isn't much, but every hp counts in competitive pulling. So to reserve this power for pulling, disconnect the generator or alternator from charging the battery (and powering other accessories as well) simply by splitting the wire that connects to the FIELD terminal (the smaller wire and terminal) on a starter/generator unit and splitting the wire that connects to the center terminal on the voltage rectifier/regular of an alternator system. Then connect an ordinary OFF/ON toggle switch in that wire or circuit to turn off and on the charging current. And it'll be best not to spin the starter/generator when pulling. Being it has ball bearings, the excessive spinning won't hurt it. But being the V-belt causes drag, depending on belt tension, it can use up to 2hp of engine power just to spin it. This is also power that can be put to the rear tires for pulling. Besides, wouldn't it be better to spin the tires than the starter/generator? So to disengage the starter/generator belt, install threaded studs with locknuts on the starter/generator bracket and install a heavy spring on the starter/generator so it'll remain close to the engine. To crank the engine, install the belt on the pulleys, then pull out on the starter/generator with a fabricated handle to tighten the belt. After the engine starts, release the starter/generator and flip the belt off. But use caution doing this for an obvious reason!

Widening the frame for use of a large flywheel and gear starterBut if you want to do away with the old heavy, battery draining, power-robbing starter/generator on a narrow frame Cub Cadet, and install a lightweight gear starter motor along with the larger 9-1/2" diameter flywheel on a Kohler engine, the frame rails must be widened. To do so, with the engine removed, cut a slot halfway down into the frame where the front of the flywheel shroud sits. For the rear cut, measure 17" back from the front of the frame (to where the metal bends for the clutch cover), and then make the cut there. Then using a large pipe wrench or equivalent, bend or spread the frame rails outward 11" from the front of the frame. Use a (large) flywheel shroud as a gauge to determine how wide the rails would need to be. This will eliminate having to put the engine in and take it back out again. Spread the frame 5" forward (towards front of tractor) from where the slot was cut. Then weld a gusset into each wedge (or cut) opening.

Widening the frame rails as mentioned above and then properly welding in the gussets shouldn't weaken it. But make sure that the frame is in fact straight before welding in the gussets. Because sometimes it can bend during the process of widening the frame. To prevent the frame from bending overtime when doing ground-pounding wheelies, weld in the gussets on both the inside and outside of the frame. Put down a good bead of weld, too. If the frame is bent, only slightly, this will interfere with the operation and proper alignment of the clutch and driveshaft.

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Used 9-1/2" diameter genuine OEM cast iron Kohler K-series flywheel for 10hp-16hp K-series flathead and 18hp OHV engines. These flywheels are for battery ignition only, not magneto ignition. They're in excellent condition and unaltered. No crack in the keyway, no broken or missing fins and no cracked or missing internal magnets for charging system (if used for yard use). These flywheels are for stock tractors only; not to be turned above 4,000 rpms!
  • Flywheel with ring gear and internal charging magnets. $125.00 each, shipping included within in the Continental U.S. if purchased separately.
  • Flywheel without ring gear (install your own ring gear) and with or without internal charging magnets. $85.00 each, shipping included within in the Continental U.S. if purchased separately.
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  • Used ring gear. $25.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Your flywheel - remove majority of fins and precision rebalance. $85.00 labor, return shipping extra. Includes cutting most of the fins off, chuck it in our lathe to true up the fins so they're all even and then balancing it.


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If you need any of the parts listed below, please contact A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises | 1501 W. Old Plank Rd. | Columbia, MO 65203-9136 USA | Phone: 1-573-875-4033. Please call Monday-Friday (except Holidays), 9am to 5pm, Central time zone. If no answer, please try again later. (When speaking with Brian, please be patient because I stutter.) Fax: 1-573-449-7347. E-mail: pullingtractor@aol.com. Send a message with Yahoo Messenger: | Directions to our shop | Yahoo! Maps, 1501 W. Old Plank Rd., Columbia, MO | 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO - Google Maps or Map of 1501 West Old Plank Road, Columbia, MO by MapQuest. Click here for more quality parts and services | NOTE: To place an order, please call or send an email with a list and description of the parts or services you need. Because as of right now, we're not set up to accept orders through our web sites online.
NOTE: All aftermarket starters have a 100% unconditional one year warranty. The imported starters are high torque and of excellent quality compared to the US-made ones, which are low torque, but of the same quality. A high torque starter cranks the engine faster so it'll start quicker. Most automobiles nowadays have a high torque starter. And almost everything is going to the high torque starter nowadays.
High torque gear starter motors for Kohler K-series engine models K141 (6¼hp), K161 (7hp) and K181 (8hp) single cylinder cast iron block Kohler engine. 12 volt, 16 tooth gear. Each have 20% more wire windings than the early OEM Kohler starter, giving it 20% more cranking power. Cranks engine about twice as fast than an ordinary starter. Kohler part # 41 098 08-S.
  • New quality aftermarket starter. 100% unconditional one year warranty. $85.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • New OEM Kohler starter. 90 day warranty against defects in materials or workmanship. $190.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Refurbished used OEM Kohler starter. $49.00 each, plus shipping & handling. (When available.)

IMPORTANT! Most quality-made starter motors are designed to last the life of an engine. Therefore, if a good starter burns up prematurely, then this means that it has cranked an engine for too long at one time. All starters, including automotive starters, are actually 6 volt motors operating off of 12 volts. This is what gives them so much torque to crank an engine so fast and with ease. So if a starter motor is spun too long (longer than 2 minutes), the excess voltage will burn up the windings. The longer it's spun, the hotter it will get, which causes the wire windings to get very hot, which causes the insulating/separating varnish coating on the windings to melt. When the coating melts, the windings make contact with each other and become shorted out, and you have a burned up starter on your hands. That's why most owner's and repair manuals say to never crank an engine longer than 2 minutes at a time without allowing adequate time for it to cool before cranking it again. (If an engine won't start within 2 minutes of cranking, then it obviously needs a major tune-up or repair!)

High torque upper-mount gear starter motors for Kohler K-series engine models K241 (10hp), K301 (12hp), K321 (14hp), K341 (16hp) and K361 (18hp OHV) engines. 12 volt. Each have 20% more wire windings than the early OEM Kohler starter, giving it 20% more cranking power. Cranks engine about twice as fast than an ordinary starter. In addition to the extra windings, the 10 tooth starter gear gives this starter extra torque so it'll crank the engine with less effort. This starter, along with a full size automotive battery, is capable of cranking a 50.5 cid pulling engine with ease. Kohler part # 45 098 09-S.
  • New quality aftermarket starter. 100% unconditional one year warranty. $85.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • New OEM Kohler starter. 90 day warranty against defects in materials or workmanship. $181.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Refurbished used OEM Kohler starter. $60.00 each, plus shipping & handling. (When available.)

IMPORTANT! Most quality-made starter motors are designed to last the life of an engine. Therefore, if a good starter burns up prematurely, then this means that it has cranked an engine for too long at one time. All starters, including automotive starters, are actually 6 volt motors operating off of 12 volts. This is what gives them so much torque to crank an engine so fast and with ease. So if a starter motor is spun too long (longer than 2 minutes), the excess voltage will burn up the windings. The longer it's spun, the hotter it will get, which causes the wire windings to get very hot, which causes the insulating/separating varnish coating on the windings to melt. When the coating melts, the windings make contact with each other and become shorted out, and you have a burned up starter on your hands. That's why most owner's and repair manuals say to never crank an engine longer than 2 minutes at a time without allowing adequate time for it to cool before cranking it again. (If an engine won't start within 2 minutes of cranking, then it obviously needs a major tune-up or repair!)

High torque low-mount gear starter motors for Kohler K-series engine models K241 (10hp), K301 (12hp), K321 (14hp), K341 (16hp) and K361 (18hp OHV) engines. 12 volt. Each have 20% more wire windings than the early OEM Kohler starter, giving it 20% more cranking power. Cranks engine about twice as fast than an ordinary starter. In addition to the extra windings, the 10 tooth starter gear gives this starter extra torque so it'll crank the engine with less effort. Kohler part # 45 098 10-S.
  • New quality aftermarket starter. 100% unconditional one year warranty. $88.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • New OEM Kohler starter. 90 day warranty against defects in materials or workmanship. $216.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Refurbished used OEM Kohler starter. $60.00 each, plus shipping & handling. (When available.)

IMPORTANT! Most quality-made starter motors are designed to last the life of an engine. Therefore, if a good starter burns up prematurely, then this means that it has cranked an engine for too long at one time. All starters, including automotive starters, are actually 6 volt motors operating off of 12 volts. This is what gives them so much torque to crank an engine so fast and with ease. So if a starter motor is spun too long (longer than 2 minutes), the excess voltage will burn up the windings. The longer it's spun, the hotter it will get, which causes the wire windings to get very hot, which causes the insulating/separating varnish coating on the windings to melt. When the coating melts, the windings make contact with each other and become shorted out, and you have a burned up starter on your hands. That's why most owner's and repair manuals say to never crank an engine longer than 2 minutes at a time without allowing adequate time for it to cool before cranking it again. (If an engine won't start within 2 minutes of cranking, then it obviously needs a major tune-up or repair!)

High torque gear starter motors for Kohler Magnum engine models M8 (8hp), M10 (10hp), M12 (12hp), M14 (14hp) and M16 (16hp) engines. 12 volt. Each have 20% more wire windings than the early OEM Kohler starter, giving it 20% more cranking power. Cranks engine about twice as fast than an ordinary starter. Length: 7-1/4"; mounting studs: two 1/4"-20; o.d. housing: 3-1/16"; center to center mount: 2-1/2"'. Kohler part # 41 098 06-S.
  • New quality aftermarket starter. 100% unconditional one year warranty. $85.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • New OEM Kohler starter. 90 day warranty against defects in materials or workmanship. $191.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Refurbished used OEM Kohler starter. $60.00 each, plus shipping & handling. (When available.)

IMPORTANT! Most quality-made starter motors are designed to last the life of an engine. Therefore, if a good starter burns up prematurely, then this means that it has cranked an engine for too long at one time. All starters, including automotive starters, are actually 6 volt motors operating off of 12 volts. This is what gives them so much torque to crank an engine so fast and with ease. So if a starter motor is spun too long (longer than 2 minutes), the excess voltage will burn up the windings. The longer it's spun, the hotter it will get, which causes the wire windings to get very hot, which causes the insulating/separating varnish coating on the windings to melt. When the coating melts, the windings make contact with each other and become shorted out, and you have a burned up starter on your hands. That's why most owner's and repair manuals say to never crank an engine longer than 2 minutes at a time without allowing adequate time for it to cool before cranking it again. (If an engine won't start within 2 minutes of cranking, then it obviously needs a major tune-up or repair!)

High torque gear starter motors for Kohler twin cylinder flathead engine models KT17, KT17II, KT19, KT19II, KT21, M18 and M20. 12 volt. Wire connection on side of starter. Each have 20% more wire windings than the early OEM Kohler starter, giving it 20% more cranking power. Cranks engine about twice as fast than an ordinary starter. Kohler part # 52 098 12-S.
  • New quality aftermarket starter. 100% unconditional one year warranty. $88.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • New OEM Kohler starter. 90 day warranty against defects in materials or workmanship. $198.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Refurbished used OEM Kohler starter. $60.00 each, plus shipping & handling. (When available.)

IMPORTANT! Most quality-made starter motors are designed to last the life of an engine. Therefore, if a good starter burns up prematurely, then this means that it has cranked an engine for too long at one time. All starters, including automotive starters, are actually 6 volt motors operating off of 12 volts. This is what gives them so much torque to crank an engine so fast and with ease. So if a starter motor is spun too long (longer than 2 minutes), the excess voltage will burn up the windings. The longer it's spun, the hotter it will get, which causes the wire windings to get very hot, which causes the insulating/separating varnish coating on the windings to melt. When the coating melts, the windings make contact with each other and become shorted out, and you have a burned up starter on your hands. That's why most owner's and repair manuals say to never crank an engine longer than 2 minutes at a time without allowing adequate time for it to cool before cranking it again. (If an engine won't start within 2 minutes of cranking, then it obviously needs a major tune-up or repair!)

High torque gear starter motors for Kohler twin cylinder flathead engine models MV16, MV18 and MV20. 12 volt. Wire connection on end of starter. Each have 20% more wire windings than the early OEM Kohler starter, giving it 20% more cranking power. Cranks engine about twice as fast than an ordinary starter. Kohler part # 52 098 13-S.
  • New quality aftermarket starter. 100% unconditional one year warranty. $88.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • New OEM Kohler starter. 90 day warranty against defects in materials or workmanship. $198.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • Refurbished used OEM Kohler starter. $60.00 each, plus shipping & handling. (When available.)

IMPORTANT! Most quality-made starter motors are designed to last the life of an engine. Therefore, if a good starter burns up prematurely, then this means that it has cranked an engine for too long at one time. All starters, including automotive starters, are actually 6 volt motors operating off of 12 volts. This is what gives them so much torque to crank an engine so fast and with ease. So if a starter motor is spun too long (longer than 2 minutes), the excess voltage will burn up the windings. The longer it's spun, the hotter it will get, which causes the wire windings to get very hot, which causes the insulating/separating varnish coating on the windings to melt. When the coating melts, the windings make contact with each other and become shorted out, and you have a burned up starter on your hands. That's why most owner's and repair manuals say to never crank an engine longer than 2 minutes at a time without allowing adequate time for it to cool before cranking it again. (If an engine won't start within 2 minutes of cranking, then it obviously needs a major tune-up or repair!)

High torque gear starter motors for Kohler engine models K482 (18hp), K532 (20hp) and K582 (23hp). Notes: (1) Additional 6.6mm unthreaded hole in additional DE mounting position, (1) 5.9mm unthreaded hole in CE frame, 1/4-20 threaded battery terminal, 128.2mm magnetic field case length, rubber skirt drive. 12 volt. Each have 20% more wire windings than the early OEM Kohler starter, giving it 20% more cranking power. Cranks engine about twice as fast than an ordinary starter. Kohler part # 48 098 04-S.
  • New quality aftermarket starter. 100% unconditional one year warranty. $93.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • New OEM Kohler starter. 90 day warranty against defects in materials or workmanship. $223.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

IMPORTANT! Most quality-made starter motors are designed to last the life of an engine. Therefore, if a good starter burns up prematurely, then this means that it has cranked an engine for too long at one time. All starters, including automotive starters, are actually 6 volt motors operating off of 12 volts. This is what gives them so much torque to crank an engine so fast and with ease. So if a starter motor is spun too long (longer than 2 minutes), the excess voltage will burn up the windings. The longer it's spun, the hotter it will get, which causes the wire windings to get very hot, which causes the insulating/separating varnish coating on the windings to melt. When the coating melts, the windings make contact with each other and become shorted out, and you have a burned up starter on your hands. That's why most owner's and repair manuals say to never crank an engine longer than 2 minutes at a time without allowing adequate time for it to cool before cranking it again. (If an engine won't start within 2 minutes of cranking, then it obviously needs a major tune-up or repair!)

High torque gear starter motors for Kohler V-twin engine models CH12.5, CH13, CH14, CH15, CH18, CH20, CH22, CH25; CV12.5, CV15S, CV16, CV18, CV20, CV22, CV25. Notes: 10-tooth drive starter. Each have 20% more wire windings than the early OEM Kohler starter, giving it 20% more cranking power. Cranks engine about twice as fast than an ordinary starter. Replaces Nippondenso and United Technology starters w/ 9-tooth drive (Lester 17628). Kohler part # 25 098 11-S, Delco 10455513, John Deere AM108390, Nippondenso 128000-748, 228000-264, UT SM51747, Lester: 17628. 12 volt.
  • New quality aftermarket starter. 100% unconditional one year warranty. $90.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • New OEM Kohler starter. 90 day warranty against defects in materials or workmanship. $210.00 each, plus shipping & handling.

IMPORTANT! Most quality-made starter motors are designed to last the life of an engine. Therefore, if a good starter burns up prematurely, then this means that it has cranked an engine for too long at one time. All starters, including automotive starters, are actually 6 volt motors operating off of 12 volts. This is what gives them so much torque to crank an engine so fast and with ease. So if a starter motor is spun too long (longer than 2 minutes), the excess voltage will burn up the windings. The longer it's spun, the hotter it will get, which causes the wire windings to get very hot, which causes the insulating/separating varnish coating on the windings to melt. When the coating melts, the windings make contact with each other and become shorted out, and you have a burned up starter on your hands. That's why most owner's and repair manuals say to never crank an engine longer than 2 minutes at a time without allowing adequate time for it to cool before cranking it again. (If an engine won't start within 2 minutes of cranking, then it obviously needs a major tune-up or repair!)

Plastic body, intermittent duty, 12 volt universal mount remote solenoid. 80 amp capacity. Three terminal design. Small terminal connects to starter switch. Can be used to activate starter motor, horn, kill switch motor, etc. Grounded through mounting base. If used for continuous duty, plastic body may melt. Studs: 1/4-20 NC, 10-32 NF.
  • Aftermarket. Our part # 48-1005. $10.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 25 435 08-S. $40.35 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 48 404 03-S. $83.20 each, plus shipping & handling.
Plastic body, intermittent duty, 12 volt universal mount remote solenoid. 80 amp capacity. Four terminal design. Can be used to activate starter motor, horn, kill switch motor, etc. One [small] terminal connects to starter switch, other terminal connects to ground. Isolated mounting base. If used for continuous duty, plastic body may melt. Studs: 1/4-20 NC, 10-32 NF. Kohler part # 45 435 07-S. Discontinued from Kohler.
  • Aftermarket. Our part # 48-1003. $10.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
All-metal body, continuous duty, 12 volt universal remote solenoid. 150 amp capacity. Three terminal design. Small terminal connects to starter switch. Can be used to activate starter motor, horn, killswitch motor, etc. Grounded through mounting base. Studs: 5/16-18 NC, 10-32 NF.
  • Aftermarket. Our part # 48-1009. $25.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part # 48 404 03-S. $83.20 each, plus shipping & handling.
All-metal body, continuous duty, 12 volt universal remote solenoid. 150 amp capacity. Can be used to activate starter motor, horn, killswitch motor motor, etc. Four terminal design. One terminal connects to starter switch, other terminal connects to ground. Isolated mounting base. Studs: 5/16-18 NC, 10-32 NF. Kohler part # 45 435 07-S. Discontinued from Kohler.
  • Aftermarket. Our part # 48-1008. $25.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
New 12 volt, 15 Amp Voltage Regulator for Starter/Generators. Replaces: Briggs & Stratton 295924; Delco 1118988; Gravely 7275; Jacobsen 107927; John Deere AM30078, AM11855; Tecumseh 32089. With terminals facing you, they read Lights/Battery/Field with Armature terminal on bottom. NOTE: Cannot be substituted for use with the alternator/stator charging system.
  • $32.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
15 amp stators for 12 volt charging systems. Use with either voltage rectifier/regulator above. Recharge battery and/or power electrical accessories. Fits most single and twin cylinder Kohler Command, K-series and Magnum engine models CV11-25, CV620-680, CV730-750, CH18-25, CH620-640, CH730-740, K141, K161, K181/M8, K241/M10, K301/M12, K321/M14, K341/M16, K361, K482, K532, K582, KT17/KT17II, KT19/KT19II, KT21, MV16, M18, MV18, M21, MV20, except some early John Deeres with a single cylinder engine. Dimension: 2-3/4" i.d. x 5-1/2" o.d. OEM Kohler part # 237878-S.
  • Used and in excellent condition. $40.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • New. $74.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
New Style 12 volt, 15 Amp Solid State Voltage Rectifier/Regulator. Small and compact. Fits many 8 thru 24hp Kohler engine models with a 15 amp output alternator stator under the flywheel. Terminals: Three in a row. (AC) (BAT+) (AC). Kohler part # 25 755 03-S. NOTE: Cannot be substituted for use with the starter/generator charging system.
  • Aftermarket. $42.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part. $415.30 each, plus shipping & handling.
New Style 12 volt, 15 Amp Solid State Voltage Rectifier/Regulator. Small and compact. Fits many 8 thru 24hp Kohler engine models with a 15 amp output alternator stator under the flywheel. Terminals: Two over (AC), one under (BAT+). Kohler part #'s 41 403 06-S, 25 403 22-S. NOTE: Cannot be substituted for use with the starter/generator charging system.
  • Aftermarket. $60.00 each, plus shipping & handling.
  • OEM Kohler part. $113.75 each, plus shipping & handling.


Using a Remote Starter Cart -

To reduce weight on a garden pulling tractor, remove all starting mechanisms, install a small motorcycle battery or a small, lightweight and rechargeable 12 volt sealed lead acid (SLA) battery with a minimum 4AH (Amp Hour) rating on the tractor, use a machined billet aluminum starter pulley on the crankshaft PTO end, and then use a 2 wheel remote starter cart with an automotive or tractor starter motor with a V-belt pulley to crank the engine to start it. The battery on the tractor is just to power the ignition and/or electric fuel pump. And always fully charge the battery before every pull!

All starter carts crank the engine from the right side of the tractor, when sitting on the tractor. All Ford tractor starter motors turn clockwise when facing the shaft, and 99% of all small gas engines also turn clockwise when facing the flywheel. So make sure that the starter is installed so it'll turn the same direction as the engine. Position the starter motor on the cart as pictured here, with the shaft facing your left when standing behind the cart. But if you have a different type of starter motor on a starter cart that rotates in reverse of normal engine rotation, then the belt will need to be reversed to resemble a figure 8 to rotate the engine in the right direction.

To fabricate a remote starter cart, use a 6 volt starter motor that's made for a 2N, 8N or 9N Ford farm tractor. A 12 volt starter won't have enough strength to crank over an average pulling engine. Then attach a 2" diameter steel or cast iron V-groove belt pulley on the shaft of the starter. Position a heavy duty 12 volt automotive battery at the base of the cart, a starter solenoid to activate the starter and a heavy-duty push-button type switch to activate the solenoid. And always fully charge the battery before every pull! Click this eBay link if you need a Ford starter for your starter cart.

A high torque Chevrolet V8 starter motor would also make an excellent starter for use on an auxiliary starter cart. A small diameter V-groove pulley in the starter mounting housing will need to installed in place of the starter drive and the V-belt will need to be installed on the pulley inside the housing.


Information on Kohler (and most small engines) Charging Systems - Top of page

First of all, the battery's only purpose in virtually any vehicle is to provide power to the starter motor to crank the engine and power electrical accessories when the engine isn't running. When the engine is running, and while the battery is being recharged, the alternator or generator then powers the electrical accessories through the voltage rectifier/regulator. With the engine running, and with a good working charging system, the battery has nothing to do with powering the electrical accessories. The ignition system also have nothing to do with the charging system. It's only purpose is to provide spark to the engine. The charging system and ignition system are two totally separate systems. One has nothing to do with the other, other than the charging system provides power to the battery-powered ignition system. A magneto or solid state ignition is a stand-alone system. It does not depend on the battery or charging system whatsoever.

The Generator Charging System -

The voltage-producing generating part of a starter/generator (or just the generator unit in an older automobile or heavy equipment machinery) produces DC (direct current) electricity. These are belt-driven and require a mechanical voltage regulator to regulate the charge to the battery and power electrical accessories (such as lights, electric PTO clutch, etc.) at the same time. The faster the engine runs, the more voltage and amperage the generator produces. And unlike a belt-driven automotive-type alternator, the generator is self-energizing. It will produce its own electricity when spun fast enough. A charged battery is not required. A belt-driven automotive-type alternator, on the other hand, require a charged battery to "excite" or energize the field windings so it will produce electricity.

Although bulky, heavy and uses more space next to the engine, this system is reliable, but produce little- to no-charge at low idle speeds and are considered obsolete by today's standards. Also, this system require more horsepower from the engine than the alternator system while recharging the battery and/or under a heavy electrical load.

The correct way to connect the wires on the starter/generator is as follows...

IMPORTANT! If either of the smaller wires is connected to the wrong terminal, the field windings inside the starter/generator will burn up instantly upon engine start up! But somehow, the starter/generator will still crank the engine. (Odd... ???) See the drawing to the right for wiring instructions. ä

A starter/generator can be adapted to virtually any horizontal shaft or vertical shaft small engine with a fabricated mounting bracket and a slotted adjusting brace to tighten the belt. The starter/generator will need to be installed opposite the carburetor side of the block. They come in two rotations: clockwise and counter-clockwise. Starter/generators that spin clockwise came on older Wheel Horse, Sears Suburban, Bolens, or any engine that's started from the flywheel end. A counter-clockwise starter/generator came mostly on older Cub Cadets, or any engine that's started from the PTO end. A clockwise rotation starter/generator will need to be used if it's driven from the flywheel end. But if it's driven from the PTO end, it will need to be a counter-clockwise rotation starter/generator. If the wrong starter/generator is used, it'll crank the engine opposite of normal rotation, and not recharge the battery.

If a starter/generator is belt-driven by an engine and used only as a generator to charge up a vehicle battery and/or power 12 volt electrical appliances or lights, the heavy gauge (#6) cranking wire won't need to be used. And there's about a 3:1 ratio between the starter/generator and engine. This means the starter/generator spins about 3 times faster than the engine. So the pulley on the engine will need to be about 3 times bigger than the pulley on the starter/generator to adequately recharge a battery and/or power 12 volt electrical appliances or lights. A starter/generator requires a minimum 7/16hp engine running at a governored 3,600 rpms for it to produce a regulated 15 amps @ 13.5 volts. (15 amps x 13.5 volts = 202.5 watts x 2 = 405 = .4hp engine.) Read on the back label of the appliance you plan to use for how many amps it draws, then you'll know if the generator will be able to handle the load.

But on a pulling tractor, if the engine isn't going to have a charging system, a voltage regulator and wiring isn't required as long as the battery is recharged with a 120 volt powered battery charger before use of the engine. Plus, the battery will need to be in a secure place, and route the wiring in a safe manner. Go here to learn how to repair a Delco-Remy starter/generator: Delco-Remy SG Repair.pdf. (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader and use Google Chrome web browser for a faster download of web sites with large files.)


The Alternator Charging System -

All alternators, rather it's a stator under the flywheel on a small engine or belt-driven automotive-type, produce AC (alternating current) electricity. They require an electronic "rectifier/regulator" to convert the AC to DC (direct current) and to regulate the amount of charge into the battery and limit the amount of voltage throughout the entire electrical system while powering electrical accessories at the same time. The faster the engine runs, the more voltage and amperage the stator produces.

Although very reliable, weather-proof and virtually maintenance-free, this system produces an adequate charge at low idle speeds.

This system is the standard of today's charging systems used on virtually all small engines, motorcycles, snowmobiles, automotive engines, heavy equipment machinery, etc.

And unlike the belt-driven automotive-type alternator, an alternator under the flywheel is self-energizing. It will produce electricity when the flywheel is spun fast enough.

How to Identify the Three Wires Coming from an Engine -

Use a digital or analog multimeter set on the Ohms resistance to test each wire coming from the engine. With the engine not running, ground one test lead to the engine, and connect the other lead to each wire one at a time. If one wire shows resistance, this is the ignition kill wire. If the engine has points, the crankshaft may need to be rotated by hand until the wire shows resistance. (This is when the points close.) And if the other two wires show no resistance, these are the stator (charging) wires. When the test leads are connected to the two wires with no resistance, they should show 100% resistance. These two wires connect to the voltage regulator/rectifier. Be sure to mark each wire with masking tape or something to identify them.

Testing the Output Voltage of a Stator -

First of all, the stator produces AC voltage and there's a diode built-into the voltage rectifier/regulator. (Rectifier = converts AC to DC; Regulator = regulates voltage to the battery and other electrical accessories.) If the diode is shorted, it'll drain the battery and burn up the stator windings. The stator windings are not originally grounded, they're isolated from the engine block.

When testing the voltage output of a 15amp or higher amperage stator, connect the two wires coming from the stator to a volt meter set at more than 28 volts in the AC setting. With the engine running at full governored speed, the reading should be 28 to 36 volts. If it's less than 28 volts, the stator is bad. If the reading is more than 36 volts, the windings may be burnt, causing a short within the windings, resulting in an increase of voltage, which will likely cause the voltage rectifier/regulator to go bad, and possibly burn up the battery, ignition coil and/or electrical accessories. This testing procedure applies to all makes and models of small engines, including motorcycles and snowmobiles with the stator under the flywheel. Make sure the slip-on terminals on the stator's wires are in good condition and fit snug on the voltage rectifier/regulator's spade terminals. If the slip-on terminal(s) fit loose or have a faulty connection due to rust, they could arc while charging and burn out the spade terminal(s) and/or the heat from the arcing could travel inside the voltage rectifier/regulator and burn it out.

How to Replace the Stator on a Kohler engine -

  1. Remove the flywheel.
  2. Remove the four Phillips head screws that secures the stator to the bearing plate. If the screws refuse to loosen, strike the end of the screwdriver with a medium size hammer at the same time while turning the screw.
  3. Remove the clamp that secures the stator wires to the bearing plate. This clamp is to prevent the wires from making contact with the flywheel.
  4. Disconnect stator's terminal(s) or plastic connector from the voltage rectifier/regulator.
  5. With a small, flat screwdriver, depress the locking tang (see drawing above) on each terminal that secures the terminals in the plastic connector. Pull the terminals from the connector. Inspect the terminals for damage. Replace them with the same type terminals and reuse the plastic connector, or replace them with ordinary crimp-type slip-on terminals and discard the plastic connector. IMPORTANT: the stator wires ALWAYS connect to the two outer terminals on the voltage rectifier/regulator (it doesn't matter which wire connects to which terminal), and the battery (+) positive wire connects to the center terminal.
  6. The stator can now be removed from the engine.
  7. Installation is in reverse order of removal.

Testing the Voltage Rectifier/Regulator -

To test the voltage rectifier/regulator, with a good stator, connect the stator's two wires to the rectifier/regulator's two outer terminals (it doesn't matter which wire connects to which terminal) and then check the voltage output at the center terminal on the rectifier/regulator with a volt meter set in the DC setting. With the engine running at 3,200 rpm (when the engine has a fixed/non-adjustable main jet carburetor) or 3,600 rpm (when the engine has an adjustable main jet carburetor), and if the meter displays or reads 14.5 volts, then the rectifier/regulator is good. If less than 14.5 volts or no voltage, then the rectifier/regulator is bad. The older rectifier/regulator with fins is the same as the newer ones with no fins. They work the same.

Go here for more information:

IMPORTANT! The rectifier-regulator must match the amperage output of the stator it's connected to. If a 15 amp rectifier-regulator is used with a 25 or 30 amp stator, the rectifier-regulator will burn up. The starter/generators and voltage regulators used on all garden tractors are rated at 15 amps. And a voltage regulator can't be used with a stator, nor the rectifier-regulator can be used with a generator.

To connect an alternator stator... the two leads from the stator connects to the two outer terminals on the rectifier-regulator. The center terminal on the rectifier-regulator then connects to the battery's + post or the ignition switch that connects to the battery's + post. It's that simple. And the rectifier-regulator has diodes built-in. So there's no need to add diodes in the circuit.

Converting the old starter/generator charging system to the newer, alternator-equipped charging system -

First off, all of the 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18hp single cylinder Kohler flywheels will interchange. The crankshaft tapers are the same. They're the same weight, too. The stator-type charging system will also work on a narrow frame Cub Cadet, but the tractor frame must be widened to accept the larger diameter flywheel, bearing plate and shroud. The larger bearing plate will accept the stator/charging ring. And you'll need a voltage rectifier/regulator that's capable of handling the amount of amps that the stator will produce. Stators installed on most Kohler engines have a 15, 25 or 30 amp output. Most common is the 15 amp. To identify the amount of amps a stator can produce...

If a voltage rectifier/regulator that's made for a smaller [amperage] output is used with a higher amp output stator, it'll burn up in no time. Remember, the higher the amperage of a charging system, the more horsepower it'll draw from the engine (when under a heavy charging load). For wiring diagrams of various Cub Cadets, see this web site: http://www.ihregistry.com/ref/wire.htm.


How to Reinstall Loose Magnets Inside a Flywheel -

When a magnet or several magnets come loose inside the flywheel, it/they can be reinstalled with either Super Glue or Gorilla Glue. But first, clean both the flywheel and backside of the magnet(s) thoroughly with brake cleaner or cleaning solvent (paint thinner), allow to dry out any oily residue, and before reinstalling the magnet(s), it's important that the poles of the magnet(s) are in correct alignment. The polarity of the magnets must be positioned North-South-North-South-North-South-North, etc. To find which poles are north and south on the loose magnet, tie a small string or thread around the center of the magnet and allow it to dangle in mid-air. The poles of the magnet will attract to the natural magnetic poles of the Earth. Then mark each magnet which poles are which. Then, when reinstalling the magnet(s) in the flywheel, make sure the poles are opposite of each other. If they attract, they're in the correct position. Make sure the magnets are equally spaced equally apart upon installation. Go here for more information on this subject: Flywheel Magnets (http://enginesandmagnets.com/id2.html). Broken magnets cannot be reused. But they can be replaced with a good, unbroken magnet.


Using an Automotive Alternator on a Small Engine or Powering an Automotive Alternator with a Small Engine - Top of page

If an [older] small engine engine has an obsolete charging system, or if the magnet(s) in the flywheel are broken or missing, and there's no magnets available, or if there's no stator or voltage rectifier/regulator available, or if refurbishing the original charging system is just too costly, or if you simply need more amps to power some "heavy duty" electrical accessories, well, if there's enough space in the engine compartment, an automotive alternator can be used. It doesn't matter about the rotation direction of the alternator, because they all produce AC voltage and the diodes inside them convert the AC to DC to recharge the battery and power electrical accessories. Ordinary automotive alternators produce anywhere from 65-100 amps of power at 1,500+ engine rpms (most belt-driven alternators turn about 3-1/2 times faster than the engine). But the high-output alternators produce 200-350 amps of power at 1,500+ engine rpms. Alternators from the 1970s-1990s incorporate the voltage regulator/rectifier into the alternator housing. Modern designs do away with the voltage regulator altogether; voltage regulation is now a function of the electronic control unit (ECU). Click here to see automotive alternators powered by small engines.

An automotive alternator that produces a maximum of 60 amps will require a minimum 1.44 of engine horsepower. (60 [amps] x 12 [volts] = 720 [watts] x 2 = 1440, which converts to 1.44 horsepower.) An alternator that produces a maximum of 350 amps will require a minimum 8.4 of engine horsepower. (350 [amps] x 12 [volts] = 4200 [watts] x 2 = 8400, which converts to 8.4 horsepower.) So when using an alternator that produces more amps, be sure to use a big enough engine to handle the amperage, or the engine will bog down or the V-belt will slip when a heavy electrical load is placed on the alternator.

Amps is converted into watts by multiplying the amps by the voltage, which will display the watts. And watts is converted into amps by dividing the watts by the voltage, which will display the amps. To find the amount of amps or watts any particular piece of appliance requires, look on the manufacturer's label or sticker. It should display it there. If connecting multiple appliances together to one generator, add all the amps or watts together, and that should tell you what is required to power everything. The amps or watts will need to be converted to find the total amount required.

To use an alternator on a small engine, install an automotive pulley (serpentine or v-belt) on the flywheel or PTO end of the engine, and make sure it's centered so it'll turn true and not wobble. And remember - at 1,500 engine rpms, and with a 3.5:1 increase in ratio, the alternator spins at 5,250 rpms. This means the drive pulley will need to be about 3-1/2 times bigger than the pulley on the alternator so the alternator will produce full charge. If space is an issue, use a [small] 1970s-1990s model import car or truck alternator. The 1970s-1990s alternators have just one terminal, which connects directly to the battery's positive (+) post. Fabricate a bracket to install the alternator and an slotted adjusting bracket to tighten the belt. Once installed, properly aligned and operating, this type of charging system will probably outlast the life of an average engine.


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