I have an Ariens with a 17.5HP B&S engine. All of a sudden when I try to start it the starter just clunks and the flywheel jumps a bit but it will not turn over.
The battery is being sucked down to 9V when I try to crank so I tried a new battery and it too is sucked down to 9V. I checked the starter solenoid for continuity and everything checks out. The odd thing is, if I remove the spark plug the engine will turn over fine. Reinstall the spark plug and it's back to starter clunking and flywheel jumping. Could the starter be defective and drawing too many amps?
To eliminate the entire starting circuit I tried touching a positive jumper lead directly to the starter terminal and I was greeted by a shower of sparks and no starter rotation.
Things seem to be pointing to a bad starter. It almost seems like it is drawing too much current.
Anyone ever encounter anything similar. I'm not sure what else I can try before plunking down $90 for a new starter.