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Discussion Starter #1
My LT133 has been getting increasingly hard to start, and it has passed beyond the 'annoyance' stage. The issue is that I turn the ignition key and hear the solenoid click, but the starter motor doesn't kick in. Sort of like a low battery, except there's no reaction at all from the starter. If I keep bumping the key, the starter will *eventually* kick in with cranking power. (so it's not a low battery. It's been doing this all season, but at first it only took a few tries for it to start. Lately, I may have to bump the key 40 or 50 times before it catches.

I disconnected the cable between the solenoid and starter, and cleaned the connections. They weren't bad, but I brightened them up anyway. No improvement. My guess is that the starter must be dying, but before replacing it, I'm asking for advice. Is there any other thing I should check? Is there a way I can verify that it's the starter? Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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My LT133 has been getting increasingly hard to start, and it has passed beyond the 'annoyance' stage. The issue is that I turn the ignition key and hear the solenoid click, but the starter motor doesn't kick in. Sort of like a low battery, except there's no reaction at all from the starter. If I keep bumping the key, the starter will *eventually* kick in with cranking power. (so it's not a low battery. It's been doing this all season, but at first it only took a few tries for it to start. Lately, I may have to bump the key 40 or 50 times before it catches.

I disconnected the cable between the solenoid and starter, and cleaned the connections. They weren't bad, but I brightened them up anyway. No improvement. My guess is that the starter must be dying, but before replacing it, I'm asking for advice. Is there any other thing I should check? Is there a way I can verify that it's the starter? Thanks for any suggestions.
Could this be a symptom of a broken compression release?
 

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I can think of a couple things. First, I would recommend that you first double check the battery as a battery can be tricky. Clean the cable connections. Measure the voltage at rest and the voltage with the key turned to "crank". You should also measure the voltages at the power connection on the side of the starter.

Next, remove the spark plug and see if you have the same results with the starter. If it engages and cranks, you know it's probably not the starter.

To eliminate the starter solenoid you can jump across it to see if the starter acts any differently.

To test the starter you can use a pair of jumper cables to jump from a good battery to the contact stud on the side of the starter. That will bypass all tractor wiring and relays.

If you suspect the starter or bendix, you could pull the starter and verify that the bendix turns freely and extends in and out. Usually the starter is only held on with two bolts.
 
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Could this be a symptom of a broken compression release?
Possibly, although the Kohler in his LT133 isn't as notorious for the compression release problem as the Briggs. That's why I suggested he remove the spark plug and try cranking.
 
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
To eliminate the starter solenoid you can jump across it to see if the starter acts any differently.
.
Okay, jumping across the solenoid activates the starter. I had assumed that hearing the solenoid click meant that it's working. Can I assume the solenoid is faulty, or are there any other issues that may be in play here? (Like safety switches)
 

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Is this just to make the starter's job easier? If the compression was making it hard to turn, wouldn't the starter at least strain or act like it was trying to turn?
Yes. Most engines have a compression release mechanism. When it malfunctions it can act like the starter is bad. You are 100% correct though, the starter will sound like it is straining and in fact you can over heat the starter if you continue to hold the key in the crank position. If you manually turn the engine past the compression stroke then it will turn over. Briggs engines are notorious for this problem. Kohler not so much.

I didn't remove the starter, but did remove the cowling so I could get at the gear that engages the flywheel. It moves up and down freely. I'm going to try your suggestions and check back in. Thanks
Will be anxious to hear your results.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Yes. Most engines have a compression release mechanism. When it malfunctions it can act like the starter is bad. You are 100% correct though, the starter will sound like it is straining and in fact you can over heat the starter if you continue to hold the key in the crank position. If you manually turn the engine past the compression stroke then it will turn over. Briggs engines are notorious for this problem. Kohler not so much.



Will be anxious to hear your results.
I was editing/updating my previous post while you were replying.......I jumped the solenoid and the starter behaved normally. Can I now conclude the solenoid is faulty?
 

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Okay, jumping across the solenoid activates the starter. I had assumed that hearing the solenoid click meant that it's working. Can I assume the solenoid is faulty, or are there any other issues that may be in play here? (Like safety switches)
That sounds encouraging. Normally, any safety switches that would be in play will inhibit power to the coil on the solenoid. If the solenoid is getting 12V on it's trigger connection (or clicking like you indicated) you should be past any safety switch inhibits.

Your testing would pretty much warrant replacing the solenoid.

The JD P/N is showing as AUC10907 and is a substitute for the original AM130365. I would verify the P/N with your dealer just to be sure.

Part Number:
AUC10907
Part Price:14.32 USD
On Hand:
3 Check Other Stores
Description:Starting Aid Solenoid - STARTING AID SOLENOID, STARTER SOLE

I also see this listed:

Alternative Part
B1AC161 4 POLE SOLENOID, UNIVERSAL - 9.14 USD
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Resolved

The new solenoid arrived today and solved the problem. This is what the inside of the old solenoid looked like. Burnt contacts explain why it wasn't working.


0920191513.jpg
 

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The new solenoid arrived today and solved the problem. This is what the inside of the old solenoid looked like. Burnt contacts explain why it wasn't working.


Yep!! That also explains why it clicked as if it were a working solenoid. Glad to hear it resolved the problem. :)
 
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