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Craftsman Lawn Tractor starter spins but won't rise to engage flywheel

I own a Craftsman LT2000 Lawn Tractor with a Kohler Pro 17 OHP engine model number 917 273140. In the last week, I have replaced the battery, solenoid and starter. The starter spins but the bendix does not engage and the starter gear does not rise up to meet the flywheel. I get the same results but less reliably with the old starter. I even tried connecting the battery directly to the old starter with the same result. I was afraid to try this with the new starter as I did not want to damage the starter. The volt meter registers approximately 11 volts going into the starter.

My boyfriend who is an ex-auto mechanic came over to look at it. He thinks there may be a resistor that is bad somewhere. My dad and brother think the new starter is bad.

Any suggestions?

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Craftsman , Lawn Tractors , Lawn Mowers
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2 Answers from these members:
Manage My Life
The starter should have 12 volts dc going to it. Connect the battery from a car or truck to the tractor battery with jumper cables.

I think the problem is caused by low voltage.

Be sure the helix the starter gear rides up on is clean. Clean it with some WD40 or something similar.

You won't hurt the new starter by connecting the battery directly to it. That is essentially what the starter solenoid does. There aren't any resistors in the circuit to the starter solenoid.
by Manage My Life
July 2nd, 2010
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afritz afritz
Hi, I understand completely how frustrating trying to fix something and it not work can be especially when you have tried over and over and nothing seems to fix the problem. A suggestion that I have for you while you are waiting for a response from an expert is visiting the Sears Home Services website it has troubleshooting information and tips. If you are interested in viewing the site I have provided the link below for you. Hope this helps!
by afritz afritz Earned 1,258 community points in Craftsman
July 2nd, 2010
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