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post #1 of 4 Old 07-14-2019, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Gator starter issues - help!

I have a 4x2 Trail Gator with the 10 HP gas Kawasaki engine - about 18 years old. Yesterday when I went to start it, I heard a loud grinding noise, then nothing. Now, when I turn the key, I just get a loud, solid "thunk". The battery checks out good. I'm assuming the starter has gone bad, but when I previously had starter problems I heard a grinding screeching noise when trying to start. (This was about 5 years ago and I replaced that starter.) I'm wondering if a piece of the starting gear has broken off and lodged in the flywheel. I have tried manually turning the clutch drum (small end of the belt) and can't budge it. (I haven't tried manually turning it before, but thought it should turn the engine over with some effort - right?) Before I go to the trouble of replacing the starter, I just wondered if anybody had any ideas about diagnosing the problem - maybe a way to turn the engine over manually to ensure the flywheel is not jammed. If it is a piece jammed into the flywheel, what would be the procedure to fix it? I'm assuming as a minimum I'm going to need a new starter, but am thinking that may not be enough. I can change starters, but don't think I'm qualified for major engine repairs.

Thanks!

Last edited by 88goldwing; 07-14-2019 at 10:52 AM. Reason: clarification
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-14-2019, 12:01 PM
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Gator starter issues - help!

I think you are headed down the right path, you probably need to remove the starter and look closely for any telltale signs of damage to the starter clutch gears and flywheel.







Please report back on your findings, hopefully these screenshots for the OEM Technical Manual are of some help?

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Last edited by Bradhill; 07-15-2019 at 08:14 AM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-15-2019, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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I pulled the starter and found that a piece of the housing that covers the starting gear had broken off and jammed against the flywheel. I was able to break it loose with a screwdriver and fish it out with my fingers. That starter had been installed almost 5 years, but I wouldn't have expected a structural problem like that, as the housing shouldn't be getting any undue stress. Regardless, I've got a replacement starter on order. Thanks for the info!
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-15-2019, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 88goldwing View Post
I pulled the starter and found that a piece of the housing that covers the starting gear had broken off and jammed against the flywheel. I was able to break it loose with a screwdriver and fish it out with my fingers. That starter had been installed almost 5 years, but I wouldn't have expected a structural problem like that, as the housing shouldn't be getting any undue stress. Regardless, I've got a replacement starter on order. Thanks for the info!


Great news! It could be possible a rock or other debris was wedged against the housing causing it to fracture or break off?

2012 Gator 825i (new engine at 1700 hours) Power Steering-Sport Exhaust- Deluxe Cab-Heater- Work Lights On Top Front And Rear- Hella HID Driving Lights-Warn ProVantage 4500 synthetic winch-Electric Dump- Gillmore Seat Covers
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