View Full Version : Help with Toro Recylcer electric start.

09-13-2010, 03:57 PM
I haev a Toro Recycler self-propelled walk-behind mower, and I was lucky enough to find one with electric start 3 years ago. Earlier this year, I charged up the battery and used the electric start repeatedly with no problem, like always. And as usual for me, once the charge got down to where it wouldn't crank the engine, I simply resorted to pull-starting. In my garage, the lawnmower parking spot is too far from an outlet for easy regular charging, so I don't plug it in all the time.

Early last week, though, I moved the mower and plugged the battery into the charger for a few days. However, when I attempted to start it up, I just hear the starter spin but never engage the drive of the mower to start it.

I am moderately handy and would be willing to try to correct this issue if I had any idea where the starter was, and what to check out. Anyone got any clues?

Al Bundy
09-13-2010, 06:03 PM
I wonder how handy you can be if you can't find the starter, but I digress.

Follow the sound of that noise and you will find the starter. You will find it at the flywheel end of the engine. I don't know what type of starter they use, whether a solenoid drive or an inertial drive to become engaged with the flywheel. in either case, hope for the best and tap on the starter gently with something like a piece of wood, the end of a hammer handle and so on. If you could do this at the same time as turning the starter, that might help too. That could dislodge a stuck drive. Alas, maybe your battery is just too weak. You could check that with a meter or take it someplace. Maybe it can't hold a charge now. They don't last forever. Beyond three years, all batteries are suspect.

PS. You could Google for a parts breakdown.

09-13-2010, 08:41 PM
It's not a matter of how handy I am, but more of a mater of how much time I have. If I have to spend an hour just getting the shit apart, with no guarantee I'll put it back together right, it might be a little above what I want to attempt, and I'll just stick with pull-starting.

It's the difference between someone who can say "they're usually pretty easy to locate, tae off these three nuts, and it's exposed." vs me looking at schematics and exploded diagrams and trying to figure it out on my own.

09-13-2010, 09:30 PM
I also have a Toro Recycler, though possibly a different model. I recharge it every spring for 24 hours, and it's good all season; I've never had to recharge it midseason. I always use the electric start, and have never used the recoil starter.

I don't know what you're doing differently, but you're doing a lot more than you should have to. You are pushing the primer 3x first, right? Other than that I have no idea.

09-14-2010, 10:01 AM
Yeah, it's not that the engine won't turn over, because it will start on the first pull. It's just that the starter isn't engaging the motor to spin it.

moe green
09-10-2012, 03:33 PM
the starter on the mower turns but does not engage the flywheel.
volt meter on the batter says 12 volts.

09-10-2012, 04:08 PM
There are two aspects to this type of starter. One is rotation obviously, but the second is a solenoid that kicks the gear out an inch or so to engage the flywheel. Yours isn't kicking out.

It could be bad, or it could just be gummed up with grass debris.

The starter will be a small vertical cylinder - think Red Bull can - under the plastic housing right up against the motor.

Here's a Recycler (http://toro.com/en-us/Homeowner/Mowers/Walk-Power-Mowers/Pages/Model.aspx?pid=20374-Electric-Start)model page. click the English PDF for parts, and you'll see it broken out.

Basically, just start taking off the aesthetic covers until you see the starter. It's just held on with a couple of screws and 2 or 3 wires. You can remove it, shake it, blow it out, and generally clean it to confirm operation. Make sure to spray some lube in there to help things out. While it's off you could put 12 volts to it to see if the gear pops out properly.

That said, my first suspect is the battery. It may read 12v, but not have the amperage to operate the solenoid and the motor. Little batteries just don't last too long. Try another big 12v battery you have hanging around - you do have several others, right?:D See if they do the trick.

If so, just go get a new battery, charge that puppy, and have at it!

09-10-2012, 05:50 PM
It's not a matter of how handy I am, but more of a mater of how much time I have. If I have to spend an hour just getting the shit apart, with no guarantee I'll put it back together right, ...That's generally the indicator that it's time to bring it into a professional repairman for this.

After 3 years, it's probably time for a checkup/tuneup anyway.

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