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1: Where can I get a good block diagram / labeled picture showing the parts of the engine. I'm disinclined to pay anything for this, it seems like something JD should be distributing for free. I went here, that diagram seems designed to not tell you anything you don't already know.

2: I looked at this video, and sprayed a lot of WD40 in the general vicinity of the small spinning item (yes, it spins for me, making the buzzing noise. No, it doesn't seem to be moving anything else)

3: So I sadly lack the vocabulary to explain what is and isn't working. I opened up the engine, and I have pictures of what is and isn't working, as well as video. I just need to know what people find useful

I looked at this, none of the answers solved my problem

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    Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Jan 19, 2022 at 1:26

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I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest the starter isn't engaging the ring gear. Here's an image, which I'll describe the parts so hopefully you'll get it.

enter image description here

The blue arrow is pointing at the starter motor. The green arrow is pointing at the starter gear. This engages against the large, rusty gear (ring gear on flywheel) which the red arrow is pointing at.

In order for the engine to start, the starter gear is pushed upwards towards the ring gear. While the starter motor is spinning, the starter gear will engage the ring gear and cause the engine to turn, thus allowing it to start. What I suspect is happening, and what was happening to this guy is, the starter gear is not making its way up the starter shaft. It's stuck where it's at (down low). You need to get this to articulate up and down the shaft. There should be very little pressure holding it down. There's only the very thin spring (I believe it is silver-ish in color in the video) which pushes the gear down from the small hat on the top of the starter shaft (pretty much where he's pointing the nozzle of the WD40 can at).

To get it to move, use a small, flat bladed screwdriver. Place it between the starter gear and the metal piece just below it (near where the green arrow is located). Gently pry up on the gear to see if you can work it loose. Like I said, it should come up fairly easily. Most likely something is just barely keeping it in place. Once you've overcome that hurdle, it'll pop up just a little bit, then should slide up and down fairly easily. You might need to try in a couple of place around the starter gear, or possibly in the same place while turning the starter gear by hand.

Also, have no fear about the WD40. It can only help and will not hurt anything in this area of the engine. Not that WD40 hurts things anyway, lol.

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  • Thank you for the detailed explanation. I can push the starter gear up until it has about 2 mm of overlap with the ring gear, but it refuses to go up any farther. Is there something I can disassemble and lube, without trying to take the whole starter out? Jan 19, 2022 at 4:06
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    @GregDougherty - You may want to try and pry it up further to see if it will overcome whatever is holding it back. Beyond that, replacement is probably your only choice. You should be able to get a separate starter gear and replace the one which is on the starter. It would come as a unit and would be a whole lot cheaper than replacing the whole thing (they are made to be able to do this). Realize though, I'm not running on direct knowledge here, just a hunch. If the starter gear isn't engaging the ring gear, this is about the only thing which can fix it. Jan 19, 2022 at 12:32
  • Percussive maintenance FTW, sort of. I managed to tap it hard enough to go up, and soft enough not to break anything. It now engages the flywheel and gets it moving, and then disengages as it should. But the engine doesn't kick over and start, it just spins the flywheel. Moving hte choke doesn't seem to do anything Jan 19, 2022 at 18:32
  • @GregDougherty - I'm glad you got part of your problem fixed. If you want to pursue the issues further, please fire up another question so as this one does not become muddled. Jan 19, 2022 at 21:21

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