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Thread: Help needed with starter issues: 1998 argo response 8x8 18hp b&s engine

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    rentalrider's Avatar
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    Help needed with starter issues: 1998 argo response 8x8 18hp b&s engine

    Guys, I need help. I have a '98 response with the 18hp b&s. Was turning over and starting fine. My son drove around our property in the deep, fresh snow (real wet, heavy) for 1/2hr or so. He parked it without issue. I got out of plow truck and jumped in with him and when I turned the key it just spun. Never engaged engine/flywheel. I went up front, bumped with a screwdriver and no change, just spinning. I tracked a wire from starter area that went to front of tub which had a 30amp fuse which seemed to be melted. I removed the fuse best I could and tried again, same exact thing. I've replaced this fuse section with new and put in a fresh fuse. No change. I felt under the front of motor and can feel a rectangular piece which seems to spin on shaft of starter freely. It however doesn't seem to engage (if it's supposed to). I tested the starter solenoid and it gets current across the main terminals? Didn't seem right, but I'm not sure. So... machine runs great when started with recoil but just spins freely when starter is triggered. Help??? Thanks in advance...
    Last edited by Mike; 03-01-2012 at 09:02 PM. Reason: moved thread to engine forum

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    Mike's Avatar
    Mike is offline Administrator Mike is on a distinguished road
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    It sounds like the bendix gear is not engaging. This can be a simple fix that only involves lubricating the shaft or removing built up dirt so that the gear goes out to the flywheel properly or it could be a faulty solenoid or stripped gear. Best thing to do is take the starter off and test it to see if the gear is getting thrown out or not.

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    North Country Tough's Avatar
    North Country Tough is offline Master Mudder North Country Tough is on a distinguished road
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    What I have experienced with a starter a couple times in the winter is that moisture from snow or snow dust has attached itself to the bendix and in essence froze it from engaging,a night spent in the garage or a trouble light leaned on the starter fixed it.
    I started six wheelin when Moby Dick was a minnow,what I lack in talent I make up for with more tires Argo Avenger Attex Super Chief

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    rentalrider's Avatar
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    not having any luck with the warming trick. One question that's bugging me... the wire (12g I believe) that has a fusible link at front of machine which runs to starter... what is this? What does it control? Pulling the 30a fuse out doesn't seem to affect anything. I'm thinking it should?

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    rentalrider's Avatar
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    no-one has an 8x8 response? Just trying to see if someone can unplug that fuse and try to start, seeing what happens. If it just spins freely without engaging or starts. anyone????

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    mike bar is offline Master Mudder mike bar is on a distinguished road
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    I'm with Mike on this one. Take the starter off and find out what is really goiong on. Bench testing is much easier. At least you'll find out what that wire is for.

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    rentalrider's Avatar
    rentalrider is offline Sophomore Slider rentalrider is on a distinguished road
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    I don't disagree, but don't you have to pull motor to pull starter?

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    rentalrider's Avatar
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    Well, an update for those who find this and have the same questions/issues... Starter is a BEAST to remove. Pull the engine, don't waste your time (IMO) trying to figure out how to get that starter off while standing on your head. It was quicker to pull entire motor than to take starter off the already removed motor. Ridiculous but true. I ended up giving in and cutting the shaft for starter. I'm gonna have to get creative when putting new starter on to make sure it's tight. I will also be modifying the motor mounts so that those of us with hands larger than those of a newborn can work on it. And issue BTW was the nylon gear had come off the end of the starter shaft. Apparently the stop had broken or come off somehow. I'm never gonna complain about automotive starters again, this thing looks like it was designed by a ... well, let's just say it was designed poorly. Best of luck to you.

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    trevorakm1's Avatar
    trevorakm1 is offline Master Mudder trevorakm1 is on a distinguished road
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    i feel your pain with the starter. i pulled mine with engine in place. one of the maounting bolts is easy to get at but the second was a real bear and that's coming off. trying to get it back on is a true test patience and self control. very awkward tight space to work in and a mirror wasn't much help. i had flywheel trouble which caused me to pull the starter. i'm a novice mechanic and the bendix was extended when the trouble happened so i pulled the starter thinking that was the whole problem, nope. it was with the flywheel. i cleaned and reinstalled the flywheel and then fought to remount the starter. my daughters were playing in the yard nearby and i had to send them in the house so i could let the expletives fly! i finally found a new flywheel for cheap but it's for a 20 hp b&s and i just can't get motivated to see if it will work. that starter work really took the wind out of me.

  10. #10
    BW3
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    Had the same fun? ....with replacing my friends starter in a 2000 Argo BigFoot, 6x6 .. just about stood on my head and worked with a mirror to boot , I am not a mechanic, but stubborn as all H---, we were able to get it out and a new one back in and working , learned there are two types of starters , one with steel metal gear for the steel flywheels and a nylon geared one for those engines with Aluminum flywheels ... it's one of those jobs I would rather change 6 tires off the rims and back on out in a sleet storm than do again ....thank you ...

    Bill G.

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