I have come to despise Craftsman since purchasing this lawn tractor. The mandrels that spin the blades which turns the blade break off very easily, the blades use a terrible pattern to fit to the mandrel making to easy to strip, and now this mickey mouse design of a starter!
In my case the start does turn over but will not engage the engine so therefore you cannot start the tractor. The starter is listed here on Amazon but can be found cheaper on ebay.com (but I refuse to buy one unless I have no other choice):
Why do I refuse to buy one? Because its a disaster of engineering that will just keep wasting your money. The piece of rubber spacer that the teeth sit on is a sad excuse for poor engineering. This rubber is not very strong and breaks off very easily, therefore causing the starter to no longer engage the engine when it pops up (it can’t reach high enough).
I already fixed the rubber spacer once by putting hurricane tape around it to hold it together but now that is no longer enough to keep it together.
– The old rubber spacer stabilizes the teeth on the starter so it does not have much play (too much play and the teeth can get stuck when engaged in the motor).
– The old rubber spacer needs to elevate the teeth about 35mm (less is better, about 30mm)
– Find a rubber o-ring washer that can stretch over the teeth and fit below them to elevate the teeth 25-30mm
That’s all it took for me, now I can start my lawn tractor as the starter engages the motor once again.