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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a kioti dk35 and it has been having a myserious issue involving the starter. I have killed 6 starters in the past year and cant figure out the cause. Its clearly due to overheating as it smokes and is very hot to the touch. The failure and overheating happens like 30 mins after starting. The main positive battery wire has been changed as well as the starter fuse. Any idea whats causing these failures?
 

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My question to you is does the starter motor disengage once the engine is running? The starter should not be getting hot unless it is having to keep turning over an engine that will not start. It could be the starter is not disengaging and is forced to spin with the engine then. Starters aren't made to turn high rpms. The starter spinning that fast can cause the starter to get hot. A starter should not be getting hot and smoking 30 min. after the engine starts. I am guessing your starter is not disengaging. It could be the starter needs shimmed so it can disengage from the flywheel ring gear. This my top guess as to your problem.

Another thing that can burn up starters is if the engine is hard to turn over. That will burn up starters in a hurry I burnt up several starters on a KW with a 903 Cummins engine. One injector tip was blown off and would fill the cylinder with fuel causing a hydro locked piston. That was causing a really hard drag for the starter to clear the hydro locked engine. The starter was drawing so many amps it was melting the wires in the starter. Pertaining to this are you shutting off the fuel supply petcock when you shut down and store the tractor?

If the starter armature wiring is practically melting down then that is a sign the starter is dragging causing a lot of amps to be drawn. Thusly burning up the armature or contacts. If a starter is dragging then yes it will get hotter than you want to touch.

Also does your tractor use glow plugs for starting? Not using glow plugs or failed glow plugs can cause prolonged grinding of the starter before the engine starts running. Using ether starting fluid to get an engine to start can ruin glow plugs real quick.

I was burning up starters on an old 9N tractor and found the cause was the flywheel ring gear was spinning on the flywheel. This caused the starter to burn up. I had the ring gear spot welded to the flywheel and that ended the burnt up starters.
I have another question for you. Well maybe a couple.
1. Did you buy this tractor used? Could be the person you bought it from also had starter problems. How long did you have the tractor that it had no starter problem?
2. What did the teeth on the failed starters look like? Were they all chewed up?
3. Are you sure the starters were the correct starters for your tractor? Were you using OEM starters from the dealer?
The answer to all three could point to you have been installing the wrong starters for your tractor. This could be putting the starter in a bind causing a drag or it being hard for the starter to disengage. I know a guy that had this problem with a 350 Chevy engine. Turned out the auto parts store sold him the wrong starter. Mounting, wrong starter gear and starter shape can cause a real nightmare. When I was in parts dept. for a service department we always kept the old part till we knew the new part was working. If you leave the old part for a core then you have nothing to go back to look at in case you have a problem.

Is that enough for you to think about for now? Let me know what you find as you do process of elimination.
 

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After starting, use meter to check if there is voltage on the main lug of starter. There should be no voltage. If so, your key switch may be bad staying in the start position. Also, when changing starter are you changing the solenoid. If you are using the same solenoid, it may be sticking in the on position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My question to you is does the starter motor disengage once the engine is running? The starter should not be getting hot unless it is having to keep turning over an engine that will not start. It could be the starter is not disengaging and is forced to spin with the engine then. Starters aren't made to turn high rpms. The starter spinning that fast can cause the starter to get hot. A starter should not be getting hot and smoking 30 min. after the engine starts. I am guessing your starter is not disengaging. It could be the starter needs shimmed so it can disengage from the flywheel ring gear. This my top guess as to your problem.

Another thing that can burn up starters is if the engine is hard to turn over. That will burn up starters in a hurry I burnt up several starters on a KW with a 903 Cummins engine. One injector tip was blown off and would fill the cylinder with fuel causing a hydro locked piston. That was causing a really hard drag for the starter to clear the hydro locked engine. The starter was drawing so many amps it was melting the wires in the starter. Pertaining to this are you shutting off the fuel supply petcock when you shut down and store the tractor?

If the starter armature wiring is practically melting down then that is a sign the starter is dragging causing a lot of amps to be drawn. Thusly burning up the armature or contacts. If a starter is dragging then yes it will get hotter than you want to touch.

Also does your tractor use glow plugs for starting? Not using glow plugs or failed glow plugs can cause prolonged grinding of the starter before the engine starts running. Using ether starting fluid to get an engine to start can ruin glow plugs real quick.

I was burning up starters on an old 9N tractor and found the cause was the flywheel ring gear was spinning on the flywheel. This caused the starter to burn up. I had the ring gear spot welded to the flywheel and that ended the burnt up starters.
I have another question for you. Well maybe a couple.
1. Did you buy this tractor used? Could be the person you bought it from also had starter problems. How long did you have the tractor that it had no starter problem?
2. What did the teeth on the failed starters look like? Were they all chewed up?
3. Are you sure the starters were the correct starters for your tractor? Were you using OEM starters from the dealer?
The answer to all three could point to you have been installing the wrong starters for your tractor. This could be putting the starter in a bind causing a drag or it being hard for the starter to disengage. I know a guy that had this problem with a 350 Chevy engine. Turned out the auto parts store sold him the wrong starter. Mounting, wrong starter gear and starter shape can cause a real nightmare. When I was in parts dept. for a service department we always kept the old part till we knew the new part was working. If you leave the old part for a core then you have nothing to go back to look at in case you have a problem.

Is that enough for you to think about for now? Let me know what you find as you do process of elimination.
Thanks for the reply. There doesnt seem to be any wear on the teeth and as far as i can tell the starter disengages after the tractor starts. We do use glowplugs and even without glowplugs the starter doesnt spin longer then 3 to 5 seconds at tops in the spring and summer weather. The one thing i noticed after driving the tractor for 2 mins for the first time in the morning when i shut it off the starter felt normal temp wise to the touch but the engine block directly behind the starter was very hot even after 2 mins of low load operation. The coolant levels look normal but im wondering if some sort internal engine failure such as a blown head gasket can cause abnormal engine temperatures causing the starter to overheat over the usage time. I should also mention the tractor is used to pick up golfballs so its started and used for 20 mins then parked for 10 to 20 mins then repeated till sunset. The failure seems to be at the end of the day which has me suspicious that it could be overheating but nothing leads me to believe its because of over spinning the starter or electrical shorts. Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the reply. There doesnt seem to be any wear on the teeth and as far as i can tell the starter disengages after the tractor starts. We do use glowplugs and even without glowplugs the starter doesnt spin longer then 3 to 5 seconds at tops in the spring and summer weather. The one thing i noticed after driving the tractor for 2 mins for the first time in the morning when i shut it off the starter felt normal temp wise to the touch but the engine block directly behind the starter was very hot even after 2 mins of low load operation. The coolant levels look normal but im wondering if some sort internal engine failure such as a blown head gasket can cause abnormal engine temperatures causing the starter to overheat over the usage time. I should also mention the tractor is used to pick up golfballs so its started and used for 20 mins then parked for 10 to 20 mins then repeated till sunset. The failure seems to be at the end of the day which has me suspicious that it could be overheating but nothing leads me to believe its because of over spinning the starter or electrical shorts. Any ideas?
The starter was purchased from the local kioti dealer and installed by their tech. Although he cant figure out why our starters are failing.
 

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I have seen many engines that have a heat shield keeping the heat from the block away from the starter. I have seen them on cars and trucks. Maybe your tractor originally had one.
Sometimes mechanics will not reinstall the heat shield when replacing the starter.
For giggles call the parts department and ask if there is a heat shield for the starter on your tractor.
 
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