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How to Install a Riding Lawn Mower Starter

By Dale Yalanovsky

When you determine that your starter is bad on your riding lawn mower, it's time to change it. Lawn mower starters look very similar to automobile starters and will qualify for a rebuild and therefore a rebate on a newly purchased starter. Although you can certainly take your mower in to have it professionally serviced, the reality is that anyone with some solid do-it-yourself experience can complete this task themself and save a lot of money.

Remove the old starter. Disconnect the positive wire from your battery using the correct wrench size, turning the nut in a counterclockwise motion.

Disconnect the wire from your starter with an appropriate wrench.

Locate the two bolts on the mounting plate that hold your starter in place against the side of the mower engine. They are generally 3/8-inch or 7/16-inch bolts.

Find the correct socket that fits these bolts, and attach them to your ratchet head. Begin unscrewing the bolts in a counterclockwise direction.

Once the bolts are out, gently pull the starter off the engine side.

Take the new starter, and place it in the exact same position where you removed the old one. Carefully line up the starter gears with the flywheel gears on the riding mower. The teeth should mesh together perfectly.

Thread the bolts through the mounting plate holes and into the engine. Turn them clockwise by hand to get them started, and tighten them firmly with your ratchet.

Reattach the wire to both the starter and the battery, and turn the ignition key to test the connection.


Things You Will Need

  • Socket set
  • Wrenches
  • New starter


  • With the wires disconnected, both from the starter and the battery, it's always a good idea to clean and brush them off to insure a positive and trouble-free electrical connection.


  • Although you are disconnecting the power from the battery, there is still a chance of a minor electrical shock, so always be careful.

About the Author


Dale Yalanovsky has been writing professionally since 1978. He has been published in "Woman's Day," "New Home Journal" and on many do-it-yourself websites. He specializes in do-it-yourself projects, household and auto maintenance and property management. Yalanovsky also writes a bimonthly column that provides home improvement advice.