Although Sears lawn tractors are rugged and well built, when the starter goes bad, it's time to change it. Anyone with some solid do-it-yourself experience can complete this task themselves and save a lot of money, however, make sure your Sears lawn tractor is out of warranty before you attempt this or your actions may void it. You will need the serial number and model number of your tractor to obtain a new starter, but you will be able to exchange your old one for a core fee rebate when you pick up the new one.
Disconnect the positive wire from your battery using the correct wrench size, turning the nut in a counterclockwise motion. Pull off the battery cable and duct tape the end to make absolutely sure it cannot make contact with the positive electrode on the battery.
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, but these sizes may vary with different models..
Find the correct wrench or socket that fits these bolts. The area to work in may be too tight to use a wrench, so a socket on a ratchet may be your best bet here. Begin unscrewing the bolts in a counterclockwise direction.
Remove the bolts and then gently pull the starter off the engine side. Although compact, starters are not light, so be prepared for the weight when you pull it away from the engine.
Place the new starter in the exact same position from where you removed the old one. Carefully line up the starter gear with the flywheel gear on the riding mower. The teeth must mesh together perfectly, and you may have to wiggle the new one around before they do.
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 after pulling the duct tape from the battery cable. Turn the ignition key to test the connection.
Things You Will Need
- Socket set
- New starter
- Duct tape
- Brush the battery cable ends with an old toothbrush to remove any corrosion and to ensure a trouble free electrical connection. A little spray lube on the starter mounting bolts will make them thread in much easier.
- Although you are disconnecting the power from the battery, there is still a chance of a minor electrical shock, so always be careful.