Kohler 26hp bent starter shaft

Not open for further replies.
Oct 9, 2017
Laurel Springs, NC
I have a Craftsman with a 26hp Kohler engine. Over the last few years I have gone through about 6 starters. While starting if for any reason the engine kicks back or locks up the shaft bends. In 2015 a member "Oldesel" posted how he replaced the 25hp Part# 32 098 04 like mine with a Kohler 27hp Part# 25 089 09 which has a cast support at the bendix end. My problem is this, my gear is 10 teeth. When I look up the starter he used it says it is 9 teeth. It also looks like the Kohler 27hp Part# 25 089 09 is now (Kohler 27hp Part# 25 098 09) unless his post had a typo. Has anyone gone through this and upgraded to the stronger starter? I also found a starter (KH-25-098-09-S) which looks like it may work but some sellers list it as 9 teeth and some list it as 10 teeth.
My thought is I would add a push button by the ignition switch that kept the ignition off until the engine was cranking at full speed. This prevents kickback. Then I would release the push button and if it did not start apply choke. A good battery is always a good thing. Some of the cheap low cost batteries have very little lead in them. Get the good one. Rod
Last edited:
Problem is likely to excessive valve clearance, making valve timing off, reset lash and try U will need to pull specifications
This all started to happen with less than 50 hours on the engine. I do have to pull the choke and as soon as it starts release it and it usually works 99.9% of the time. It's just that once so often that it jams. The started shaft is weak at less than 1/2 inch in machined areas. I did find one with 10 teeth that has a full cast housing and bushing support at the shaft end. However I not 100% convinced it will fit, still checking.
Not open for further replies.