Honda HT-R 3009 Mower starter


I've got an old, and up until now, dependable Honda HT-R 3009 riding lawnmower. My cousin couldn't get it to work so my dad and I took it to a local guy and he did a bit of work on it and got it working. He said the problem was with the starter; he said the solenoid had some gunk in it; he cleaned it out and it started right up.
I'm now afraid that my starter is acting up again. I just did my pre- season maintenace on my lawnmower and lo-and behold it won't start. It turned over a few times when I first turned the key but it was very rough and I don't remember it sounding quite that way before. After a few more tries the starter wouldn't even fire up when I turned the key. I checked the battery and it seems to be doing fine; I'm afraid that the starter is acting up again.
The only problem was that I coudl only find one place on the web that sells a starter for this mower, and its $329. However, on the same webpage they had a "Starter Soleniod" for $55.20. I guess I'm confused as to the difference between the "motor" and the "solenoid".
Does it sound like it could be starter and does anyone know where I could get a starter motor for cheaper or would I just need to replace the solenoid?
Here's the link for the website: http://www.planopower.com/store/honda/ht-r3009.shtml
Thanks!
Josh
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Firehawk,
It's not at all clear why you suspect the starter. From your post the starter does seem to spin the engine. I'd put the battery on the charger for a day or so and see what happens. Since it's the beginning of the season a squirt of starter fluid might be a good idea, too.
Dave M.
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Dave,
It was turning the engine at first; but it sounded rough. After about 5 tries it is no longer turning the engine. Whenever I turn the key it does nothing.
Josh
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Josh,

What sounded rough? You can always unbolt the starter, seperate it from the engine, inspect the starter, and use battery cables with a battery to test it.
After about

Could be a dead battery. Have you tried using jumper cables from you car? Be sure that you have a 12 volt system before you try this. I'd try this before I did anything else.
Dave M.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

The solenoid (you have one on your car and air conditioner, too) is a relay. A small current from the starter button energizes it and it closes. The solenoid then directs the heavy current flow from the battery to the starter motor.
This little trick is used to allow a one-amp current to control a 100-amp power flow.
An automotive solenoid (and probably the one for your mower) is a cylinder of coiled wire with a plunger inside. When energized, the coil acts like a magnet, yanking the plunger into the coil. One end of the plunger completes the high-amp circuit. Sometimes the solenoid also moves the starter's gear forward to engage the engine's flywheel. There are at least a couple of things that can go wrong with this type of solenoid.
First, the plunger may be corroded or dirty, preventing it from traveling the full distance necessary to close the switch part of the operation. Second, the switch part may be corroded or pitted preventing adequate current flow.
Pull the starter motor. Take it to an auto parts store. They will test it for free. If you're lucky, the solenoid can be replaced with an automotive variety for $5.00.
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How did you check the battery? What tests you did, and what results?
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Christopher A. Young
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