Unreliable electric start on a BCS

Hi everyone,

I’ve been using a BCS 853 the last couple seasons which has been really helpful at my place. It belongs to someone else but they kindly share it with me. However, the key (electric) start on it is not very reliable, and it stops working at the least opportune times of course (like right now!) The rip cord is so long that I can’t even pull it out hard enough to start the machine that way (I’m 5’2 so my arms are short!) As you can tell, this is a problem because I can’t turn the machine on if the key doesn’t start it.

The battery was replaced last year and nothing looks to be out of place or corroded. Has anyone else had issues with this? Really hoping to have it running asap but it would be great to get some tips on an on-farm fix when this happens…thanks!

Hi, there. The solenoids on electric start 2-wheel tractors get very dusty and dirty. We fought with ours (diesel Grillo) for a few years and finally had to have an expensive starter rebuild. There was nothing more frustrating and tiring than trying to pull start that engine (I’m only 5’5" so I sympathize with your challenge).

Not sure what engine you have but Earth Tools in Kentucky has great references for maintenance and repair. See here: https://www.earthtoolsbcs.com/use-repair-maintenance/

Follow the links to your situation and you may find some helpful quick fixes or at least ways to reduce the frequency of your problems.

Good luck and have a great season!

I know @firmlyrootedfarm use a BCS, maybe they can chime in.

Have you tried pulling the cord away from the BCS while someone holds it in place? You might be able to get a longer pull that way. I’ve done that in the past and it helps to not have to hold it and pull at the same time.

Mucho empathy from a 5’4" farmer! :wink:

I have a BCS 749 diesel with electric start. I have had some issues. The starter can get full of dirt because it seems it is not sealed the way it should be. My mechanic tried to get the starter replaced on mine a couple of years ago - BCS and Kohler passed the buck on each other as to who was responsible to replace it. In the end my mechanic took it apart, cleaned it out and sealed it. It seems to still be working. But I am also having some problems with the battery re-charging. I think there may be a problem with the alternator but my mechanic said last year that the alternator seemed to be working fine. Next time I take it to him, I’ll ask him to have another look. I have put a battery charger on several times this spring - so make sure your battery has enough charge to start the engine. Although the rip cord is there, I don’t think it will start an electric start engine. At the moment I can’t recall the mechanics on that but there is something that prevents the manual start. Not much help, other than to let you know I have had some problems and have had some help from a mechanic. Cleaning up the starter was a lot cheaper than replacing the starter.

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If the OEM BCS starter solendoid don’t kick on when you turn the switch, in an emergency you can jumper it across the main power terminals with a screw driver or slip joint pliers. An easy fix to get a starter solenoid cheap buy the one that is on your pick-up truck and install that. My BCS is pull start so i never seen that problem but in my work on electrics, installing solenoids generally upside down with the contacts below the coil, keeps the dirt from getting in and gumming up the air gap and the movement of the coil.

I followed the directions on the earth tools website listed above and got the electric start working again on my diesel 749. I’m located between Kincardine and Walkerton if anybody in the area needs a hand

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