Small Engines Add an Electric Starter

Published on March 20th, 2015 | by Jacks


How to Add an Electric Starter

Handy tips to help in replacing your starter!

Adding an electric starter to any engine that wasn’t built with one brings up a lot of questions that must be asked before an answer can be given. Some engines can easily be converted to electric starters. Some can not be done at all. Follow the guidelines on this article for some helpful tips on adding an electric starter to your engine.

Electric Starter Kits

There are electric start kits for Briggs and Stratton Engines. These engines were not equipped with coils to recharge a battery, so the flywheel that comes in the kit does not have any magnets it it. This is not a problem if you are converting a generator engine with a generator that has a 12 volt charging circuit. Just connect the battery charger to the battery for a few minutes. You can not hard wire this to the battery because if the generator is used for a long period the battery would be destroyed by over charging. You could convert the engine by installing all the individual components. A good place to start is with a Service Manual

Kohler Engines can be readily upgraded with a starter kit. Kohler provides all the components that are required for the engines that they supply kits for.

electric starter kit
Electric Starter Kits

Tecumseh Engines

Many types of equipment are using Tecumseh Engines. There are many questions that one must answer to equip a Tecumseh engine with a 12 volt starter. Tecumseh does not offer a 12 volt kit, but does supply these starter kits. Their engines just come in to many variations. In fact some can not be converted cost effectively because these engines never had the mounting bosses on the cylinder machined. So this is the first question: Are the mounting bosses (places) machined and drilled to mount a starter? If the answer is no you can stop right here. It can’t be done. Next, does the flywheel have a ring gear on it? You must remove the shroud and look. After these 2 questions are answered you need to arm yourself with the answers and the model spec number. Now with that info we can answer your question.List what individual parts are required. Just visit our small engine parts section and go to the starter section you need. Or Contact Us and we’ll be glad to help with your starter questions.


Be sure to check out our selection of electric starters below!

Small Engine Starter Links:

Jack’s Safety Tips: Before servicing or repairing any power equipment, disconnect the spark plug and battery cables. Remember to wear appropriate safety glasses and gloves to protect against harmful chemicals and debris. View our Disclaimer.

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About the Author

Jack's Small Engines has been providing parts for outdoor power equipment online since 1997. We also run a service center for outdoor power equipment like riding mowers, snow blowers, generators, chainsaws, and just about anything else.

4 Responses to How to Add an Electric Starter

  1. George Thomas says:

    Where can I get all the documentation for converting a k161 kohler engine from recoil to elec. start ie: conversion compatibility, parts list and diagrams to do it. Thanks George

  2. doug parker says:

    how can i convert a ride on mower to electric start after replacing motor with elecric egnition. my old mower has a pull start

  3. Catherine Wolfe says:

    where can I get a conversion kit to convert a poulan chainsaw from recoil pull start to electic start?

  4. Craig says:

    Great article..I’m doing a camper conversion and was wanting to turn a silent suitcase generator into an on-board penny. With a start button inside cab. Can this be done at all?

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