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.

21 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?

  5. Tyler says:

    I am looking for an electric start kit for an 86 Snow chief model sc5230E. It is equipped with the right flywheel already… need the starter motor, button, and any hardware… I know it’s old.

  6. omry says:

    it is easy to convert Honda GX35 Engine and Adding an electric starter, and if it is possible what can i do ??

  7. Don says:

    Lifan Pro Series 7000 watt generator I want to add electric start where can I get a starter kit. Thank You Don

  8. tim says:

    i just purchase used 4 hp tecumseh engine model ohh 4.5 260099 {c} engine family ytpxs.1721aa displacement 172 d.o.m.0039 k,well this has a starter and a bunch of wires and solenoid.i need the wiring diagram for this the solenoid is a torque max. camdec corp .i was told this system can run lights i hope i can do this can you help also it has a key switch to.once again and help or information thank you tim hammond

  9. johnny says:

    how can i turn a genartor in to a starter or in to a 12 vote moter

  10. Tom says:

    Can you put electric start on a 3.5 Briggs.

  11. BRAD MEHRMAN says:

    SPIRIT SNOW BLOWER / TECUMSEH sob1727761985 – 624804x79a – TP318UIG298 R or B ? CARB. is 1556 42V (5002) STARTER 8068 #37000 ELE . cord w/bouton GO TO USE ELE. START DOES ZIP NO CLIK., DOES NOT DUE ONE THING — CAN YOU TELL ME HOW AND WHANT, , IT WOULD BE & TO CK ( THANK YOU ) 24″ WIDE — 8HP.ENG.


  13. Warren says:

    I have a 61 Super Silver Eagle that I put an electric starter on. I put it on a few a years ago so I don’t remember where I got it. The other day I tried to start it and there was a terrible racket. I took the cover off and the nut on the end of the starter had come off and some washers were laying in the bottom. I think there was a spring that was supposed to be there but it was missing. It doesn’t seem to want to charge (when it was working) so I am interested in changing the starter over to a starter/charger and putting a different voltage regulator on it. Can you help, this is an OEM engine not the vertical piston cast iron engine?

  14. Stuart Leak says:

    Hi I have a generator I want to convert to push button and I need some advice please on whether it could be converted. It is a Loncin LC2500DC generator, 2.2kw 2.5kva 110v 230v 12vdc, silent crash frame 65db@7, 4 stroke oil alert 6.5hp recoil engine. A kit was once available from Loncin for this model but when we bought the generator we did not know it was an end of line model and I have not been able to obtain a starter kit from Loncin. Could anyone tell me please whether you think it is possible to have our generator converted and exactly how we could go about this.

  15. Tony says:

    I have re-engined a Ditch Witch trencher I have, using a GX390 electric start engine. It was a direct bolt on. However, all the harness’s on the original engine are no good, due to the original engine being a totally different design. Ordinarly this would not pose a problem, but the machine has an electrical hydraulic oil cooling fan that needs to run when the engine is running. I want to power the fan off the battery using a relay, triggered when the engine is running. I can’t figure out what wire on the engine I need to tap for the relay. Any ideas?

  16. I have a poulan wild cat 40cc chainsaw and want to put the engine on a bike. But I don’t want to pull start a bike so I need an electric starter. What do I do?

  17. Perry Lyon says:

    We have a Coleman Generator, 4000 watt, purchased in the late 80’s. I would like to add electric start and need to know is it possible, and if so what would the cost be? I have checked and there is no ring on the flywheel. Briggs and Stratton Model #190432, Type 3070-01, Code 87101210.
    Perry Lyon

  18. Eric Ritter says:

    I have a Coleman 5000 watt generator with a 10hp Tecumseh engine. Model HM 100 and want to convert to a DC starter. The Mounting bosses has been drilled and tapped for a starter. The flywheel does NOT have a ring gear.

    I looked for a ring gear on your site, but couldn’t find one. I am assuming that I would need a purchase a new flywheel with gear? Will you provide me the parts numbers for the conversion?

    I will not need an alternator. Because I won’t need the generator to charge the battery while running. I look forward to hearing back from you. As soon as I hear back. I will be placing my order.

    Thanks for your time.

  19. Jerry Bouchard says:

    can i install a 120 volt electric starter motor on a sears 4hp/ 20 inch snowblower, model c950-52804-8 ?

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