Using a pull cord on a lawn mower can get seem like a lot of work when many mowers offer an electric start option. Being able to turn the key and start your mower is a lot less work than consistently pulling a pull cord.
Some lawn mowers can be converted to an electric start if the existing engine has pre-drilled holes and brackets to mount the starter. A starter, battery, regulator, and wire harness will need to be added to your lawn mower.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you are able to convert your mower to an electric start lawn mower? It is possible with some types of lawn mowers. Read on and we’ll share what you need in a lawn mower to be able to convert to an electric start.
This post may include affiliate links. Purchases made through these links may provide a commission for us, at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Engine Requirements Before Adding Electric Start to Your Lawn Mower
Not every engine is created equal and, contrary to what many people believe, they are not all the same. Manufacturers that utilize electric start on their mowers have designed them to be compatible with starters. When a manufacturer specs out an engine an electric start requires many engine components and it is not just a quick add on.
In order to convert an engine to an electric start the correct way your engine must have the following:
1. Pre-drilled Holes & Brackets
If your engine wasn’t originally designed to be used as an engine with an electric start chances are you won’t be able to add a starter to it. Holes in the engine block will not be pre-drilled and tapped for a place to mount your started. You will also need brackets added to support the starter.
A battery needs a place to be mounted on lawn mower. Under the flywheel, there needs to be mounts and holes drilled to accept a stator. The stator is a component that needs to be added to charge the battery.
2. Flywheel with a Ring Gear
The flywheel will need to have a ring gear mounted on it. If your flywheel doesn’t have a ring gear, the started will not be able to turn the engine over.
3. Wire Harness
A wire harness will need to be added that runs from the engine to the starter and then to the battery. It will also run the the ignition switch along with a safety switch or two so you can run the lawn mower without getting hurt.
A regulator must be added to charge the battery that must be added.
Converting a Lawn Mower to Electric Start is Mower Work Than It’s Worth
After reading all of the extra parts, brackets and drilling required to convert your lawn mower to an electric start, do you really think it’s worth it? Do not attempt drilling into the engine block as you can do much more harm and end up with a lawn mower that no longer runs.
Not only is there work to mount brackets and install a starter, stator, regulator, and wire harness pretty time consuming, most likely the cost to add all of these options will not be worth it. Get the manufacturer, model and spec number off of the engine and contact your local engine dealer to check to see if your engine is compatible and to price out parts.
Some manufacturers offer electric start kits if your engine has been manufactured with the option to convert to electric start. Check out your owners manual or call your local engine dealer.
Dealer Locator for Common Engine Manufacturers
If you truly want an electric start mower, we suggest selling your old lawn mower and upgrading. Instead of investing in converting your old lawn mower, save the money and put it towards a new mower with an engine that has been designed for an electric start. Here are a few of our favorite small lawn mowers with electric start:
Option to Start Lawn Mower Engine with a Drill
There is a way to cheat the system and not install all of the parts needed to convert your lawn mower engine to electric start. It is possible to start the engine with a drill, but it is not a very safe way to do it.
There is a tool out there you can purchase that can be used on an electric drill or cordless impact gun to start the engine. You install the tool on the nut on the top of the flywheel. Pull the trigger on your drill and you will spin the engine over. It’s not the best way to start your engine, but it does work.