Small Engines (Lawn Mowers, etc.)/Briggs & Stratton starter


QUESTION: 12v B&S starter:
Looking for a B&S starter drive Part #390581
or a complete starter #390551
my starter motor is ok, but the drive unit is broken. Used part ok if the drive is good.
This part is disscontinued or obsolete in most parts look ups.
Thanks for any help.

ANSWER: Is the starter on a 5 hp engine?

If so, they are really, really rare.  I have only seen 1 in the last 15 years or so; actually saw one last year in our bone yard.  Not too sure if we saved the starter as we took the engine to the scrap yard.

Ebay might be the best source.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks Eric
Yes it is a 5hp. I've exhausted ebay and other B&S web sites, will probably have best luck going to old established small engine shops and just get lucky.

Yeah, try your local shops first as you never know what they may have lying around.

The starter may be more common on snow blower engines but they were 120 volt starters if I recall.  However, the drive parts are probably the same parts on the 120 and 12 DC starters.


Small Engines (Lawn Mowers, etc.)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Eric A. Jones


Lawnmower Repair . Certified Master Service Technician from B&S. Have 23 years experience on B&S, Lawn Chief, Weed Eater, Echo, Peerless, Wheel Horse, Snapper, Atlas, MTD, McCulloch, Homelite and many other numerous brands. Specialize in electrical repair.


Born and raised in the midwest. Started tinkering with engines when I was about 14 on my Suzuki RM-80. I began lawn mower repair at a small hardware store. I knew absolutely nothing. I read lots of repair manuals and met an older fellow who taught me many lessons. I continued working on small engines through high school and paid my way through college working on mowers at the same hardware store. Decided to get away from the midwest and mower repair so I joined the Air Force. I repaired air traffic control electronic equipment and ended up in Hawaii where I got a part time job at Small Engine Clinic. I gained a lot of experience from the Small Engine Clinic and had a blast repairing small engines. I then took the Briggs and Stratton Master Service Technician test and earned my MST. I then traveled to Wisconsin where I attended the factory update training seminar and received formal training. Continued working on mowers part time as I completed 20 years of military. Retired from the military on a Friday and continued in the lawn and garden industry the next Monday.

MAS Aerospace Operations BA Mathematics AAS Electronic Communications AAS Electronic Technology

©2017 All rights reserved.