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We distribute an extensive selection of CLARK FORKLIFT STARTER parts for all makes and models. We ship directly from various warehouses located all over North America to provide the fastest shipping at the most affordable prices.

For immediate service, contact us TOLL-FREE at 1-800-210-8170


 Clark Forklift Starter

Clark is a leading manufacturer of materials handling equipment and has one of the largest product lines in the entire industry. The company has its parts distribution centers located in Louisville, Kentucky to serve its customers in North America, and in Changwon, South Korea to serve its international customers.

Like all materials handling equipment, forklift trucks also have parts that are critical for its operation. Clark forklift starter has to be maintained with caution to obtain maximum performance and service life. Let us now discuss about this forklift part: its working, components and also about how to troubleshoot it when need arises.

Forklift starter motor is basically an electric motor that comprises of a solenoid. When the solenoid is applied current coming out of the starting battery, it activates a lever which stretches the drive pinion mounted on the driveshaft. The pinion will also be connected by the ring gear present on the flywheel of the forklift engine. Once the starter motor begins to run, all the high current contacts will be shut down by the solenoid. The pinion gear will be separated from the ring gear, causing the motor to stop. An overrunning clutch fastens the pinion gear to the driveshaft. As a result, the pinion gear will be able to instill drive in the same direction.


Clark forklift’s starter motor comprises of three fundamental parts:

  • Pinion: This transmits driving power to the ring gear from the motor. To prevent prospective damages caused by faster running engine, an overrunning clutch is available, which is made of the clutch outer and roller. A roller spring curbs the roller in place.
  • Motor: This produces rotational drive power.
  • Magnetic switch: Engages and disengages the pinion by pushing the plunger, and also uses the engagement level to open and close the moving contact (also known as the main contact), which starts and stops the motor.

A standard electric starter or conventional starter motor has the following components:

  • Magnetic switch
  • Dust cover
  • Field coil
  • Brush
  • Brush holder
  • Rear cover bearing metal
  • Thrust washer
  • Through bolt
  • Torsion spring
  • Shift lever
  • Overrunning clutch
  • Gear case
  • Pinion stopper
  • Gear case bearing
  • Pinion
  • Armature
  • Yoke

To avoid overheating, all such electrical components are built to function for only less than thirty seconds. These parts are also expected to save cost and weight. This is why most forklift manuals, including Clark’s, recommend lift truck operators to stop for at least 10 seconds after cranking the truck’s engine, whenever they try to repeatedly run the engine that fails to start immediately.

Troubleshooting and Testing

Clark forklift starting system has to be maintained regularly. All connections should be tight and clean at all times and the battery should always be fully charged. Issues related to the starting system can be mechanical or electrical. We give you a list of common starter problems, causes of the same, and solutions for those problems as well.

  • Problem: The starter does not crack the engine.

Causes: Loose connections, battery dead, defective ignition switch, mechanical issue in the engine, defective magnetic switch, clutch switch, neutral start switch or relay, and disintegrated fusible link.

Solutions: Inspect the battery, its terminals and cables. Make sure that both ends are clean and connected properly. Check if the battery is fully charged. Try replacing the fusible link. Replace faulty switches. Inspect the engine to clear mechanical issues, if any.

  • Problem: Starter turns the forklift engine very slowly.

Causes: Defective starter motor, weak battery, deteriorated or loose connections, and mechanical issues in the starter or engine.

Solutions: Check if the battery is in proper condition and has full charge. See if the battery connections are tight and clean because even a small problem in the ground or positive circuit can negatively impact the cracking power. Examine the starter for proper functioning. Also inspect the engine and starter for mechanical issues and replace any defective parts.

  • Problem: Starter runs continuously.

Causes: Defective ring or pinion gear, defective control circuit or ignition switch, defective plunger in the magnetic switch, and faulty ignition key.

Solutions: Inspect the gears for damage or wear, inspect the circuit and switch components, inspect the starter hold-in and pull-in coils, and examine the ignition key for deterioration.

  • Problem: Starter clicks when starting the engine.

Causes: Damaged wires, loose connections, and high resistance battery cables.

Solutions: Check the engine and battery’s ground circuit for high resistance. Check the battery terminals and cables for loose connections, corrosion, wear and damage and rectify the issues.

  • Problem: Starter produces a clattering sound.

Causes: Bad ring gear or flywheel, faulty starter solenoid, damaged wires and loose connection.

Solutions: Inspect the flywheel via the mounting opening or starter access. Check if the battery is in operable condition and fully charged. Inspect the battery terminals and cables for loose connections and tighten them.

  • Problem: Starter fails to properly engage or disengage.

Causes: Defective magnetic switch, and worn or damaged ring gear or pinion gear.

Solutions: Inspect and replace the magnetic switch if required. Also check the gears for wear and damage, and replace when required.

Perform regular visual inspection of the forklift’s starting system. This can save effort and time by disclosing simple and apparent problems. When you identify one such problem in your Clark forklift and wish to replace some parts, you can easily obtain those from Solid Lift parts.


Additional Notes (02-10-2015) - 


The Clark Forklift Starter is a very critical part of the forklift because of its operation. If you want to get its long service life and expect the highest performance out of it, you need to use it quite carefully and maintain it with highest cautions.


Firstly, the Clark forklift starter is an electric motor. This is originally constructed of three elementary parts – pinion, motor & magnetic switch.


At the start of its working procedure, the current supplied from the starter battery is applied to the solenoid. Then it will force the lever which extends the drive pinion. Then the starter ring gear, which is present on the flywheel will get connected with the pinion. As soon as the starter motor starts its operation, the solenoid will shut off all the high electric connections. Getting segregated from the ring gear, the pinion gear will cease the motor’s operation while an overrunning clutch fasten it to the drive shaft. Consequently, the drive will be established in the same direction by the pinion gear.


Overheating is a very common problem of the forklift starters. In case of Clark forklift starters, all the electrical elements are installed in such a way so that they can function in less than 30 seconds. So immediately after starting the engine, the forklift operators are always suggested to take a break of minimum 10 seconds in almost all the operating manuals, including Clark’s.


Besides overheating, the starter may face different problems. These problems are mostly mechanical or electrical. So to avoid these problems, proper maintenance is required for the Clark forklift starting system. All the connections should be kept compact and tidy and the battery should be fully charged. Regular supervision of  the system will reveal the simple problems and save your valuable time.


Here in Solid Lift Parts Inc., we know how much pathetic & time consuming your experience of searching for genuine parts can be. We always care about saving the precious time of our customers. So we offer you to choose a Clark forklift starter of different models at a very reasonable cost. We always keep our inventory packed with all the parts and update all the information on our website. Providing quality customer service is our specialty & we give our utmost effort to serve our clients with fullest satisfaction. Even if you face any problem with any part of the starter, don’t hesitate to come to us & we will get it replaced for you. Our panel of experts is there for you to render necessary suggestions. So do hurry to contact your parts specialist & order us, now!


Clark Forklift Starter Photos



Parts Books & Service Manuals

*Manuals and parts books are not owned by Solid Lift Parts inc. and are presented for reference purpose only.