I think you may have the wrong starter drive. My starter will stay engaged until the motor is actually running. It has never ever kicked out until she started. You might have the starter drive from a gas tractor. To check your starter drive, take the starter off the tractor. Turn the drive until it screws out. Once it is out it will not go back in until the motor is running. If you can screw it out and back in then it is the wrong one or yours is defective. I hope this helps.