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starter clutch moves in/out on crankshaft?

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drz began to get hard to start a couple weeks ago and after checking all the obvious im pretty certian my issue is the starter clutch assembly behind flywheel... when i would press & hold the e-start id hear the starter kick on but the engine didnt seem like it was turning over the whole time. i couldnt hold the start button for more then a few seconds without it sounding like damage was being done. i pulled the stator side cover an everything looked ok untill i got to the flywheel/starter clutch area and realized i could slide the large gear behind flywheel twords me and away about 1/4'' or so on the crankshaft. besides that it looked ok, spins freely in one direction and seems to stay engaged when i try an turn the otherway. has anyone else had a problem with one of these things? i dont hear much about them failing 

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