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You may be correct about a loose spring. Check this:
Carefully lay the mixer on its back side to access the bottom of the mixer. Remove the cover screen covering the opening in the bottom of the mixer. Using an extension and appropriate socket, be sure the nut of the bowl lift rod is snug, slightly compressing the spring of the bowl lift rod.
Hi, it is hard to determine exactly what the problem is without seeing it, however, that mixer usually uses a capacitor to help start the motor, and a switch, or relay, that are in the back of the unit. You probably will not find any troubleshooting guide, Hobart does not give up information easily. You can take it to an electric motor repair shop, and they will easily be able to tell which of those is the problem, and will be reasonable in price. Your other option is to contact Hobart locally for service assistance. Maybe one of the other Hobart techs here can help you out more.
I'm a service tech for hobart,I'll type your serial number into our database and see what it brings up.The changes that have been made---older units use a mechanical start switch on the motor,the new units use an electronic start switch.the old units center shaft and gears have changed.the older units dont have bowl guards and the new units do.(this is a cage that goes around the bowl).The gasket that your talking about is just that--a thin paper.The paper wears and you get that symptom you describe and its normal.I'll get back to you.