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Posted: 7/17/2013 6:50:10 PM EST
It's a Craftsman, and it's probably two or three years old. It ran fine on the 4th, but now it won't crank. When I turn the key on, the hour meter turns on, but nothing else happens. This is with ass in seat, foot on brake, blades disengaged, and the choke on.

I tried jumping it, too. With the cables connected to the tractor, I could tap the other ends together and they'd spark with authority. Connecting them to a vehicle made no difference.

I'm pretty sure it's an electrical issue, but with all the nanny switches and whatnot, I'm not really sure where to look.

Any suggestions?
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 6:52:43 PM EST
See if it has a relay somewhere...it would be a standard box type relay that plugs into a receptacle, it could be loose. Should be simple if you trace the ignition wires...not many wires on there to begin with. Good luck.
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 6:55:42 PM EST
My guess would be either the clutch switch or the one under the seat.
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 6:56:40 PM EST
Run a jumper from the positive terminal on the battery to the bolt on the starter where the power usually comes in. Do this with the key on. If it cranks it's either a relay somewhere or a solenoid gone bad.
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 6:57:07 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Sand_Man:
See if it has a relay somewhere...it would be a standard box type relay that plugs into a receptacle, it could be loose. Should be simple if you trace the ignition wires...not many wires on there to begin with. Good luck.
View Quote



The starter relay most likely. 10 dollar part.
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 6:57:18 PM EST
There's a fuse in there somewhere between the solenoid and the ign. switch. It's probably blown.
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 6:58:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/17/2013 6:59:30 PM EST by superdav]
i bypassed the seat nanny switches on mine, check the voltage on the battery it should be near 13v to start if not charge and try again, if it is charged it could be one of the relays, my craftsman has 3 mounted on the side panel near the steering column, sometimes the connections get dirty over time and just unplugging and plugging could fix it or one could be bad. If one is bad you could swap them around to narrow it down (they are most likely identical) or it could be the starter itself
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 7:13:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/17/2013 7:14:31 PM EST by williewvr]
Just had to replace key switch on mine. Same symptoms
$13 and change at sears
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 7:16:05 PM EST
Did you remember to push the brake lever all the way down when your tried to start it?

Link Posted: 7/17/2013 7:17:23 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Balforin:
Did you remember to push the brake lever all the way down when your tried to start it?

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Yes, in neutral and parking brake on?
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 7:21:33 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Destro333:


Yes, in neutral and parking brake on?
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Originally Posted By Destro333:
Originally Posted By Balforin:
Did you remember to push the brake lever all the way down when your tried to start it?



Yes, in neutral and parking brake on?


The parking brake disengages when the foot brake is depressed, and there isn't really a neutral. There's a forward pedal and a reverse pedal.
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 7:22:54 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Keith_J:



The starter relay most likely. 10 dollar part.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Originally Posted By Sand_Man:
See if it has a relay somewhere...it would be a standard box type relay that plugs into a receptacle, it could be loose. Should be simple if you trace the ignition wires...not many wires on there to begin with. Good luck.



The starter relay most likely. 10 dollar part.


Let's say my multimeter is in a place where I won't have access to it for a week. How would I diagnose this?
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 7:54:25 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bassgasm:


Let's say my multimeter is in a place where I won't have access to it for a week. How would I diagnose this?
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Originally Posted By Bassgasm:
Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Originally Posted By Sand_Man:
See if it has a relay somewhere...it would be a standard box type relay that plugs into a receptacle, it could be loose. Should be simple if you trace the ignition wires...not many wires on there to begin with. Good luck.



The starter relay most likely. 10 dollar part.


Let's say my multimeter is in a place where I won't have access to it for a week. How would I diagnose this?



see my post above

or with meter
Remove relay-
Check resistance between 85 & 86.
Should be "around" 70 OHMS or so.

There should be continuity between 30 & 87A.

When current is flowing between 85 & 86, there should be continuity between 30 & 87.
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 8:12:30 PM EST


clean battery connections

check starter ground

check starter relay

My bet is safety switch on clutch, pto or seat.

Link Posted: 7/17/2013 8:27:39 PM EST
does it have a manual lever or electric solenoid to engage the mower deck?

I have an older Craftsman 24HP that has an electric PTO clutch, PTO switch needs to be in off position for mower to start.

Also have a Scotts (John Deere) with manual PTO lever that likes to float in the off position, have to make sure it''s fully in the off position to engage the safety switch so mower will start.
Link Posted: 7/18/2013 10:30:51 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bassgasm:


Let's say my multimeter is in a place where I won't have access to it for a week. How would I diagnose this?
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bassgasm:
Originally Posted By Keith_J:


The starter relay most likely. 10 dollar part.


Let's say my multimeter is in a place where I won't have access to it for a week. How would I diagnose this?


#4 wire from battery + term to the fat wire on the starter. With key on, it should start. Watch for sparks. Everytime you start the mower, the contacts in the relay arc just as bad. They might last 200 start cycles at the most because they are cheaply made and the contact plate doesn't rotate to expose fresh area each time. This causes the disc to burn out. If you were handy, you could pull the rivets out and see for yourself if the contacts are fried. Then either fix the part or replace.

Link Posted: 7/18/2013 10:37:16 AM EST
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Originally Posted By gunner76:
My guess would be either the clutch switch or the one under the seat.
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Which is why I bypassed those switches on my Craftsman riding mower. The switches are cheap plastic and are not sealed against dirt and water.

You have to have the electrical schematic of the mower and genuinely understand the the circuit before attempting to bypass or disconnect anything.


Link Posted: 7/18/2013 1:45:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/18/2013 1:46:14 PM EST by MPD165]
Is your PTO engaged?

If it is they will generally not start. Disengage and try again.

MPD165
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 7:12:22 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By teamr2:
Run a jumper from the positive terminal on the battery to the bolt on the starter where the power usually comes in. Do this with the key on. If it cranks it's either a relay somewhere or a solenoid gone bad.
View Quote


That got it running.

I guess that will have to get me by until I get it figured out.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 4:58:29 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bassgasm:


That got it running.

I guess that will have to get me by until I get it figured out.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bassgasm:
Originally Posted By teamr2:
Run a jumper from the positive terminal on the battery to the bolt on the starter where the power usually comes in. Do this with the key on. If it cranks it's either a relay somewhere or a solenoid gone bad.


That got it running.

I guess that will have to get me by until I get it figured out.
Then it is that $10 relay you can get at O'Reily's Auto Parts.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 5:09:46 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Then it is that $10 relay you can get at O'Reily's Auto Parts.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Originally Posted By Bassgasm:
Originally Posted By teamr2:
Run a jumper from the positive terminal on the battery to the bolt on the starter where the power usually comes in. Do this with the key on. If it cranks it's either a relay somewhere or a solenoid gone bad.


That got it running.

I guess that will have to get me by until I get it figured out.
Then it is that $10 relay you can get at O'Reily's Auto Parts.


Don't forget the diagnostic fee to the users of arfcom. $50 per poster in this thread should do it.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 5:13:05 AM EST
There is also a ground under the seat on the right hand side. The bolt on this worked loose and when it was not in contact, it would have the same exact symptoms as yours. Then it would shifts and make contact and everything would be fine for a while. Once it got too loose, it wouldn't start at all. it drove me nuts trying to find it.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 5:15:26 AM EST
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say starter solenoid up under the tank probably.

Just replaced mine. They are notorious for going out. One reason tractor supply carries them. You can check it with a test light or multimeter while having someone turn the key.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 5:20:34 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Keith_J:



The starter relay solenoid most likely. 10 20 dollar part.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Originally Posted By Sand_Man:
See if it has a relay somewhere...it would be a standard box type relay that plugs into a receptacle, it could be loose. Should be simple if you trace the ignition wires...not many wires on there to begin with. Good luck.



The starter relay solenoid most likely. 10 20 dollar part.


FIFY
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 5:21:21 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By superdav:
i bypassed the seat nanny switches on mine, check the voltage on the battery it should be near 13v to start if not charge and try again, if it is charged it could be one of the relays, my craftsman has 3 mounted on the side panel near the steering column, sometimes the connections get dirty over time and just unplugging and plugging could fix it or one could be bad. If one is bad you could swap them around to narrow it down (they are most likely identical) or it could be the starter itself
View Quote


12.6 is fully charged.

Should start with a tad under 12.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 5:24:31 AM EST
Also check the clutch switch and make sure the tabs didnt break off. If you push too hard on the pedal, you can break the tabs off of the switch. If the tabs are broken, the plunger won't push down allowing the unit to start.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 5:33:46 AM EST
Seat safety switch wire vibrated off.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 5:45:19 AM EST
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