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Lawn Tractor -Starter?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Sears Crapsman......

Was trying to be a nice guy on Saturday, and after finishing my lawn, figured I'd make 2-3 passes on my neighbors side of his driveway so he didn't have to drag his push mower all the way down from his house to do it.

The "grass" was long and wet, and the tractor bogged down. (I TOLD YOU LAWNS ARE EVIL!!!!)

Anyway, cleared the wet grass from the underside, but still couldn't get it to start. Turn the key, a few clicks, then nothing.

After pulling the starter solenoid, taking it apart, and cleaning up the contacts, I bench tested that and it works fine.

This AM I pulled the engine housing to expose the starter mower and fly wheel. The flywheel turns easily by hand, so I know the engine isn't seized.

Turn the key, and I get a click, the starter motor throws out to engage the flywheel like it should, and then nothing, and I lose power at the aft side of the solenoid.

So, starter motor shot? Is what I'm thinking. As to losing power on the aft side of the solenoid, I beleive that is becasue they are rated to handle only so much torque/amps, and then they automatically cut out.

If I jump power over the solenoid directly to the starter mower, it throws out, and when it engages the flywheel, it just stops.

Next step is to pull the starter motor and bench test it, but even if it works at the bench, am thinking some of the coils in it may be burnt, and it can only throw so much torque before it stops.

Does all this sound correct?
post #2 of 27
Yeah, 100% spot on Steve.

One question. You sure it's got gas?
post #3 of 27
Replaced many a starter on vehicles when it really was the battery that was bad. Has this option been explored?
post #4 of 27
Originally Posted by TACKLE JUNKIE
Replaced many a starter on vehicles when it really was the battery that was bad. Has this option been explored?

i'd check the battery , had that problem with my mom's lawnmower ... battery solved it ....

post #5 of 27
Likewise Steve, just did it this weekend.

Very similar symptons as I was having, throw the key and you here the solenoid click and the starter throw the bendix out, but no rotation. Put the new battery in turned the key, Viola. 2 dead cells in the old battery. Take the battery to your local auto parts store and have it Load Tested, it well tell you what's up quickly. Besides, the batteries easier to remove than the starter.
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Yep, just stopped by the lawn mower repair guy's place to see if he had a starter or a rebuild kit (which he didn't), but he said the same about the battery....(and I should have thought of that myself, anyway.....) gonna try to jump start it with my car in a few minutes and see what happens. He told me that before jump starting it, to be sure the starter is disengaged from the flywheel, which is simple to do since it is all exposed right now. Just a turn of the flywheel, and the starter throw out bearing will retract.

If that doesn't work, my neighbor has an old Craftsman tractor up at his place that is half taken apart....knowing Steve, it is just junk, so am sure I could cannabalize the starter from that one if it happens to match up....taking out the starter is fairly simple at this point, just four bolts....

Will let ya's know later, and thanks for the input....
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
PS....yeah, Mike it's got gas....

Besides, even if it didn't, I'm way past that point in the diagnosis, and it wouldn't matter for what I'm trying to achieve.....
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Well, as ya all said.....battery......

Jump started it, and the starter works fine.........

So.........guess it's off to get a new battery, but that can wait for now.....cause as long as I have the thing all apart, I might as well give everything a good cleaning to remove all the dust and debris and a general going plug, new fuel filter, etc......but not today, it can wait, as the garden needs more attention right now, and I don't plan on mowing THAT EVIL THING for at least another week and a half......

Thanks for the input, and I should have thought of that to begin with....
post #9 of 27
Glad to hear it Steve.
post #10 of 27
For going right by my house to NC

Extra battery here... rebuilt Craftsman 11hp/engine rebuilt, lost the darn valve spring cover, so can't put on the card and intake yet (probably a $2 part)... tired of it. No brakes, who cares

Bulletproof hydrostatic Toro 14hp OHC like new, took 3 years to find a good one, paid good $$$, too late to sell, never cut my grass with it, don't need it for the new shack, no Sol'ers near by

Besides all that, catch any fish

post #11 of 27
Howdy Steve:

Please check your battery and make sure there is air in the tires, more on the left side then the right side and have a beer or 3, and you should be fine.
Happens all the time, Trying to be nice.

post #12 of 27
Originally Posted by Retired Fisherman
make sure there is air in the tires


Last yard I had, had water in the rear tires
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Okay, back to square one......

Just took the battery to be load tested at my automotive guy's shop. He tells me it is fully charged, and putting out almost 300 amps under load (the tractor should only take about 60 amps, or so he said), and coming right back up to correct voltage.

The other day when I "jump" started the tractor, it wouldn't start with a traditional jump start, though it would sporadically throw out the starter to the flywheel, but wouldn't turn the engine.

But if I jumped it by by-passing the solenoid (car battery ground to tractor ground, car battery + to the aft side of the solenoid), it started right up.

That leads me back to the solenoid.....

Next, gonna try using the tractor battery on its own, and by-pass the solenoid, and see what happens......maybe a bad battery to solenoid wire?
post #14 of 27
When I first read this the first thing that came to mind was solinoid. We had a Sears Tractor growing up, and the damn solinoid was always going.
post #15 of 27
When checking your battery, pay real close attention to the cables. The obvious is the connectors, but make sure the ground wire (negative) is attached tightly and grounding where every it attaches to the mowers body. May be good to remove the cable, use some emery cloth to get a nice clean grounding terminal, and replace the cable.

If you have a good battery and starter, and your getting intermittant cranking, worth looking at the cables. Just a thought.
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