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Old 06-02-2010, 11:38 AM   #1
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Murray Starting Problems


Hi guys... new to the board.

I have a Murray riding mower. It has the kill switch on the seat. I tried to start and when I turn the key all I hear is "click". It doesn't turn over or anything.. just the click. I charged the battery and it's good. Good spark and everything. Cleaned posts and cables. Still get a click. If I try and start the mower not sitting on it, I still get a click. I think if I am not sitting on it, I should not get anything because of the kill switch. I tried jumping the starter and it tries to turn over, so I think the starter is good. I also jumped the solenoid. Again it tries to turn over. So my thoughts was that it was either the kill switch or ignition? Not sure. Your thoughts?

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Old 06-02-2010, 01:31 PM   #2
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Murray Starting Problems


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Originally Posted by mrnyc01 View Post
when I turn the key all I hear is "click".
I tried jumping the starter and it tries to turn over, so I think the starter is good.
I also jumped the solenoid. Again it tries to turn over.
The click is the solenoid pulling in.

It's extremely likely that the heavy contacts inside the solenoid are bad. You can confirm this by measuring the voltage drop across the heavy solenoid terminals while you attempt to crank the engine. A good switch should read less than 30 millivolts. I expect you'll get at least 4v [in a 12v system].

You could disassemble the solenoid and clean the internal contacts or buy a new solenoid.


Last edited by Yoyizit; 06-02-2010 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 06-02-2010, 01:48 PM   #3
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Murray Starting Problems


Thanks Yo....

So u don't think it's the kill switch? I will take the solenoid apart and let you know what happened.
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:18 PM   #4
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Murray Starting Problems


Check the connections on solenoid and starter also.

I agree with you, I do not understand the click when the seat swtich is open. BUt, since you do have a click, make sure the seat switch is not partly unplugged. Might want to check the balde safety switch also.

I don't understand why crossing the solenoid out is not bypassing it and turning the starter.

When you jump the starter, it tries to turn? Before it quit starting, was it a little cold collared when it started? Take a little while for the engine to level out and sound right?

Last edited by boman47k; 06-02-2010 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 06-02-2010, 04:49 PM   #5
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Murray Starting Problems


I'm pointing my finger at the connection of the hot wire to the solenoid. At this connection it is common for them to get corrosion, which does not show, or rust, which will not show, between the mating surfaces of the cable end and the solenoid's mating surface. This happens over a long period of time and simulates a weak or dead battery problem. IF you have a good, fully charged battery, you should be able to use jumper cables straight from your battery to the starter and with the spark plug removed the engine should spin freely. If the engine spins slowly, you have a battery problem, try using a truck/car battery with the jumper cables to do this to eliminate either the starter or mower battery. Remove both cables from the battery to the solenoid, and from the solenoid to the starter and clean the ends well using a wire brush. On these 12V high-amperage connections, clean contacts are a must. The seat switch: Most of these switches are a "Reed" type switch. Two pieces of metal designed to make contact when pressure is applied, such as sitting on them. They also will get a build-up of "stuff" and/or rust which makes them useless. Remove the seat switch and check it. On some of them you can get a piece of emery cloth between the metal contacts to clean them. Good Luck and Happy Mowing, David
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:40 PM   #6
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Murray Starting Problems


I was also going to suggest removing the plug to see if the engine would turn with the starter. If you do this, tape the plug and or wire so the spark cannot ignite fuel that might be blown out of the cylinder.
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:44 PM   #7
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Murray Starting Problems


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Originally Posted by boman47k View Post
I was also going to suggest removing the plug to see if the engine would turn with the starter. If you do this, tape the plug and or wire so the spark cannot ignite fuel that might be blown out of the cylinder.
If the engine won't crank with normal compression it suggests a high resistance connection in the cranking circuit, low battery, or a bad starter motor.
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:52 PM   #8
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My rider would sometimes barely turn over with a hot battery. No clicking from the solenoid, I replaced it last summer. I could take my hand and turn the motor backward, it would then start. It would run a little rough for a few minutes. I thought maybe the needle valve was letting excess gas through to the cyinder. I put a turn-off in the fuel line. This has helped, but I need to work on the carb so I know fuel is not filling the cylinder and or crankcase when it is not being used. It seems when I turn the engine backwards, it opens the exhaust valve and releases excess pressure. I may be way off base, but it seems to be working better since I put the cutoff in the line.
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:23 AM   #9
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Murray Starting Problems


Hi everyone ..thanksfor your replies. I will try to answer all.

I did use my battery from my SUV to start it. Still got just a click. I should also mention I do store my mower outside (covered) in the winter. It was running fine the last day I used it. No engine issues at all. Just when I tried to start for the first time this season, it made the click. My father in law also suggested I look at the ignition switch. Maybe some moisture got in there over the winter. I honestly feel it might just be some type of connection (corrosion) issue. I feel it might be simple. I did clean the contact on the solenoid coming from the battery. But I didn't do the one going to the starter. When I jump the starter, it does try to crank.
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:31 PM   #10
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Murray Starting Problems


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Originally Posted by mrnyc01 View Post
Hi everyone ..thanksfor your replies. I will try to answer all.

I did use my battery from my SUV to start it. Still got just a click. I should also mention I do store my mower outside (covered) in the winter. It was running fine the last day I used it. No engine issues at all. Just when I tried to start for the first time this season, it made the click. My father in law also suggested I look at the ignition switch. Maybe some moisture got in there over the winter. I honestly feel it might just be some type of connection (corrosion) issue. I feel it might be simple. I did clean the contact on the solenoid coming from the battery. But I didn't do the one going to the starter. When I jump the starter, it does try to crank.
If you're getting a click at the magnetic switch then I'd say you can rule out the ignition switch. If it's cranking by by-passing it, then it has to be the cause, or a bad connection at that point. Try giving it a few sharp taps, I've had that fix it more than once.
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:13 PM   #11
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Murray Starting Problems


Rusty, wha are you taliking about striking? Solenoid or starter?
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Old 06-05-2010, 06:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by boman47k View Post
Rusty, wha are you taliking about striking? Solenoid or starter?
solenoid, it's already been determined the the starter is cranking over and the ignition switch is working because the solenoid is clicking. Nothing to lose by tapping on it.

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