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Old 03-26-2011, 01:33 PM   #1
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rider mower starter


People,

Have a Yard Machines, 13HP sit down mower. 11 yrs old. When I turn the key on, nothing happens unless I hold the key in the start position for say, 20-30 seconds. What could this be? Battery is like new. Does it just about every time. Once the starter turns, it does so at a good rate/speed, meaning, is not slugish. Not sure if that hhelps....

Im thinking its th starter- maybe brushes(?)

Thanks!


Last edited by noquacks; 03-26-2011 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:06 AM   #2
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People,

Have a Yard Machines, 13HP sit down mower. 11 yrs old. When I turn the key on, nothing happens unless I hold the key in the start position for say, 20-30 seconds. What could this be? Battery is like new. Does it just about every time. Once the starter turns, it does so at a good rate/speed, meaning, is not slugish. Not sure if that hhelps....

Im thinking its th starter- maybe brushes(?)

Thanks!
I will plan maybe today to yank the starter, not knowing exactly whats up, but suspecting thats the culprit, meanwhile, any opinions appreciated!

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Old 03-27-2011, 07:10 AM   #3
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I would first try hot wiring the solenoid, to see if its indeed the starter.

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Old 03-27-2011, 09:32 AM   #4
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Before I would go taking anything loose, I would check ALL cable connections. Remove them one-at-the-time, use a small wire brush to clean the mating surfaces of the cable and what it attaches to. Do this for both the positive and negative cables. If this does not solve the problem, then YES I would jump the solenoid to see if that may be it. Most likely your starter if not the culprit in this case, as you state that when it does engage it turns really well.
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:54 AM   #5
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Hmmm, good tip . thanks guys. time to clean contacts........
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:33 AM   #6
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OK, cleaned that area, but kinda confused as to where is that solenoid. here is a picture of what my starter looks like:
http://compare.ebay.com/like/2601478...=263602_304662

So, where would this solenoid be on this? I see only one massive wire going to the starter.......

Thanks!
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Old 03-27-2011, 12:10 PM   #7
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follow the massive wire away from the starter, the next connection away from the starter should be the solenoid.
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Old 03-27-2011, 01:13 PM   #8
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OK, Jack. Thanks big time. Time to go back in the shed.......(hmmm, maybe first, time for afternoon espresso and apple turnover)......
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Old 03-27-2011, 01:26 PM   #9
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The usual path for the starter circuit is from the key to the seat switch, the clutch/brake and then to the solenoid.
If you aren't seated, with the clutch/brake engaged the solenoid won't operate.

If you are seated with the clutch/brake depressed and you can hear the solenoid click when the key is operated, a starter motor problem is indicated.
To test the motor, run a battery jumper cable from the + terminal on the battery to the starter motor terminal.
MAKE SURE THAT THE TRANSMISSION SHIFTER IS IN NEUTRAL, AS THE MOTOR MAY START AND HAVE THE MACHINE TAKE OFF ON ITS OWN.
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Old 03-27-2011, 02:25 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Wildie View Post
The usual path for the starter circuit is from the key to the seat switch, the clutch/brake and then to the solenoid.
If you aren't seated, with the clutch/brake engaged the solenoid won't operate.

If you are seated with the clutch/brake depressed and you can hear the solenoid click when the key is operated, a starter motor problem is indicated.
To test the motor, run a battery jumper cable from the + terminal on the battery to the starter motor terminal.
MAKE SURE THAT THE TRANSMISSION SHIFTER IS IN NEUTRAL, AS THE MOTOR MAY START AND HAVE THE MACHINE TAKE OFF ON ITS OWN.
Good tip, wildie. Yeah, come to think of it, it does have a clutch safety switch. And, I do NOT hear that click when key is turned. Yes, I of course depress the clutch pedal to activate the switch, but then, I dont hear any "click". I just wait those 20-30 seconds. So what does that mean?
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:48 PM   #11
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Good tip, wildie. Yeah, come to think of it, it does have a clutch safety switch. And, I do NOT hear that click when key is turned. Yes, I of course depress the clutch pedal to activate the switch, but then, I dont hear any "click". I just wait those 20-30 seconds. So what does that mean?
If you don't hear a solenoid click when you operate the key to the start position it could be the key switch, or a safety switch or a broken wire.
I would suggest connecting a piece of stranded automotive wire from the (+) terminal on the battery on one end and then touch the free end to the soleniod terminal. If the solenoid works, you know that one of the switches is defective or a wire is broken.
You can then work your way back with you test wire at each safety switch and finally the key switch.
Pull the spark plug lead to keep the motor from accidently starting.
The manual on my machine has a wiring diagram in the back. If you don't have a diagram, check on net, as they are usually available there.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:49 AM   #12
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do you have an automotive test light??

before jumpering anything, a test light will quickly tell you what is going on..

connect the clamp end to the neg post of your battery. Touch the pointed end to the pos post and notice the light.

take the pointed end now and touch each large side of the solenoid, one should light all the time, the other not. no touch the small terminal on the solenoid and have someone sit in the seat and try to start the motor normally (clutch in, turn key). do you immediately get power to the small terminal?? if no, try a jumper directly from battery pos terminal to small terminal on solenoid, if yes, touch the large terminal that did not light before, do you have power?? if no, faulty solenoid, if yes, move to large terminal on starter.

rod
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:50 PM   #13
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Tanks, guys. More good points. Been rainy all day here. Too wet. Would like to try that test light thing (yes, I have a test light), but need to coerce one of the kids to sit on the seat...LOL

May be a week or so before it dries up here......

By them grass will be too high!!
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:21 PM   #14
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Tanks, guys. More good points. Been rainy all day here. Too wet. Would like to try that test light thing (yes, I have a test light), but need to coerce one of the kids to sit on the seat...LOL

May be a week or so before it dries up here......

By them grass will be too high!!
I know what you mean! We had 40" of snow fall overnight and my snow-blower had a blown belt.
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Old 03-31-2011, 05:34 AM   #15
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I had the same problem and it turned out to be the ignition switch. They run about $15 and are all pretty much the same on riders. I've only seen 2 or three different types in my day and have some old equipment so I pretty much stay under the hood a lot.

They are not very well waterproofed in my opinion and if you leave your mower out sometimes, water gets in the switch and all the contacts get rusty. Try www.mytractorforum.com for rider information and tips. They are a helpful bunch of guys. If you don't have your manual you will probably find it here or someone will scan theirs and send it to you. They saved my butt a couple of times.

Once you get the wiring schematics for your switch hook up a 9 volt battery to your power leads on your switch and a 12 volt automotive light to the respective terminals and test out the switch. Most ignition switched come with 5 to 6 leads. Positive, negative, starter hot lead, safety switch (clutch), alternator and kill switch.

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