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Craftsman 19.5 Hp Rider will not start

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by jim229, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. jim229

    jim229 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    Anyone have an idea of where I can find the problem with this lawn mower.

    I was given this Craftsman lawn mower last year and it did not run because the carb was messed up. I rebuilt the carb and replaced the fuel lines to solve that problem. Now I have an electrical problem. I turn the key and it does nothing. I replaced the switch and solenoid. I can bypass the solenoid and get the motor to turn over. The battery is good. I disconnected the kill wire, recommended by another mechanic to check if the safety switches were working, and it started and ran good for a while. I shut the motor down did some tinkering tightening bolts and filling tires up to use the mower and now it won't start again. I still have the kill wire disconnected but the motor won't turn and I can still bypass the solenoid and turn the motor over. I bypassed the seat switch and tested the PTO switch with another switch that I know works.

    Any Idea where I need to look to find this problem?
  2. kayeproperties

    kayeproperties LawnSite Member
    Posts: 141

    No knowledge of craftsman but I can tell you the safety switches are a pain in the ass! I bypass all of them just as a piece of mind if I start having problems like you say. There are all kinds of them seat, brake, blade, drive depends on the mower but to me they are all just a problem waiting to happen as they always will go bad. Good luck
  3. Rain Man av

    Rain Man av LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    Wow. If you got it to run, and the only thing you did was tighten bolts and add air, I would have to say you have an intermittent problem.

    Let me see if I understand you correctly. At some point your replaced both the ignition key switch AND the solenoid with NEW ones. You've disable the "kill" wire and you have checked/disabled the seat and the PTO/deck engage switch.

    but still, the motor won't turn over when you turn the key. Ahh the fun we have chasing electrons. One thing I would check would be the fuse. If that is burned out, no matter what you do, the motor won't turn by turning the key, but you can jump the solenoid and turn the motor. OR you have a bad cable between the battery and solenoid. or BOTH

    It could be that the ground wire is grounding somewhere even though you have it disconnected. It may also be that one of the safety switches is positioned so that no matter how much you push on the brake, or raise the deck, the switch can't be compressed enough.

    I had that problem with brake, I had to push it waaaaaaaaay forward before the key would turn the motor. I finally figured out that the switch assy was moving away from the brake every time it was pressed. I added a spacer behind the switch and it no longer moves back.

    You could have a grounding short somewhere in the cable which tricks the mower into thinking the seat is raised or the PTO is engaged. Remember to spend some time thinking about it. More than likely it something simple. Based on what you have said, and now that I have time to think about it, I am leaning more and more toward a ground short in the kill switch.

    It is the collective learning of our comrades attending the School of Hard Knocks that makes all of our lives easier. If I can learn from your woes, and your mine, we are both better off.

    Good luck with that and let us know what you find out so the rest of us can learn from your woes.

    Do you have painful burning, itching and swelling - Welcome to the power of Preparation H. (inside joke)
  4. Bill Kapaun

    Bill Kapaun LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 921

    Some seat switches work opposite of others. Oftimes, jumping the connector doesn't do what you think. The connector may have a shorting tab that keeps the circuit connected when removing the plug on a switch that must be OPEN to start.
  5. jim229

    jim229 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    Well, Thank You all for your responses. I finally found the problems. Notice I used the word "problems."

    The problem turned out to be two problems. The Brake switch, which is illogically located on the opposite side of the lawn mower was bad. To bypass this switch or the Deck Switch you have to cross the White wires together and cut one of the black wires at the plug.

    The second part of the problem which was causing me to miss the other was the plug connector on the ignition switch itself. The White wire that initiates the exciter circuit would not make a good contact. Solder that in place and turn the key. The motor starts.

    I appreciate the help of those that responded and hope this helps someone that may have a similar problem. If you bypass your safety switches make sure you pay attention to the control positions when using the mower and extra caution.

    Good luck to all.

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