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bobcat won't fire

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by winairbo, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. winairbo

    winairbo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I have a Bobcat Textron 60" deck with a 23HP Kawasaki with 525 hrs with multiple, I suspect related problems. The initial problem was that when turning the key, the starter would not engage...no click...no clunk...nothing. However, I could jump the solenoid posts and the starter would crank and the engine would run. After a week or so of that, I decided I needed to fix it. So, went to the dealer and got a start solenoid. The counter man wagered his house, car and third cousin's wife that it would not fix it. He said it was likely a safety and to jumper them to find out which one. He focused on the seat safety.

    Well...before changing the solenoid, I started finding and jumpering safeties. Seat didn't change anything. The parking brake didn't either. I got the right steering handle off and it didn't make any difference either. I couldn't get the left one off. At one point I thought I must not be jumping the right terminals on the right safety and then popped a 20A fuse when I turned the key. Finally decided to changed the solenoid. Well, that didn't fix it either. So I pulled the ignition switch. Found a lot of corrosion underneath it and cleaned all that...put the switch back in...no crank still. HOwever, now, when I tried to jump the solenoid terminals, the engine would not fire. So then I got thinking that all the yanking I had done on the left steering arm safety had probably messed it up. So I took the screws out and got the thing out where I could see it. Tried pulling the connector and still couldn't get it loose. Finally pried it apart with a screw driver and tore the safety housing all apart...some corrosion at the terminals but not near what I would have thought for how hard it was to get apart.

    So...now I know I need a safety...at least one...and I suspect I need an ignition switch. Oh...I used an ohm meter to test the switch positions and could never get three terminals to read no matter what position the switch was in...that was after I cleaned the corrosion. So...went back to dealer...got a switch and the one safety cause he didn't have the one for the other side. Put those in...still won't turn over with key...and still won't fire when jumping the solenoid terminals. So...now I'm thinking I must have messed up the delay switch ro maybe some fuseable link...is that what I see on the purple wire going to the ignition area? Obviously I need to get the other safety...and from what I can see in the wiring diagram it doesn't look like the operator safety is in play during cranking...only during blade engagement.

    So...I'm at a loss...ideas? What am I missing?

  2. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    Yep, it's the FUSE!!!

    Believe me we done been through what you're going through and we spent hours and days and at least a hundred dollars replacing and fixing and re-wiring a ton of stuff just to find out that in the end, it was the fuse... And I'll admit that I could be wrong but once you locate the fuse it's truly one of the easiest and most often overlooked things.
    Our engine was a 25hp V-Kawasaki, in our case the fuse was on the left hand side of the frame just behind the ROPS but I am sure it varies from mower to mower, I believe if I recall correctly in our case it was a 20amp fuse between the voltage regulator and the solenoid, it was blown, replaced it and the mower ran like nothing happened.

    Here's the rest of the possibilities:
    Dead Battery.
    Bad ground connection.
    Poor terminal connection at the battery / corrosion.
    Poor wiring harness connections.
    Bad park switch (unlikely but easy to check down at bottom of control arms)
    Bad PTO switch (unlikely)
    Motion control arms not in park position
    PTO switch engaged
    Operator not in seat
    >>> Blown Fuse <<<
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  3. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    Here's the electric wiring diagrams to our machine, it may not be the same but they're likely similar, you may have to Zoom but as you can see the mechanic marked the FUSE lol keep in mind it is NOT the one near the battery that one's at the other end, of course it would probably be helpful if you can locate the schematics to your mower.

  4. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,025

    I have a real nice diagram at the shop. Basically they break down the Start circuit separate from everything else. I think they have one for the kill circuit and for the clutch circuit as well. I will try to remember to post it tomorrow.

    It could be the start relay. There are 3 relays. One of them is used for starting I believe. It may use 2 of them, cant remember. I dont think the delay module has anything to do with the start circuit but its been a while since I have done much troubleshooting on a ZT200.

    There is an easy way to bypass all the safety switches on the machine for testing purposes...but I really shouldnt say what it is here. If you look at the diagram and are good with wiring you can probably find it.
  5. winairbo

    winairbo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Thanks for all the ideas and suggestions!!! I've got to be narrowing it down...just not quite there yet. I bought new fuses and a fuse holder just to be sure. I'm getting power to the carb solenoid, I can hear it when I turn on the switch. I found a wiring diagram thanks to a post on another thread......(at, http://bobcatturf.com/bob-cat-parts-lookup.aspx ) but it's sure a pain to try to follow. But it IS for my mower...and it gave me the ignition switch states when key is turned...from which I verified that my old switch was indeed bad. But that doesn't tell my why it still won't crank...or run when I jump the solenoid like it used to. With my ohm meter I verified operation of the seat safety, the brake safety and the new left steering safety and the old right steering safety..(what a hateful part to take out!!! I was sure it just had to be bad...but NOooo!)

    Pugs, a simplified wiring diagram sure would be useful...if you have a chance. It looks to me like the white wire that energizes the magneto runs through the delay relay so that seems to be in play as well. And I think I see what can be done at the solenoid harness to verify that I haven't fried anything at the voltage regulator. Assuming it runs at that point...I guess I'm back to relays...start and/or delay and maybe the delay module. When I pulled the connector mine had a lot of crud overlapping the terminals...not sure what that might do to it...on a damp day...

    In the morning I'll try to verify actual motor operation and then look to the relays... unless that simpified wiring diagram points to something else.
    Thanks again!!!!
  6. winairbo

    winairbo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    My Model # is 942213.
  7. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    Yeah wiring diagrams are incorrect in terms of physical item location.
    Hate that too

    One way to trace down that fuse is to follow the leads at the solenoid, now I believe the fuse is inline with
    the small wires and not the battery cable sized ones, the small lead wires.

    Another thing that held us back is the fuse on ours is the flat square type but it's inside a fuse holder and it was hard to see!
    I'll see if I can get a picture.

    Are you getting power at the solenoid?
  8. winairbo

    winairbo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6


    Yeah, those wiring diagrams don't really give you any idea where the item actually is on the mower. I have power on one of the large terminals on the solenoid. And from that terminal, a smaller red wire runs eventually to the switch. So, your suggestion has given me an idea...I have found two 20 amp fuses...mine are both on the frame in the area of the foot rest. Anyway, I can pull the fuse and test in the fuse holder to make sure I have power to the fuse holder. Then I can put the fuse back in and make sure I have power at the ignition switch on the red wire. If I do, I know the new switch is good...it tests out correctly...so then the problem has to be downstream of there. I have tested all the safeties except the low oil (pressure?) switch. I'm not sure how to test it...

    So other than that...it will have to be a problem in the relays or delay module...??? I guess I could have a bad fuse holder but the contacts didn't look badly corroded...I guess if I don't have power on the red wire at the switch that will be the clue...but I do know I get power through the switch to the fuel solenoid... but maybe it doesn't need as good a connection as the other functions...??? Anyway, I'll test that in the daylight.

    Thanks again for all your ideas and spending the time you have thinking about all of this!!!! I really appreciate it!
  9. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,025

    The wire for the magneto does not energize it. DO NOT PUT 12 VOLTS TO THAT WIRE. It is a kill wire. You simply hook that wire to ground to stop the engine.

    Attached are a couple of files. One is a version of the wiring diagram with colors...as opposed to the black/white one on Bobcat parts lookup. The other is each part of the harness broken down more simply. So you can figure out why the engine wont turn over by using the "START" circuit and if you have no spark use the "INTERLOCK" circuit or "BRAKE" circuit one...either of those can ground the ignition wire.

    Attached Files:

  10. winairbo

    winairbo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Pugs, those wiring diagrams are fantastic!!! With them and the information about the white wire from the mags...the functions of the safeties and the the relays are starting to be understandable.
    The engine ran fine when just directly energizing the purple wire and jumping the solenoid. So, I'm a lot less discouraged about it now. At least I know it's in the control circuits. So now that I understand how the white wire is involved...and with these super diagrams I am starting to make sense of it. The guy at the parts store that told me to "jumper" the safeties till I found the one that wasn't working left out a whole lot of information...like when each one is supposed to be "open" rather than "closed"...! I had just guessed they all should be closed...but actually, it is often quite the opposite. Now I just have to put things back together far enough so I can start truly testing each one. None of the "testing " I did earlier on the safeties is valid. The only thing I proved was that they weren't stuck in one position or another...but that doesn't mean the contacts are engaging enough or disengaging enough when the brake or steering arms are moved. So have to test the right color going in and coming out in the right position to figure this out. At least now I know a lot of things that were not obvious to me before. These new diagrams are the TRICK!

    I was about ready to run up the "white flag"...but I think I can sort this out now...if I can find some time to concentrate on it! I'll update when I find something. Until then, thanks for the diagrams and the essential info!!!!!

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