Move control levers in, mower wants to stall. But wait, theres another wrinkle.

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by ce750jockey, May 1, 2014.

  1. ce750jockey

    ce750jockey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    Guys, I have a nearly 3-yr old Toro TimeCutter SS4260, 42" with a Kawasaki 22HP FR651V engine. I need some help from you pros, 'cause I'm just a dumb homeowner. Here's my issue(s):

    Intermittently, when I pull the control levers in, the engine wants to die, almost like the seat kill switch is activating. If I push the levers back out quickly, the engine comes back. This can happen either after I've been cutting, or initially on start up. There is no pattern. Also intermittently, the battery will be dead after a few days. But sometimes, it'll go a week and start right up. Hmm?

    This seems to be a classic case of a "short" or electrical drain somewhere. But are the control lever stalling and the battery drain issues related?

    I brought the mower in, they replaced the battery, and assured me "it's the battery". Ok. But, if it's the battery, why doesn't the battery go dead all the time? And if it's the battery, why does pulling the control levers in activate the kill switch, but only intermittently?

    Your thoughts from you pro landscapers and mechanics would be most appreciated. Should I put a voltmeter on this new battery and see what happens over a couple of days or weeks?
  2. dieselss

    dieselss LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,999

    The levers are shutting off the engine b/c either......they are bad, the seat switch is bad or the parking brake switch. Or you have a safety switch wiring issue.
    Start there first then worry about the battery draining issue
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  3. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    Some of those seat kill switches are very sensitive to the butt pressure, if your butt isn't exact in the seat sometimes the switch thinks your butt ain't where it's supposed to be. I'm just saying this because mine's like that, different brand make and model.
  4. ce750jockey

    ce750jockey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    This is kinda what I thought. The shop swears that it's because the battery was bad, couldn't hold a full charge, and that even something on the order of a couple of millivolts less than a full 12 volts would be enough to make the control lever cutoff activate.

    I think this is b.s. because in theory it makes sense, but if it really was the semi-bad battery, why wouldn't the control levers kill the engine right after I started it? Why would it work for 20 minutes THEN cut off? The fact that this is intermittent doesn't support the "bad battery" theory, does it?
  5. dieselss

    dieselss LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,999

    After it dies. Does it restart fine or do you need to jump it?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. ce750jockey

    ce750jockey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    When it starts to die, I just quickly put the control levers back out and the engine comes back to life. Then I'll try it again a couple times, in out, in out, and it'll work fine. What happens to "make it work" again, I have no idea. Sure seems like a short to me. Again, this behavior wouldn't support a bad battery theory. But, if I did let the engine die, it would start right up with no problem.
  7. dieselss

    dieselss LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,999

    Ok that kinda rules out the battery IMO. Gunna still say safety switch section
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. ce750jockey

    ce750jockey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    Yeah, I think so too. Intermittent electrical issues have to be the worst nightmare for owners and shops alike.
  9. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    I'm going to say it's the parking brake switch. Here is why.

    I had a similar issue with my Lazer (same manufacturer, perhaps same wiring schematic?) this Spring while getting it ready to mow.

    I had it started and off the trailer already. I then loaded it back onto the trailer, warmed it up to do the oil change, shut it off and drained the oil. Went to start it when I was done, and it would click (starter solenoid). The engine would actually spin maybe 1/8th of a turn and it was as if it had a dead battery. Just didn't have enough juice to get past that 1/8th turn.

    I proceeded to put a small charger on it, went in the house and had lunch. Came back out later, fully expecting it to crank over just fine. Same thing! Went to get my bigger charger with 100amp boost cycle (will usually start just about any dead battery). NOTHING! Well, I don't know what made me look, but here I never set the parking brake when I shut the engine off!

    For some reason, eXmark/Toro actually allows a split second of start power when the brake is off and your trying to start. It's symptoms are VERY much like a dead battery! If for some reason, your brake safety switch is bad or intermittent, it would shut the mower off when your brought your levers in, and a restart would be very much like a dead battery.

    Check this little switch, wiggle the wires that go into the back of it. Jump these wires it if that doesn't work. But I really think that this may be your problem.
    Last edited: May 2, 2014
  10. southerntide

    southerntide LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Alabama
    Messages: 5,957

    #1 disconnect the connector on the seat

    #2 Parking Brake should have nothing to do with it. I run Gravely's though hell it took my dealer guys almost 9 years to finally figure out the correct way to set the brake on my 05' 148z, it has never worked right they set it worked most of the season last year but has now went back to way it was pull it up mower rolls I cannot see this being a issue for making the mower die anyways.

    #3 Sounds like electrical relay or something is seriously setup wrong by you or dealers last repairs possibly

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