new guy here needing a lil help pertaining to pto

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by richard r, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. richard r

    richard r LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I'm new here. Be gentle lol

    K, so right before Hurricane Katrina here in Louisiana I decided to sell off a lil business I had for 21 years and get into some lawn care for peeps.

    Certainly I shopped around for pricing on equipment. Decided to not go all out on expensive equipment until I knew that I would acquire enough business to substantiate the costs involved. So, I went low end and purchased a Cub Cadet RZT50.

    Initially, the drive belt would come off pretty often, problem corrected. So that seems fine. All is well. A new pulley or two and new tension spring corrected that issue.

    Problem I am having now. I engage the blades, all is well. I go into reverse, blades shut down as they are supposed to. At times, when I go into neutral or forward, the blades are not coming back on. Now, as of today the blades are not coming on at all. I replaced the battery, since supposedly the blade drive motor needs good power, cheapest attempt and fastest attempt at fixing. No go.

    Came home, found the switches that control power at the drive handles I'll call them. Both switches are testing open, and from what I've read on Cub Cadets site the switches are NC.

    Now, what I did was to clean both switches with some good old contact cleaner. Whats a kick is, I press in one switch and the blades engage ( pressing in on the contact/switch would normally shut the blades off lol)

    Anyway, I'm sort of at a loss here, what I should or should not do. Seems to me that the contact/switches should be NC and when I pull back on drive handles/for reverse, the contact gets pushed down and should open the switch knocking off power source and turning off the blades, correct? So, why would I now be able to push down on one contact and get the blades to work lol.

    Maybe I'm being long winded here, but I am doing my best to explain what I've done so far to isolate the trouble without having to make a 120 mile round trip to get a couple of parts that may not fix the problem.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. Two Seasons

    Two Seasons LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    You might want to find the connector(s) that run from each switch on the sticks and short those wires in the harness out (this would make them NC) to verify that the switches are defective.
  3. richard r

    richard r LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I did think of doing that. Guess it wouldn't hurt, just wanted to hear someone else say go for it lol.

    You know, I haven't noticed if both handles needed to be pulled back for the blades to shut down or not. Or if only one handle needed to be pulled be back for the blades to shut down. All this time using the mower and have no idea. I'm assuming only one needs to go into reverse for the blades to stop. Is that correct?

    But ya, in the morning I think I will go for it, jump out one switch at a time and see which is the problem. I can't see how both would go in trouble at the same time.

    Well, hmmm, would only one switch shut the blades down?

    BTW, thanks for the fast response.
  4. TimsLawnCareVA

    TimsLawnCareVA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    If it shut them off with one switch then the blades would turn off every time you made a turn. More than likely both would have to be pushed to cut off the PTO. Step up to a commercial mower and you won't have to worry about it.
  5. richard r

    richard r LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Good point. Only one needs to open or the blades would be shutting down each time I turn.

    Another good point, step up to a commercial mower lol. Although I can't believe that there would be a any guarantee that the upgrade wouldn't have troubles either. But I do understand that the higher dollar machine should mean a better quality mower/along with parts.

    For now, 2.5 years of cutting right around 6 acres per week leaves me feeling that the mower is relatively trouble free since this is what I would say the first real down time. Not ready to spend 10k or so yet.

    Hopeing all it is is the switch. Since both would need to be open for the blades to stop running tells me the two switches should be in a parallel circuit, right?
  6. richard r

    richard r LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Jumped both out this morning and went to work awhile. All went well. Odered two new switches. :weightlifter:

    One day I will get one of the better mowers, but for now still going strong. :hammerhead:
  7. Two Seasons

    Two Seasons LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    Glad you got it fixed.
  8. kawasaki1

    kawasaki1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    a lot of homeowner mowers have a reverse cut out switch so you can't cut in reverse. somehave a temporary override, some don't.

    we get mowers in all the time where the switches are covered with debris and don't work. this usually kills the pto since the machine thinks it's in reverse.
  9. richard r

    richard r LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I've never had a PTO on any machine before this one. So I was at a loss. I'm the type of person that needs one or two hands on experience times then it makes sense. I had no clue as to where the switches were, looked and looked, yet they were right there in front of my face. Called a dealership/repair shop in the area and asked them where to look. Can't believe I didn't see them in the first place.

    What's a kick, is that one switch apparantly has been bad and finally the last one went bad, is what I am figuring. Took me some time and direction from you guys here and the local repair shop to make sense out of this. How easy it can be for someone new to a product to get lost and confused when trying to fix it/trouble shoot it.

    Gladly willing to explore lol.

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