Lawnmower won't start

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  #1  
Old 09-12-02, 01:58 PM
programmer
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Lawnmower won't start

I have a Murray Riding lawn mower that is a year and a half old. It has a Briggs and Stratton engine. It blows fuses as soon as I put them in. I replaced the ignition, which did NOT fix the problem. I have found that if I unplug the connection leading under the flywheel, that it stops blowing fuses. The lawnmower will then start and not blow the fuse.

I'm not very familiar with small engines, but I believe these wires may lead to the equivalent of an alternator on an automobile (ie. this is the way the battery is recharged). My question is what is this part? Is there anything I should know before I start removing the flywheel to get to it? (ie, can I screw up the timing if I don't get it back on correctly?) Does it seem reasonable that this part being defective would cause the fuses to be blown?

FYI, I have looked high and low for a short in the wiring or a connection and have not been able to find one. I have also tried replacing the 15 amp fuse with a 30 amp fuse. It blows 30 amp fuses also.

Thanks,
programmer
 
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  #2  
Old 09-12-02, 10:47 PM
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Hello programmer!

You are right...it is the charging stator that you are unplugging.

Most of the time on a briggs engine, this is caused by the wires from that connector being pinched behind the starter. Check where the wires run up beside the starter. My bet is one of them is pinched and shorting.

Let us know if you run into trouble!
 
  #3  
Old 09-14-02, 06:28 PM
programmer
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Update

I removed the flywheel and found the stator(?) under it. The stator apparently works like a generator to recharge the battery. The coils of wire had gotten so hot that the plastic casing was melted in several places. I took the stator to the lawn mower repair shop and they said they could order one for $58 .

I have a friend who said that the only thing the stator does is to recharge the battery and feed power to the lights. He said that I could just not put a new one on and then recharge the battery every month or so with a battery charger. What do you guys think about this advice? Is the stator really needed? Will it damage the lawn mower to leave it off and just use the battery charger every few months? A new battery is only $14 at Wal-Mart, so I could afford several batteries for the price of one stator.

FYI, I asked the lawnmower shop why a stator would get fried like this one and they said the most common cause is someone trying to jump start their lawn mower with a car I have not jump started my lawn mower, but I do have a battery charger with a "start" setting that can be used to "jump" automobiles. I used this setting early this spring. Would this also cause the stator to go bad?

Enough questions for one post, thanks for your help.

Programmer
 
  #4  
Old 09-14-02, 11:23 PM
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Hmmm...don't really see them go bad very often. Sounds like yours fried. What makes them go bad is usually the diode gets burned up, and lets voltage through. This could happen if a huge source of amperage was applied. I don't know that your booster would really be enough amperage, but it could be. Most car batteries don't even have enough amperage to toast the diode. I would go to a lawn mower shop and pick up a good used charging stator because they rarely go bad. Any lawn mower shop should have plenty of them around on junk engines. It doesn't even have to be off the same engine you have, as there are only a few stators used by briggs. Just make sure they are the same.

Running the mower without the charging stator won't hurt the engine, but it will probably take a toll on the starter. Using the battery until it is too weak to start the engine puts a lot of strain and heat on the starter when the battery gets lower than it should. The starters run over $100.00 new. Also, if you have an electric pto, then you definitely want it charging. It will burn up the pto if it's not charging, and they can run over $250.00.

Let us know how it goes!
 
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