YardMachine Ride-On Mower Not Starting

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  #1  
Old 04-29-05, 02:05 AM
balynn
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Question YardMachine Ride-On Mower Not Starting

I have a used YardMachine 42" Deck, B&S Engine 18HP.
Bought it last year and ran fine all year but quit on me at end of season. Stored mower for winter with plan on fixing this spring. Pulled it out a month ago, had to charge a relatively new battery, off my truck. Still couldn't get it to start. Being the big dummy I am I finally figured out it was a blown fuse. Changed fuse and mower started and ran fine for first cut of season. Pulled mower out last night. Same symptoms: Dead battery (jumped it off my truck), blown fuse (replaced) could only get machine to crank this time but not turn over. Proceeded to blow an additional fuse and finally gave up. I'm not real strong on troubleshooting but can handle being walked through potential repairs. Need some help narrowing down my problem before I spend a bundle on professional repair. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Thanks
 

Last edited by balynn; 04-29-05 at 02:35 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-29-05, 04:21 AM
Azis
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I have yet to find one of those fuses blown myself and am not even sure what it protects without diggin into a schematic. If you can find the model # of the mower, should be a placard on the rear or under the seat, the owners manual and or parts list for most of those include the schematics.
I would start by using a battery installed in the mower that will hold a charge. Check the starter gear to see if it is stuck engaged in the flywheel. It may need replaced.
Can you turn the engine easily by hand? How does the oil look?
If you have a hydrostatic drive, there is also an idler pulley under the cover between the seat and the pedestal that if it does not turn freely, would cause hard starting.
 
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Old 04-29-05, 04:39 AM
balynn
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Thanks. I'm getting feedback from another forum that's pretty confident it's a short. One thing I didn't share is that the headlights aren't working even when the machine is being jumped from my pick-up (bulbs are not broken). Does this tell you anything? When the machine has started it wasn't difficult and didn't seem to struggle to turn over. Oil was recently changed.
 
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Old 04-29-05, 05:18 AM
Azis
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The lights do not run off of the battery circuit. They have a seperate coil which will only operate when the engine is running.
I would agree with a short also or a saftey switch intermitten maybe. The deck disengage switch is bad on these for problems. Try pulling the deck lift handle up while starting.
The wires that run along the right side of the pedestal (while sitting on the mower) are prone to contact with the lift mechanism also, possibly causing pinch or short.

Did you check the starter gear?
 
  #5  
Old 04-29-05, 05:22 AM
balynn
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Azis:

The deck has to be lifted to start no matter what so unless I'm misunderstanding you than yes, that would be routine for starting. Forgive my ignorance but can you describe the starter gear (where, what etc.)? I've tried a new starter if that's what you mean.

Good feedback on the lights and more input is appreciated.

Thanks
 
  #6  
Old 04-29-05, 05:41 AM
Azis
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If you have replaced the starter then you should have eliminated the gear I was talking about. It is the little nylon or plastic gear on top of the starter that engages with the flywheel on the engine. If the bushing goes or the teeth on the gear or flywheel are chewed up, it can hang causing drag.
I know the deck has to be in the UP position, however some over time and wear and......will need to be pulled further than the last stop to make the switch. If it is right on the cusp it could cause the problem but more likely wiring has been pinched by the lifting mechanism.

On the starter solenoid should be a small wire with a spade terminal. Using a good 12V source, ground to ground and postive to this terminal, (briefly to check) the starter should engage and crank the engine. If it cranks normally then perhaps the key switch or again a shorted wire.

Did you check the idler pulley I mentioned?
 
  #7  
Old 04-29-05, 05:47 AM
balynn
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I'm not in front of the machine. Also I was mistaken, I replaced the key switch not the starter. Again I'm not familiar with the idler pulley. Let me know and I can check. I'll try your experiment with the solenoid as well.
 
  #8  
Old 04-29-05, 05:50 AM
balynn
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Understand what you mean now with respect to the deck. I don't suspect a problem with this sagging and tripping the safety but I'll definitely keep it in mind as I troubleshoot.
 
  #9  
Old 04-29-05, 05:50 AM
Azis
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Check the starter gear. There should be a small shroud over the part of the starter that goes up under the engine shroud. 2 small bolts hold it on. Look at the nylon gear to see if it is chewed or still engaged in the flywheel.
Since the starter was not replaced, try jumping the starter directly. If it still drags or will not spin normally, the starter or gear on the starter should be suspect.
 
  #10  
Old 04-29-05, 10:42 PM
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Still, the fuse shouldn't be blowing. You have a short causing that. Are you sure you replaced the ignition switch with the correct replacement switch? There are several switches, and most will interchange, but the inside contacts are different according to application. Using the wrong one could short and blow the fuse at least, burn up the coil and other things at the most.
 
  #11  
Old 04-30-05, 02:39 AM
balynn
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I replaced the key switch and it was identical. Also put original back in once I realized that wasn't the cause.
 
  #12  
Old 04-30-05, 07:31 PM
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Time to start the slow process of finding a short. Got an ohmmeter?

Wait a minute....what size fuse are you using? I think it shoule be a 15amp.
 
  #13  
Old 05-01-05, 11:33 PM
balynn
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Yes. And it's a 20amp
 
  #14  
Old 05-02-05, 07:55 PM
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Ok, 20 is fine.

Disconnect the positive cable from the battery and connect one lead of the ohmmeter to it (the cable end). Connect the other end to chassis ground. Any reading with the key off means you have a short. You can unplug different switches and devices until the reading dissapears. This will indicate where the problem is if it is a switch or component. You might unplug the charge wires coming from the engine first. If the diode is blown, your short may be there, depending on how they wired your mower. Let us know what you find, and we'll go from there if necessary.
 
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