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Deere 525 starting problem


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06-26-05, 02:36 PM   #1  
Sripp
Deere 525 starting problem

My 525 John Deere stopped running while my wife was mowing yesterday and I can't get it to start back up. Two questions: 1) It appears to have fuel, but I don't see a spark from the plug wire. Where do I go next to trouble shoot this back to the source of the problem? 2) The mower is currently in the middle of the yard. With the hydrostatic transmission, can I get the drive wheels free-wheel somehow so I can push it into the garage where it would be easier to work on?

Thanks in advance

 
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06-26-05, 04:09 PM   #2  
Sripp
I found a button on top of the hydrostatic drive housing that let the wheels fre-wheel. Now in the garage, but still no spark.

 
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06-27-05, 07:54 AM   #3  
Azis
You have wandered into one of the hardest problems to troubleshoot, electrical on a John Deere....
How mechanical/electricaly inclined are u...? Is it possibly still under warranty...?

It could be ne thing from a bad safety switch to a shorted wire or component or at worse case igniter module.

http://jdpc.deere.com/jdpc/servlet/c...ageServlet_Alt here is a link for JD manuals...

 
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06-27-05, 08:18 AM   #4  
Azis
Are you certain about the model u gave...cant find such a model on the deere site...other than a side pull hitch....
Riding mower? Engine size? Deck size....etc.

 
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06-27-05, 08:54 AM   #5  
I'm going to suggest the Keep It Simple approach, is the PTO switched off? tranny in neutral? Brake depressed? and all other gadgets and doodads in the correct position for starting? I only suggest this because of it's suddenly stopping with everything engaged (assumed by me) that some safety circuit is preventing the start.

 
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06-28-05, 12:29 AM   #6  
What brand and model engine?


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06-29-05, 05:55 AM   #7  
Sripp
Sorry for the lack of details. It's an F525 front deck mower (48"). It's definitely not under warranty - it's about 12 years old. 17 hp Kawasaki engine.

PTO is off, etc. My wife mowed for about 1 hour, then it died and wouldn't restart right away. After sitting about 15 minutes, she tried again and it started - then died 2 minutes later. Haven't been able to get it started again since then.

I've gotten to the ignition module - a few troubleshooting questions. 1) Is there a way to test the ignition module itself? 2) There is a white wire connected to the iginition module via a spade terminal. I assume that's the kill wire? If so, am I looking for an open connection (to ground) for normal running or continuity to ground, or do I need to check between this wire and something other than ground?

For the heck of it, I disconnected the kill? wire from the ignition module, but still had no spark when cranking the engine. I'm not sure if this test proved anything or not!

Thanks for the input.

 
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06-29-05, 09:28 AM   #8  
Azis
If you have not yet, change the spark plug with new or KNOWN good one. Kawa's are tempermental about plugs!!

The JD manual for 130-180 models say:
Remove lower pedestal and ground terminal from battery. Separate 3-pin engine and check for continuity on terminal with green wire (A) to ground terminal. *NOTE* Some models use frame as ground, others are grounded internally thru the wire harness to the battery ground terminal.

Check igniter-Locate the 3 pin connector and check for continuity on the white wire from the plug to the igniter. If continuity, replace igniter and try again...if still no spark proceed to coil air gap...!!
If no continuity, repair or replace shorted white wire.

There is no "Kill wire" specific as with most other equipment. I am still not sure what ur epuipment looks like or resembles so I can only use what I know from other models that hopefully are similar enuff.
There is also what JD calls a "circuit breaker" which is a troublesome unit but I believe the starter will not crank if this is a problem but I can not recall for sure right now.
I think the only saftey switch that will allow it to crank but cut out spark is the seat switch. The switch should be normally closed, or show continuity with no one on the seat and open when the switch is activated. Check this switch with the connector plugged in, and again with it unplugged. This is wired into the PTO circuit also. If the tests differ then (plugged in/unplugged)...its the switch or the wiring is shorted...

Them JD boys got it perty cush heheh just toss in a $70 part and if it works ur done, if not ya change another more spensive part till it works LOL...

 
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06-29-05, 09:35 AM   #9  
Azis
Was just thinkin bout that circuit breaker again and just in case here is the test..
Key off
Check for voltage at both terminals (one at a time to ground) If voltage on one breaker is bad, replace breaker.
If voltage on both terminals, repair or replace red/blue wire to key switch... (I have found that corosion on the terminals can cause this too)

 
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06-30-05, 02:09 AM   #10  
I agree with Azis, try the plug first.

There is no test procedure for the igniter unfortunately. I keep one onhand as a "tool" for testing purposes.


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06-30-05, 09:04 AM   #11  
I have a JD 175 (15 years old) and had a problem similar to this last year. It turned out to be the coil. I replaced it with a new one and it started right up.

 
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07-01-05, 12:09 AM   #12  
Could be the coil, could be the igniter. Both exhibit similar symptoms when they go south. Unfortunately, there is no sure way to test either unless you have access to another engine to swap parts from for testing.


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07-05-05, 09:41 PM   #13  
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I did already try replacing the spark plug. Broke down and bought an ignition module (before seeing posts about the circuit breaker), but that was not the issue. I'm going to try to follow those troubleshooting recommendations next. If anyone has any other suggestions, I'm all ears. I'm leaving on a 3 week business trip tomorrow night and only have one more afternoon to try to fix it before I leave! Thanks for all the input so far.

 
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08-30-05, 07:51 PM   #14  
Sripp
Just wanted to follow up and let you know that it was the ignitor that was the problem. I ended up replacing the ignition module and the ignitor, but it was still probably cheaper than taking it to the JD dealer to be fixed.

I have one other issue now. The mower is running, but the PTO wouldn't engage when I tried it. It was getting dark so I called it a night. I need to see if I left a connector unplugged someplace or if it's something else. The battery is dead and I had to jump it to get it to start. Is the PTO driven off the battery? If so, would the low battery condition be the reason for the lack of PTO engagement?

Thanks for all the help up to this point.

 
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08-31-05, 01:37 AM   #15  
You got it! The PTO is electric, and you need a good battery.

Glad you found the problem. Thanks for the update!


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09-27-05, 05:47 AM   #16  
Sripp
Timing adjustment?

Since I've had the tractor running again, it has been very hard to start and will sometimes backfire while trying to start it. Once running, however, it seems ok. Before this all started, it would start on the first try every time.

Yesterday I couldn't get it to start at all. It has fuel and spark, but it's like the timing is off and firing at the wrong time.

I changed back to my original spark plug and iginition coil (since the ignitor turned out to be original the problem). No change.

How can you adjust the timing on this type of motor? Or is something else causing this?

 
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09-28-05, 01:24 AM   #17  
The only thing you can adjust that would affect timing is the air gap between the coil and the flywheel magnet. This should be set at around .010".

Check the engine oil level....This mower probably has an oil sentry switch that can cause hard starts when the oil level is just low enough to begin affecting the switch. Another thing I would try if you haven't yet....a new plug. And not an NGK like they'll sell you at the dealership. Use a champion or autolite. For some reason, the NGK plugs like to gas foul easily on these engines. They'll still fire, but they'll pop and puff and backfire during starting and make starting the engine difficult.


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09-29-05, 02:02 PM   #18  
Azis
U may also have a fuel solenoid that could be cutting out or the valve sticking. It is possible another corroded terminal or failing part is the cause too and may be the original problem that caused the igniter to fail.

Did you get the PTO working?
If the mower will start the PTO should engage. If the battery is up enuff to start then just turn the key to the on position, and engage the switch, you should be able to hear the click on the main shaft on the pulley assy. If not there is a connector about 10" to 12" along the wires running from the PTO. Check for 12VDC on the supply side connector.

 
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