I'll never make this mistake again (please help!)

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  #1  
Old 05-19-06, 01:28 PM
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I'll never make this mistake again (please help!)

My fiance got a John Deere riding mower L120 and, being a truck driver, left town after giving me minimal instructions to operate it. He said the pedal to back up is on the right floor deck, but he didn't tell me to disengage the blades before I reverse it. Needless to say, I damaged it. Now, not only will the blades not engage, but everytime I try to engage them, the 20 amp fuse blows. If I don't get this fixed soon I'm afraid he will not trust me to use it again, and I have a 9 year old son with a hereditary neuropathy who has to have a cut yard to play in. My fiance is gone for 2-3 months at a time, and we have rattlesnakes, scorpions and coyotes in this area. I am praying that I will find the help I so desperately need here. I am usually very adept at figuring out how to fix problems or repair items, but I want to know exactly where I stand on this situation before I proceed. Thanks for any help you can give me. Sincerely, TammyMom
 

Last edited by TammyMom; 05-19-06 at 01:39 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-19-06, 02:01 PM
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I'm not familiar with this particular mower. If you are blowing a fuse when you engage the mower blades it sounds like they might be jammed. Do you have enough clearance to see underneath the mowing deck? Are the blades tangled up with each other?
If you have an owners manual you might also look for a section on troubleshooting.
 
  #3  
Old 05-19-06, 02:08 PM
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Thank you for replying

No. I don't have enough clearance to see underneath, and there is nothing about this particular problem in the troubleshooting section, or any other section, for that matter.
 
  #4  
Old 05-19-06, 02:14 PM
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By the way...

I have never been in a forum before and I'm trying to learn how to maneuver back and forth to post messages, read posts, and reply to posts, so forgive me if I am slow to respond. I was in a chat room once, but the subject changed to some stuff I can't repeat, so I left and never went back again.
 
  #5  
Old 05-19-06, 02:57 PM
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I haven't seen or heard of such a problem you have. Usually, by design, if you don't press the rearward-mow button (yellow in color) before you step on the reverse pedal the blades will simply disengage. You would then have to re-engage them once you're finished backing up. For grins and giggles (with a number of fuses at the ready), try holding the rearward mow button in when attempting to engage the blades (irregardless of the ground direction - as a matter of fact, forget attempting to move the mower, for now). Just try the button trick before you even try to mow. If this still blows the fuse, try to slightly press the foward pedal and then engage the blades. You may have a faulty PTO switch (blade engagement knob) but you may not. Whenever you have a electrical system problem, it is never simple to diagnose, especially if you (me) have never encountered the problem before. If the PTO switch is at fault, it is part number AM131966. Check with a local John Deere dealer for any known issues with these model series mowers. Perhaps they are aware of such and can advise you better. But stay tuned here for Cheese to reply to this thread as he may know of such a problem.
 
  #6  
Old 05-19-06, 03:07 PM
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Thanks

Sorry I took so long to reply, but my son hurt his arm at school and I had to go help him with, basically everything. I will read over your post and then wait for Cheese to add what he can. I appreciate your input. I ran out of fuses, except for the one that is in now, and I don't have a ride to the store right now, but when I do go, I'll buy a lot of them. I know I'll need them to be able to do anything to figure this out. I am only 5 feet tall and weigh about 80 pounds, and I also have a neuropathy, but I will get this up on blocks, without damaging it, if I need to. I have the deck height raised up as high as it will go right now, which is to 4, but I still can't see underneath. What I forgot to mention, which is very important, is that it was trying to die when I was backing up, and so I would press the reverse pedal, then the clutch/brake pedal to be able to back out of the corner without letting it die. There is a yellow button that shows a cog-like circle with a tractor behind it, and an arrow pointing backwards behind the tractor. I guess that is the rearward mow button you're talking about.
 

Last edited by TammyMom; 05-19-06 at 03:40 PM.
  #7  
Old 05-20-06, 05:14 AM
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A good point about the faulty PTO switch. puey61 sounds as if he knows a lot more about John Deere mowers than I do.
As far as looking underneath, 4 inches clearance might be enough. Check your owners manual to see how many blades you have. With the mower off check underneath using a flashlight (or trouble tight) and a hand mirror. If the blades are not clogged with something like a wad of grass or touching each other then that's not the problem.
 
  #8  
Old 05-20-06, 11:51 PM
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Is this a new machine? If so, I'd contact the place of purchase (hopefully a dealer, but being an L series, probably not) and get it fixed under warranty. I don't think you did anything to damage it by trying to mow in reverse. I don't know of any problem area on that mower that causes your symptom. I think Puey61 could be on the right track, but then again it could be anything from a bad switch to a pinched wire somewhere. Try to turn the blades by hand (with the engine off of course) and see if they are stuck. It will probably take some force if it has an electric PTO.
 
  #9  
Old 05-21-06, 07:50 AM
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I have a JD mower built in 1965 I think, so I dont know alot about newer mowers. But I know they make them easier to take the deck out to clean it. Look in the manual and figure out how to get the deck off and flip it over and clean out whatever if plugged up. Also did you back into something? Or try to mow over a bunch of vines or really tall grass? If you were just in the yard not slamming into things or mowing up rope then I think its somr type of electricle problem. I was wondering if you put it in revers and a safty switch will turn off the deck and this started after you hit reverse then I think that the safty switch is whats causing the greif. Another thing you could do Is follow the wires from the switch and look for a spot where its rubbed through the insulation and shorting out. Also you should be able to rais the deck and look under and turn the blades by hand. If you flip the switch and the engine boggs down then I would say its bound up under there.

Are you using the righ amp fuse? Use one to small and this will happen for sure.
 
  #10  
Old 05-22-06, 12:43 PM
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I went to the store and got 11 packages of 20 amp fuses, each containing 5 fuses, for a grand total of 55 fuses. I tried everything that puey61 suggested and have already blown 4 more fuses, including the one that was left in last time, so I have 52 fuses left to work with. The 20 amp is the original fuse that came in the mower, and never burned out before this happened, so I'm sure it's the right fuse. I wasn't slamming or running into things, and I didn't mow over any rope, string or wire. I am going to try to look under it again and see if I can turn the blades by hand, but when the blades are engaged they're supposed to lower, not just turn, but they are not lowering down or turning. I will try to find the safety switch and follow the wires to see if anything looks wrong there anywhere. If I can't figure this out without disassembling anything, I will have to break down and tell my fiance what happened. My brother said he would come over and check it out, but he hasn't called or come over yet and, truthfully, when my mom asks him to do something for her, she usually says he didn't do it the way she wanted it done and that she should have done it herself so it would have been done right. I appreciate all of the insights everyone has shown and all of the advice everyone has given me. Thank you so much for your time, and may God bless you also. Sincerely, TammyMom
 
  #11  
Old 05-22-06, 01:30 PM
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I hate when people post things like this because I want to have a look at it. Well good luck with it.
 
  #12  
Old 05-22-06, 01:35 PM
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This mower has a convenience socket (power outlet) on it. Check it for something shorting it. Should have a wire from the 20 amp fuse running to it. If in doubt, pull off the connector from the back of the socket and see if the fuse blowing stops.
 
  #13  
Old 05-23-06, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by michaeljp86
I hate when people post things like this because I want to have a look at it. Well good luck with it.
I know what you mean, I'd love to be able to be there with my tool box and check it out in person. It's probably something real simple, but to someone that's not experienced, it can seem over whelming, and it's hard to diagnose from a distance.
 
  #14  
Old 05-23-06, 09:54 AM
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I left my 16 year old daughter, who also has this hereditary neuropathy, in charge of my 9 year old son (always a mistake) and spent 2 hours yesterday afternoon/evening laying on the ground cleaning dried mud and grass from all around, and I mean everywhere, underneath where the three blades are. I think I was wrong about the blades lowering when they engage. From what I could see under there it must just sound like they're lowering because it doesn't look like they do. Many people around us have cows, horses, goats, donkeys, mules, chickens, roosters and dogs, and I was eaten up by biting flies. Ouch!!! Not to mention looking like a piece of sandpaper from head to toe. I was really hoping that would be it and the blades would engage and off I'd go, but the fuse is still blowing. (When my fiance was in town he got stuck in a huge mud hole twice in-a-row, within 1 minute no less. I had to help him get the mower out, then got about 30 feet away and had to turn around and go right back. Yea, I know. But the mower still worked after that so I didn't realize there was so much mud under there. I'm sure it didn't occur to him either.) I did found out that I'm not very good at following wiring or understanding what it's connected to where or why, but I will try goldstar's suggestion and see what happens. I wish it was as simple as taking apart a toy or a broken video cassette and reparing it, because I don't have to be nervous and worried when I'm doing that. Thanks so much to all.
 
  #15  
Old 05-23-06, 10:36 AM
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I really think you should take the deck off, newer mowers are very simple to do this on. Then I would flip it over and clean it very good. Also if you can find a pully with a wire going to it, you electric clutch and unplug it then flip the switch and if it doesnt blow the fuse then your clutch has a problem .
 
  #16  
Old 05-23-06, 10:52 AM
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Thank you michaeljp86. I will try goldstar's suggestion and if it doesn't help I will see what I need to do to take the deck off and do an every speck of everything cleaning underneath the deck. My daughter's 20 year old boyfriend is coming to meet me at 5pm, and I have a few things to do and I don't want to be filthy when he shows up, but as soon as possible I will get back to this. I don't give up unless I absolutely have to. Thanks so much for everything. I appreciate it much more than you know.
 
  #17  
Old 05-23-06, 03:15 PM
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Before you remove the mower deck let us know if you are able to turn the blades around by hand (without the engine running, please). If so, lets not yet remove the deck. First, lets see if you can hear the electric clutch engage. Be sure to have a new fuse in place. Sitting on the machine and having all controls in neutral and the clutch pedal depressed, turn the key to the run position (without attempting to start the engine), pull the PTO switch out and listen for a tinny sound. If unsure if you heard anything, push the PTO switch back in and then out again...listen carefully, it won't be necessarily loud. If you hear nothing then you need to determine if it is the electric clutch itself or the PTO switch or possibly something else. We'll cross that bridge when and if needed. If you do, in fact, hear this engage AND you were able to turn the blades by hand then follow the next step. On the underside of the chassis and under the engine you will see two pulley arrangements with the bottom most being the pulley that runs the mower deck This will appear bulky as it is the electric clutch assembly. There is a wire connector in the vicinity of (and running to such) this that can be unplugged (two wires on each side of it related to such). Unplug this and check for any corrosion in the connector. If so, clean this out with electrical contact cleaner and push and pull the connector together and apart several times to help remove any excessive corrosion. Reconnect the connector and try to operate the machine again and hopefully you will have no more trouble. Alright, information overload. Lets not go further until you have done this. Let us know.
 
  #18  
Old 05-23-06, 03:29 PM
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Exclamation check the blades

yes do what puey said see if you can move the blades by hand WITH THE MOTOR OFF don't make more work for yourself if you don't have to.
 
  #19  
Old 05-25-06, 03:10 PM
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All of you have been so nice to me

The night before last my daughter's boyfriend came to meet me and I was telling him about the problem with the mower and, of all things, I found out that he is going to go to school to become a mechanic, but right now he and his brother help their dad work on lawn mowers. Can you believe it? It just goes to prove even more that PRAYER WORKS. Don't count only huge earth-shattering miracles, but also see how many small miracles you can count every day, and give credit where credit is due. He asked me if I wanted him to have a look and I said, "Duh!" Not really. I just told him that I did. He followed all the wires and they were fine. He checked everything, took the cover off the belts and pulleys and cleaned out all the grass and dirt. I told him I was able to turn the blades by hand, which he confirmed. He had me start the mower and looked underneath while I engaged the blades and they were barely moving so he told me to turn it off. He said the magnetic clutch was defective or faulty and it would have to be done by an authorized repairman. Needless to say, I had to break down yesterday and tell my fiance what happened. He called the dealership and they had someone come out and look at it. He asked me not to tell them about the mud hole incident and admitted that he had given the mower more abuse than I ever had. I was shocked because he usually freaks completely out and gets angry over major situations. If it wasn't on a full extended warranty I'm sure he would have gotten very angry at me. We have had a few pretty serious altercations. Anyway, everything my daughter's boyfriend said was right on the mark, right down to the magnetic clutch which was messed up from, not what I did, but from all the dried mud which had been under the deck hindering the space around the blades enough to throw off the clutch. It had to be taken in for repairs, but as soon as it's back, I have 2 acres that have to be cut immediately. All of you have been so nice to me and I will never forget the time that you have taken to try to help me. I probably appreciate it more than anyone else you've ever given advice to before. When you do a good deed for someone it comes back to you at least seven-fold (which I know from experience) and I hope heaps of blessings come to each and every one of you. Sincerely, with all of my heart, TammyMom
 
  #20  
Old 05-25-06, 07:35 PM
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were not done here, your bill for my help comes to $15.00
please send a check or money order.

Im glad you got it going, your fiance sounds like he can get excited easily. You should tell him that stress is bad for your heart. Good luck with the yard, Im sure you wont have any trouble for a while.
 
  #21  
Old 05-25-06, 11:32 PM
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if he did get mad and started screming at you on the phone or person tell him well you should have told me how to run it i never used a ridding before
 
  #22  
Old 05-26-06, 03:17 PM
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Thanks a million, aka a million thanks

Thanks a million, aka a million thanks. I found out that they haven't even had time to look at the mower yet, and won't get around to it until next week. I can hardly wait to get the yard done so I can put up my son's portable basketball hoop and inflatable 6 person pool. He gets so bored out here with no-one to play with. Over the past 7 and a half years my fiance has begun to mellow out some. It started with extreme jealousy and went from there to wanting total control of everything, but over the past few years, with him being gone most of the time, (he's in town about 3-8 days every 2-3 months), I take care of my kids and the household the way I feel is best. I guess I just suffer from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) because of what's happened in the past. My family and I have never met any of his family, and his mother is coming the first week in July, so I have to have the house and yard looking as good as possible. She is coming from Indiana and we are in central Oklahoma. As a matter-of-fact, on April 24, 2006, from our back window and standing in the yard, we watched the El Reno, OK tornadoes form and spin. One of them, while on the ground, crossed right over the top of hangers at the airport that is about a mile and a half northeast of us. The one we watched from the yard was a backwards spinning tornado, which is rare. Approximately 1 in 100 tornadoes are backwards spinning. I will post when the mower is returned and I see how well it goes. Life goes on. TammyMom
 

Last edited by TammyMom; 05-26-06 at 05:01 PM.
  #23  
Old 05-26-06, 07:24 PM
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With all due respect, have you considered forwarding your last post to Dr. Phil.
 
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Old 05-26-06, 07:34 PM
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Did he take his medication? Sounds like the doctor need to prescribe him some chill pills.
 
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