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Tractor died while mowing - possible electrical problem


texagg98's Avatar
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08-18-07, 09:38 PM   #1  
Tractor died while mowing - possible electrical problem

Howdy all,

I have a Craftsman tractor (model 917.256524) with a 15.5 hp Briggs 28N707-0173 engine. While mowing yesterday, the tractor simply died; the engine quit without any warning - it didn't miss, sputter, or anything of that sort. When I tried to restart it, nothing happened - no starter turnover or even carb solenoid firing.

It most certainly has to be (I think) an electrical problem, and most likely a switch or relay gone bad. After getting it back to the garage, I checked again to see if the fuel solenoid is firing, but it wasn't. I grabbed the meter and checked the checked the battery which is about 2 months old, and read 12.1 VDC. I disconnected the leads to the solenoid and got no voltage there at all, so the problem has to be further up the signal chain.

Could someone provide me some guidance on what might be causing this problem, or how to troubleshoot the ignition system/wiring harness so that I can eliminate the good components from suspicion?

Thanks!

 
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cheese's Avatar
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08-19-07, 12:26 AM   #2  
Check for a blown fuse. Should be in a fuseholder on the small red wire coming off the starter solenoid on the post with the positive battery cable on it.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
msidan's Avatar
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08-19-07, 10:08 AM   #3  
Cheese, is a fuse necessary to keep an engine running?

I would unhook the kill wire from the coil and jump the starter. That should get you going. However, the key will not shut off the engine that way. A safety switch may have gone bad and caused the engine to die and prevent a restart.

 
cheese's Avatar
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08-19-07, 11:09 AM   #4  
Yes, it needs a fuse to keep the fuel shutoff solenoid energized.


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God bless!

 
msidan's Avatar
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08-19-07, 12:15 PM   #5  
Ahhhh... None of my tractors have a fuel solenoid so I didn't think of that.

 
texagg98's Avatar
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08-20-07, 11:19 AM   #6  
It looks like it's a bad ignition switch. I checked the inline fuse and it was good and went through the wiring harness and checked all the connections to make sure they were secure. After unplugging/replugging the harness on the ignition switch, it fired right up. Upon closer inspection, some of the terminals on the ignition switch are corroded, so that's likely the culprit.

Anything else I should check while I'm replacing the ignition switch?

Thanks!

 
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08-20-07, 11:42 AM   #7  
(Quote)Anything else I should check while I'm replacing the ignition switch?(/Quote)

No..

 
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