Craftsman Riding Mower

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  #1  
Old 05-01-08, 07:22 PM
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Craftsman Riding Mower

I have a Craftsman riding mower model #917.257281. The only way it will start is to turn the ignition switch to the on position & jump the solenoid posts with a screwdriver. The ignition switch is appx. 4 years old.The starter was replaced
last summer as was the solenoid.Any tips on where to start trouble shooting?
 
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  #2  
Old 05-02-08, 01:32 AM
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Check the trigger wire plugged onto the solenoid. Does it have 12v on it when trying to start? If not, there is a problem with the starting circuit and we can help you figure out where. You might check the fuse to see if it's blown too.
 
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Old 05-02-08, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by cheese View Post
Check the trigger wire plugged onto the solenoid. Does it have 12v on it when trying to start? If not, there is a problem with the starting circuit and we can help you figure out where. You might check the fuse to see if it's blown too.
No juice at all.Fuse is good
 
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Old 05-02-08, 10:59 PM
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Is there power at the fuse? At the ignition switch? Leaving from the ignition switch when you turn it to start ( I want to say on a white wire, but not positive. It should be on the wire that connects to the terminal marked "S" on the back of the keyswitch).
 
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Old 05-03-08, 10:00 AM
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I have power at the fuse, but none at the ignition switch.No power coming in or going out.
 
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Old 05-03-08, 11:12 AM
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UPDATE: I found a broken wire (red) coming from the solenoid going to the key switch.I fixed it & now I have power at the trigger wire where it plugs into the starter.Here's a pic to make sure were on the same wire. http://s183.photobucket.com/albums/x...on=tageditmany
 
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Old 05-03-08, 11:18 AM
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If the little wire on the solenoid is hot with the key fully turned to the right & the starter motor is not running, your solenoid is bad.
 
  #8  
Old 05-03-08, 01:47 PM
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I replaced the solenoid & it still will not start.There is juice going into but not coming out of it.(As before)
 
  #9  
Old 05-03-08, 02:48 PM
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The solenoid should have 3 wires attached, two which are battery cables (1/4" diameter) & one 12 to 16 gage wire.
The small wire should be energized only while the key is turned to the "start" Position.
The cable coming from the battery to the solenoid should be hot at all times.
When the switch is turned to start, the electromagnet in the solenoid is energized which connects the two poles inside the solenoid switch, thus energizing the cable from the solenoid to the starter.
 
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Old 05-03-08, 08:32 PM
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I have a Red batt. cable & a red about 16 gauge wire hooked to one post on the solenoid. There is one terminal with a ground wire hooked to it (why i don't know since it should ground through the solenoid mount) the other is a white wire.I assume this is the one you say should have juice when the key is in the start position correct? It does not have juice when the key is turned to start.
 
  #11  
Old 05-03-08, 08:42 PM
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That solenoid is not grounded through the mount. It needs power to the white wire to trigger the solenoid (energize the internal coil to make it connect). Check for power on this white wire at the ignition switch.
 
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Old 05-04-08, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by cheese View Post
That solenoid is not grounded through the mount. It needs power to the white wire to trigger the solenoid (energize the internal coil to make it connect). Check for power on this white wire at the ignition switch.
I do indeed have power there.
 
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Old 05-04-08, 11:16 PM
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Ok, then that isolates the problem to either the clutch pedal switch, or the blade engagement switch, or the wires/connectors related to them. Check the white wires at these swithes to see where you lose the crank voltage to the solenoid.
 
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Old 05-05-08, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by cheese View Post
Ok, then that isolates the problem to either the clutch pedal switch, or the blade engagement switch, or the wires/connectors related to them. Check the white wires at these swithes to see where you lose the crank voltage to the solenoid.
I have power at the white wire going into the clutch/brake switch but not coming out.
 
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Old 05-05-08, 08:25 PM
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The link to the pic does not work.
A picture of the solenoid would be a great help.
There will be a safety switch on the brake/clutch pedal, the seat, & the blade engagement lever all of these must be operational to energze the solenoid with the key.
Does the solenoid have a place for two small wires & two large wires?
 
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Old 05-05-08, 10:53 PM
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The seat switch has nothing to do with energizing the solenoid.


If you have power on the white wire going into the clutch switch, and not coming out, even with the clutch switch depressed, then the switch is bad or the connector is corroded, or the switch isn't fully activating when you depress the pedal. Press the switch plunger in with the tip of your finger and see if it allows current to pass.
 
  #17  
Old 05-06-08, 05:10 PM
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OK....Well this is a tad embarrassing.I did not test it with the clutch pedal depressed.When I push the clutch in I do indeed have juice coming out the switch. I am looking at a schematic of the mower electrical system & it shows a white wire coming from the ignition switch going to a switch labeled "clutch/brake (pedal up) then goes to a switch labeled "att'ment clutch (clutch off) then goes to the solenoid. I'm not sure of which switch I tested.It has a 2 prong plug going into it & it's the only switch I can see. Not trying to be confusing,just trying to give as much info as as possible.
 
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Old 05-06-08, 11:43 PM
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Lol...not too embarrassing...I've done similar things.

If it allowed current to pass when you hit the pedal, then it was the clutch switch. You've verified that it's working, so now onto the attatchment clutch switch. If this is not an electric PTO clutch equipped unit, it will have a switch under the dash near the base of the lever that you pull up to turn the blades on. Check the white wire here. This is the last stop before the wire goes to the solenoid, so you should find the problem in this general area. Either a bad switch, connector, wire, or the switch isn't fully activating.
 
  #19  
Old 05-10-08, 11:01 AM
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Cheese
I found it! The blade safety switch was out of adjustment some how. When you disengaged the blades the plunger would not get pushed in.I bent the bracket a whisker so the plunger is getting pushed in & viola! it starts! Thanks a million for all you(& all moderators) do for all of us on this board.Not only did you help me,you also managed to teach me something in the course of it! Thanks again for hanging with me through the process. Mike
 
  #20  
Old 05-10-08, 02:12 PM
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OK.I think this is proof that the mower gods are having a little laugh at my expense. I got the mower so it will start with the key, but now it will not shut off by the key!
When I had to jump it by the solenoid terminals it shut off fine.All I did was fix the blade switch & all of sudden it will not shut off,you have to engage the blades & pop your rear end off the seat to kill the motor.
 
  #21  
Old 05-10-08, 11:41 PM
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Glad you got it starting by the key! Now, to get it shutting off... this really sounds like the keyswitch or the ground wire that plugs onto the keyswitch has fallen off/become disconnected. Usually the ground wire is plugged on the switch seperately from the other plug with all the other wires in it.
 
  #22  
Old 05-11-08, 11:59 AM
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After reading this thread, I am so glad I have a 93 Sears.

All this safety junk to go wrong and are we any safer? I think not.

This year I replaced all the rubber and other incidentals to the tune of $300 and I can mow backwards, I have cruise control, an automatic tranny but drat...

no cup holder.

Sometimes newer is not better.
 
  #23  
Old 05-11-08, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by cheese View Post
Glad you got it starting by the key! Now, to get it shutting off... this really sounds like the keyswitch or the ground wire that plugs onto the keyswitch has fallen off/become disconnected. Usually the ground wire is plugged on the switch seperately from the other plug with all the other wires in it.
That was it.The ground came unplugged from the keyswitch. Thanks again for everything!
 
  #24  
Old 05-11-08, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Searcher View Post
After reading this thread, I am so glad I have a 93 Sears.

All this safety junk to go wrong and are we any safer? I think not.

This year I replaced all the rubber and other incidentals to the tune of $300 and I can mow backwards, I have cruise control, an automatic tranny but drat...

no cup holder.

Sometimes newer is not better.
Oh this this mower is FAR from new.I think it came over on the Mayflower.As far as a cup holder I went to a boat store & got one of those that mount with 2 screws & swivels & mounted it on the side of the hood.
 
  #25  
Old 05-11-08, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by racefan View Post
Oh this this mower is FAR from new.I think it came over on the Mayflower.As far as a cup holder I went to a boat store & got one of those that mount with 2 screws & swivels & mounted it on the side of the hood.
I am so jealous...

Looking up boat dealers right now.
 
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Old 05-11-08, 10:01 PM
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Awesome! And you're welcome!
 
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