Riding mower electrical problem

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  #1  
Old 02-28-09, 09:25 AM
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Riding mower electrical problem

I have a 13.5HP Craftsman riding mower and when I turn the ignition key, I hear the solenoid click, but the engine does not start.
- I tested the battery and it produces the right voltage
- I cleaned the battery connectors and the cables seem to be in good shape
- I replaced the solenoid (twice)
- I replaced the ignition switch
- I checked the 30 amp fuse and it looks fine
- I visually checked the safety switches (1 under the seat, and 2 others) and they look fine no sign of damage (although I am not sure how to test them fully without replacing them)
What can the problem be?
 
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Old 02-28-09, 10:24 AM
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Is power getting to the starter? Can you turn the engine by hand?
 
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Old 02-28-09, 01:04 PM
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If I connect a voltmeter between the negative side of the battery and the cable going from the solenoid to the starter, I get no voltage.
When I turn the ingnition key, the solenoid cliks, the engine turns just a little bit and then stops.
 
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Old 02-28-09, 01:16 PM
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Sounds like your voltmeter doesn't work, or it's on the wrong setting. If the starter turns the engine a little bit, then it's getting voltage. Did you try turning it by hand? Can you? Sounds to me like either the cylinder is full of gas and the engine can't turn because of it (leaking carburetor), or the valves need to be adjusted (if this engine has OHV...post engine #s).
 
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Old 02-28-09, 02:02 PM
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When I say that the engine turns a little bit when I turn the ignition key, in fact it barely moves (less than an inch), and then the solenoid clicking sounds begins.
I can turn it by hand 1-2 inches at a time, but with some difficulty, and that does not make it start.
Do you still think it is not electrical?
And excuse my ignorance, but what does OHV mean and what numbers do you need?
thank you
 
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Old 02-28-09, 02:11 PM
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Ok, The order of events has changed, and it makes a difference in this case. If the starter begins to turn the engine first, but then the solenoid clicks repeatedly, then the problem is a dead battery or bad connection. If first the solenoid just clicks one time and then the engine begins to turn but stops and that's the end of the scenario, then I go with valve adjustment or hydro-locked cylinder.

OHV = Overhead valves. The engine model, type, and code numbers are what I was referring to, but if the solenoid is clicking repeatedly, like a rattle or buzz type click, the engine numbers aren't needed to diagnose that.
 
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Old 02-28-09, 02:18 PM
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You are correct that the engine attempts to turn first, and then the solenoid clicks repeatedly - sorry for the confusion.
When I test the battery, it does give me an output close to 12V however, so I don't think it is the battery.
I have replaced several parts and have had the opportunity to examine the whole circuit since I started to work on this, and I don't see any loose connections. Any ideas of which connection may be a problem here? (I realize this is hard to diagnose without seeing the tractor).
thanks
 
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Old 02-28-09, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by tjdenis View Post
You are correct that the engine attempts to turn first, and then the solenoid clicks repeatedly - sorry for the confusion.
When I test the battery, it does give me an output close to 12V however, so I don't think it is the battery.
I have replaced several parts and have had the opportunity to examine the whole circuit since I started to work on this, and I don't see any loose connections. Any ideas of which connection may be a problem here? (I realize this is hard to diagnose without seeing the tractor).
thanks
A fully charged battery should give a reading of 14.5 volts. My guess is that you need a new battery. Even if a battery shows 12 volts, the cranking amps could be drianed enough to not start. Cranking Amps is what gives the battery the "OMMFF" to start the engine. When buying anew battery, get the most CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) you can. Over 200 CCA is better. Don't confuse cranking amps with COLD cranking amps. They are very different. Look for the CCA number.
 
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Old 02-28-09, 03:27 PM
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ok - thanks.
If the battery is too weak, shouldn't the tractor engine start if I jumpstart it from a car battery? I have tried to jumpstart it from my car, and it did not work.
 
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Old 02-28-09, 09:34 PM
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It's the battery or bad/loose connection. One or the other.
 
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