Lights don't work

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  #1  
Old 12-17-09, 02:19 PM
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Lights don't work

I have a 1997 model Craftsman riding mower. The headlights don't work. They are wired directly into the ignition switch. I am assuming that the single connector into the switch is the ground. The other wire is going into a plug that plugs into the switch that has about 6 wires. They both are grounded where the harness plugs together at the front of the frame. I am just trying to know how these lights really turn and when they should be on and not be on.
 
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Old 12-17-09, 02:30 PM
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Please post the model number of your tractor and the engine model number, etc.
 
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Old 12-17-09, 04:22 PM
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First, check the bulb to make sure it works. The lights were made to be on all the time as a saftey measure so you can bee seen better by cars when snowblowing, especially during a storm. You can cut the wire and install a on-off toggle switch if you want to try to save the bulb. These thing have a lot of vibration which can shake loose the filaments thus destroying the bulb.
 
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Old 12-17-09, 04:48 PM
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The bulbs are bad but my main thing was that they are not getting any voltage to them
 
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Old 12-17-09, 05:02 PM
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Sounds like the "alternator" or stator is shot. Time consuming job plus the parts ain't cheap either.
 
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Old 12-17-09, 05:54 PM
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Would that keep the battery from being charged while mowing
 
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Old 12-17-09, 08:39 PM
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Yes it would. Just like a car. You pull amps from the battery to start the car, but if the alternator is not working, no amps going back into the battery to recharge it.
 
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Old 12-17-09, 09:10 PM
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That's what I was thinking. The battery is staying charged so that should not be the problem but I will load test the battery tomorrow.
 
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Old 12-18-09, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by indypower1 View Post
First, check the bulb to make sure it works. The lights were made to be on all the time as a saftey measure so you can bee seen better by cars when snowblowing, especially during a storm. You can cut the wire and install a on-off toggle switch if you want to try to save the bulb. These thing have a lot of vibration which can shake loose the filaments thus destroying the bulb.
Safety measure? Snow blowing? Craftsman riding mower! Posters location shows Mississippi!!!
 
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Old 12-18-09, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by bwestbrook View Post
That's what I was thinking. The battery is staying charged so that should not be the problem but I will load test the battery tomorrow.
This is beginning to be the most confusing and bizarre post of 2009.

If the battery is staying charged why did you ask, “Would that keep the battery from being charged while mowing”.

If the battery is staying charged why are you load testing the battery?

Why not just post the model number of your tractor and the engine model number, etc. and lets put and end to the guessing?
 
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Old 12-18-09, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Airman View Post
This is beginning to be the most confusing and bizarre post of 2009.

If the battery is staying charged why did you ask, “Would that keep the battery from being charged while mowing”.

If the battery is staying charged why are you load testing the battery?

Why not just post the model number of your tractor and the engine model number, etc. and lets put and end to the guessing?
First of all I meant to type "would that not keep the mower from charging" meaning I knew it would keep it from charging

Secondly, you load test the battery to see if the charging system is doing its job.

Finally, it is not guessing. It is called trying to diagnose which is just using educated guesses to rule out things to narrow it down.
I will put tractor and engine specs as soon as I am able to.
 
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Old 12-18-09, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Airman View Post
Safety measure? Snow blowing? Craftsman riding mower! Posters location shows Mississippi!!!
Sorry Airman. I just have snowblowers on my mind at this time of year. Yes, I am confused at times...LOL
 
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Old 12-18-09, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by indypower1 View Post
Sorry Airman. I just have snowblowers on my mind at this time of year. Yes, I am confused at times...LOL
I too suffer from the confusion syndrome, age related for me.

What puzzled me is bwestbrook did not comment on the snow blowing and lights on all the time.
 
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Old 12-18-09, 08:22 AM
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Now that we at least know what the equipment is....

Airman can you access wiring diagrams for Craftsman, if so is it a public resource? (917.259830)

bwestbrook...one guess without a model number to access diagrams, is that your lights are wired in series. If one bulb is bad the other will not work, likewise when measuring voltage...unless you measure at the main connector. Not certain if AC or DC voltage, however.
 
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Old 12-18-09, 09:15 AM
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Sorry I promise I will post those specs within the hour.
The plug on the frame is where I tested it as in my first post. It is a black wire and a brown wire and both are grounded.

And I did not think anything about the snowblower comment since it is a outdoor power equipment forum. My little redneck mind doesn't work that fast.
 
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Old 12-18-09, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by bwestbrook View Post
Sorry I promise I will post those specs within the hour.
The plug on the frame is where I tested it as in my first post. It is a black wire and a brown wire and both are grounded.

And I did not think anything about the snowblower comment since it is a outdoor power equipment forum. My little redneck mind doesn't work that fast.
The plug on the frame?
Perhaps tie-wrapped to the frame toward the front of the mower...? That would be the one. If only two wires go to both lamps, then they are in series.
Also it is likely the engine must be running and the key in the "Lights" position.

I think I have a similar mower, my lights do not work but I have not had a need nor motivation to find out why. Likewise, I have not had anyone wish for me to spend anytime making them work.
I don't recall ever having the opportunity to look at a schematic or diagram for one of these which lessens my enthusiasm for learning it.

Perhaps Airman or someone can find us a diagram to reference and we can both figure out how it is at least "meant" to work
 
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Old 12-18-09, 10:14 AM
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Yes they are wired in a series and yes the keys has to be in the lights position but that is all I know so far.

Engine specs
Family SKH426U1G2RB
Model CV15S
Spec. 41566



Craftsman model
917.259555
 
  #18  
Old 12-18-09, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bwestbrook View Post
Yes they are wired in a series and yes the keys has to be in the lights position but that is all I know so far.

Engine specs
Family SKH426U1G2RB
Model CV15S
Spec. 41566



Craftsman model
917.259555

I would also bet that the engine must be running and the electrical system working...to prevent battery draw in the case the switch was left in the wrong position.

Did you test for AC voltage?
 
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Old 12-18-09, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by BFHFixit View Post


Now that we at least know what the equipment is....

Airman can you access wiring diagrams for Craftsman, if so is it a public resource? (917.259830)

bwestbrook...one guess without a model number to access diagrams, is that your lights are wired in series. If one bulb is bad the other will not work, likewise when measuring voltage...unless you measure at the main connector. Not certain if AC or DC voltage, however.
Not sure if this helps any,being a parts break down with no color coding for wiring, but it does show a wiring diagram.
CRAFTSMAN | Model #917259830 | TRACTOR | ELECTRICAL | SearsPartsDirect.com
 
  #20  
Old 12-18-09, 05:49 PM
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bwestbrook,
Set your meter to AC and measure the voltage. Most riding mowers use AC not DC for the headlights. The light are in parallel not series. The voltage going to the headlights is not a regulated 12VDC. This is why when the mower is idling the lights are dimm and when the throtle is high the lights become brighter.

Check the following link it has schematic of a typical riding lawn mower electric system:
http://www.outdoordistributors.com/p...PARTS-LIST.pdf

Beer 4U2
 

Last edited by esalman; 12-18-09 at 06:24 PM.
  #21  
Old 12-18-09, 06:46 PM
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Correct, check for AC voltage at the connectors with the engine running full rpm. They are wired in parallel, not series, as noted. Diagnosing is gathering facts and piecing them together until they reveal the source of the problem, not guessing. Just sayin'.
 
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Old 12-19-09, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by indypower1 View Post
Not sure if this helps any,being a parts break down with no color coding for wiring, but it does show a wiring diagram.
CRAFTSMAN | Model #917259830 | TRACTOR | ELECTRICAL | SearsPartsDirect.com
Thx Indy but all Sears provides is a poor illustration of the wiring harness.
 
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Old 12-19-09, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by esalman View Post
bwestbrook,
Set your meter to AC and measure the voltage. Most riding mowers use AC not DC for the headlights. The light are in parallel not series. The voltage going to the headlights is not a regulated 12VDC. This is why when the mower is idling the lights are dimm and when the throtle is high the lights become brighter.

Check the following link it has schematic of a typical riding lawn mower electric system:
http://www.outdoordistributors.com/p...PARTS-LIST.pdf

Beer 4U2
Thanks for the link, that clears a lot up.
 
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Old 12-19-09, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by cheese View Post
Correct, check for AC voltage at the connectors with the engine running full rpm. They are wired in parallel, not series, as noted. Diagnosing is gathering facts and piecing them together until they reveal the source of the problem, not guessing. Just sayin'.
Proper manual is a good place to start
I had just peeked under the hood at the wiring and although I should have known better, looked like the lights were daisy chained together...still think I need to look and make me a drawing so it makes a logical pic in my mind...

Thanks all for the input...now I gota get out in the cold and go fix these lights...least now I know what is supposed to happen

Beer 4U2
 
  #25  
Old 12-19-09, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by BFHFixit View Post


Now that we at least know what the equipment is....

Airman can you access wiring diagrams for Craftsman, if so is it a public resource? (917.259830)

bwestbrook...one guess without a model number to access diagrams, is that your lights are wired in series. If one bulb is bad the other will not work, likewise when measuring voltage...unless you measure at the main connector. Not certain if AC or DC voltage, however.
I get Craftsman information from three sources. Sears website, my distributors website and from hardcopies of Craftsman wiring schematics books I have.

The wiring schematics books give a lot more detail but are difficult to use without both model and serial number. Some model number tractors have different systems depending on serial number. Serial number has the year of manufacture, which is also a factor.

There is a big difference when you have a tractor in front of you versus what someone describes in the forum. I rarely use the manuals in my shop but on the forum, I use them all the time.

Model, spec., type, code, and serial numbers eliminate the guesswork.
 
  #26  
Old 12-19-09, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by bwestbrook View Post
Finally, it is not guessing. It is called trying to diagnose which is just using educated guesses to rule out things to narrow it down.
Sorry bwestbrook without model numbers, etc. for tractor and engine it is GUESSING for me. Craftsman products use different engines and different electrical systems. Some have lights that operate off DC voltage and others have AC voltage lights. There are a variety of alternators used producing DC only or AC only or a combination of AC and DC.

My aim is to give you the most accurate information I can. To do that I need model and other numbers.

I suspect the Craftsman model 917.259555 is incorrect. I came up empty at both my distributor’s website and the Sears website with this number.

Here is a link to engine service manual that gives all the details to test your engine alternator:
http://www.kohlerengines.com/onlinec.../tp_2339_d.pdf
 
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Old 12-19-09, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Airman View Post
I get Craftsman information from three sources. Sears website, my distributors website and from hardcopies of Craftsman wiring schematics books I have.
The sears site has gone downhill dramatically IMO as far as IPL's and never has been worth a hoot for electrical..again, IMO. I have seen specific .pdf's such as the one esalman posted. However it seems Sears does not use the AYP model # or at least searching a Sears model number on the site provided under AYP yielded no results.

Originally Posted by Airman View Post
The wiring schematics books give a lot more detail but are difficult to use without both model and serial number. Some model number tractors have different systems depending on serial number. Serial number has the year of manufacture, which is also a factor.
I am certain they would be a useful resource for me and answer many questions without a need to reverse engineer the system to understand it. Not sure it would be worth the likely investment needed however, in my case.

Originally Posted by Airman View Post
There is a big difference when you have a tractor in front of you versus what someone describes in the forum. I rarely use the manuals in my shop but on the forum, I use them all the time.
Agreed! For mechanical issues especially, however with electrical issues, for ME, a picture is worth a million.

Originally Posted by Airman View Post
Model, spec., type, code, and serial numbers eliminate the guesswork.
 
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Old 12-19-09, 10:54 AM
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Ok, well, back on track here...

bwestbrook, do you have an AC voltmeter? If so, check AC voltage at the lighting connector with the engine running full throttle and the light switch turned on. This is the first step which will determine where you'll check next, depending on the reading you get.
 
  #29  
Old 12-21-09, 02:05 PM
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Isn't there a line missing in the AYP-Model-PP16H46-PARTS-LIST.pdf Page 19 of 26 Schematic from the non-removable connection of the brown wire to the left side of the upper headlight?
 
  #30  
Old 12-22-09, 11:41 AM
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Thanks for all of the replies. The AC voltage made the difference. Needed new bulbs and all terminals needed cleaning.
 
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