Craftsman riding mower starting issue

Reply

  #1  
Old 05-10-10, 06:42 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: us
Posts: 8
Craftsman riding mower starting issue

I own a 5 yr old rear engine (13.5hp) rider. When I tried to start it, it made some funny noises and then clicking noise and then nothing. Assuming the battery was dead, I went to Sears and bought a new one. With the new battery, still nothing. I read some previous postings and asked my brother-in-law to try to help me figure out what was going on. He has a meter which we used to test different things. Fuse looked ok and we were able to start unit by putting a screwdriver over the solenoid and having key in on position. We also did not get any reading on the meter when we tested the output of the solenoid (I think that is what it is called). I am wondering if people think this means the solenoid is bad? Since the unit started, I would think the problem is not with any of the safety switches as otherwise I would think unit would not start. I hate to start buying parts that take a week plus to get and can't be returned. Otherwise, it is having Sears come out for a fairly stiff labor bill. I would greatly appreciate any thoughts.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 05-10-10, 07:27 AM
indypower1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
Posts: 634
Since it started by jumping the soleniod, then you need a new solenoid. That elimnated everything else.
 
  #3  
Old 05-10-10, 07:29 AM
BFHFixit's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA.
Posts: 1,836
If it is clicking when turning the key to the start position then it might well be the solenoid. You can test it by jumping 12V from the positive terminal of the battery, or the lug on the solenoid that goes to the positive side of battery, to the small terminal on the solenoid. Clean the connections on the solenoid just as you should have the battery terminals.
If you get the same chatter/clicking, then the solenoid is likely the culprit.
 
  #4  
Old 05-10-10, 10:22 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: ontario,canada
Posts: 325
Originally Posted by indypower1 View Post
Since it started by jumping the soleniod, then you need a new solenoid. That elimnated everything else.
if he jumped from battery directly to starter then he also bypassed the start safety switches so could still be one of those except with those there is usually no clicking. I agree with post that says go from battery directly to small post on solenoid and ensure solenoid is well grounded. I had one where the key would pass the 12v to solenoid but contact in the key switch wasn't good enough to allow enough current to close the solenoid switch.
 
  #5  
Old 05-10-10, 10:42 AM
BFHFixit's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA.
Posts: 1,836
The solenoid ground is part of the connections that should be cleaned. If you have one small terminal, the solenoid grounds through it's mounting.
 
  #6  
Old 05-10-10, 11:46 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: us
Posts: 8
thanks for your prompt feedback. I should note that there is no clicking or any noise at all at this point. The clicking happened for a very short while and then everything went dead. That is what lead me to think it was the battery as the battery was about 4 years old.
 
  #7  
Old 05-10-10, 01:23 PM
BFHFixit's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA.
Posts: 1,836
Make sure the key is delivering 12v to the small terminal when you turn it to the start position then. Check the wire that connects to it with your meter while holding the key in the start position. If you have voltage, then make sure the ground for the solenoid is good.
If you put 12v to the small terminal, it bypasses the key switch so if it works by doing this, then the key could be an issue.
If not, it could still be a grounding problem on the solenoid. Remove the solenoid and all connections and wire brush or scotch brite them, including the area on the frame where the solenoid mounts.

PS
You can use any small jumper wire to connect from battery positive to the small terminal on the solenoid. This only energizes the solenoid and does not draw big amperage that the starter does.
 
  #8  
Old 05-10-10, 02:12 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: us
Posts: 8
when you say "start" position, you mean all the way to the right as if I am starting the engine,correct?
 
  #9  
Old 05-10-10, 02:21 PM
BFHFixit's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA.
Posts: 1,836
Originally Posted by borenstein View Post
when you say "start" position, you mean all the way to the right as if I am starting the engine,correct?
yep!
 
  #10  
Old 05-10-10, 02:31 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: us
Posts: 8
my solenoid has 4 places where wire go--two top posts and two other (sides). Is the smaller one being referred to where the wires from the front go to? If I recall, it is a clip type of wire.

Also, is there an easy way to check saftey switches? I assume that once I jumped and the engire started that it was not a safety switch issue?
 
  #11  
Old 05-10-10, 02:53 PM
BFHFixit's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA.
Posts: 1,836
Originally Posted by borenstein View Post
my solenoid has 4 places where wire go--two top posts and two other (sides). Is the smaller one being referred to where the wires from the front go to? If I recall, it is a clip type of wire.
Ok if you have two small terminals then one is likely a ground. You should be able to follow it closely to where it connects to the frame, possibly the same bolt that holds the solenoid.
The main one, (white wire possibly) comes from the key switch, this is the one to test for voltage on when you turn the key to "start".
Originally Posted by borenstein View Post
Also, is there an easy way to check saftey switches? I assume that once I jumped and the engire started that it was not a safety switch issue?
If you are able to start it by jumping the two big lugs on the solenoid, and it continues to run, then that should rule out safety switches as being a problem.
Now if you have gone messing with safety switches since your first post, then we could be back at square one
 
  #12  
Old 05-10-10, 03:09 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: us
Posts: 8
I think the ground is where it connects to the frame with the bolt. We were able to start by jumping the two big lugs on the solenoid and it continues to run. In fact, I cut the lawn once it started! Have done nothing since but take Solenoid off and will now clean it and try to reconnect.

So it sounds like it is probably solenoid since we did test voltage from the key in the start position and got 12v

Do you think Solenoid is something we can get at local auto store or do I have to go to Sears parts
 
  #13  
Old 05-10-10, 03:36 PM
BFHFixit's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA.
Posts: 1,836
Originally Posted by borenstein View Post
I think the ground is where it connects to the frame with the bolt. We were able to start by jumping the two big lugs on the solenoid and it continues to run. In fact, I cut the lawn once it started! Have done nothing since but take Solenoid off and will now clean it and try to reconnect.

So it sounds like it is probably solenoid since we did test voltage from the key in the start position and got 12v

Do you think Solenoid is something we can get at local auto store or do I have to go to Sears parts
If you can find a local small engine repair place, they likely have one on hand. It is possible that NAPA or the like, would have one but not likely although they might be able to get one.
If you post the model number of your mower, surely we could get you a part number. They are not that much 15-20 even in my high cost of living area.
If not you can find them online from several sources usually FASTER and CHEAPER than sears
 
  #14  
Old 05-12-10, 07:17 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: us
Posts: 8
SUCCESS! New solenoid was purchased at local power equipment store and that did the trick. The help provided to me is greatly appreciated. I am not very mechanical and feel really good that I could sort this and out and fix it myself. I only wish I had not purchased new battery, as that was not the issue. Then again, it was 4 yrs old and probably near the end of its life.

NEW PROBLEM--my gas tank seems to be leaking. It is molded plastic with a molded "tube" on the side that holds the long mounting screw. Gas is dripping out of the bottom of the screw tube when I put more than about 1/3 in the tank. I could not understand how molded plastic could have a crack so I took it off the mower and filled it with water (after all gas was out and to the top). NO leaking. I let it dry out and reinstalled and sure enough, it leakes again. It must have something to do with the gas vapors??

Local store can't get replacement as they say it was made by MTD who went out of business and there is no replacement. Sears says then can get it but they was 55 (including shipping). Any ideas on why it might be leaking, if there is any other approach other than paying a fortune to Sears?
 
  #15  
Old 05-12-10, 07:33 AM
BFHFixit's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA.
Posts: 1,836
Well great on the first note

On the second note, gas will leak where water will not. One way I used to check heads for cracks was to plug it up and fill with gas, gas will seap where other liquids won't.

MTD is not out of business??? Still making yard machines, Troy bilt, Cub Cadet.....

Post the model number of you mower (5 yr old RE rider...???? not much help) should be able to find something for ya. Might also ask the same OPE shop you bought your solenoid from about any shops who might have used stuff around.
 
  #16  
Old 05-12-10, 08:14 AM
indypower1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
Posts: 634
Personally, I would not shop at that local store again if they are so misinformed that they think MTD went out of business.

Check Craigslist (under farm & garden) or Ebay for the gas tank.

You can also try to epoxy the leak if you can get to it.
 
  #17  
Old 05-12-10, 09:06 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: us
Posts: 8
I may have mispoke about MTD. They said it was made by Murray (I thought they said that was the same as MTD) and that Murray went out in 2005? I thought about expoxy but I don't think I will find the crack or get at it.

In any event, the model is Craftsman Mid Engire 13.5 HP 30" model 536.270280

Manual gives part number as 7601040. Website has the following:

Fuel tank


Number: 7601040Substitution: 7601045MACategory: Lawn & Garden/Yard/FarmLength: 9.63 Width: 8.38 Height: 10.88 Weight: 2.16

I thought it was $45 but it is "only" $35 plus about 11 to ship
 
  #18  
Old 05-12-10, 10:46 AM
BFHFixit's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA.
Posts: 1,836
Just a quick search and it seems Sears has the cheapest price even with shipping.
Might still find something on Ebay or used that can be retro-ed a bit to work.
Stens or Oregon parts might have something after market too that could work.
 
  #19  
Old 05-12-10, 11:04 AM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: NE Okla
Posts: 432
Originally Posted by borenstein View Post
I may have mispoke about MTD. They said it was made by Murray (I thought they said that was the same as MTD) and that Murray went out in 2005? I thought about expoxy but I don't think I will find the crack or get at it.

In any event, the model is Craftsman Mid Engire 13.5 HP 30" model 536.270280
My old Sears Vendor Code list show 536.nnnnnn to be the old AMF(Murray).
Majority of Murray was bot out by B&S in late 2005.
MTD is trying to take over the world with all of it's acquisitions, Troybilt, Cub Cadet, White, Bolens, others, etc.
fwiw
 
  #20  
Old 05-12-10, 12:37 PM
BFHFixit's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA.
Posts: 1,836
Cub and Bolens (actually Bolens might have been a lower line of Troy-bilt, made by MTD. Could be wrong so don't beat me up too hard :P ) have always been MTD to my knowledge, most White also, Troy was an acquisition I believe.
I have been running MTD for years and bang for buck, simple yet productive, parts are easy to find and knowledge/info as well...

Not much more I would ask from a Manufacturer. Well, ok, there is more, but in comparison....no contest
 
  #21  
Old 05-12-10, 12:42 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: NE Okla
Posts: 432
Originally Posted by BFHFixit View Post
I have been running MTD for years and bang for buck, simple yet productive, parts are easy to find and knowledge/info as well...

Not much more I would ask from a Manufacturer. Well, ok, there is more, but in comparison....no contest
I've had good luck with MTD, my pride and joy is a 1996 MTD GT 20/50, w/20hp Onan, use in pasture with a Swisher trail mower, never changed plugs or had carb apart..
 
  #22  
Old 05-12-10, 12:48 PM
BFHFixit's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA.
Posts: 1,836
I have seen some newer Cubs that are cheapened up a bit, but also some older ones I would love to have. I imagine they will do all a deere will with access to parts and manuals
 
  #23  
Old 05-12-10, 07:51 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: ontario,canada
Posts: 325
i'm still cutting with a 1979 white by mtd that I bought in 82.
 
  #24  
Old 05-12-10, 10:04 PM
cheese's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 16,818
Bolens and Cub cadet and Troy built all used to be separate companies un-related to each other or MTD that were later acquired by MTD. They then built mowers and put the good old names on them. Heck, cub and bolens were pretty much non-existent there for a decade or two until MTD got ahold of the names. I don't know if white was ever independent of MTD or not. Back in the '60s, whites were made by MTD, so probably not.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes