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Craftsman riding mower runs perfectly, but blades will not engage.

Ozzy7's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2

05-15-10, 01:11 PM   #1  
Craftsman riding mower runs perfectly, but blades will not engage.

I have a 20 hp. Craftsman 46" riding mower. It runs great, new battery, propells itself with no problems. Yesterday I was mowing with it and for an unknown reason, mower blades quit turning. I didn't hit anything. All the belts are in place. When I pull out the switch to engage the blades, literally nothing happens, no change in engine speed, no change (sounds etc) of any type. The blades turn easily by moving belt by hand and all wiring appears to be in place. Additionally there is nothing caught or binding the clutch assembly under the engine.
I searched the other threads but this specific problem was not found.
Any help is appreciated.

Model #917.273013

Last edited by Ozzy7; 05-15-10 at 01:12 PM. Reason: added model #
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indypower1's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 634

05-15-10, 02:17 PM   #2  
Either the switch or relay is bad.

Rob R.'s Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 376

05-15-10, 04:25 PM   #3  
Beyond what you have already analyzed, there are several possible electrical problems that could cause the symptoms you describe.

Faulty switch-clutch: Knob which engages your blades.

Seat switch: Safety switch under your seat to prevent rider from getting off mower with blades turning.

To isolate your problem, you may be able to make a jumper wire to bypass these switches but make sure your feet are not under deck.

My riding mower does not have an in-line fuse to these switches but double check yours as the suddenness of the failure acts like a blown fuse. The switches described before sometimes create an intermittent problem before they go totally bad. It could be a bad wire within your wiring harness but not the most likely culprit.

cheese's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 16,574

05-15-10, 06:35 PM   #4  
Probably a blown fuse, that is where I would check first. Do you have a voltmeter and know how to use it?

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God bless!

Ozzy7's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2

05-15-10, 09:29 PM   #5  
I figured it out

Thanks for the prompt responses. After I sent out my call for help, I got out my volt meter and decided to check and see if I was getting anything near the connection down near the clutch. I inserted the probes into the back of the connection and pulled the blade switch and suddenly it started working. I assume it was merely a poor connection at that spot. So I finished mowing the rest of the yard at that point. I really do like this forum and will surely visit often.
Thanks again

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