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


Old 05-15-10, 01:11 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: U.S.
Posts: 2
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 #
Sponsored Links
Old 05-15-10, 02:17 PM
indypower1's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
Posts: 634
Either the switch or relay is bad.
Old 05-15-10, 04:25 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: South Florida
Posts: 376
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.
Old 05-15-10, 06:35 PM
cheese's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 16,821
Probably a blown fuse, that is where I would check first. Do you have a voltmeter and know how to use it?
Old 05-15-10, 09:29 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: U.S.
Posts: 2
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

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