Scotts Lawn Tractor L17.542 - Died, and won't crank

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  #1  
Old 07-02-10, 03:23 PM
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Scotts Lawn Tractor L17.542 - Died, and won't crank

I have a Scotts L17.542 that sat unused for a good 6 months. It's old and starting to nickle and dime me on parts. I decided to try and resurrect it: cleaned carbuertor, charged battery and sure enough it ran ... long enough to cut a swathe of grass. However, as I was putting it away, the motor died and now it won't even turn over.

My first suspicion is that the kill switch has failed (seat kill switch failed once before), but I don't want to spend any money testing parts. Is there a way to test the kill switch without replacing it? Since the seat switch is less than 2 years old, I'm wondering if it could be the PTO kill switch? And how would I test that switch?

Slightly related question: Although the battery is showing 12 volts on the voltmeter, the lights are not coming on. Shouldn't I be able to turn the lights on even if the kill switch is bad? And if so, then any suggestions on where to look in the electrical system?

Thanks ...
 
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Old 07-02-10, 09:06 PM
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If it resurrected once, it likely will again. You could nickel and dime it back to full life or just do it all at once.
Make sure the battery is fully charged and can hold it, and that all connections are cleaned.

The lights are most likely on a separate circuit from the battery and only operate when the engine is running and the lighting coil is functioning, so that is not an accurate test for you battery. Any auto parts store will usually load test your battery for free.
 
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Old 07-02-10, 09:18 PM
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if you can easily get at the starter solenoid and located the small connector that has the wire from the ignition circuit, disconnect that wire and jump 12v directly to that terminal. If starter cranks then it is either the clutch switch or pto switch or an open in the starting circuit.
 
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Old 07-03-10, 06:42 AM
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You can test your safety switches without replacing them by disconnecting the plugs and putting a jumper in the plug connections. I use a piece of 14 gauge insulated wire. If you jump the seat, clutch/brake, and pto switches and it starts one of them is bad. Start plugging them in one at a time to the switches and when it won't start again you have found the bad one. For safety reasons don't use it with the jumpers. You can also turn the key to the on position and jump across the two large terminals on the solenoid to see if it will start that way before you start trouble shooting the safety switches. Also check using the jumper to the positive side of the solenoid as listed in the previous post to see if the solenoid is ok. Key needs to be in the on position for this test. Hope this helps.
 
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Old 07-03-10, 05:08 PM
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Try jumpering accross the two big posts on the starter solnoid to see if the engine will crank. If not then you have a battery connection problem. If it does crank then there is a safety switch problem. You can either jumper all the safety switches or wire the side of the solnoid that goes to the safety switches to ground and eliminate them but I do not recommend that. The PTO and the Brake or neutral switches are to two big failures here.
 
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Old 07-05-10, 06:31 PM
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Progress! Jumpering across the solenoid does get the engine to turn over, so it must be one of the safety switches.

How many different safety switches are there? I know about the dead-man's switch in the seat because if I lift my rear end off the seat, the tractor dies. In the replies to the orignal post I also see referneces to PTO, brake and neutral switches. (It's a hydrostatic tractor, so would I have a neutral switch?)

The dead-man's switch in the seat has 4 posts, I tried using 14 guage wire to jump across those, but without success. I'm guessing I wasn't getting the wire down onto the post, but there are a lot of variations to try. Any suggestions on which of those 4 posts needs to be jumped?

Since I replaced that dead-man's switch about a year ago, I would hope that it hasn't failed again already. Where would I find the other switches (PTO, brake, neutral) to try jumpering them?

Thanks . . .
 
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Old 07-05-10, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by shortstop56 View Post
Progress! Jumpering across the solenoid does get the engine to turn over, so it must be one of the safety switches.

How many different safety switches are there? I know about the dead-man's switch in the seat because if I lift my rear end off the seat, the tractor dies. In the replies to the orignal post I also see referneces to PTO, brake and neutral switches. (It's a hydrostatic tractor, so would I have a neutral switch?)



The dead-man's switch in the seat has 4 posts, I tried using 14 guage wire to jump across those, but without success. I'm guessing I wasn't getting the wire down onto the post, but there are a lot of variations to try. Any suggestions on which of those 4 posts needs to be jumped?

Since I replaced that dead-man's switch about a year ago, I would hope that it hasn't failed again already. Where would I find the other switches (PTO, brake, neutral) to try jumpering them?

Thanks . . .
if you jumped the 2 big posts then the problem might still be the solenoid, ignition switch, or fuse.
 
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Old 07-06-10, 06:04 AM
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There are one or two smaller terminal or push on wire connectors on the solonoid. If you only have one small post or terminal your solonoid is internally grounded. If you have two then the solonoid is externally grounded. On a two small posts or terminals you can remove the attacted wires and then put a jumper to ground on one of them. Then try a jumper from the positive battery to the other small therminal. The solnoid should click and crank the engine. on the single small terminal you do the jumper to the battery positive. This will tell you if the solnoid is good or bad. reattach your wires

The wiring on tractors is different so it is hard to tell which method is used for the safety switches. make sure the PTO switch is not engaged. The brake pedal or clutch will have a safety switch but some will have a neutral switch. You have to look under the chassis and follow the wire harness. On the seat switch, two wires are for the operator present for the PTO and the other two are on the starter circuit which means that if you jumper both wires you could be cancelling out your test. A test light can be used to test the seat switch since the one side will be used to kill the engine if you were to come off the seat or the light will shine on that pair of terminals and go out when you press on the switch. The other could be open or the light will not come on until you press on the switch.
 
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Old 07-07-10, 05:19 PM
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Ok, I learned how to test the solenoid and I learned how to test the dead-man switch under the seat (even if I didn't figure out which terminals were involved). However, the most important lesson learned was to start with the simple stuff. The problem turned out to be the fuse. I suspect there may have been a brief short somewhere to make it blow, but it was definitely bad. Replacing it solved the problem.
Thanks for the poitners.
 
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