Weird Craftsman Lawn Tractor electrical anomally


Old 05-27-14, 08:43 AM
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Join Date: May 2014
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Weird Craftsman Lawn Tractor electrical anomally

This is a weird one...

I own a Craftsman YT4000 (917.288561) lawn tractor. After doing the annual maintenance (new plugs, new oil, new filters) I decided to also vacuum built up lawn clippings out of the engine compartment.

After I did that, it would not crank. It appeared dead as a doornail. After monkeying with it for 10 minutes I finally discovered it would crank if I turned the headlight switch on. Weird.

Right now, the mower operates normally with the headlights on, EXCEPT the lights don't actually turn on anymore. Weird.

After I start the mower with the headlights on, if I flip the switch to the off position the engine still runs, but the pressure seat switch appears to be disabled at that point. I can get off the seat and the engine will still run. Weird.

So my conclusion so far is that I shorted something out when I vacuumed the engine compartment. And somehow the headlight circuit is jumping it so everything operates normally.

Any ideas where the short could be? Any insight would be appreciated.
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Old 05-27-14, 11:10 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 16,817
Lol... sounds like you don't need a mechanic, you need a priest.

I'd look for ground wires that might have gotten knocked loose. Bad grounds can do weird things. I can't fathom how turning the lights on would have any play at all in any operation of the mower though, bad ground or not.

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