Briggs lawn tractor solenoid & related start problems


Old 06-06-14, 11:29 AM
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Briggs lawn tractor solenoid & related start problems

tractor is a briggs powered craftsman 917 series.

was starting & running fine until one day it wouldn't crank. battery was new. i suspected solenoid failure.

so I "hot wired" it by jumping the (+) battery terminal directly to the starter. it started right up (i of course bypassed the seat switch). strangely enough I did NOT have to keep the brake/clutch release depressed to start it.

mowed my lawn like usual. put it away. figured I'd do this same routine until I got around to replacing the solenoid and/or relay.

next time I go to start it -- it cranked but didn't start. like they key was off or a kill switch was activated. this time I depressed the brake, and bingo it fires right up. but this time when I let up on the brake it kills immediately.

so I jump the brake switch with a jumper. it stays running.

I then go to engage the blades, and it kills immediately. I try again, and same thing.

at this point I don't know quite what to do. I am going to replace the solenoid/relay. but I don't think this will fix the issue of it shutting down when the brake is released or when the blade is engaged.

am I missing something here? what would cause this behavior?
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Old 06-06-14, 06:27 PM
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Do you have an ohmmeter and know how to use it? You could spend a lot replacing things hoping that they will solve the problem, or diagnose it and find the one piece that is the culprit.
Old 06-09-14, 10:53 AM
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a new starter solenoid (what I call a relay) appears to have fixed this. $12 at home depot. the related issues I think were caused by me shorting the seat kill switch wires together. apparently the seat switch is normally closed - and opens up when you sit down. still not sure how I got it to start with the seat kill activated, but whatever it seems to work now.

goofy thing, at some point during all of this the headlight started to work, and it never worked before. now that I have a new solenoid, and un-jumped all the kill switches, the headlight again does not work. whatever.....

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