Ranch King (MTD) Riding Mower won't start.

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  #1  
Old 04-23-17, 12:58 PM
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Ranch King (MTD) Riding Mower won't start.

Hello,

I bought a used MTD mower today, when I went to look at it the machine started without issues and operated just fine. After bringing it home I started it up again without problems and ran it for about 20 minutes, mowing the lawn. Then I shut it off and when I went to start it again it would not start. It would attempt to turn the engine over but it was very sluggish. First thought was it had a bad battery, checked the battery with a multimeter and it's fine. I wiggled the cables and tried starting it again, same thing. Though I did notice what appeared to be a little bit of smoke coming from the starter.

I tried to find other reasons for the issue including inspecting the cables for the battery. The negative cable appears to be okay, but the positive lead was in bad shape. I fixed that, and tried again. Now I get nothing at all. No clicks, no sounds at all. I also appear to be blowing fuses, I've blown two so far.

I'm at a loss as to where to go with this thing, I'd really hate to think I bought something malfunctioning considering it seemed to work fine before. Anyone have ideas?

Information on the mower.

Ranch King (MTD)

Model Number: 13AQ699H206

18HP Briggs and Stratton engine
Model Number: 42A707
Type: 1238 01

Thanks in advance.
 
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  #2  
Old 04-23-17, 01:20 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

It takes more than a multi meter to tell if a battery has a full charge and is good. Do you have a charger to put on it? maybe jump it off with a car battery.
 
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Old 04-23-17, 02:48 PM
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I have a charger/maintainer that I could put it on. I will give that a try.
 
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Old 04-23-17, 06:44 PM
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Make sure the engine spins freely by hand.
 
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Old 04-24-17, 08:13 AM
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I let the charger sit on the battery all night, came back to it and the charger indicated the battery was charged. But when I turn the key I get nothing at all. I tried turning the key a couple times and I'll hear a pop and see the voltage meter jump on the mower. That's when the fuse blows.

The engine does spin freely by hand.
 
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Old 04-24-17, 11:34 AM
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Should be a white wire on the starter solenoid. See if you have 12v on that wire with the key in start position. Sounds like you might have a shorted wire. It could be that white wire or in the safety switch circuit.
 
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Old 04-24-17, 05:03 PM
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I'm betting the top bushing on the starter has worn badly (common on these opposed twin engines) and it caused overamping of the starter, which led to melting of the solenoid, which led to a short in the energizing windings of the solenoid, which led to a short/blown fuse when attempting to start.
 
  #8  
Old 04-24-17, 05:11 PM
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The issue has been found and resolved. Turns out the previous owners had "modified" if you will, one of the safety switches. In particular the one going to the lever that engages the deck. They modified it by screwing in a screw to keep the switch depressed. When I pulled back on the deck lever I must have crushed the screw destroying the switch. Probably also where my short came from. Replaced that switch and it fired right up without any further issues.

Thank you everyone for the amazing help.
 
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Old 04-24-17, 09:41 PM
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Lol, glad I didn't bet much! Glad you got it going. The smoke from the starter and sluggish turning wouldn't be caused by the safety switch though... Maybe that was fixed when you fixed the cable.
 
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