Bolens MTD mower issues

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  #1  
Old 06-08-17, 06:48 PM
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Bolens MTD mower issues

I have a 10 year old Bolens riding mower that was given to me a couple years ago and has done OK for a while but I am experiencing 2 issues now:

1. For a while now, the blades are slow to start spinning at lower deck heights. If I raise the height, they work normally. Last year, I had to replace the pto cable and that did not fix this's problem.

2. Tonight while mowing, I turned it off to move a hose and I cannot get it to start at all. I hear a slight click when the ignition goes past the headlight setting but that's it. The battery has good voltage and it fairly new, the blades were not on when I turned it off. Any ideas on what to check next?
 
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Old 06-08-17, 10:52 PM
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Sounds like the PTO safety switch still thinks the blades are on, or possibly the clutch/brake pedal switch. Try cycling both and see if it starts.
 
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Old 06-09-17, 03:08 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions... I tried turning PTO on & off and pressing/releasing the brake/clutch several times and neither worked.
 
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Old 06-09-17, 05:28 AM
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I'm sure that Cheese knows better than I, so go with his advice if he corrects me, but you should find switches that are actuated by both the clutch/brake pedal and the PTO lever, so you want to see if those switches are actually being actuated. Possible that you have something as simple as a bent tang on one of the levers or a bent switch bracket. If they are moving, I would remove the connectors from the switches, inspect them for corrosion, and manually depress them with a finger to see if they are moving freely. I would also check the switches with an ohmmeter. I (unfortunately) have a Bolens/MTD too, but can't look at it right now to see exactly where the switches are because it's at my cabin, a couple hours away.
 
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Old 06-09-17, 07:55 AM
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If you hear a click then I doubt it is safety switch more likely battery connection or solenoid.
 
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Old 06-09-17, 10:55 AM
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A slight click when the key is turned to the first position means the click is coming from the fuel solenoid on the carb. No click from the starter solenoid but an audible click from the fuel solenoid makes me think safety switch problem. That's still where I am at... I'd check for voltage on the starter solenoid trigger wire to confirm.
 
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Old 06-09-17, 11:24 AM
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I agree cheese however, I am unable to hear the fuel solenoid click without putting hands or ears on it, so I forgot others might hear the fuel solenoid...
 
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Old 06-10-17, 12:36 PM
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I'm not sure which connector on the starter solenoid is the trigger one, but I found that there are 2 bolt-on connectors (one to the battery and one going forward), plus a quick-connect that goes to the seat safety switch. I'm getting voltage on one side of the solenoid (the side connecting to the battery) but not the other side. I have tried bypassing the seat safety switch and get the same result.
 
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Old 06-10-17, 02:49 PM
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I have had a chance to troubleshoot some more today and here is what I have done/found:

1. The seat safety switch tested OK.

2. The PTO safety switch tested OK.

3. The brake safety switch tested OK but when pressing the brake pedal, it was not impacting the switch. I reattached it so that it did but that still did not seem to make a difference.

4. The starter solenoid is a 3-pole. I detached the one quick-connect and when turning the switch, it's not getting 12 volts. There is 12 volts to one of the larger poles on the solenoid.
 
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Old 06-10-17, 07:51 PM
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The small push on connector on the solenoid is the trigger wire. It should get 12 volts when you turn the key to start. It is not connected to the seat switch, I think you got some wires crossed when checking that. How did you test the pto and clutch switch to verify that they are working?
 
  #11  
Old 06-11-17, 04:49 AM
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Thanks for the info. I tested the 2 switches by removing them and testing continuity with a multimeter. For the seat switch, I just jumped the 2 wires together with a paperclip just to isolate that as a possible issue.
 
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Old 06-11-17, 12:30 PM
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On the seat switch wires, you want to disconnect them to isolate that as a problem. Jumping them together makes it think nobody's on the seat.

Check for power coming from the key switch when you turn it to the start position. It often is an orange wire.
 
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Old 06-11-17, 01:19 PM
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So good news... I was finally able to get it running again. I am guessing the lack of contact on the brake safety switch was the problem.

Any thoughts on what to start looking at regarding the slow blade engagement at lower deck heights?
 
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Old 06-11-17, 11:47 PM
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Check the movement of the belt tensioner arm and the blade brakes. The pivot point for the blade brakes often gets rusty and keeps them from moving properly, which keeps the belt tensioner arm from moving enough to tighten the belt. Otherwise, it would likely be a worn belt.
 
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Old 06-12-17, 03:53 PM
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I agree with cheese on the pivot point. Most I have seen use a special washer/bushing the keep the bolt from tightening the arm to a point to prevent movement. Since this is not a good place for lubrication, I have seen the hole in the arm wear and wallow out, wear to a point that the bushing is no longer effective in keeping clearance...etc.
Also check your return spring is still tight and the mounting bolt and spacer on the deck is not loose or pulled out of the deck.
 
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Old 06-13-17, 10:54 AM
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OK, thanks for the suggestions!
 
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