Simplicity Stopped Dead in its tracks

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Old 01-18-20, 07:41 PM
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Simplicity Stopped Dead in its tracks

My 1978 Simplicity Landlord model 169033 which I plow snow with in Ohio has been running fine until I was next door doing a widow's driveway for her and it just stopped running for no apparent reason. After dragging it home thru the snow behind my Cushman, to the sound of the laughter from my other neighbors. I narrowed it down to a circuit breaker under the dash that at least failed the continuity test. (the circuit breaker came apart in my hands when I was moving it) and the metal piece inside had separated from its bond to the terminal stud, so I didn't try the resistance check with the 12 volts hooked to it) If you guys wanted to check for something else down the line in the circuit without risking a brand new breaker, how would you do it? What would be the most obvious culprit? (if there was one) After 42 years you would have thought that it could have failed during the summer and in the back yard where no one was watching..
 
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Old 01-21-20, 05:47 PM
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I would put a new breaker on it and see if anything happens. They should self resetting when you take the load off and it cools down. I have them just go bad all the time. Might not be any other issies
 
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Old 01-21-20, 06:30 PM
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I hot wired it with a jumper between the two leads that go to the breaker. It made no difference, good suggestion though. From the internal condition of the breaker, (It came apart when I removed it) it looks like part of the contact set bonded to the other before it let go.completely, That's why I don't want to destroy a new one without getting one way or the other in the circuitry to see if there is a hot spot. In a mower this old, lots of possibilites, but was hoping it happened to someone else or two that would narrow down the target area.
 
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Old 01-22-20, 05:22 AM
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There is a short to ground or a decrease in resistance down stream of the fuse that failed. A schematic/wiring diagram would be the best source of determining what loads are energized with the switch in the position when the failure occurred. Lacking such a diagram, you can use an ohmmeter to try and find the failure. With the ohmmeter leads connected between the wire at the load side of the fuse and ground look for an increase of resistance while checking along the wire harness at the load side of the fuse to its loads. If no increase in resistance occurs, the problem is in a load. You can check all loads for zero resistance as any load will read a few ohms. Without the resistance values from the manufacturer, it will be difficult to eliminate any load with a few ohms reading, but its a start. There are resettable 12 vdc circuit breakers on the web if you prefer to measure voltage rather than resistance.
 
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Old 01-22-20, 10:27 AM
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Simplicity dead in its tracks

I have a schematic for the machine in front of me. i have an ammeter, an ignition switch, and a coil (like the ones in cars before electronic ignitions) downstream of the circuit breaker. two of them are in a tight spot under the dash and fuel tank on this tractor, so I am waiting for a temperature in the garage to get above freezing to get at them. Since this short happened while the engine was running normally when it happened, Im thinking maybe it was the coil, but all the components are 42 years old, so I may be solving this thing by buying new parts anyway. This old girl doesnt owe me anything!
 
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Old 01-22-20, 11:06 PM
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Sometimes the hot wire on the coil breaks off from vibration and it could have hit the engine or melted against the exhaust, or the coil could have slipped down in it's holder and let the wire touch something to ground it. It could be a lot of things but thankfully that mower should be pretty simple in wiring. You can put a test light in place of the breaker for testing. When the light is on, there is a load. When you've disconnected the load, the light will go out.
 
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Old 01-23-20, 10:37 AM
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Chuck, the coil on this kohler 241S is right outside the engine and will be easy to troubleshoot with an ohm meter once I get motivated to go out and do it. (its the old oil filled primary, secondary setup used on cars until transistors moved into the arena. The other wiring is behind batteries and fuel tanks and under sheet metal, but here I go lol
 
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Old 01-24-20, 03:29 PM
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Simplicity dead in its tracks

Well its Alive.... Put a jumper in the line where the circuit breaker was. (so corroded I had to cut out the connectors to the breaker) Fastened the lines to and from the breaker together and started up and down the line from there. Found lots more corrosion and bad connections as I went from ammeter to key switch to coil etc (tabs on key switch were the worst) All components except the circuit breaker were ok, just had corroded connections. My learned advice is if you have a tractor you have not gotten to any of the connections under the covers or dash for awhile, you might want to do it. As I said, a little embarasing for ME to be hauled home on a hook, but it sure happened this time....
 
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Old 01-24-20, 04:32 PM
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Glad you got it running. What happened between your posts 3 and 8 since they seem the same ?
 
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Old 01-24-20, 06:02 PM
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The neighbors can't expect a machine to operate flawlessly for 40 years without breaking down How many lawnmowers have they gone through in that time frame? I drive an old truck, by choice (I think the 12 valve cummins is the pinnacle of reliable vehicle engines) and it rarely lets me down but I figure one day it's bound to happen. It's 24 years old now and right at 300,000 miles, so I figure about 1/4 of the way used up.
 
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Old 01-24-20, 08:29 PM
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Stopped Dead in its Tracks

I guess the answer to Beelzbobs question is that my first attempt (near post 3) failed to lead me anywhere. By post 8 I thought I was narrowed down to either the coil, the ignition switch or the solenoid. Of which the last two had badly corroded connections. I hear that a badly corroded connection can give you a proper voltage reading without giving you the amps to actually do the job. With clean connectors, sparks and components started to react in a positive way.
 
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Old 02-05-20, 09:14 AM
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Simplicity stopped dead in it's tracks

I now have a new OEM circuit breaker to install into the tractor starting circuit. This new one has a SILVER terminal on one side, and a GOLD terminal on the other. The diagram shows a red lead going to the ammeter, and another red lead coming from the Solenoid. I know from the bad one that came apart that there is like a set of contact points inside the breaker case. Does it make a difference how the two red leads connect to the two posts on the circuit breaker?
 
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Old 02-06-20, 12:47 AM
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I don't know if it makes a difference or not. I would suspect the gold lead goes to the power side though, as usual with electrical things.
 
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Old 02-06-20, 03:03 AM
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Some times they print or stamp a wiring diagram on case or small piece of paper in box.
 
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Old 02-06-20, 08:46 AM
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Simplicity dead in its tracks

Thanks guys, I will look for a clue on the bag or its case closer. If I dont see one I will go for the "Gold on the battery side of the circuit. I have a half foot of snow outside this morning so It is going to run on its jumper wire for an hour lol
 
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