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Help needed with garden tractor!
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Bluebird    Posted 05-26-2001 at 20:55:12       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Darlin Dotter & I were hauling horse poop from the corral and spreading it on garden. I stopped the tractor so we could rake up a pile and when I went to start it, all it did was go 'click'! We tried pushing it to see if it would unfreeze the starter but that didn't work. Hubby thinks it might be a rod jamming the engine as ignition wires seem to be okay. He can't work on it, though, to find out. Any other ideas of what it might be or what DD and I could do? We're no mechanics and are 165 miles from the Sears dealer!

Jimmy Cooley    Posted 09-22-2003 at 13:29:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I had the same problem and decided to replace the starter motor. I bought a new one but having trouble installing it. I removed the two bolts that hold the starter motor to frame but cannot lift starter motor out. Seems there is not enough room for it to come out. Must I take engine off tractor frame to remove starter?

Cal S    Posted 05-27-2001 at 08:30:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
Bluebird, I had a tractor that did the same thing on a regular basis. have tyo make sure your battery is fully charged. weak battery will cause it to click and not start.

Old Sarge    Posted 05-27-2001 at 05:52:41       [Reply]  [Send Email]
You mentioned Sears, so I assume it is a Craftsman. If it is powered by a Briggs and Stratton engine one of the most common failures is that the engine stopped on the compression stroke. The starters do not have enough strength to turn it over, therefore, remove sparkplug wire, remove spark plug, wipe it off, and replace everything, then try starting it like you normally do.

At this point the use of four letter words is sometimes helpful.

ramblineagle    Posted 05-26-2001 at 21:10:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
bluebird take the starter off of the engine should be two or four bolts holding it on. ground the starter against the frame and turn the switch to the start postion if starter runs replace it back on the engine some times the starter drive locks against the flywheel removing the starter is the only way to unlock it

IHank    Posted 05-26-2001 at 22:01:03       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Bluebird- What Rambling Eagle sez is correct. I suggest you first work thru the easy and obvious stuff.

Look over the battery and cable connections to it. If they're corroded take 'em apart and clean 'em up. Scrape away hard lead oxides and wash it down with some hot soda water, followed by a good clear water rinse. Next, make sure the water level is up in the battery cells. Use store bought distilled water to topp up the battery water. Next, give the connections a dose of motor oil as a sealer.

If the thing still won't crank then get the old rust bucket up there and hook up the jumper cables. Make a big deal out of getting plus on the truck hooked to plus on the tractor and same for the minus terminals.

A long shot is that one of the no-start safety circuits is acting up. Transmission in neutral position, blade disengaged, operator sitting on the seat, and ??? else idiot proofing could be involved.

If the above don't work and it won't crank when jumpered, then talk some more with Rambling Eagle.

Keep in mind that most of these mower engines use magneto ignition. That means they don't depend on the battery and that circuit to fire the spark plug(s)and run OK. The battery is just for starter and lights and accesories.

Try the jumper cables first. Do the maintenance procedure I described as a matter of routine on an annual basis. Good luck and I hope you won't need it! IHank

Fogey - electricity and fuel    Posted 05-27-2001 at 05:10:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Engines only need 2 things to run -- electricity and a flammable fuel mixture. They only need electricity to crank.

EVERY time my garden tractor doesn't crank, i make sure the battery post connections are clean and there's power in the battery. Then i unplug and re-plug the safety switches for the seat, mower blade and clutch. Mine has worn to the point where i have to shove in the clutch and hold back the mower lever before it will crank.
So by twiddling connections, it always starts cranking.

Starters are simple too - they consist of a little electric motor to crank the engine, and a magnetic switch (solenoid) to momentatily "plug it in" to the motor. Then as soon as the motor fires and you back off the key, the solenoid unhooks the starter from the motor again.
If you hear a click when you turn the key, that means at least there's a complete circuit and SOME juice to the solenoid. If it just whirrs, the starter is getting juice but the solenoid isn't engaging. If you hear nothing, there's no electricity getting from the bttery to the starter. If the starter turns the engine but it won't run, there's probably a fuel problem.

Hope this helps.:)

Okie-Dokie    Posted 05-27-2001 at 18:15:09       [Reply]  [Send Email]
We have one that takes spells just like you describe. Find a piece of 2x4 about a foot long & rap on the starter a few times. This usually seems to get things going again. Don't whack it as hard as you would a mule's noggin.

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