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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was cutting my grass one day and let it sit a few minutes to cool some when I was done. I washed it off like normal, though the engine was hotter than usual because I had a sudden storm move in and I didn't have time to let it cool all the way down. I did lift up the seat and wash underneath the seat (which I don't normally do but I saw it was SUPER dirty under there). I did see some steam come from the engine area once or twice, but not a ton (I did not lift up the hood or anything, so any water that got in was from it splashing and making into the vents of the hood or coming from down low where I wash my belts off b/c the belts get so dirty they start slipping in my dusty yard.

When I went to crank the mower, we have a known problem (which we don't know what causes it if anyone can shed some light on this) where the mower just won't crank unless we spray a little ether in the air filter to make it start. True to form, it didn't crank when I turned the key the first time, but it did turn over and act like it was trying to crank. I switched the key off, let it sit about 3-4 seconds, then turned the key again and NOTHING. It didn't try to turn over, it try to crank. The lights and electronic panels still come on if the key is turned.

I can hear a "click" of the Solenoid when I turn the key to on (though no noises if I try to go past "on" and into "cranking").

I checked the seat switch which felt a little loose. I bought a new one and it did not fix the problem. I also tested (with a multimeter) the brake switch. It seemed just fine according to when the multimeter would beep versus when the switch was depressed or not depressed. Does anyone have a clue what I should do next (or anything to make sure of) or does anyone recognize the symptoms I described?

I will be more than happy to provide any other information that might be needed???

Thank you very much for any help!
 

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Well, the first thing that comes to my mind is the condition of the battery. Is it the original and what does it show for voltage when you put the multimeter on it?

So far as needing to give it a shot of starter fluid to get it going says to me that there's something amiss in the carb. Does the choke function as it should?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, the first thing that comes to my mind is the condition of the battery. Is it the original and what does it show for voltage when you put the multimeter on it?

So far as needing to give it a shot of starter fluid to get it going says to me that there's something amiss in the carb. Does the choke function as it should?
The choke functions as far as we know. But it's been like this since the end of the first year we had it, which was several years ago. It started happening RIGHT after the warranty expired. Is there a simple test for the carb?

I know the battery is getting old. It's 3 years old. Advance Auto tested it, recharged it, and it was "good enough" from what they said to get it to crank but it wouldn't go up to max cc amps again. I'm actually not sure what setting to use on the multimeter to test the battery. I don't want to fry my multimeter.
 

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Some others might know a bit more about your tractor than I do, but so far as the battery is concerned, 3 years is about the limit of use on the ones I've had on my tractors.

Make sure the wires to the starter are tight at both ends, and at the battery terminals and solenoid too.

As time goes by, and these things get used, different cables and such tend to need readjustment. You may be able to take the air cleaner off and see down into the carb to tell if the choke is closing completely or not. If it isn't closing all the way, that may be causing your hard starting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Some others might know a bit more about your tractor than I do, but so far as the battery is concerned, 3 years is about the limit of use on the ones I've had on my tractors.

Make sure the wires to the starter are tight at both ends, and at the battery terminals and solenoid too.

As time goes by, and these things get used, different cables and such tend to need readjustment. You may be able to take the air cleaner off and see down into the carb to tell if the choke is closing completely or not. If it isn't closing all the way, that may be causing your hard starting.
Thank you very much for the info on the carb. I'll look at it. I'll also recheck all the cables and perhaps just take them all off and clean them. I vacuumed most of the insides out and used compressed air to blow off as much dirt as I could but perhaps some has worked it's way in between things.

I'm just hoping the water didn't cause some kind of electrical short that would be hard to diagnose. :(
 

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Well, water can do some interesting things some times, but if that were the case I think it would recover after drying out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I'm trying to "jump" the starter directly. I read an article where someone took a "stout wire" (we are using a jumper cable) to go directly from the battery to the starter. We hooked it up to the starter first, then as soon as we touched the battery, sparks galore. We thought we were following those instructions exactly. The ignition was in the "off" position. I can link the article if needed, but I wasn't sure if linking articles was allowed on here. There was no noise and the starter did not attempt to turn over but I only let the cable sit for the brief moment before my brain realized things were sparking. The article never mentioned sparks. Haha.

Edit: And does anyone know if the Craftsman PYT 9000 has a PTO switch? Or where that might be?
 

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Some of these engines have compression release so they will crank. When that fails, it is almost impossible to turn the engine over because of compression. With plugs removed, it should turn over easy if that is the problem. I have recently posted a way around this if you find that is the problem.
 

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It should be a Briggs twin, right? It's not impossible that the compression release is inop due to valves being out of adjustment but I've almost never seen that. Your starter may be junk, it should crank over no problem, like this.

 
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