My Lawnmower Forum banner

Starter still runs after engine cranks

1881 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  briggsmansc
Hello all,

I replaced the Kohler engine in my Gravely ZT and now when I turn the key from the off position to the next position, (before the crank position) the starter will engage the flywheel and start the engine, then disengage from the flywheel, but the starter still keeps turning.
It just does not seem right to me that the engine would start before actually turning the key all the way over to crank.
Am I missing something here?
Please help. Thanks
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Hello. It sounds to me like one of 2 things is happening here. There could be others, but this is where I would suggest you start.

1. A relay is stuck.

2. There is a short in your key switch.

Both are easy to test/check. First of all you will need an assistant (I assume) to test the key switch. With the key off, take the small wire off the solenoid. Get a multi-meter and set on the lower voltage setting for DC current. Turn the key on (Where assistant comes into play), and check for 12v in the small wire you have just removed. There should be none at this time. Have the assistant turn the key to "Start" and watch for 12v at that time (this is where you should indeed have a voltage reading). If you have voltage at all times, you need to check the relay. Your machine probably has 2 or so relays, a small black plastic cube with 5 spade connectors coming out the back and plugs into a plastic connector. This diagram shows the wiring schemcatic. If one of these is sticking it will continuously give 12v to the solenoid, activating it and causing the starter to turn at all times. Occasionally, you can lightly tap the relays with a screwdriver and cause it to release. Either way, you will need to replace it as it will likely stick again in the near future at the most inopportune time, and cause this issue again.
See less See more
Thanks for the reply Brad.
Where should I look for these relays? I don't recall ever seeing any. I do have a new solenoid on. So, if there is a relay sticking, it could be letting current go to the solenoid full time? Could the solenoid cause any problems like this?
I would guess the relays would be under the control panel/dash where the key switch is, or maybe near the battery compartment. Not familiar with the ZTR setups.

I I am going to guess that if there was a problem with the solenoid the starter would be turning with or without the key on, as there is power to the solenoid from the battery all the time.
ok, i found the relays. will have to wait til tomorrow to get new ones. so i guess it should be either the relays or the ignition switch. there are 3 relays and they are all the same, so i will try 1 one at a time to see if it's fixed. then if that doesn't work, i'll try a new switch. by the way, tapping on the relays and spraying the ignition switch with contact cleaner did not fix.
ok, mower still cranks when key turned to on position with all three relays disconnected. i tried to isolate a bad relay by disconnecting them one at a time. it still cranked in the on position with each one disconnected. so i disconnected all three and it still cranked in the on position. i was serving in Iraq all of 2011, and my uncle replaced the ignition switch while i was gone. with all three relays disconnected and the ignition switch fairly new, and a new solenoid, what should i look at now?
with the relays out of the picture, what could be causing it now?
got a new relay today. tried it in all 3 relay positions. same results. (with or without relays installed)still cranks with key in on position.
got a new relay today. tried it in all 3 relay positions. same results. (with or without relays installed)still cranks with key in on position.
Its not a relay. Check the ignition switch and make sure that the wire going to the aux. terminal is not the hot wire going to the solenoid and sending 12V to the solenoid. Just because the switch was replaced it can still be the wrong switch or a faulty switch. Suggest getting a wiring schematic and following it to determine hot, ground and aux. wires.
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.