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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I have a problem with my older model Craftsman mower. I have recently pulled the motor out, which is a Tecumseh, and replaced the seals and gaskets. I have put the motor back on the body and now I can't get it to turn over. I can get it to turn over if I jump the starter solenoid but not by turning the key. It doesn't even click. I got my test light out just to see if I was getting any power and the wierd thing is, is that with the key out of the ignition, I have constant power going to the starter. Put the key in and turn it to "ON", and its the same thing. Not really sure whats going on. The only things I disconnected was the wiring going to the headlights and that plugs into the top of the motor and the starter cable. Anyone had a problem like this? I attached a pic of it so you know what type of mower I'm dealing with. Also, it ran fine before tear down, just leaked oil badly. Any help would be appreciated.


This was when my father-in-law had it and I painted it for him. Big Memphis fan, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I did some research and would the interlock switch or plunger switch cause a problem like this? That's the only safety type switches I could find on the exploded view.
 

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Not sure of your model, but mine has an under seat saftey switch and a switch that is activated when I depress the clutch/ brake pedal ... if both aren't depressed, it won't start. I have put a paper clip jumper in the seat switch connection (short the connection) when I am working on it and don't have the seat on.
I see that your seat is removed in the picture, that's why I mentioned this.

Dave

Dave
 

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Hey all, I have a problem with my older model Craftsman mower. I have recently pulled the motor out, which is a Tecumseh, and replaced the seals and gaskets. I have put the motor back on the body and now I can't get it to turn over. I can get it to turn over if I jump the starter solenoid but not by turning the key. It doesn't even click. I got my test light out just to see if I was getting any power and the wierd thing is, is that with the key out of the ignition, I have constant power going to the starter. Put the key in and turn it to "ON", and its the same thing. Not really sure whats going on. The only things I disconnected was the wiring going to the headlights and that plugs into the top of the motor and the starter cable. Anyone had a problem like this? I attached a pic of it so you know what type of mower I'm dealing with. Also, it ran fine before tear down, just leaked oil badly. Any help would be appreciated.


This was when my father-in-law had it and I painted it for him. Big Memphis fan, lol.
Hey 38 Craftsman, I own that same exact mower(see the avatar) except................how did you get a Tech in yours? I've got the same factory Briggs 11hp in mine :fing32: Sounds like a safety switch to me. More than likely the one on the Brake/clutch pedal. When looking for it, it might not be where you think it is. (mine is on the opposite side of the brake pedal)Asking a really dumb question....Are you depressing the brake pedal when you attempt to start it? Normally, it won't crank if you don't :)
 

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Safety switches that may affect cranking are-
brake/clutch switch
PTO/attachment switch/

Typical color code for a Craftsman starting circuit is white.
When the key is turned to the START position, 12V is delivered from the B terminal to the S terminal of the key switch.
It than passes through the clutch/brake switch and then the attachmeny switch on to the small terminal of the starter solenoid.

Actually posting the Sears 917.xxxxxx number would allow one to possibly look at a schematic in order to give more precise info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The serial number is 917.254622. When I was trying to start it, I had to jump it because the battery is bad but the seat switch has been bypassed because it would start with the seat up. I also had the clutch depressed all the way with the attachement disengaged. Thanks for all the replies guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Just got back from checking my switches and they all seem to be in working order but I did find something else out that was funny to me. I had my test light hooked up to where my ground wire from my ignition is going and had laid the test light on the frame while messing with the switches. I reached down to pick it back up and the light was on. It was touching the frame and was lit up. I touched a few of the bolts and they all lit up too. What in the world is going on?
 

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Check the ground connections at both ends of your battery cable. Also check the ground from your engine to the frame. Bad grounds cause all kinds of weird symptoms.
The ground lead for your test light should ideally be on the battery negative terminal, but then you wouldn't have noticed this anomaly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Check the ground connections at both ends of your battery cable. Also check the ground from your engine to the frame. Bad grounds cause all kinds of weird symptoms.
The ground lead for your test light should ideally be on the battery negative terminal, but then you wouldn't have noticed this anomaly.
Well, that's what I was thinking. Had to be a ground problem. So I decided to check every ground and found everything tight. Once I got that done, I figured I'd mess with the ignition a little. I did replace it not too long before I pulled the motor plus it was a used one so thought maybe it was out or something. I pulled the plug off the back of the ignition and a little dirt came out. So I cleaned out the plug and while I was cleaning it, found the ground wire loose. Hmmmmm, pushed it back in the plug, plugged the ignition back in, turned the key, and bam......engine turned over, lol. This is why I hate wiring problems, 9 times out of 10, it's something simple but you don't realize it until you have everything tore down. Oh well. Thanks to everyone who replied. This seems like a really good forum and plan to be around for a while. Thanks again. :thanku:
 

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Well, that's what I was thinking. Had to be a ground problem. So I decided to check every ground and found everything tight. Once I got that done, I figured I'd mess with the ignition a little. I did replace it not too long before I pulled the motor plus it was a used one so thought maybe it was out or something. I pulled the plug off the back of the ignition and a little dirt came out. So I cleaned out the plug and while I was cleaning it, found the ground wire loose. Hmmmmm, pushed it back in the plug, plugged the ignition back in, turned the key, and bam......engine turned over, lol. This is why I hate wiring problems, 9 times out of 10, it's something simple but you don't realize it until you have everything tore down. Oh well. Thanks to everyone who replied. This seems like a really good forum and plan to be around for a while. Thanks again. :thanku:



yes wiring can be a pain in the back side ...Congrats on getting it fixed :thThumbsU
 

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Doesn't make sense to me, but ya can't argue with success! Glad you got it going, and thanks for getting back to us!
Happy seat time!
 

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Hey 38 Craftsman, I own that same exact mower(see the avatar) except................how did you get a Tech in yours? I've got the same factory Briggs 11hp in mine :fing32: Sounds like a safety switch to me. More than likely the one on the Brake/clutch pedal. When looking for it, it might not be where you think it is. (mine is on the opposite side of the brake pedal)Asking a really dumb question....Are you depressing the brake pedal when you attempt to start it? Normally, it won't crank if you don't :)
just curious, what kind of exhaust setup does the factory briggs have? mine has a briggs that was swapped in, and just has a pipe thats ran out the side of the hood to a muffler. kinda janky lookin
 

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If you look at the schematic in the owners manual, you can see that "bypassing" the seat switch will contribute to a no spark condition.
Simply disconnecting it is how you would defeat this specific one.

Also, the crank circuit AND kill circuit are both controlled (in part) by the attachment switch. IF it were bad/misadjusted, it could cause both a no crank and no spark condition.
 

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From what I can tell, it came stock in the mower. Pretty easy to work on too. It's a 12 hp OHV.
Mine is an 86 with an 11 HP L-Head Briggs. I'm partial to the way L-Heads sound. Lower running rpm, good torgue; kinda' lazy sounding. (YMMV) I have a friend of mind that owns Rental/Repair shop that has 2 12.5 HP OHV Enduro I/C engines, brand new for $300.00/each. I'm thinking of buying one for the inevitable day that 24 year old Briggs gives up the ghost. It's a bolt-in except for the muffler. (But then that's what a welding torch is for) :)
 
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