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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. First the problem, and then I'll ask a few extra questions.

My house came with this 38" Bolens riding mower. It is ~2-3 years old and was obviously not well taken care of when I got it 6 months ago. Anywho, even tho the blades were as sharp as the side of a No. 2 Pencil, it has still cut the yard descent enough. 3 weeks ago, I finished mowing (only 1/2 an acre, just too dang lazy to push mow it) on a Wednesday afternoon. I sprayed it off and out from under the deck as always, cranked it, backed it into its spot in the garage. Fast forward 7 days, and turning the key switch does NOTHING. After a week of head scratching, I bought a new mower (as I've been wanting a new tractor anyways). I still tried to get this one running so I could sell it. It is the 38" cutting deck with a 15.5 HP briggs.

I took the keyswitch apart, thinking it might be corroded (rinsed it off, let it sit, etc). I BELIEVE I got it stuck back together right, as it exploded upon disassembly, as most things with springs tend to do. I have double checked and rechecked all wired connections. None of them appeared corroded, but I dielectric greased everything anyways. When you turn the key, you can hear a VERY VERY faint 'tick' somewhere up front. Unsure where. Possibly a safety switch?? well I don't think so. I tore out the 'blade engagement' safety switch and it is permenantly fixed (so I can mow in reverse). The seat safety switch has a few pieces of electrical tape over the contact points, just so while I'm tinkering with it I can try to crank it without being setting in the seat. The other switch is in the clutch pedal and I have done nothing with it. It is in place under the edge of the frame and somewhat hard to get to, so it is one variable I have yet to mess with yet.

I have tried to jump the starter manually with some jumper cables. The starter WILL turn over and it WILL spin the motor, but she will never start. Everything in my eyes says there's no fire and something hosed electrically. I did a search and after about 6 or 7 pages, posted a new thread.

Thanks for any help or insight you can give on this issue. And also, if this sounds like something not worth fixing (these mowers are like 900 new), what would the dead mower be worth with a new deck drive belt and an old bolens MTD weed eater that runs, albeit needing a carb cleaning and has no debris shield on it.
 

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Does it make the tick when it goes into the on position or when it is in the start position? It may be that your starter solenoid is bad. It could also be grounding badly.

Jason
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll have to double check that and get back to you. I'm wanting to say it is when I hit the start position.

I assumed the starter would be good because it turns the motor over nicely when I use jumper cables directly to it.

Thanks!
 

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The SOLENOID, not the starter is probably bad, also check battery and connections for corrosion or bieng loose.
 

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Check continuity with a volt ohmmeter. If you don't have one, they are less than $20 in many stores.

Test the solenoid. Apply voltage and listen for a click.

Check continuity of the safety interlocks before the solenoid, from the keyswitch connector to the solenoid.

If your keyswitch is bad, a brand new generic switch should be less than $20.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input. If I have my way I'll get to look more into it tonight. Last night I just glanced under the hood and tried to trace the wire from the starter. Solenoid must be under the frame or underneath the battery.

Preciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
well being the cheap skate I am and wanting to maximize the return selling this thing, i fiddled with it a few this afternoon. the solenoid is tucked away and hidden underneath the battery off to the side. it also has a fuse block with it. the 20 amp fuse was blown. so i ran to the gas station to pick up another. as soon as I put it in, it blew (makes me wonder if I have the keyswitch back together incorrectly). Regardless, even if I shorted out the solenoid, you can see the arc, but it never clicks, regardless of how you apply power to it. that tells me that it is bad, no? sorry for the newbness. if it was mechanical i'd bend it, grind it, and weld it until it worked. Not an electron chaser.
 

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I just scrapped 4 or 5 mtd's with all the pparts you would need to keep you running for a couple more years. Surely you have someone close by that has a few of these laying around to pick over. I know Ohio doesn't have the market cornered on packrats and hillbillies.
 
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