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Sabre ubrubtly shut down, and will not restart

3248 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  draaino
Ok, I have a Sabre lawn tractor with the 18hp intek vtwin. I was mowing the lawn one day and all of a sudden it quit running. I thought I ran out of gas, but no.
Now, I have been starting my lawn mower by bi-passing the starter switch. My positive battery cable at the battery is corroded and wont get a good connection. I haven't got around to replacing it. So I would just jump the starter with a jumper cable from the positive terminal to the starter.
now that we got that out of the way. The tractor was not out of gas. I checked the oil, and it was a bit low. I put oil in it. Wentto jump start it, it cranked over but would not fire, but immediately smoke came pouring from the front of the engine. Smelt like electrical. Sure enough, a ground wire fried on the front of the engine. I have no clue what it is. Fuel shut off switch? It's on the bottom of the carb. I sprayed carb cleaner in the air cleaner to see if it would fire up. It fired up immediately with more electrical smoke, I heard a bad knock during the 2 seconds it was running. I also noticed some oil leaking from the left side of the engine.I have had nothing but problems with this sabre, but never the briggs engine. It looks terminal, but who knows, maybe it's an easy fix? help is appreciated! Thanks
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Hi draaino, and welcome to the forum.

I agree with D-Dogg about cleaning up the electrical system, especially the corroded (+) battery lead.

Having said that, the symptoms you describe are exactly what one would expect if the lead to the cutoff solenoid on the bottom of the carb bowl were to short to ground. The engine would stop abruptly (since the solenoid wouldn't have enough juice to keep it energized) and the smoke would be coming from the melting insulation on the wire. Funny it didn't blow the main fuse, but some of those wiring setups only fuse the battery circuit and not the charging side, and your machine no longer has the battery side connected (hence, the requirement to fix the HOT LEAD!). I'd get this done before running it again or you risk burning out the stator and regulator as well. Why? Ask someone who can read a schematic.

I'm not sure why you think its a ground wire. My solenoid wire is black, but it carries +12 direct from the key. The solenoid is grounded through its attachment to the carb. On mine its a spade lug that pressed on a flat connector on the bottom of the solenoid. If that connection broke loose it would almost certainly ground itself somewhere nearby. It's all METAL around there!

The knocking is probably from the starting fluid. I recommend not using it to my friends, but encourage its use to my enemies ;) . What you're hearing is the engine dieseling on the ether and knocking the crap out of it.

The oil may be from the recently added dose (my be overfilled) or the engine may be toast. Fix the carb wiring and positive lead, get it running and see what other parts fall off. Just kidding. It'll probably be fine.

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The solenoid is energized whenever the key is in a RUN position. On most machines, you can hear it "click" when you turn the key. It allows fuel to flow thru the carb when running. When the key is turned OFF, the solenoid deenergizes and blocks fuel flow. It helps eliminate run-on by positively blocking the fuel supply path. If it isn't energized, the engine just will not start or continue to run (unless it's defective and blocked OPEN).

The ignition is normally grounded through the key switch when in the OFF position (or by the interlock wiring if you try to dismount with the deck engaged, parking brake not set, etc.,). It must be opened to allow the magneto system to supply high voltage to the spark plugs.

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