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Discussion Starter #1
It's lawn mowing time again and as usual....more problems. I really don't see the big attraction to these tractors, my 520h has been an endless series of trouble since I bought it.
When it actually starts it does a decent enough job, but having to fight with it to start every time the grass needs cutting is wearing pretty thin with me.

Today I put another new battery in it and turned the key...it cranked really slowly, as if the battery was 99% dead. So I grabbed the battery out of my van and hooked it up, same thing, cranks super slow like the battery is dead. Threw jumper cables on it and connected them to my car, let it sit there and charge for about ten minutes, hit the key and more of the same.

Obviously there is something wrong. I'm stumpified :dunno: Anyone have any suggestions?
 

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Check for hot cable ends on both the (+) and (-) cables after you have tried starting it. Be careful - they can get red hot. The starter is the largest single draw on the battery. Is the (-) battery cable bolted to the engine block? I like to put them on one of the engine mounting bolts then add groundwires from there to the other chassis metal like the hood and dash tower.

Garry
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the input Garry. My (-) cable is attached to the engine mounting bolt. I'll try cleaning the connections all around....again. If that doesn't help maybe I'll just dig a big deep hole and bury it. Arrrgh....another week of this and I'll have to hire a brush hog for the first mow of the year.
 

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I would pull the spark plugs out crank it over for about 30 seconds or so then put the plugs back in and try it. Sometimes if you get too much fuel in the combustion chamber it causes hydraulic lock and the engine won't want to turn over, by cranking it with the plugs removed the excess fuel will blow out.
 

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Garden Tractor OCD guy
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Why would you not simply replace your defective starter? Problem solved.
 

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The wiring harness on the 520's is a pain, plan and simple and the 9 pin connector is the most noted fail point. When you go to clean the grounds yes grounds, there are 3 at least, one for the battery and at least 2 in the wiring harness next to the battery and maybe one under the dash.
I've done a few of these and time, patience and a account with good wiring supply house is the key. If you upgrade the 9 pin to a 4 and 5 spade connector, solder all the connections including the fuse block, dielectric grease everything it'll go a long ways in giving you a trouble free unit.
 

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Garden Tractor OCD guy
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The first thing to do is to test the voltage at the starter hot post while cranking, if 11.5 or higher at both the starter and across battery terminals while cranking then the starter is defective. It is very simple to verify the starter condition. Run a jumper cable from the + battery directly to the starter post and the other jumper from the ground side of battery directly to the starter where it bolts on. If it still turns over slowly, the starter is shot. Before going through all the hassles of checking all the wiring, simply check the voltage at the starter post first, if good then wiring is not the issue, the starter is bad. The common failure is at the front bushing on the starter...is the starter noisy? My money is 10:1 on a bad starter. If you verify starter bad, don't waste money on an aftermarket please. Buy an OEM starter and your good for another 20+ years.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Steve--I replaced the 9 pin last year, it was burned out inside. I didn't solder my fuse block wires but since I do go through an awful lot of fuses that sounds like a good future project.

Kevin--That sounds like a very solid plan and I'll try it tomorrow. If I do need a new starter do you have a source you could recommend?

Rob--This was to be the first start of the season. I don't think I got 10 full revolutions while cranking it....sloooowwly...and don't even have fuel up to the filter yet.


You guys are a lot of help and I appreciate it. Will let you know how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The starter wasn't bad per se, just stubborn. A few good whacks with my favorite hammer freed it right up.
Many other issues remain, such as the battery not charging because the fuse block doesn't do a very good job of holding wires where they need to be. But at least I got the grass cut today.
 

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As posted--sounds like you have some re-wireing to do...do it right, and do it once!!
Like Steve posted--the 520 serie is noted for dis-agreable electric gremlins.:crybaby:

glenn
 

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Discussion Starter #11
How to solder fuse block?

I really can't afford to buy much for it right now but want to start off by soldering the connections in the fuse block. I know there is a problem there because I can wiggle the wires and "fix" it... until I hit the next bump.

How do I free the wires and clips from the fuse block so I can solder them?

Thanks in advance :thanku:
 

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546cowboy
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There is a tool to remove the connectors. Ask at the auto parts store. Usually the terminals or the fuse block has got hot from the poor connections and sometimes the block is melted. The easiest way to eliminate that is to remove the terminals and install an in-line fuse holder in each circuit. Just do one side of each fuse at a time so you get all the wires right.
 
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