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Good morning group. I have a craftsman 20 HP garden tractor (917.273031 ) and am having trouble starting it. When i turn the key sometimes it will start but mostly i have to turn the key 3 to 8 or 9 times. It will always start but not like it should. With winter coming i will put the snowblower on and would like to figure this out before the snow starts. Thanks for any help.
 

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I'd check all the connections and clean them first.Could be a bad key switch though.
 

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I agree you should check all the connections that also includes the ground connections. Battery to frame ground and engine to frame ground. Also check the starter solenoid make sure it has a good connection to ground. If all checks good and clean then suspect the starter switch.
 

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How old and how well charged is the battery?

The list will go on and on and on.

The 'starter assist' will not solve the 'root' problem.
I absolutly agree the starter assit relay is not a fix for any problem. If the manufacture of the tractor did not design this relay in the original design and it wasn't there when you bought it, why do folks suggest this as a fix/repair for a problem. The system should work as designed. Please refrain from making this suggestion. If we are not willing to compromise interlocks and safety switches why is a starter assist or for that mater any alteration to circumvent a problem acceptable? Lets fix the problem and make it right.
Let the flames begin!
 

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If the manufacture of the tractor did not design this relay in the original design and it wasn't there when you bought it, why do folks suggest this as a fix/repair for a problem.


Well, since you can go to the JD dealer and purchase a Starter Assist Relay for between $20 and $30, I don't see it as a wrong "fix".

Here is the JD part number:

AM107421



Here is a partial list of where the part is used:



1924 - 318 Lawn and Garden Tractor - 21Jun11
1925 - 420 Lawn and Garden Tractor - 17Aug11
1980 - 316 (285001-) Hydrostatic Tractor - 30Aug01
2052 - F910 Front Mower - 19Jan11
2055 - 130, 160 and 165 Lawn Tractors (with 30-Inch & 38-Inch Mower Deck) - 30Aug01
2056 - 170 Lawn Tractor (with 38-Inch Mower Deck) - 21Jun11
2106 - RX63, RX73, RX75, RX95, SX75 and SX95 Riding Mowers - 30Aug01
2292 - SRX75 and SRX95 Riding Mowers - 10Mar03
2314 - GX70, GX75 and GX95 Riding Mowers - 10Mar03
10390 - F930 Front Mower - 21Jun11
10391 - 175 Lawn Tractor (with 38-Inch Mower Deck) - 21Jun11
10392 - 180 Lawn Tractor (with 38-Inch, 46-Inch or 48-Inch Mower Deck) - 30Mar11
10393 - 185 Lawn Tractor (with 38-Inch, 46-Inch or 48-Inch Mower Deck) - 21Jun11



You are right, all the safety switches could be replaced with new and all electrical connections can be removed, cleaned, replaced (should be first step no matter what), and individual components tested, cleaned, replaced. Choice of the owner of the equipment in question, I agree.
 

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The starter improver doesent change any of the interlocks functions, only provides a solid 12v to the starter solenoid. Deere kit has a TSB linked to it so it's an issue they are certinly aware of, and Deere probably had warranty issues on them.. My Craftsmen was plagued with the same issue. when I pulled it out of the weeds earlier this year ( was retired, but I decided to bring it back to life ). I had no voltage anywhere except the battery and couldn't trace it. So I rewired it, and in doing so, the starter has no problem...
Had I thought about a relay last year when I got the click-click, I would have that repair.

This same kind of modification/repair is used when older cars headlights dim from aged connections, and it is considered a correct repair..
 

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I still stand, the relay is not a fix it is workaround at best. Your first repairs are step #2 and no one has mentioned the part about bendix starters. If you want to use it as a diagnostic tool fine but that can be accomplished by putting a jumper between the +12 volts and the coil pick terminal on the solenoid. In any case I will not wire up this to any tractor as a fix.
Besides you have just added another potential point of failure, down the road, when you were convinced you fixed your problem, it is now your problem.

Solution:
1. Install relay kit (am107421). Installation instructions +(m77862)+ are provided with
kit. Grease terminals with mpg2 grease (m79292).
+(2. If relay kit does not resolve, cleaning and inspection of battery posts, cables, and
electrical connection is required to elimiante voltage drop. Grease connections with
mpg-2 to prevent corrosion.)++(additional information:
Wiring locations for the relay are as follows:
- key switch lead to pin 85 on relay.
- relay pin 86 to ground.
- lead from (+) battery connection on starter to pin 30 on relay.
- relay pin 87 to starter solenoid terminal.
- install relay with terminals downward and away from engine.
relay kit is not compatible with engines that have bendix type starter that use a remote
mounted solenoid.)+
 

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Good morning group. I have a craftsman 20 HP garden tractor (917.273031 ) and am having trouble starting it. When i turn the key sometimes it will start but mostly i have to turn the key 3 to 8 or 9 times. It will always start but not like it should. With winter coming i will put the snowblower on and would like to figure this out before the snow starts. Thanks for any help.
You don't mention if anything happens when you turn the key. If the solenoid clicks but the engine fails to crank then I'd suggest cleaning the battery terminals and ground connection. I'd also suggest checking the battery for proper voltage but doubt if this is a problem since you say the tractor will always eventually start.

If absolutely nothing happens then the posts about cleaning all terminals may well be in order.

Have you taken a jumper wire and gone from the positive battery terminal to the small post on the solenoid when it refuses to crank over? Doing this will prove if the solenoid is faulty or if the terminals on the battery are intermittent.

Really sounds like a safety switch or key switch problem but a systematic approach to the problem would be best.

Addition of a second relay to assist the starter solenoid may be necessary but I doubt it. Any equipment I've had has not needed this. Perhaps it's a problem closely associated with the Deere's.

Mike
 

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Ditto about actually describing what happens.

IF the engine "tries" to crank, you probably need a valve adjustment.
Briggs OHV engines need the valves to be properly adjusted for the compression release to work.

IF it's only "clicks", the solenoid is probably bad.
 
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