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Starting Problem

2750 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  tractorsteve
I have a Craftsman 917.272021 16.5 hp lawn tractor that suddendly will not start. I have replaced the battery and solenoid but when I turn the key I sometimes hear a click and other times nothing. The fuse is ok. I've made sure that it's in neutral and the blades off before starting. I have placed a jumper on the starter and + battery terminal with the key on and the motor will turn. Could this be a safety switch problem? I'm aware of the one under the seat. As I look at the scheatic and electrical diagram I see other switches but I still have a hard time finding some of them on the tractor. Is there a switch for the brake/clutch? I do have a multimeter but I'm not sure how to use it to test the switches. Yes, I'm a newbie at this kind of repair and would appreciate your help. Thanks!
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Welcome to the forum.
I'm not sure about where on the Craftsman, but yes the newer equipment has several 'safety switches'- seat, clutch/brake, blade engagement, trans. in neutral, are the ones I can think of right off. Could also be a loose connection someplace, like to one of those switches or a ground. As for checking those switches, it would depend if they should be "open" or "closed". Good luck!!
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I have a 20h.p. model #917.200531 that had a similar problem.

My ignition switch was corroded to the point where it wouldn't allow the battery to charge and of course the tractor failed to start.

Hope this helps

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:Welcome1: to both of you!

sounds like a safety circuit somewhere. could be the ignition switch too. if there is no visible problem at a switch, you will need to get a VOM to test each and every possible cause. don't forget the relay that ties it all together!
Everyone should have a few simple things like a jumper wire and or jumper cables. I suggest you find the starter solenoid, use a small jumper wire to go from the post where the cable coming directly from the battery attaches, to the small terminal on the starter solenoid. IF the starter runs now, the problem is in the safety switches OR ignition switch. IF it doesn't run, problem could be the solenoid its' self, or starter. To check this, use jumper cables from a know good battery directly to the starter terminals.

Walt Conner
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you may want to remove the cables from the battery to the solenoid and the solenoid to the starter, and the ground cables and clean the connecting ends good, then reinstall them.
For some unknown reason the mower is now working. I placed a jumper from the battery directly to the starter and it kicked off. I cut the grass for an hour with no problems. It has started for the last 5 days and I hope it will continue. Thanks to all of you that replied.
Welcome to the forum mwilkinson and mandt. Enjoy yourselves.
Hello, I'm new to the group and have a prblm with my craftsman DGS 6500 garden tractor. It won't start. It turns over but won't even try to start. I don't think it's a fuel problem, I can smell gas when it cranks and I took the air cleaner off and squirted a small amount of starting fluid in the carb with the same results. I removed the boot from both spark plugs (one at a time) and inserted a screwdriver in the boot, making contact w/the connector, and held the shank of the screwdriver close to the spark plug. when I crank the engine, I do not get any spark. That's about all that I know to do. Any suggestions. Oh yeah, it's a 26hp kohler pro engine>
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