Troy Bilt mower on 4th battery

majordApril 30, 2012

Troy bilt super bronco on 4th battery. Took to McStephenson�s in Jacksonville Fl two times and was returned both times and they said it was fixed. The belt was also coming off. I fixed the belt problem (they put the wrong size on) and one of the pulley arms was bent down so I bent it back up and the belt stays on great. On the battery issue they said they replaced a solenoid wire, and rectifier. I put a fourth new battery in it after I replaced the stator and voltage regulator and it ran great for 3 cuts. I checked the voltage on it before each cut and it was good. After the 3rd cut I left the key in it in the off position (the other times I took the key out). Went to cut the next time and the battery was dead. Not just drained but sulfated like the other ones. Put it on tester and it has a bad cell. Has to be a parasitic drain. Took the switch off completely suspecting the switch was bad, hooked up multimeter on 20V dc to the disconnected negative cable with other lead on negative post. Reading 12.3 volts dc when it should read zero (used battery from my other mower). With the multimeter still hooked up, disconnected the PTO safety, seat safety, reverse safety switches and headlights �one at a time and the drain was still there�still 12.3 volts when it should be zero. With the meter still hooked up took the stator wires off voltage regulator and drain still there. Took the middle wire off and meter went to zero (no drain). I find it hard to believe another voltage regulator is bad. Also did same with solenoid wire and drain still there. Also when I disconnect ampmeter the multimeter goes to zero (no drain). Took elec tape off whole harness from back to front and corrugated tubing and checked for broken/worn wire, wires touching, wire pushed up against something and found nothing. This mower is possessed�been messing with it for a year and a half and it�s still killing batteries. Before I replace the ignition switch, voltage regulator AGAIN, and possibly the ampmeter�.any suggestions other than drive it into a nearby lake? Have spent over $500 in repairs�probably could have bought a new mower by now but I�ve invested so much I just want to fix it.

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bill_kapaun

You don't check current draw with a voltmeter. You use the ammeter function of your meter.

Modern meters have such high impedance that just a few micro-amps current will give a false voltage reading.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 1:49AM
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majord

Ok so I'm obviously on this forum to fix my mower. If I was an expert...I wouldn't be here. Let's pretend I never checked it with a meter. ITS STILL ON ITS 4TH BATTERY. Other than the fact that I'm not good at using the proper setting on my multimeter...does anyone else have any advice on why my mower is doing a parasitic drain on 4 batteries now,,,based on what's been replaced

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 9:03AM
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lbpod

Using the ampmeter, (some call it an ammeter), function
of your meter, as Mr. Kapaun has suggested, starting at
the battery, systematically move down the line and disconnect/reconnect until the current draw drops to zero. Don't jump around from this point to that point, but
move in line with current flow. Eventually you will
diconnect something and the draw will disappear and
you will have your 'AHHA' moment. Oh, and by the way,
start out with your ammeter on it's highest setting,
just in case it is a large draw. Happy hunting.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 9:52AM
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bill_kapaun

If we pretended you never used a meter, we wouldn't know you had one, thus the ability to check for current flow.

Modern meters are almost "too good" for some applications. You can probably get voltage reads just by touching the leads to the battery surface between the terminals, especially if it's an older battery with a dirty, oily film on it.

The ammeter function is used in series instead of parallel like the voltage functions.
You'll probably have a different "jack" to plug in the RED lead and a different range on the dial. Instead of V, it should be A. Used the HIGHEST range to start. That's probably either 2A or 10A, depending on the meter.

You might want to use a pair of alligator clip leads like the cheap ones from Radio Shack etc.

Likely, your draw is from the voltage regulator/charge diode at the engine.

You didn't mention ANY model numbers for the machine or engine.
If we knew that, we MIGHT be able to find an actual schematic to better look for potential trouble spots. Some schematics are readily available and some aren't.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 3:48PM
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