Craftsman Lawn Tractor Won't Start

cecrFebruary 22, 2009

I have a 18HP Kohler engine 42" Craftsman lawn tractor model 917.272420 that will not start. When I turn the key there is no click....no hum...nothing. I have replaced the fuse and the solenoid and the PTO switch and have charged the battery. Any ideas what else this could be or what test I can do to figure it out. Thanks so much in advance.

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bill_kapaun

You can download an owners manual here with a schematic- page 33/64
http://www.managemyhome.com/mmh/lis_pdf/OWNM/L0103373.pdf

It appears you aren't getting 12V to the B terminal of the ignition switch.
I'd check the connector first to make sure it didn't vibrate loose.

You might try jumping 12V directly from the battery to the starter solenoid to see if the engine cranks, to test the battery.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 7:35PM
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mownie(7)

cecr, download the PDF manual as suggested by Bill. Look at the schematic. As Bill said, try "jumping" from the battery positive cable on the solenoid to the small terminal (WHITE wire post). If this makes the solenoid engage and motorize the starter, there is nothing amiss with these 2 items and the defect is "upstream". Using a 12 volt test light or a multimeter (set to DC volts scale) check for voltage at the white wire on ignition switch WHILE the switch is turned to the start position. If you have no voltage on the white wire (while in start position) the ignition switch is defective. If you have voltage present on the white wire (in start position), the ignition switch is good. Next you need to find the clutch/brake safety switch. Beware that in the process of performing any of these tests, your movement of the wire connectors could restore a loose fitting connection and suddenly cause the starter to begin turning. The clutch/brake pedal must be pushed down completely and locked before doing the testing. While holding the ignition switch in the start position, check for voltage on the 2 white wires of the clutch/brake switch. If the switch is defective (or not being properly actuated) you will have voltage present at only one white wire. If the switch is not mounted securely in its fixture, or has become "out of adjustment", it might act like it's defective also. Be sure that the switch is secured properly. If you find the switch is properly mounted and voltage is present at BOTH white wires, the defect is in the wiring or connectors somewhere between the clutch/brake switch and the small white wire post on the solenoid.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 9:36PM
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mownie(7)

I somehow edited some sentences from my above post. I'll try again.
cecr, download the PDF manual as suggested by Bill. Look at the schematic. As Bill said, try "jumping" from the battery positive cable on the solenoid to the small terminal (WHITE wire post). If this makes the solenoid engage and motorize the starter, there is nothing amiss with these 2 items and the defect is "upstream". Using a 12 volt test light or a multimeter (set to DC volts scale) check for voltage at the B terminal on ignition switch. If you do not show voltage on B terminal, the problem is in the wiring between B terminal and the battery. If you do have voltage present on the B terminal of switch go to the next step. Check for voltage at the white wire on ignition switch WHILE the switch is turned to the start position. If you have no voltage on the white wire (while in start position) the ignition switch is defective. If you have voltage present on the white wire (in start position), the ignition switch is good. Next you need to find the clutch/brake safety switch. Beware that in the process of performing any of these tests, your movement of the wire connectors could restore a loose fitting connection and suddenly cause the starter to begin turning. The clutch/brake pedal must be pushed down completely and locked before doing the testing. While holding the ignition switch in the start position, check for voltage on the 2 white wires of the clutch/brake switch. If the switch is defective (or not being properly actuated) you will have voltage present at only one white wire. If the switch is not mounted securely in its fixture, or has become "out of adjustment", it might act like it's defective also. Be sure that the switch is secured properly. If you find the switch is properly mounted and voltage is present at BOTH white wires, the defect is in the wiring or connectors somewhere between the clutch/brake switch and the small white wire post on the solenoid.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 11:44PM
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bill_kapaun

Just turning the key to the ON position should energize the fuel solenoid, causing it to click.
Run with lights sould give you lights.

Had a similar problem on another forum where the wire to the B terminal was broken inside the insulation right at the key switch connector.

IF this tractor has the ammeter, you might ty jumping across it. It's a series device, so you won't hurt anything.

You did hook the small RED wire back up to the starter solenoid didn't you?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 2:37AM
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