Craftsman Garden Tractor Not Charging
I have a 1998 Craftsman garden tractor (917.273030) with a 20 hp B&S (407777, Type # 0122-E1). I have taken very good care of her and she runs as well today as did when she was new. However, she is not charging. I replaced the battery, but I still need to use a battery charger to charge the battery after approx. 2 hours of use. After 2 hours of using the mower deck, the mower deck stops while the motor keeps running smoothly. The ammeter displays "O" while the mower deck is not engaged. Once the mower deck is engaged, the ammeter runs negative (left of "0"). The PTO switch, seat switch and footpedal switch all are working well and doing what they are supposed to do.
Can you give me direction on what I should test next?
If so, can you also outline the diagnostics/procedures for testing said components?
It is hard for me to give up on a machine that has and continues to perform so well. Your advise is very much appreciated. MM