GT 235--Starting problem; no cranking, just buzzing

rockhound758August 3, 2014

I did a search before posting this but didn't find enough information so apologies if already addressed on this forum but any help would be appreciated.

My 15-year old JD GT 235 has been a trooper and I love it, but yesterday when trying to start it I got an immediate, very short "clunk" and then nothing but a low buzzing noise. Turning the key again gets nothing but the buzzing noise, which originates under the dash area.

The battery is a year old but I still tested it and it was fine; fully charged. Mower is disengaged and I'm assuming seat shut off switch is fine (also I don't think I'd get ANYTHING if it was one of those two things).

I'm going to call the local JD dealer tomorrow (they're very solid) but I thought I'd ask the forum in the meantime. I'm suspecting a starter or solenoid, and I've seen referencing to "jumping" the solenoid for diagnostic purposes but I'm not clear on how to do that (I do a lot of DIY work, just not much small engine repair).

Suggestions? Thanks in advance and apologies if I missed something obvious already posted on this forum.

Powell, OH

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Sounds like it could be a starter drive issue. Can you rotate the engine via the screen on top? Which engine, the Briggs or Kawasaki? If you could set the park brake so you could turn the key and id the piece that was buzzing, that too could be of help.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 12:35PM
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Thanks for the response. It's the Briggs. I can rotate the engine via the screen but it's difficult. I did set the parking brake and the buzzing noise appears to be coming from the key switch assembly. It's hard to localize but there doesn't seem to be much under the dash except for the circuit board and the different switches. Not coming from the mower engage or headlight switch, but it does sound like from starter switch. Any ideas, folks?

This post was edited by rockhound758 on Sun, Aug 3, 14 at 13:36

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 12:48PM
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Seeing as though it is the Briggs, verify that the starter gear isn't stuck up into the flywheel. Clunking seems like it was from the engine area I assume? You would think it would be a starter clunk. PTO clutches can seize or sometimes the starter has to try and turn the deck. If you were to try and safely jump direct to the starter, will the engine crank?Buzzing from the switch... a new one to me.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 9:38PM
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Reviving this thread a bit as my grass continues to grow unchecked...

I finally ended up having the local JD dealer (JD Equipment in Columbus--I like 'em) come by and pick the thing up. After digging into it, they say the stator is putting out too much current, and that it fried the voltage regulator and the battery. They're going to replace the stator, the VR and battery and then see where we are. I'm knowledgeable about a lot of stuff (including DIY stuff) but small engine repair isn't one of my strong suits so I'm trusting them on this one. I'm hoping that's the end of it and it didn't fry the starter and solenoid as well, but we'll see.

For those reading this, any guess on whether this will have also damaged the starter and/or solenoid?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 11:52AM
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The stator can't really put out "too much" current unless you added larger magnets to the flywheel or rewound the stator.

Likely the VR failed first and shorted the stator, IF it is bad.

I'm very suspect on their diagnosis of "too much".

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 2:12PM
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