Craftsman riding mower issues

dqtmg4December 24, 2010

I have a Craftsman rider model 917.275820. I have had issues initially with the battery draining after the rider sits for a week. Then also the mower would stop running after a 1/2 hour or so of mowing when under load. I eventually traced down the problem to a part that is directly under the carberator. This is a steel cylinder about 3/4 inch diameter with a electrical plug coming out of the bottom. I discovered this part got hot after the mower was off- i.e. after the mower was off for an hour this part was hot while the rest of the mower was cool. Obviously this was what was draining the battery which I confirmed by unplugging the electrical part on the bottom. If I unplug that electrical piece the steel cylinder stayed cool and the battery did not drain. I have looked at the manual to try and figure out what I need to replace to fix this issue, but I cannot determine what part this cylinder is from looking at the diagrams either electrical or engine. Does anyone know what is causing this issue and what part I need to fix it?



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Yes, is a fuel cut-off switch. when you turn the key on the switch pops open alowing gas to flow to the carb visa the main jet. when you shut the tractor off the the switch closes off gas by spring pressure preventing the backfire or afterfire. I would check and see if you have 12V at the switch in the off and on position? if you don't have 12Vs in the off position your battery drain problem maybe down stream.

Depending on which engine you have Kolher or briggs? you need to go to the engine diagram online (sears parts or or, or just google sears parts) by putting in your model number or engine number out of your owners manual, locate the carb. and you will see the fuel cut-0ff switch in the IPB (if you don't have owners manual with IPB sears has one available on line to look up parts by using your model number. YOu can order online or go to a local lawnmower shop to purchase the new part.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 2:28PM
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That IS NOT a "switch"!! It is the fuel solenoid.
But the need to check for 12 volts present when the key switch is off is the correct thing to do.
When the key switch is turned to OFF, the solenoid should not be receiving any voltage.
The fact that the solenoid is "hot to touch" is not indicative of a defect. The solenoid will become warm/hot as a normal condition when it is functioning for a while.
If there is still 12 volts present when the key switch is OFF, the key switch may be defective or someone has been monkeying with the wiring (as in "changed the key switch or wiring etc").

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 4:31PM
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The solenoid gets very hot after the mower is off for a period of time, that can't be a normal condition. Also, I bought the mower new and no one has ever messed with the wiring.


    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 10:44PM
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Do you have a 12 volt test light? or a DC voltmeter?
You need to check the wire that feeds the fuel solenoid. Check it while the key switch is OFF. Disconnect the wire from the solenoid to check the wire on the chassis side of the wiring.
If you detect voltage on this wire when the key switch is turned to the OFF position.......the key switch is not interrupting the 12 volt circuit (Blue wire on back of key switch), meaning a defective key switch.
I suggest you test the blue wire at the fuel solenoid and at the back of the key switch.
It would be a long shot to suspect that the main wiring harness has chafed and brought a Battery Hot wire into contact with the blue wire and be causing this........but not impossible.
Key switches have been know to fail and do things like this, so that needs checking.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 11:43PM
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Does the LT set outside or left dirty and wet? If it was me it and I did not have 12v at the SOLENOID switch in the off position. I would just CHANGE the switch. opps I mean Electric operated on and off SOLENOID.

(terminology, anything that uses electricty to cut something OFF or ON could be considered a SWITCH even though the actual SECONDARY component shutting OFF an ELECTRIC OPERATED plunger which is spring pressure CLOSED when CURRENT DISCONNECTED through the ignition switch, oops I mean manually controlled console conponent)

If the LT (a man made machine to cut lawns while setting on our @SSes) sets outside or stored improperly then corrosion maybe an issue throught out the LT and this just maybe the tip of the problems yet to come? and maybe not it just maybe a defective doomogager on the carb.?
Merry Cristmas! (Oops I mean Happy Holidays!) SArcMoser always pleased to lighten up someones day! as you can tell I bored and didn't get enough guns for Xmas!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2010 at 11:27AM
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Well, Merry Christmas.
I personally would rather test things instead of guessing.
But there is certainly room for dedicated parts changers in the world. How many batteries, starter motors, starter solenoids, ignition switches, and etceteras have been replaced when all the B&S engine needed was a valve adjustment? I don't know that you could even guess at the number. But the world keeps on spinning.

In the case of this fuel solenoid, it could not be considered switch per se. It could however be considered as a solenoid operated flow control valve.
I hope this helps chase the boredom away.
Only about 12 more weeks till Spring.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2010 at 7:13PM
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Mowie, I'm disappointed you didn't correct my spelling!"Cristmas" ect... Ha, ha. I guessing you didn't have time or room to correct it all! at least there's no shouting. Happy New Year!

Just think how many jobs would be lost if we didn't change parts that didn't need to be changed??

    Bookmark   December 25, 2010 at 7:33PM
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I just ain't much into correcting people's spelling. What with the neo English arising from texting and other attempts to "abreviate" the written word, plus the all too likely unintentional typo or missed key......why even bother?
But you gotta understand that in my job, I converse with co-workers regularly (some of which are novices) and I try to make sure they learn the correct terminology and nomenclature of the business, so not digging at you or anybody, just doing what I do all the time to try and keep things level.
Happy New Year!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2010 at 11:07PM
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Well, i'm certainly glad we aren't at each others throats today. And glad that the name and function of that piece has been made clear.
Some time back, maybe 2 years, i asked at the parts supplier, how much that solenoid would cost, to replace it. When i heard the price-i almost fell over. Something around $85, or so!
So, i cleaned the gunk out of the piece, installed it and found what was really wrong with the lack of run! I don't remember what i found, since i'm lucky i can remember my real name!
So--have a great New Year, and may all of your equipment operate well! Rusty J.

P.S. I worked for a Ford dealer early in my career. Those mechanics were a bunch of parts changers, and they'd fix something by changing some part, and it that didn't work, then try another part. eventually, they'd get it fixed, but they didn't have to pay for it, and the parts were cheap! Seems some of their descendants write in here, now!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 1:07PM
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I wonder if the OP is actually turning the key switch OFF when the tractor is not in use????

IF he is, then the key switch is bad!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 6:35PM
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Ok, Rustyi How did you know I was an ex ford mechanic! Does It show LOL! (no I'm no longer dealership mechanic quite that in 73 or so)(still consider myself the best autolite/motorcraft 2100 and 4100 series carb mechanic out there and few Quadrajets (can anybody guess what ford engine came with quardajets??). for those who don't know what a quadrajet is, never mind.

As I got older I got alittle smarter? (Well Maybe not???)ole cheapo me would just remove the doomager and replace it with a bolt! If that worked then I would wait till I got freeby off a junk engine. If it back fired so what, I got one with a good solenoid and it still back fires cause I'm too lazy to let it de-cook some times and just shut it off.

I hate to say it, but (some, most, alot?? IMO of course)Ford dealerships hasn't changed much, just the parts got alot more expensive. Two typical examples; Keys nowdays $300 bucks. 4X4 module, $300 bucks after the transfer case doomagager (solenoid) was first cleaned $275 bucks, then changed 785 bucks. For a grand total of 1300 and up, when the $300 part was the problem. This was all created from battery change (at the dealership)(thankful it was still under warranty) that spiked the 4X4 cheap module behind the glove box and I had to tell them that was the problem. Needless to say I don't go to that dealership anymore nor have that truck.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 9:27PM
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The key switch is off when the tractor is off. It is stored in the garage, so there is no rust issue. I do not have a voltmeter to check the voltage. Looking at the electrical diagram, is the key switch the ignition switch? It costs $33.59 part number 193350. Any test I can do to confirm it is the key switch without a voltmeter? A voltmeter is $10 on Amazon, may be worth it to make sure I don't waste $35.


    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 11:05AM
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Key switch and ignition switch are the same component.
The battery must be charged before doing any tests if it has been allowed to discharge.
In lieu of having a volt meter, you could try unplugging the connector of the fuel solenoid wire and watching for the small flash of arc that would indicate the wire had voltage on it. This would necessarily have to be done "in the dark", and you will need to position the connector so you can see down into the interior of the connector to enable you to see the small, weak arc flash. But, the volt meter would be the most accurate way to determine if the wire was energized. Your idea to spend $10 to possibly prevent spending $35 is sound, and highly recommended.
Though the general consensus of members is a defective key switch, you need a volt meter for more reasons than you realize.
193350 is indeed the part # for the key switch.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 11:32AM
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After going through the checkout process on searspartsdirect, shipping is $11 and adding tax brings the total to almost $50 for the ignition switch. I did a google search on the part number and found it at Buffalo small engine repair for $19 and a shipping option there of $2.07 making the total $21.07. Wow. So there are good alternatives to sears parts online.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 11:34AM
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When i worked at the Ford Dealer shop, all parts were really cheap. Fuel pump-$3.00, rebuilt distributor-$4:00
Engine rebuild at shop: around $100-125. Factory Rebuilt replacement engine-$150-installed! I don't know what the labor charge was, but i was earning $50 a week! And that kept me and wife fed, and some of our expenses. My disability check from my Uncle Sam paid the rest! Including house payments. We didn't live "high on the hog" but weren't starving, nor in the poor house. Where we are short of being now! Hooray for ?????

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 12:01PM
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When looking for parts for your tractor, use this format on Google.
"AYP pn".

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 5:35PM
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I have ordered a voltmeter from Amazon which I should get next week. I will post an update here once I receive it. I also found the ignition switch on Amazon for $12.50 plus $5 shipping. Thanks for the help.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2010 at 1:28PM
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I have the same problem with my tractor discharging while running, but usually only when using the mower. I have 2 acres to mow and by the time I finish the battery is dead and I have to put the charger on it before it can be used again.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 9:51AM
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I have had this EXACT same discharge problem with my Craftsman GT5000 with Briggs Intek V-twin. The problem was a blown voltage regulator.

On these, and most similar engines/tractors, the PTO clutch is activated by 12v power produced by the engine's alternator/regulator combination. The PTO draws a lot of current and will quickly drain a battery if the alternator/regulator is not working properly. If you have an ammeter on your dash it will show 'heavy' discharge when you activate the PTO clutch. Most likely the regulator is bad. On the Briggs engines the voltage regulator is very easy to change.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 6:40AM
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I cannot find the Voltage Regulator on my lawn mower. It's a Craftsman model 917.275820. Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated...

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 9:22PM
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Your 917.275820 does not have a voltage regulator.
The Briggs 31P777 engine in your tractor has been configured with a 3 amp charging circuit for keeping the battery charged.
It has only a diode to rectify the alternator AC output current to DC so the battery can use it.
Furthermore, the lights on your tractor operate on raw AC current (unrectified) from the alternator.
The lights circuit is separate from the battery charging circuit.
What sort of problem are you having that leads you to ask about a voltage regulator?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 1:11AM
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At the end of last mowing season I cut may yard. Two weeks later when I went to cut it again it wouldn't start. The battery wad tested and it was dead. Replaced the battery and cut the yard. When I cut it off it was dead again. Took the battery back and it was dead! Again! They gave me another battery. On the way out a guy told me my starter or alternator may be bad. I had the starter tested and it was good. After tediously pulling the alternator(under flywheel) the parts guy said it was still good bc it didn't smell burnt! He said it was the voltage regulator. After waiting a week for it to come in, I can't find where he says it goes which is on the firewall! Very frustrating... Thanks in advance...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 2:00PM
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You engine has the 3 Amp DC/6 Amp AC "Dual circuit" alternator configuration.
There is no "regulator" per se, only a diode rectifier.
Look for a "lump" in the orange stator wire (see image).
The lump is the diode. It is available from Briggs & Stratton.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 5:32PM
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Thank you for your time. I will check it tomorrow...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 9:38PM
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I have a Craftsman LT 17.5hp Kolher engine Model# 917.272220. I replaced the battery in it because it kept going dead. I put the new battery in and the same thing is still going on. The only time that it discharges is when the PTO is running when this happens the mower just shuts down and won't start until I recharge the battery. I believe the problem is with the Stator or the Regulator, Rectifier it is a 15amp. If anyone has any answers they would be appreciated. Thanks

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 2:01PM
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there should be a plate/decal on your engine giving the model/type/ser #/etc. info. Record all that - go to the kohler engine website (google search) - d/l a free service manual for your particular engine. It should tell you how to test your alternator for correct output and how to repair if necessary.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 2:21PM
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Stick, the engine is a Command CV491. Do as rcbe suggests and download the free service manual from the Kohler website.
These engines have a penchant for magnets coming loose from the flywheel inner surface, sometimes crashing into the stator coils that comprise the alternator wiring.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 7:43PM
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***** A voltmeter is $10 on Amazon, may be worth it to make sure I don't waste $35*****

An opinion. A voltmeter is like my Dremmel I would not be without one. You don't use it often but when you need it there is nothing else to replace it. Without it is like not having a pair of pliers because they cost $20.

I would not go real cheap as the more you use one the more uses you will find, and you will find the real cheap one may not be able to do what you want.

They can be used in with the car, in the house, checking Christmas lights, and when you get bored you can check the electrical properties of your body.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 8:54AM
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The OM also has a schematic in it.
You can see where to disconnect the alternator from the Voltage Regulator to check for AC voltage @ high engine speed.

28 VAC minimum.

The mower would likely die without using the PTO. It'd just take a lot longer.
The only electrical load other than the PTO (assuming headlights are off) is the carb fuel solenoid. It draws much less current then the PTO.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 11:40AM
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I have a craftsman LT1000 the mower blades will not dis engage, the blades start turning when the engine is started.Hope someone can help. Thanks

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 7:44AM
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look in the cavity under the tilting seat get the full 917.xxxxxx model number repost here so we know what machine you have. sears has sold a kaboodle of different lt1000's.....

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 12:13PM
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Can anyone tell me where the alternator is on a Craftsman lawnmower. I had a man work on it last year and he did some rewiring, man did he do some rewiring. When I undid all of his black tape I had the yellow wire which my schematic says goes to the alternatlr and another black wire which were connected to nothing, just wrapped in tape. I have the engine cover, fuel tank, and air filter off, but can not find anything that looks like it is an alternator. I have the manuel and it does not show me a part for the alternator. So could some one tell me where to find it, and if it is under the fly wheel, what will happen when I remove that. Is it going to all fly apart or is that just the term. Any help would be appreciated. I know it has a lot of wrong wiring, just by looking at the schematic and unconnected wires. Please Help.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 8:42PM
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OK, this is not going to be what you want to hear, but you will need to post some real information about this tractor before anybody can actually find out what the wiring configuration is on your particular machine.
If this is a Craftsman machine, look under the tilting seat and post the full technical model number. Typically it is a 9 digit number beginning with 917.xxxxxx.
Also, find the engine model number and type number off of the engine cover or other place on the engine.
Perhaps then we can paint you a picture of what you have and how to test it.
And you really should drop this thread and create your own new thread about YOUR problem.
Hijacking old threads will not garner the same attention from members that a new thread does.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 8:55PM
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"Hijacking old threads will not garner the same attention from members that a new thread does."

I wouldn't call it Hijacking, but mownies point is valid.
These threads take off on so many directions, the focus gets lost. I know I tend not to read threads that run longer than about 20 posts.

Also the OP is probably getting emails every time someone adds a new post to it, 2-1/2 years later.

I'd suggest you start a new thread with the pertinent Sears 917.xxxxxx number.

Your alternator needs to have the flywheel removed to access it, but NOT to test it.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 10:43PM
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This is the only place I have found but will keep looking, please tell me. I am a very busy business woman and do not spend a lot of time on the computer. Help Please.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 9:04AM
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Agree with Mownie about the hi-jacking and we are all busy.

Eva - from the post you made, you are in over your head. Take that machine to a qualified shop before it's beyond repair. Just MHO.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 9:35AM
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IF you don't have time to find the Sears 917.xxxxxx and start a new thread, when are you going to find time to fix it?

People here are willing to help, but we need INFORMATION!
We can't just wave a magic wand!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 10:02AM
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Excuse me I had just gotten out of bed when I wrote that message. Guess I thought someone might give me the answer by the time my coffee was ready. Sorry to impose. I located the place and repsoted my problem with the Engines information and 917.**** number. As for being in over my head, I have wired a total house from scratch and plumbed it also. I am just new at taking engines apart. The man who worked on it just left the yellow wire going to the alternator unattached. If I can get to it I think I can handle that. See my new thread for information, and oplease do not judge till you get all of the facts, I don't. Thanks

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 10:14AM
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I am not sure if you know how to start a thread of your own, but it is almost as simple as posting a response to an existing thread.
When your browser opens the first page of the Garden Web tractor Forum, you just scroll all the way down to the bottom of that opening page (where it says "Post a Message to the Forum" and fill in the blanks as needed.
I have made an image example of how you do that (see below).

This post was edited by mownie on Mon, Jul 22, 13 at 10:21

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 10:19AM
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Thank you for your answer. I think I have it posted no where it should be. Sorry for the inconvience.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 1:28PM
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I have 2 riding mowers. One is a craftsman LT1000 the other is a yardman. The craftsman had a 18 hp briggs intek engine one it. Ran fine smooth etc. I took it off the craftsman and put it on the yardman. Now i cant get it to run smooth unless its at an idle. when i rev it up it spits and sputters and will die out Sounds and smells like a fuel problem to me But ive changed the fuel filter, Gas is flowing good. What else could it be?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 6:24AM
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While swapping it over, did you take the carb apart?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 8:01AM
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You say "The engine ran smooth etc."
And WHEN was the last time that engine RAN smooth" 2 days prior to swapping? Or, last year?
You really ought to start a new thread to cover this issue.
It might be helpful to some of us if you will provide the engine model number and type number you find stamped or listed on a decal ON THE ENGINE. And you need to give the numbers for both engines and tell us which one you took out and which one is the replacement.
What about the fuel hoses you are using? Are they new?
If the Yardman tractor had sat for a long time in an inoperable condition, the inevitable varnish that will form inside the hoses may be breaking loose and migrating into the carb.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 10:46AM
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Danny Martin

My 2000 30 inch craftsman rider won't go into any gear now. Been fine all those years. I need suggestions .

    Bookmark   March 18, 2015 at 4:01PM
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Buy new machine! Sez Rusty Jones.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2015 at 9:01PM
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