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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    8
    Location
    Texas
    Mower
    Craftsman

    Craftsman Lawn Tractor

    I purchased a used Craftsman tractor that looks to be in good condition, started and ran well. After taking it home, I could not get it to start. Turn the key and all it does is click, click, click. I thought it was the starter, so put a new one on. Turn the key and click, click, click. Next thing was a new starter switch. Turn the key and click, click, click. Next, I replaced the solenoid. Turn the key and click, click, click. Ok, maybe the battery isn't strong enough. Replaced the battery. Turn the key and click, click, click. All this time, it will start if I jump it from the battery to the starter directly. I spoke with a man at a parts place and he suggested replacing the gasket in the carburetor along with a new fuel filter. Did that, turned the key and click, click, click. This is driving me crazy not being able to fix this tractor. Can anyone help?

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  3. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    5,412
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Mower
    Toro

    Re: Craftsman Lawn Tractor

    LawnRanger and I have put together this troubleshooting procedure that may help you. Give it a try.



    Electrical* problems can be very easy or very difficult, depending on four things.
    1. * How well you understand basic electricity.
    2. *What tools you have and know how to use.
    3. *How well you follow directions.
    4. *You don't overlook or assume anything and verify everything.

    Remember we cannot see what you are doing. *You are our eyes, ears and fingers in solving this problem. *You must be as accurate as you can when you report back. *The two basic tools we will ask you to use are a test light and a multi-meter. *If you have an assistant when going through these tests it would be very helpful. *These steps work the best when done in order, so please don't jump around. *Now let's solve this problem.

    First, check the fuse(s), check battery connections for corrosion (clean if necessary) and *voltage - above 12.5 volts should be good.*

    Second, check for power from the battery to one of the large terminals on the solenoid. *One of the wires is connected directly to the battery and has power all the time so one of the large terminals should light a test light or show 12 volts on a meter at all times.*

    Third, *check for power at the small terminal of the solenoid while depressing the clutch/brake pedal and holding the key in the start position (you may need an assistant to sit in the seat to override the safety switch). If your solenoid is a four wire solenoid, check both small wire terminals as one is ground and the other is power from the ignition switch. *If your solenoid is a three wire solenoid, make sure the solenoid body is not corroded where it bolts to the chassis of the mower as this is your ground path back to the battery. *If in doubt, remove the solenoid and clean the mounting area down to bare metal. *If there is no power to the small terminal then your problem is most likely a safety switch, ignition switch or in the wiring.*

    Fourth, check for power on the other large terminal of the solenoid while holding the key in the start position (you may need an assistant to sit in the seat to override the safety switch).*

    Fifth, check for power at the starter while holding the key in the start position (assistant again).*

    Sixth, check your ground circuit back to the battery.

    After you have gone through each of the above steps, let us know what happened when you did each step. *At that point we will have great info to tell you how to proceed. *Remember you are our eyes, ears, and fingers, so please be as accurate as possible.

    Be as specific as possible with voltage readings as this will help diagnose your problem quicker. *If you do not know how to perform the above checks, just ask and I will try to guide you through it. *Youtube also has some videos and as you know a picture is worth a thousand words.

  4. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    8
    Location
    Texas
    Mower
    Craftsman

    Re: Craftsman Lawn Tractor

    Here's what we tried.
    I took a light to all the circuits and they showed to be working.
    Then I took the brake switch apart and cleaned it, put it back together and now had no fire to the spark plug at all, and the engine did not turn over.
    Everything has been replaced, it is almost completely brand new.
    What else should we try??





    Quote Originally Posted by Rivets View Post
    LawnRanger and I have put together this troubleshooting procedure that may help you. Give it a try.



    Electrical* problems can be very easy or very difficult, depending on four things.
    1. * How well you understand basic electricity.
    2. *What tools you have and know how to use.
    3. *How well you follow directions.
    4. *You don't overlook or assume anything and verify everything.

    Remember we cannot see what you are doing. *You are our eyes, ears and fingers in solving this problem. *You must be as accurate as you can when you report back. *The two basic tools we will ask you to use are a test light and a multi-meter. *If you have an assistant when going through these tests it would be very helpful. *These steps work the best when done in order, so please don't jump around. *Now let's solve this problem.

    First, check the fuse(s), check battery connections for corrosion (clean if necessary) and *voltage - above 12.5 volts should be good.*

    Second, check for power from the battery to one of the large terminals on the solenoid. *One of the wires is connected directly to the battery and has power all the time so one of the large terminals should light a test light or show 12 volts on a meter at all times.*

    Third, *check for power at the small terminal of the solenoid while depressing the clutch/brake pedal and holding the key in the start position (you may need an assistant to sit in the seat to override the safety switch). If your solenoid is a four wire solenoid, check both small wire terminals as one is ground and the other is power from the ignition switch. *If your solenoid is a three wire solenoid, make sure the solenoid body is not corroded where it bolts to the chassis of the mower as this is your ground path back to the battery. *If in doubt, remove the solenoid and clean the mounting area down to bare metal. *If there is no power to the small terminal then your problem is most likely a safety switch, ignition switch or in the wiring.*

    Fourth, check for power on the other large terminal of the solenoid while holding the key in the start position (you may need an assistant to sit in the seat to override the safety switch).*

    Fifth, check for power at the starter while holding the key in the start position (assistant again).*

    Sixth, check your ground circuit back to the battery.

    After you have gone through each of the above steps, let us know what happened when you did each step. *At that point we will have great info to tell you how to proceed. *Remember you are our eyes, ears, and fingers, so please be as accurate as possible.

    Be as specific as possible with voltage readings as this will help diagnose your problem quicker. *If you do not know how to perform the above checks, just ask and I will try to guide you through it. *Youtube also has some videos and as you know a picture is worth a thousand words.

  5. #4
    pugaltitude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    951
    Location
    Scotland
    Mower
    Lots

    Re: Craftsman Lawn Tractor

    Might not be an electrical provlem but an engine problem.
    The engine might not be able to turn past the compression stroke which would give symptoms of an electrical problem.
    What model engine is fitted?
    The "best" engine you will ever own!

    Briggs & Stratton MST.

  6. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    5,412
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Mower
    Toro

    Re: Craftsman Lawn Tractor

    Pug is right, but I would like to know the voltage reading at step 4&5.

  7. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    8
    Location
    Texas
    Mower
    Craftsman

    Re: Craftsman Lawn Tractor

    It is a 18 hp Briggs & Stratton motor. Did not have a voltage meter, only a light that indicates power.




    Quote Originally Posted by pugaltitude View Post
    Might not be an electrical provlem but an engine problem.
    The engine might not be able to turn past the compression stroke which would give symptoms of an electrical problem.
    What model engine is fitted?

  8. #7
    Carscw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    5,347
    Location
    Georgia
    Mower
    Toro

    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
    I I spoke with a man at a parts place and he suggested replacing the gasket in the carburetor along with a new fuel filter. Did that, turned the key and click, click, click. This is driving me crazy not being able to fix this tractor. Can anyone help?
    It might just be me but I would not ask the man at the parts store for anymore advice.

    Sent from my iPhone using LMF

  9. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    234
    Location
    Indiana
    Mower
    IHC Cub cadet

    Re: Craftsman Lawn Tractor

    Ditto on what Carscw posted. Pull the spark plugs and see if it will turn over. Also engine numbers helpful.

  10. #9
    GentlemanFahmah's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    51
    Location
    Sheldonville, Mass
    Mower
    Kubota

    Re: Craftsman Lawn Tractor

    The fact that it ran and now won't makes me think it's either a cable or stuck safety switch.

    The click is the starter solenoid and it may or may not be engaging. Normally this would be battery connections or battery, but some of the kill switches on Craftsman mowers will also cause this.

    Assuming you've completely checked, removed and cleaned, both ends of the battery cables (ground @ frame & battery, positive at solenoid and battery), I'd by-pass the kill switch under the seat to see if its faulty. Some are normal closed and some are normal open so you either unplug it (normal closed) or tie the ends with a jumper wire (normal open)

    There is another kill switch on the mower engagement lever at the top which you can access behind the fuel tank if its a fuel tank under the hood model. It's on the back of the panel in older tractors and you need to confirm its not stuck.

    My money's on a bad battery cable connection end at the frame ground. Wire brush all your battery ends and reinstall.

  11. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    8
    Location
    Texas
    Mower
    Craftsman

    Re: Craftsman Lawn Tractor

    Not sure what numbers you are wanting. It is a Briggs & Stratton Intek 18 OVH.
    The battery cables have been cleaned and checked. The battery is new. Ground wire has been cleaned & checked. It still only clicks.



    QUOTE=Buckshot 1;96581] Ditto on what Carscw posted. Pull the spark plugs and see if it will turn over. Also engine numbers helpful.[/QUOTE]

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