My 325 story...
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Thread: My 325 story...

  1. Top | #1

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    My 325 story...

    Bought a really good looking 325 about three weeks ago, about 500 hours on it.
    It was about a three hour round trip to pick it up.

    When I picked it up the guy had a place I could test mow, it did a great job, I made three or four passes.
    The hydro deck is wonderful, and did a great job on the heavy grass.
    You could eat off the tractor, they had done a really good job cleaning it up. He had replaced the electric PTO after he got it.
    He sold mowers and others things, and had a guy that worked on them for him.

    When I got home with it I took out to mow. I made it about five minutes before it blew the main fuse.
    The 15 amp fuse was blown black, I have always associated this with a direct short to ground.

    A few fuses and some testing later. Sure enough I find a short in the positive wire going to the PTO.
    I replaced the wire and was sure this was "it".

    But the fuse would continue to blow maybe it would run 10 minutes, maybe 20. But it was no longer blown black, it was just opened up.
    I would raise the hood as I was mowing and feel the fuse, it was never warm.
    Looking at the best diagram I could find, there was little in the circuit. The new PTO ohm reading checked out fine and the new wire from the connector was in brand new condition (because it was).
    The connector was tight and I cleaned the male plugs with sandpaper and the female with spray.

    I ordered a new switch, even though I knew that should not be the problem, I had hopes that the contacts in the switch where just dirty and causing poor connection. New switch came in, same problem.

    The fuse does go elsewhere in the mower, I had looked over every inch of the wire harness for issues and found none. It really looks great for a 1995 tractor. So I spliced in a fuse between the PTO switch and the PTO clutch. From the ohm reading the clutch shouldn't pull 5 amps. So I placed a 10 amp fuse in the position with the 15 back in the main. This was to make sure the problem was for sure in the PTO circuit. The 10 ohm blew.

    This left me with little options, even though the PTO clutch was brand new and checked good, I thought it must be breaking down when it gets hot. I called my local JD dealer and they priced me a new clutch, wow...
    They let me speak with service and I told them what I had done. He suggested I run a new ground wire to the clutch, he said he had seen that cause just what I was describing to him.

    So I ran a new ground wire to hook it up I decided to just do away with the male part of the two plug connector for at the PTO. Just plug spade terminals direct into the female part of the plug going to the PTO. When I plug the neutral side in, the spade will not stay, the female connector is loose and will not hold the male spade! When plugged in at the same time you could not tell there was an issue, because the positive side held tight, it all felt ok. I had even cleaned it.
    I fix the connector and the mower has been great so far.

    So it was the dreaded two problem issue. The positive wire was shorting to ground and the plug was shot on the neutral side.

    From now on when I check a connector with more than on plug, I will use a spade terminal to check each female connection.
    I'm glad it didn't cost me the price of a brand new PTO to figure that out. I wonder if the old PTO really needed replaced in the first place.

    (I did call the guy I bought it from, he was not much help. He offered to have his guy look at it for nothing, but it was a long trip back. I am sure he didn't know there where issues when he sold it to me.)
    Zebrafive, Levi, OxPath and 4 others like this.

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    Titleist1's Avatar
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    Good detective work, way to stay with it! Thanks for posting your experience as electrical issues are usually the most frustrating for me to track down.

    Sounds like a good tech at the dealer to discuss it and give you an idea to try out rather than just saying bring it in.
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    There must be good money in finding out how to get a problem mower running great for the "demo" only ... I now have my first riding mowers, an LX176 and a 265. Each crapped out pretty much an hour after I brought them each home.

    The 176 had its PTO wire disconnecting right where the wire entered the housing. I could see a tiny spark as it connected/disconnected while moving the wire by hand. No visible way to replace/repair (let alone reach!) that wire, atop the PTO. On the other hand, I had to go out of town when this happened and the seller did take it back, and swap out the PTO with one from his 172.

    Now all I gotta do is figure out why it will no longer start ...

    The 265 featured a clogged fuel filter. Easy fix, but what are the odds of getting a mower that performs fantastically at the seller's house and falls on its face when it comes off your trailer? Twice?

    Reminds me of a thread I read elsewhere where someone asked what to look for in a used chainsaw. One reply came back with all sorts of informative checks ... but I don't expect to be doing a full bench test at someone's house. You gotta draw the line somewhere, and have a little faith in the seller (and luck).
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    Quote Originally Posted by deckeda View Post
    There must be good money in finding out how to get a problem mower running great for the "demo" only ... I now have my first riding mowers, an LX176 and a 265. Each crapped out pretty much an hour after I brought them each home.

    The 176 had its PTO wire disconnecting right where the wire entered the housing. I could see a tiny spark as it connected/disconnected while moving the wire by hand. No visible way to replace/repair (let alone reach!) that wire, atop the PTO. On the other hand, I had to go out of town when this happened and the seller did take it back, and swap out the PTO with one from his 172.

    Now all I gotta do is figure out why it will no longer start ...

    The 265 featured a clogged fuel filter. Easy fix, but what are the odds of getting a mower that performs fantastically at the seller's house and falls on its face when it comes off your trailer? Twice?

    Reminds me of a thread I read elsewhere where someone asked what to look for in a used chainsaw. One reply came back with all sorts of informative checks ... but I don't expect to be doing a full bench test at someone's house. You gotta draw the line somewhere, and have a little faith in the seller (and luck).
    Plenty of stuff gets put up for sale because someone is sick of dealing with it. Also because it has some kind of problem no one can seem to fix. I just posted about a STX38 that I was given by my ex BIL. He got it in a 2 tractor deal because he wanted the larger compact tractor. He even fixed that one 1/2 a$$! A shift fork broke and chipped a tooth off the counter shaft gear. The gear was too expensive ($900) so he just reused it. Blue RTV for gaskets. Even poured the old burnt up hydro fluid back in. The only new part he bought was the shift fork. Eventually he sold it and still complains about it. Apparently he wanted the tractor and the money. lol Don't know how he explained why 2nd gear made noise and vibration.

    The real question is where do you draw the line between selling something that needs work and ripping someone off?
    I at least was honest with the guy that brought the STX38. Even gave him my jumper/test wire for the PTO switch. So he could run it until getting the new part. He asked about the mower deck. I told him I got it with the deck off and never tried to install it. I also didn't know if it was missing anything. Even told him that water got into the engine at one point.

    I could tell it ground the ex BIL's gears when I told him that I not only got that tractor running but also sold it for $130. lol
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  8. Top | #5

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    I have a habit of buying things after someone else thinks they are worn out.
    I expect to do a little work on them most of the time.

    I really didn't expect to have to do any work on this mower right away.
    I gave more for it than I normally would consider, and really thought I was doing good.

    But I really don't think the guy was being deceptive. He didn't use the mower, they had only "test mowed" with it.
    He had put a new PTO clutch on it, I'm sure he thought when he bit that bullet he was done.
    I think the ride home bouncing around in the truck might have made things worst in the short term.

    But I really don't have much luck with lawn mowers, I'm not sure I could recall all of the ones I have had over the years.
    Our yard is not easy on a mower. We lived here over 20 years now. Most of my riders had been of the used $200-$300 variety.

    About six years ago my wife talked me into a brand new Cub Cadet, I first had to work on in 20 minutes in!
    That's a long story and ends three years later with the mower in the barn for parts...

    I don't know how the folks that have to take them in to the shop every breakdown get along. Maybe that's what keeps the lawn care guys in business.
    flyweight and Titleist1 like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seagullplayer View Post
    I have a habit of buying things after someone else thinks they are worn out.
    I expect to do a little work on them most of the time.

    I really didn't expect to have to do any work on this mower right away.
    I gave more for it than I normally would consider, and really thought I was doing good.

    But I really don't think the guy was being deceptive. He didn't use the mower, they had only "test mowed" with it.
    He had put a new PTO clutch on it, I'm sure he thought when he bit that bullet he was done.
    I think the ride home bouncing around in the truck might have made things worst in the short term.

    But I really don't have much luck with lawn mowers, I'm not sure I could recall all of the ones I have had over the years.
    Our yard is not easy on a mower. We lived here over 20 years now. Most of my riders had been of the used $200-$300 variety.

    About six years ago my wife talked me into a brand new Cub Cadet, I first had to work on in 20 minutes in!
    That's a long story and ends three years later with the mower in the barn for parts...

    I don't know how the folks that have to take them in to the shop every breakdown get along. Maybe that's what keeps the lawn care guys in business.
    Wow 3 years out of a brand new tractor. That's not saying anything good about a Cub Cadet. You would think that even the cheapest model would last longer than that.

    Does your difficult yard have a cliff? One that you have to keep driving your mower over. lol
    2014 X540 with HDAP tires, 54" deck, brush guard, arm rests and cargo bag.
    JD 48" plow with angle from seat kit & heavy duty skid shoes.
    4 suitcase weights and chains.
    JD tow behind spreader.
    JD 42" lawn sweeper.
    JD 10P cart.
    JD JS61 RWD walk behind mower.
    Stihl KM110 power head with pole saw, shaft extension, power scythe, curved shaft edger, 2 straight shaft cutters (string & blade).
    Stihl MS180-CBE 16" saw.
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  10. Top | #7

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    [QUOTE=H-D dealer dude;2080130...The real question is where do you draw the line between selling something that needs work and ripping someone off?...[/QUOTE]

    Right, and it's different for everyone. My mother-in-law has 2 riding mowers.

    Example 1:
    A Scotts "by John Deere" 1742 or whatever. "Bought it about 10 years ago, he said it was nearly new ..." I informed her the machine is in fact more than 15 years old now ...

    It regularly threw mower belts, it would only start if the flywheel was positioned (by hand) "just so." When a downloaded diagram and instruction sheet didn't match the weirdness of what I found on the mower deck, I called it quits. Someone modified it ... waiter, check please! Then, an idler pulley's post (welded on the deck) tore off. Seriously? WTF. My 86-yr-old father-in-law wants to re-weld the post, if he can ever get the mower deck removed. I'm out of it.

    Example 2:
    A late '90s/early '00s Craftsman 1000 or 2000 something or other, one of the kajillion of mowers spewed out by MTD or AYP or whoever makes them. The deck lever is stuck somewhere in-between up and down, such that it mows "medium" height, which is fine for these rough yards / fields it's been subjected to. The starter disintegrated its little plastic ring gear. A metal one was donated, which only began to disintegrate the flywheels' ring gear. Still won't start. I like that mower ... 2cyl 19HP Briggs does the job, and it's blessedly a hydrostatic trans, and it sits lower and rides better than the Scotts/Deere Sabre clone.

    They need to ditch both mowers IMO, but won't.

    On the other hand, we keep fixing and using the old DR All Terrain (walk behind) mower. 46" cut, nice Kawa 15HP engine, and can't get stuck or fall over like a riding mower can. But damn those DR parts are expensive. There's also a low-hours 48" pro model Gravely zero turn that rarely gets used, a real mystery. Watching that thing fly across the yard is a revelation. Only my 265 can hope to keep up with it, but I'm pretty sure it would lose the race.

  11. Top | #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by deckeda View Post
    Right, and it's different for everyone. My mother-in-law has 2 riding mowers.

    Example 1:
    A Scotts "by John Deere" 1742 or whatever. "Bought it about 10 years ago, he said it was nearly new ..." I informed her the machine is in fact more than 15 years old now ...

    It regularly threw mower belts, it would only start if the flywheel was positioned (by hand) "just so." When a downloaded diagram and instruction sheet didn't match the weirdness of what I found on the mower deck, I called it quits. Someone modified it ... waiter, check please! Then, an idler pulley's post (welded on the deck) tore off. Seriously? WTF. My 86-yr-old father-in-law wants to re-weld the post, if he can ever get the mower deck removed. I'm out of it.

    Example 2:
    A late '90s/early '00s Craftsman 1000 or 2000 something or other, one of the kajillion of mowers spewed out by MTD or AYP or whoever makes them. The deck lever is stuck somewhere in-between up and down, such that it mows "medium" height, which is fine for these rough yards / fields it's been subjected to. The starter disintegrated its little plastic ring gear. A metal one was donated, which only began to disintegrate the flywheels' ring gear. Still won't start. I like that mower ... 2cyl 19HP Briggs does the job, and it's blessedly a hydrostatic trans, and it sits lower and rides better than the Scotts/Deere Sabre clone.

    They need to ditch both mowers IMO, but won't.

    On the other hand, we keep fixing and using the old DR All Terrain (walk behind) mower. 46" cut, nice Kawa 15HP engine, and can't get stuck or fall over like a riding mower can. But damn those DR parts are expensive. There's also a low-hours 48" pro model Gravely zero turn that rarely gets used, a real mystery. Watching that thing fly across the yard is a revelation. Only my 265 can hope to keep up with it, but I'm pretty sure it would lose the race.
    Sounds like both engines have compression release problems. Among many others.

    You can tell the old folks that I second your motion to get rid of the tractors. And by get rid of I mean scrap metal.
    I just love when peeps modify something to just keep it running. Even seen a good one last time I was at the local JD dealership. They had some kind of off brand tractor sitting in the used section. It had some kind of dog chains holding up the front of the deck. lol You could tell by the amount of missing deck paint that it's been used like that for a while.

    Your best bet would be the zero turn.
    2014 X540 with HDAP tires, 54" deck, brush guard, arm rests and cargo bag.
    JD 48" plow with angle from seat kit & heavy duty skid shoes.
    4 suitcase weights and chains.
    JD tow behind spreader.
    JD 42" lawn sweeper.
    JD 10P cart.
    JD JS61 RWD walk behind mower.
    Stihl KM110 power head with pole saw, shaft extension, power scythe, curved shaft edger, 2 straight shaft cutters (string & blade).
    Stihl MS180-CBE 16" saw.
    Stihl SH86C hand held blower vac.

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