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Discussion Starter #1
So now that I have actually used the tractor to mow it has some issues. I'd rather figure out what it is myself because it is a hassle to have to bring it anywhere for the most part. It seems like something simple because when it is running it runs fantastic.

It starts when it is cold, but after I run it a bit it will not start again...and after it has bee run for a bit if you shut off the mower it will not engage again.

I have a spare PTO switches and it is not the switch.

I did hook up the battery and it is 11.6 V but is at 66% which seems to be not right...though I do not really understand where the not starting again when it is warm plays into that...nor that the mower will not engage.

Some advice would be greatly appreciated....and I did do some research and have seen...battery, switches, fuses, vapor lock, coil.
 

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And actually after just running it a bit it will not start...battery now at 11.1 V and 61%
11.1 is low. Do you have another battery you can try? And have you checked the voltage with it running.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No but I just ran it for a bit and finished mowing my lawn. Now it’s reading an even 12 and 78%.

I don’t get the PTO switch part. Why would the mower not engage due to a wonky battery?
 

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No but I just ran it for a bit and finished mowing my lawn. Now it’s reading an even 12 and 78%.

I don’t get the PTO switch part. Why would the mower not engage due to a wonky battery?
Not related. When you say start, do you mean it won't crank? A faulty pto switch disables the crank circuit the same as a faulty seat switch. Cranking but not starting is an entirely different animal.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Not related. When you say start, do you mean it won't crank? A faulty pto switch disables the crank circuit the same as a faulty seat switch. Cranking but not starting is an entirely different animal.
No I mean when it’s running I’ll shut the mower deck down and it will not engage again and turn on.
 

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Did you try changing the battery before checking the at rest voltage?
Any 12 volt electrical system can give you various problems if it's only seeing 11 volts. The battery should have no less than 12.5 sitting charged.
After you are 100% the battery is good you need to check if the charging system is working.

Low voltage especially plays hell with electronic components. Could be why the PTO clutch stops working.
 

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This is where I was initially headed when I asked about the battery. I have a 425 that had a similar issue and would crank just fine but if it managed to start it would backfire and run like ****. Early on I assumed the battery was ok because it was cranking. This wasn't the case. The battery was bad and after replacing it, the problems went away. The charging systems in these don't have the ability to close the gap on a weak battery with the exception of most of the diesels for a short time anyway due to an actual alternator based charging system. Even then, its a bad idea to push them.

If your battery is in a state of discharge either because its weak or because the charging system is not functioning it is reasonable that running for a time disables the pto clutch. The clutch is magnetic and requires a certain number of working amps from your battery to engage. Only knowing the voltage at rest is misleading even though yours is clearly low. The only way to verify battery capacity is a load test. If you don't have a load tester you can put your voltage tester on the battery during the crank cycle. This is where you should see your 11 volts because the battery is under load. After the engine is running the voltage should jump back up to the 13v area and maintain.

The next consideration is the type of battery garden tractors have. Most, yours included, are U1 utility batteries. They are small, relatively cheap, and not reliable for more than a season or two. That's not to say they wont go longer but when they start failing they will exhibit some strange behavior as you've figured out.

Regardless of there being other issues you have to start with what you know is an issue. Correct this and you can eliminate it and move on to the next if there is one which I suspect might surprise you.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I bought a new battery today that was at 95% and charged it to 100%...12.3 V. SO I'm guessing this is the issue though I did not get a chance to test today as it was raining out.
 

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Well I ran it a bunch this morning and seems to be no more issues. Running fantastic. Happy it was something simple.

Thanks for the advice and info.
Fantastic! I like simple. Electricity is a very strange animal. :good2:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Soooooo....was just mowing my lawn for a bit, shut off mower and then would not engage. Shut off tractor then it would not start. It’s doing it again. Hooked up battery and was dead at 0%. What charges the battery on these things when they are running?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The battery is fine. No doubt. I guess I now need to move on to the voltage regulator and stator. All wiring seems great. This is getting quite annoying.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
So I have read a lot of threads on multiple forums.

The battery was new at 100%. I mowed my whole 2 acre lawn no issues, started perfect every time (hot or cold), and PTO would engage with no problems. I then mowed half my lawn today and shut off the deck. When I went to engage it again it would not engage while the machine was still running. So I knew most likely if I shut the tractor off it would not start.

I took it back to my garage and it would not start after I shut it off. It does not crank and the only light that comes on is the normal oil pressure light that flickers when you start it up. No battery light. I hooked the battery charger up to it and it read 0%. After it sat for about 15 mins I unhooked the charger and then hooked it up again and it said 92%. I read it with a VM and it was 12.38. The tractor started right up again, ran flawlessly, and I finished mowing.

I am perplexed.

So far I have read about the voltage regulator and stator...fuel delivery issues, safety switches for brake and seat, ignition module, starter issues, wiring, etc.

I'm not of the mindset to blindly replace parts...though I did order a PTO switch and voltage regulator as they were very inexpensive.

I did just buy the complete service manual so the next step is to go to the trouble shooting section and start working my way through things I suppose. I will probably go through the fuel system just for piece of mind in the future.

What I do not get is the battery part considering it is new, and the machine ran absolutely perfect after I replaced the battery initially.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I mowed the entire lawn yesterday with zero issues. The tractor did not exhibit any of the symptoms. No issues engaging mower and not starting issues.

I did not do anything or fix anything. It just worked fine. :unknown:
 

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How many volts are you getting while your tractor is running?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So I forgot to update this.

In the end it was the voltage regulator. I replaced it and have not had a single issue since and have used the tractor quite a bit.

No PTO engagement, starting issues...etc.
 
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