Ride on engine - trouble running

#1
Hoping some of the engine gurus here can help with my ride on engine problem.

Engine's been having trouble starting and I thought it was battery a little flat coz it's been sitting for a while. I managed to get it going by jump starting but it dies when I disconnect the negative wire. Disconnecting the positive wire has no effect. The only ground wire I can see goes to the 12v outlet then to chassis which doesn't seem to be disconnected. The two fuses I can see seem ok.

Last time out, I notice battery didn't charge so could it be the alternator? Time to replace battery perhaps? Will a dead battery exhibit the symptom with the negative wire I described above?

Ak
 

old man emu

Well-Known Member
#2
Do you mean that when you disconnect the jumper lead from the Negative post of the mower's battery, the engine stops?

If that's what is happening, I'd guess that there is a break in the circuit between the engine and the chassis. Try connecting a wire from the engine itself to the chassis and see if the engine will continue running when the jumper lead is taken off the battery. If it does, then your problem is in the earth cable. It's broken somewhere.

Be content with the fact that the engine will run under certain conditions. That let's you know that you don't have major problems.

OME
 
#3
The big problem with all rider mowers is the bloody interlock switches..they can become dirty and intermittant ..I spent hours chasing those faults on the 4 rideon mowers we have between here at home and on the farm..the only other thing that stops them of course is fuel or spark of battery when it wont turn over. You can soon tell if its not charging just put a volt meter accross the battery when you get it started and see what the volts are..it has to be more than 13volts
 
#4
Do you mean that when you disconnect the jumper lead from the Negative post of the mower's battery, the engine stops?

OME
That's right, the engine runs as long as I don't disconnect the negative jump lead. Dead battery shouldn't cause that right? I can't see where else there is a grounding point (to chassis) other than from the 12v outlet
 
#5
If your clamping to neg terminal, check it isnt dodgy terminal connector
These corrode up, take it off and clean, boiling water works ok.
Give terminal a scrub too
Clamp might be just enought to making circuit
 

bexrbetter

Well-Known Member
#6
Crook batteries certainly can kill an engine in the way you describe as can a dead battery with a dead genny/regulator/wiring issue and that's more likely your scenerio.

You need to do a genny output test while the engine is running with the jump battery before wasting your money on a new battery.
 
#7
Frustrated so left it sitting for a while...that was a bad idea. Now it's cold, it's even harder to start so it's back in the garage for now.:angry:
 

facthunter

Well-Known Member
#8
An easy way to check your charging circuit is working is have a fairly strong bulb across the battery and if it gets brighter as the revs get above idle the charge circuit it is working. Make sure the polarity of your battery is correct too. Nev
 
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Yenn

Well-Known Member
#9
If you are putting the Neg jumper lead onto the neg battery post, it would point out that there is a circuit from batt to ground. if you out the neg jumper to the mower chassis this fault points towards a bad earth. Clean connections ans tighten. The other fault that appears to be posssible is a battery with a completely dead cell, so as soon as you disconnect, there is no power to the ignition. A battery with a dead cell will show hardly any volts, so if you can see 10V across the battery I would discount the dead cell theory.
 

Cosmick

Active Member
#10
Could a safety switch i.e. seat, blades etc work by cutting the Earth. If so a switch that is buggered could be the problem as Mark hinted earlier.
 
#11
Thanks for all the ideas folks. Had to hire a slasher for this week but will check again on the weekend and let everyone know how it went. At this stage, it's probably looking like a service station job though.
 

Litespeed

Well-Known Member
#12
Akro-

save your bucks mate, invest in a case of beer, sit next to the beast and spend some quality time.
You will find the problem with beer assistance.

Money better as beer than a servo jockeys pocket.
 
#13
Akro-

save your bucks mate, invest in a case of beer, sit next to the beast and spend some quality time.
You will find the problem with beer assistance.

Money better as beer than a servo jockeys pocket.
Haha ...definitely most creative solutions after a slab or two. Nothing that works but creative!
 

dazza 38

Well-Known Member
#14
Could a safety switch i.e. seat, blades etc work by cutting the Earth. If so a switch that is buggered could be the problem as Mark hinted earlier.
Yup that happened at my previous work. A $23000 John Deere Zero Turn mower with 750 hours on it wouldnt start. I checked it out and had it going in five minutes. Sure enough it was the seat cut out switch. Just needed a good clean as the contacts were dirty ect and didnt make a good contact.
 

facthunter

Well-Known Member
#17
With all those "cancel" switches about, the first thing to do is check them or bypass them (for test purposes of course). Like if you car goes dead (won't start) check battery terminals and switch on auto gear selector . saves calling the NRMA man. Nev
 

Cosmick

Active Member
#18
With the cheap John Deeres if the Blades are running the seat switch kills the engine. with the blades off the seat switch will still cut engine unless the foot brake switch is engaged. Then there is the reverse button which has to be pushed when going to reverse with blades running. Finally the foot brake switch needs to be engaged to start the motor. ( Nearly BUMPFISH ).. The Foot brake switch is closest to the workings and is the one to check first for fouling due to proximity to cutting surface.
 
#20
Looks like the mower service folks are fully booked until after Xmas, so looks like I'll have to pull out the slab of beer. So folks know what I'm working with, my mower is a Cub Cadet i1046 with a Kohler courage engine.

Now the seat has a kill switch for the blades which my neighbour disconnected (we're in a syndicate ;)...). There are two live (yellow) wires and the ground (green)...out of interest anyone know why there's two? Anyway, the green wire had come loose (ring terminal sheered). From what I can tell of the mechanism, when there's no weight on the seat, it creates a closed circuit to the chassis which cuts out the blades.

I have two questions:
1. Do you think the seat ground wire would cause my engine issues or is that a rabbit hole for another day?
2. Does anyone know if the cub cadet even has an alternator?
 
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