I have a Murray riding mower that normally works fine. I even had it over-hauled this spring. The other day I went to start it and it started to turn then nothing. I thought I'd let the battery go dead, so I put the battery on the charger. Charger showed it as full not long after putting it on. I put it back in the mower - nothing. My neighbor and his friend came over to see if he could help. He tried to start it using a portable battery jumper. Would not jump from the battery. They jumped it directly from the engine (which I thought was very scary, and is probably something dangerous...) by attaching one cable to a rod looking protrusion coming from the engine and then tapping something else (it all happened so fast). It started and ran, and I mowed fine. Of course once I stopped it, it still wouldn't start. I can't figure out what's wrong, and I really hate to call out for service and pay the $$$ if it's something simple.
I have very little mechanical skills (though I'm trying to learn), but I like to tinker if I have something to go on. Anyone have any ideas?
Borrowing the same disclaimer from Zoo, hubby states the following.
Any typos are his. LOL.
I would say (99%) it will be the starter solenoid. It is a small, usually black, component located inside the access plate under the steering wheel but could be anywhere based on the model. It will have three electrical post, one to the positive side of the battery, the second to the starter solenoid, and the third to ground. It is usually bolted to the frame with one or two nuts.
I had a friend come out to look at it. He said it was either the solinoid or starter, and he took both to have them checked. That was over a week ago... sigh.
I try to look at it on the bright side. I am mowing my middle section (over 1/2 acre of pasture like land) with my push reel mower and getting a very good workout. I mow 30 minutes every night after work in order to stay on top of it (I get off at 9pm, but the mower doesn't make any noise - so hopefully my neighbors aren't disturbed). I may continue after the riding mower get fixed - I might lose some weight :-) Thank goodness my 3rd section has my neighbors cow in it right now - no need to mow that part.
If you get a good quality mower, they do work really good. They've made some style advances since the "old days" :-) I have the American Lawnmower Company Light Deluxe model, and it rocks. Only complaint I have is that it's only 16" wide. In the future I might get their Scotts 20" model.
The thing about mowing with a reel mower is you have to stay on top of it because they don't mow tall grass well at all. If the grass gets over 3" tall it's hard to push through it (doable - but a workout) - if they get over 4-5" tall you have to make many passes. Big fat tall weeds pretty much get left behind (I pull them up when I come to them).
If you mow regularly though - it's a pleasure. You can think of it as a walking meditation (unless you have your walkman on...) :-)
Just wanted to write an update on this since last year.
The problem was the solonoid. Replaced it and all was well.
This spring I took out the mower and it had a flat back tire. It wasn't a puncture - it happened because it was sitting with the weight primarily on one side. It was so flat that it came off the rim.
If this happens to anyone, here is how to fix it : Put a tire strap on it and crank it until the tire is pressing back on the rim hard. Then fill it with air until it reconnects tightly to the rim by itself - then let off of the tire strap and fill it the rest of the way up. This idea didn't come from me (I didn't even know those tires didn't have inner tubes in them...). It's my plumber who fixed it for me (I watched and cheered him on...) :-)
Just read your saga. My hubby always did the tractor thing until last year when he had a stroke. Now it's my turn to be both of us. We have a self propelled, which is a bit rough on my arthritic hands and a lawn tractor which is old but works (sometimes). Right now it needs the pulley that turns the blades. Waiting on some help with that. My question is, please don't laugh too hard--- what is a tire strap? We've had the same thing happen with tires in the past and getting someone to get the tire back on is, putting it mildly, an ordeal. If there is a way I could do it that would be WONDERFUL! We have 5 acres, about 3 1/2 that need to be mowed, so it really needs to be kept up. I like to be out walking this time of year but when it gets hotter and buggier I'd like to be out in the critters a little less. I appreciate any help and advice. The people who inhabit "the garden" seem to be great!
VeggieFla. The tire strap they mentioned is basically a strap that will fit around the tire, and that can be cinched up tighter, which will pull the center of the tread down and that pushes the bead out to the rim. I have used my belt to do the same thing.
The tires they put on most of the lower priced rider mowers are usually made in Taiwan. A new tire of the same brand can leak air right through the side wall. I have taken to just installing a tube. problem solved.
There is another way to seat the bead but it is not one I will mention here. It is not a safe method. it involves the rapid expansion of hot air.
If you have problems. Trying to get the tire to inflate. and want to put in a tube. All that is needed is to use a couple of tire irons ( two screw drivers will work ) Work one side of the tire off the rim. Cut off the tubeless valve stem. Remove both pieces of it.
The valve stem hole in the rim is off set from the center of the rim.
Making sure the valve stem on the tube will go to the same side of the rim, by hand ( no sharp tools ) work the tube inside of the tire and over the edge of the rim. Line up the valve stem with the hole in the rim. Then work the tire bead back over the rim, making sure the valve stem does not slip back into the tire. You may have to use one of the tire tools ( screw driver) to help get the last little bit of the bead over the rim. If so be careful not to pinch the tube with the screw driver. This could cause the tube to leak.
Of course you could take all the fun out of it, by taking the problem tire to a lawnmower repair shop, and have them install a tube. Most farm and home stores have the correct tube and also service the mowers the sell. I usually do all my own repairs, due to the lack of sufficient funds. Of course having been a mechanic for 47 years, does have some bearing on that.
In this area The Bomgaars Store has every thing needed. Including the
lawn mower service. Another one would be the Sears store.