Question about Craftsman 42 in. Deck 19.5hp Lawn Tractor

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Riding lawnmower will not start with key. I tried a new key switch and a new solenoid. I checked all safety switches and they checked out OK. I don't know if the wires for the solenoid are hooked up correctly, because I bought the mower used.

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  • Brad Locke
    Brad Locke Oct 15, 2015

    How to connect a solenoid is not hard to do. I need to know if this solenoid is a three post or a four post. I know there is a lot of questions about to reconnect a solenoid. There are four post to deal with,two on top and two on bottom. The top two post are the largest.One post is for the battery + lead and the other is the starter wire connection,which is a + lead to the starter post. The bottom two have a spade type connectors. The red wire comes from the ignition switch and attaches to the first spade near the battery side of the solenoid,the other wire is the ground wire it connects to the spade connector near the starter wire,on the solenoid. If the solenoid is a three post,the same connections are the same for the starter. One wire the black ground wire,connects to the only spade connector. The only difference between the four post type solenoid and the three post,the solenoid has a ground to the frame using the ground wire provided. Hope this helps.Sincerely,Brad Locke

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Depend on the make and model of the mower....the safety switches usually are the seat, pto, shift lever, brake and clutch. If any of these are bad...the switch won't work. Can you cross the starter and have it start? With these safety switches....you can't just disconnect them to bypass. Most require a loop and running a wire from one side of the switch to the other will usually help you find the one causing the issue.

The solenoid comes in about 4 different models. Some ground to the frame and some don't. Not all key switches are the same either...we stock over 25 different switches and I could show you 7 that look identical but are different.

Personally I would start testing from the starter and work my way back...starter, solenoid, safety switches, starter switch. www.nnyparts.com

Posted on May 30, 2010

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Yes start testing from the starter on back, process of elimination.

Posted on Oct 15, 2015

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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I would try cleaning grounds and all wire connections on solenoid, starter, etc. Get some emery cloth or a wire wheel and clean them well. Next, I would use a test light or a voltmeter and check voltage on small terminal on solenoid with key in start position. You may not be getting proper voltage to this terminal, thus not switching solenoid over. Also, try checking plug and harness connections on back of key switch for corrosion. Hope this helps.

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Assuming that you didn't just aquire it, it's likely either a faulty solenoid or starter switch. If you just aquired it, it could also be a bad or disconnected seat or brake switch.
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