Question about Craftsman 20 hp 42 in. Deck Yard Tractor

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Won't Crank Over with key, unknown if it will start

Just bought a 1993 20HP Sears Garden Tractor with a known problem. The original motor was replaced with an 18HP from another Craftsman Tractor but has never been running. Won't turn over with the key, however if I jumps across the solenoid it does crank. I do have all of the manuals for both Tractors, but schematic skills rusty. I need someone to tell me what wire should have power going to the motor for ignition and possible reasons why it won't activate the solenoid with the key.

Any help is GREATLY appreciated.

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To start the tractor, current flows from the battery through the "start" contact of the ignition/start switch, then through two safety switches: one is activated by having the brake on (or by having the mower in neutral). The other is part of the PTO (engage mower blades) switch. I don't know which would come first on your mower, so get a test light or a multimeter and trace your way along this path. The current then goes to the small terminal on the solenoid.
Another possibility -- in changing the motor, did someone leave a ground lug off, or worse, maybe they just cut it off when removing the old engine? That would also prevent things from working. Good luck! If this is helpful, please rate it, thanks!

Posted on Jun 06, 2010

  • Brad Locke
    Brad Locke Oct 08, 2015

    If you have power 12.0v to the starter solenoid,but none to the starter. Make sure to check the fuse first. If this is alright. Then you will have to check all four safety switches. There are: (1) Seat Safety Switch,(2) The Interlock Switch,(3) Module Reverse Switch ROS,(4)Mower Blade engagement Safety Switch. All four switches must be in good working order. The brake interlock switch must be energized(Parking brake on),the blade engagement handle must be disengaged or in some tractors this is the PTO button has to be pulled out blade disengaged,the seat safety switch must be engaged( Person sitting on seat)and the module reverse switch has to be disengaged(Handle in natural),before starter cranks the engine. If any of these switches fails, the starter solenoid will not close and no power will flow to the starter.You will also check the whole length of the wiring harness to see if all the connections are made. I once had to work on a Craftsman tractor,that the whole wiring harness was bad and i had to rewire the whole harness assembly. Not to bad of a job,i just ordered a harness assembly and started at the rear of the tractor and worked my way to the front. I hope this information helps. Electrical problem,are never easy to find, not like mechanical problems, that you can see with the eye.Sincerely, Brad Locke

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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