Ride-on problem

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I just bought a new John Deere Ride on mower (24 hp) and I can't get it started. I attached the battery cables (light turns on okay), checked the charge (greater than 80%), pushed in the rod at the back, pushed the park brake up into locked position (I'm assuming it's just moving that round lever up to engage the park brake...the directions aren't clear on that), push up the throttle and choke to max, made sure the yellow engagement button was down, added a gallon of fresh gas and checked the oil then turned the key.
And nothing.
Any idea what I'm doing wrong? (Can't get anyone at Home Depot today who knows how to operate one....grrr).
Thanks!
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Off the top - sounds like a "safety switch". Are you sitting on the seat and does the seat lower enough to flip the switch ? What's the "yellow engagement button" ? You want to start the engine with the blades DISengaged.
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Srgnt Billko wrote:

Maybe he does not weigh enough to activate the seat safety switch, I would suggest he place a cinder block on his lap as he sits in the seat, whilst starting and mowing.. ;-) Clark...
--
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It's not "Walk softly and carry a big BLOCK" - it's "Walk softly and carry a big STICK". You should know that <chuckle>
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Srgnt Billko wrote:

Oh, will the _____/ /_(_)____/ /__ / ___/ __/ / ___/ //_/ (__ ) /_/ / /__/ ,< /____/\__/_/\___/_/|_| jokes ever end???:-)Clark...
--
Don't you have Google in your part of the world?



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Srgnt Billko wrote:

As I recall the stick looked like this... /\ ,-+' /: ,-++++ ++/ ; ,-----+++_.++++--++-' X\ ,----+_.-+--+''-' ( `---++----------+++++ ,-''---+-' `. ++----+-----+++++-'--'
Clark...
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Don't you have Google in your part of the world?



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does it crank and not start, or does it do nothing... ie no cranking?

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lol. :)
I just got it to start (I'm guessing my foot wasn't pressing the brake hard enough) but now it won't keep going. It putters out after about five seconds. A bit of white smoke/exhaust from the front but I imagine that's normal. I play with the choke when it does start, but it doesn't want to keep going.
Any idea?
Thanks!
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[snip]

1. There is a safety switch in the seat -- if you're not sitting in the seat it won't continue running -- but you also have to have weight in the seat to get it to turn over for starting.
2. Once it fires up, immediately bring the choke lever back to the run position, otherwise it will run rough or quit.
3. I start my JD by having the throttle back, choke on (forward) ; step on the brake, weight in the seat, and turn the key. It starts almost immediately, then I bring the choke lever back and the throttle forward and it's running at normal speed. For shut down, I throttle back before turning off the key, to minimize the possibility of a backfire as it is shutting down.
(My wife has trouble starting because even with the seat forward she can't step on the brake hard enough to deactivate the safety switch, so it won't crank.)
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Good points. I'll give it another go in the morning and try the different throttle/choke combinations. I'll probably have to move the seat forward a little too...and maybe consider the cinder block :)
Thanks!
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On May 14, 10:44 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Tried again this morning and no go. No matter how I manipulated the choke or throttle, it would die within five seconds. I made sure my position didn't change so I was still on the seat and brake properly. I tried so many times, the battery died...so now it's out there recharging.
I can only guess that the carb needs adjusting. I got a call into Home Depot...still waiting.
<sigh>
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on 5/14/2008 8:44 PM snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com said the following:

Most of those seat switches can be disabled by unplugging the wire to the switch and putting a jumper into the wire connection. You might try that to eliminate the seat switch as being part of the problem. You can reconnect it later if it isn't a problem.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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willshak wrote:

I just remove the whole switch and rig it with some cardboard or the like so the switch is always activated and reinstall it, no guessing on the wiring jumper thing. Clark...
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Got to use a little caution here because some safety switches are "make" and some are "break" - ie some have to "close" the circuit to be activated and some have to "open" the circuit which is grounding out to prevent a start. Not sure which is which on newer Deeres.
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I have no plans to play with the switch. I doubt its the source of the problem since the engine does turn over and I don't move once it starts (and if I can't keep it going at 190lbs then it's a big time design flaw since people much lighter than me are shown driving it in their ads....or this one is defective).
I'm guessing it needs a choke or throttle adjustment. I'm trying to get Home Depot to exchange the machine for another one and let them deal with it. There's no doubt in my mind that the PDI wasn't done, so they need to take that up with the company they contract to do it.
:)
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One or two of those safety switches should probably be left intact..they don't call them idiot switches for nothing.
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I have never found anyone at Home Depot that knows anything. If you don't know what you need don't bother going there.
From Mel & Donnie in Bluebird Valley
http://community.webtv.net/MelKelly/TheKids
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On May 15, 6:04 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Mel M Kelly) wrote:

What I actually needed from them was the name of the local shop that does the warranty repairs. I spoke to them and they said they did a PDI. I asked if that meant starting it up and he said yes.
I told him that was impossible. Neither battery cable was attached and one of them needed to be manipulated (from a straight position to a pretty tight U position) to meet the terminal. If it had been hooked up, the cable would have had a bend in it. Also the two screws had no tool marks on them and the gas tank smell of plastic, not gas when I stuck my nose over the opening to see if there was any fuel in it.
I ended up calling Home Depot back and told them I wanted to exchange it for another one - that I didn't want to take a chance on a machine that hasn't worked from minute one.
I'm still waiting to hear back from them.
:)
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.

While it is too late now, you should have went to a John Deere dealer to get one. They do their own servicing and you do not have to fight with them. You may ask for your money back and then go to a Deere dealer.
About 4 years ago I bought one and had it delivered. About a week later I decided to mow the grass and my mower ran for about 100 feet and would stop. It would start back up and die about another 100 feet later. I stopped in the Deere place and asked about it as if I might be doing something wrong. They could not tell me anything, but came out and picked it up. It was a week before I could get off work and meet them at home, they brought it back and said they replaced the seat. Sofar , no problems with it for 4 years.
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We don't have a John Deere dealer local except Home Depot. The authorized warranty repair shop won't do anything for the first 30 days and if a repair is needed, Home Depot has to pick it up and bring it back. Exchanging it means they do that much less driving and save $50+ in gas since they only need to make one trip.
And I don't think I should have to wait for a repair on a machine that's 3 days old. With my luck, I'll be up to my knees in grass before it gets back...
:)
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