brush mower ignition system

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doing trouble shooting on 3 yo lightly used keyed brush mower.. which is most likely and which is most unlikely candidate for problems. ignition switch solenoid starter
Battery is fully charged & when key is turned to start only a clicking sound occurs
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Frank Thompson wrote:

cleaner or emery cloth? Is the ground connection good on the frame or wherever? How are all the connections from the battery to the starter? Can you use jumper cables from your car to turn the starter over directly? Could it be a problem with one of the safety switches? These might seem like silly questions but it's easy to overlook stuff like this. Not a mechanic but I trouble shoot electrical equipment and many times it's the simpler seemingly obvious stuff causing the problem.
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On Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 6:48:08 AM UTC-4, Dean Hoffman wrote:

A simple test to bypass most of that is to use a car jumper cable between the starter terminal and battery. Connect one end to the battery, touch the other firmly to the starter lug. You could also have a test meter jumpered up, measuring the voltage at the starter while doing the test. If you have 10V or better while doing the test and it won't crank, then you can rule out all the upstream stuff.
I had a neighbor who had a similar problem. We went through similar tests, and had it pegged as a bad starter. He called Sears to come fix it, turned out according to them, it needed a valve adjustment..... I didn't get to talk to the mechanic, but the only angle I can figure is that they have a compression release to make starting easier and maybe that needed adjustment? IDK, but in the future, I will add removing the spark plug and trying to crank it as a test.
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On 5/10/2015 6:48 AM, Dean Hoffman wrote:

Hang on here, chief. He didn't ask for any advice, he just told us he was troubleshooting.
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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On Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 5:24:29 AM UTC-4, Frank Thompson wrote:

how did you conclude the battery is fine?
have you load tested the battery? since its spends most of its life just sitting around, the plates are likely sulphated
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Frank,.
What's the voltage on the battery? What's the voltage on each side of the solenoid when you turn the key to start? What's the voltage at the starter lug when you turn the key to start? 3 yo mower shouldn't have any problems.
Dave M.
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On Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 9:02:51 AM UTC-4, David L. Martel wrote:

mower batteries often last only a few years, sitting around dischaged is tough on them. my mom had a sears rider, average battery life 3 years, till i put the battery on a trickle charger in the winter.
unused from end of october till may kills batteries
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wrote:

It worked the opposit for a John Deere riding mower I had. The battery was the best thing about it. Used it for about 7 years and the transaxel got where it would not pull up much of a hill. It still had the origional battery in it. Found out on that mower that if you got over 400 hours on the transaxel you were doing good.
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Frank Thompson wrote:

to ground. Battery may look good but unless you check it with hydrometer or load test..... Try jump start.
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On Sun, 10 May 2015 02:24:25 -0700 (PDT), Frank Thompson

stuck brushes in the starter. Then bad connections, bad solenoid, or bad battery (although "fully charged" it could have a bad intercell link connection)
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On 5/10/15 5:24 AM, Frank Thompson wrote:

I just broke down and bought me a new multimeter because old meters can get a little flaky. With a couple of alligator-clip jumpers so I can lay the meter on the ground, it's easy to see how a battery performs under a starting load. (Just don't short the clips.) Mine provides 10.95V at the battery terminals and 10.53 at the starting motor.
I think you're normally looking for 10V at the starter although it may crank with less.
If I substituted a precision power resistor, maybe 20 ohms, in place of the starter, I could determine the resistance between the battery and the starter. Knowing I was losing 0.42V, I could determine how much current the starter was drawing.
Darn, why don't I look for a resistor! This is fun!
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On 5/10/2015 5:24 AM, Frank Thompson wrote:

You are allowed to post questions in addition to your (above) statements.
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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On 5/10/15 6:18 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I had to read between the lines to see the real question. "How can I use a meter and jumpers to see if there is adequate voltage at the starter?"
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On 5/10/2015 6:37 PM, J Burns wrote:

You're right. Today hasn't been good to me, I stand corrected. Well, I sit corrected.
--
.
Christopher A. Young
learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
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Thank all of you for your very sensible suggestions. I have followed most of them. I made an error in reporting clicking; it was only a single click at the solenoid. Also I didn't report that when running the the engine kep t running when ignition switch was turned to off position and key removed. The mower has not been used since last fall.
After taking your most of your suggestions the following info has come to l ight.
Charger is a new Shumacher costing about $95. I set it on 2 amps. When the green indicator light to show when it was fu lly charged came on after several hours my VOM meter show only 10.4 volts . This was from + terminal to ground & not under load.
When I bypassed most of stuff by connecting 10 gauge hot wire from battery to starter the starter did spin or turn but did not engage engine. I'm not sure if I had a good connection on this. When the test took place there wa s not a notable change in voltage.
Battery is a 12 volt 3 amp battery 3 years old & came on the mower new.
I was unable to test electrolyte because my auto hygrometer glass tube woul d not fit in the small openings on the cells. One cell had the pleated mat erial dark in color as opposed to white in the others. The electrolyte app eared to be halfway between the low level mark on the outside and the high level mark on all cells.
Right now my main suspects are keyed ignition and the battery.
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Frank,
A "fully" charged battery will have about 12.7v. You have 10v. Sounds like a really dead battery. So get out your jumper cables and see if it starts when jumped. If it does then get a new battery Doubt that it's the ignition switch.
Dave M.
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On 5/11/15 8:41 AM, David L. Martel wrote:

local college.
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On Monday, May 11, 2015 at 8:41:32 AM UTC-4, David L. Martel wrote:

+1 Not just dead, but since he just charged it, it's clearly a bad battery.
Also, using 10g wire to try to directly power the starter is a bad idea. Look at the size of the existing cables. I suggested using battery jumper cables for that test.
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On Mon, 11 May 2015 02:56:08 -0700 (PDT), Frank Thompson

drive starter doesn't start "hard " enough on 10 volts to pull in the drive. The engine not shutting off with the key inricates your magneto "P" lead is not being grounded by the awitch. Wire disconnected, bad ground, or bad switch in roughly that order of likelihood.
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On Monday, May 11, 2015 at 2:04:08 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Not sure what you mean by the "P" lead.
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