Mower repair question

I recently bought an old Ariens riding mower (pull-start), and after cleaning out the carb, I managed to get it started.
However, whenever I take the mower out of neutral (not necessarily into another gear, just out of neutral enough to disconnect the neutral safety switch), it dies. I thought the purpose of this switch was only as a safety for starting - shouldn't the magneto coils maintain the spark after the initial start? To clarify: it is not going dead because of any load on the engine - just the disconnection of the safety switch.
In the meantime, I bypassed this switch (since its just wire in, wire out, with a contact between the two), and now it won't start at all. I feel like there might be something else going on besides just this switch.
Any help would be appreciated!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The safety switch is most likely combined with another safety switch, PTO, person sitting in the seat, grass chute in place, that type of thing. The switch probably can not be easily bypassed. Often the switch connects to a little electrical box that "looks" for the safety switch. Often you can just remive the wire from to switch, or jumper the leads togather, but in many cases it will not work. Greg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Greg,
You're right about it being combined with other switches: I think its also in line with a mower clutch in switch (which is still functioning properly) as well as a person on seat switch. Unfortunately the PO jumpered this last switch, but he indicated that it worked fine.
What is the general purpose of the circuit in a mower without a starter? The ignition switch isn't providing power of any kind to the magneto...is it completing a circuit to ground or something, and that's how it works? I'd like to know the difference between the starting circuit, and how the engine is capable of running once one of the switches is disengaged (clutch, neutral, etc).
Thanks for your response.
-James
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
James wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Any fuses in the wiring?
Nope, no fuses...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.