Rewiring a Murray Riding Lawn Mower 12 HP 38 Inch Cut

I would like to completely gut out and rewire all the electrical on my murray riding lawn mower. Can someone talk to me and give me the lawn mower wiring 101 course? How does all the wiring work? What keeps the battery charged? Perhaps someone can give me a few reference websites I can visit and learn about it. I have spent some time searching the boards as well as websites and have not found much that teaches you about the basic wiring of a riding lawnmower. Any help would be great!
Garry
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Garry Conn wrote:

Nothing personal, but I would have to suggest that anyone who has to ask, and can not figure it out by disassembling the mower, should not be trying,
BTW the first step would be to get the repair manual for the mower. Finding one may be just a little easier than finding some of the parts you are going to need.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

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Joseph,
Only way to be able to learn anything in life is to try. If you fail, you learn from your mistakes. Or better learn from the mistakes that others have made themselves. Anyway I guess there is an obvious difference in people. I am willing to take moderate chances in order to learn. I have the Briggs & Stratton interactive repair manual and it really doesn't explain at all how the engine is wired. It only describes the parts which I am aware of what they are... finding parts is no trouble at all either... I wasn't aware that there was a shortage of electrical wire? LOL. Nothing personal. :)
Nothing personal, but I would have to suggest that anyone who has to ask, and can not figure it out by disassembling the mower, should not be trying.
BTW the first step would be to get the repair manual for the mower. Finding one may be just a little easier than finding some of the parts you are going to need.
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Why?? Given the questions you're asking, like "How does all the wiring work?", I think that you better think twice before it all goes up in smoke. MLD
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smoke.
Agree; somewhat easier, and harder in some ways, for someone competent and familiar with rewiring/repairing auto electrics! I guess we are not aware of your level of experience and training? But you should know what you are doing; too easy to burn out, say an expensive generator/alternator for example. My son has just modified a 1986 vehicle from automatic to manual, has changed the fuel injected motor to a supercharged model and by the way, the car had and still has an electronic instrument display. Inevitably he ran into various items that had to be analyzed and resolved because of the differences, not only in the wiring harnesses but also the range of conditions and outputs of the various sensors to the engine computer etc.! BUT; he has some eight years experience, teaches electronics and is competent self taught auto mechanic with a buddy who is a machine shop instructor! Even if you see the rewiring job as a straightforward 'one wire for one wire' there is a chance of using the wrong gauge or even wrong temperature of wire insulation? I agree with other posters; if you have ask such a basic question, don't go at it! Why does it need rewiring anyway? If you 'must' go at it suggest you first get the correct manual, although they are sometimes not easy to read if you are not used to that product line and compare it to the existing wiring (it may differ!!!). Even then it won't tell you everything. I guess a comprehensive lawn mower manual might cost $20 to $40? Not familiar with that company's policy concerning such material though. BTW.We've seen 200 watt car stereo systems that have been wired up with thin gauge' bell wire' bought at the local supermarket by someone 'following the instructions' and then the owner wondering why it doesn't work My opinion.
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Well I want to re-wire it primarily to get all the saftey features back. Also all the existing wire is bare or frayed. Additionally I would like to re-wire it to gain a better understanding of small engines as well as electronics. Why not.... anyway I have made a lot of progress with it today. I am almost done. I have completely re-wired the lawn mower, replaced the existing burnt out light bulbs and.... AND installed two halegon automobile lights. This mower has the brightest lights I have ever seen! LOL. Additionaly I have installed and wired an ampre meter as well as a switch that controls how the lights are powered... I can run the lights directly off battery or if the mower engine is running at 3600 RPM I can flip the switch so that the lights receive power directly from the alternator. I have the PTO switch on order... that is the only thing keeping this project from being complete.
On top of that, I have plans to add a 700 Watt power inverter to it and I will have my self a portable generator on wheels. I am not sure if the charging system on the Briggs & Stratton engine can keep up with the useage of the battery, actually think it is doubtful.... so I am intending on making a modification to the drive belt and assembly by adding a car alternator to it which would easily spin fast enough to generate enough power to supply to the power inverter. I will keep you posted.
You guys all have to understand that I don't care if the outcome of any of my projects end in failure.... because in my eyes they never do... something good will always come from anything I do. I might not achieve the original goal intended, but I end with having more ideas based off the original.

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Doing the work to learn and play around is just fine, especially if you don't care how it all comes out. But it sounds like you're trying to turn a Ford Pinto into a Honda Accord. Having said that, with respect to your "how do the wires work?" question, just replacing parts and wires will teach you nothing and will leave you just as clueless as you profess to be. Do you want to learn--have you looked at a wiring scehmatic? Have you traced the actual wires and compared them to the schematic? No schematic--have you tried to create one by following and tracing the wires? How can you tap into the existing wires and add hardware (lights, switches, ammeter etc.) without knowing which wires are which or how to connect them--in parallel or in series? You're either putting us on or so clueless that you're brillant. MLD

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Why??? Why not??? Am I going to die? No.... worst that can happen is I will be buying another used crappy mower for $75.00 which will last me 5 years like this one did. Asking for someone elses expertise doesn't mean I am not capable of doing the work on the mower. If I did not have any confidence in myself I would not be interested in learning how the wiring works.... nor would I invest the time into trying to find someone on usenet and attempt to pick at their brain for information, and lastly I wouldn't try to attempt to re-wire the mower.... however, I do have confidence in my self and I am investing the time into finding someone in usenet that is an expert, and I will re-wire my lawn mower and pimp my ride! LOL
Thanks. Garry

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Garry Conn) wrote in message

Ok, I just have to ask. Is there something specifically wrong with the wiring now? And unless it's all been ripped out, you could just replace what's there with new wire a section at at time, without having to figure out exactly how it works.
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On 17 Aug 2004 12:08:04 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Garry Conn) wrote:

Send me payment in the form of cash, check, or money order in the amount of $3000, and I will teach you all you need to know. This is much cheaper than going to college.
Otherwise, replace one wire at a time, and ONLY one at a time, and you cant go wrong.
As for the WHY you want to do it, I will never understand. I have a Murray 38" 12HP rider and is probably identical or very similar. I see no reason the wiring should be bad, and if I had a short I'd tape that wire, or possibly replace that ONE wire. If you are going to rebuild anything, I'd tackle the mechanical parts long before the wiring. I have taken quite a bit of mine apart over the years to lubricate and clean out all the gunk that builds up.
Finally, the battery charges because the flywheel has coils and magnets that act as a generator (or alternator, whichever it is). If you ever pop the cover off the engine, you can see these parts.
PS. Clean your battery terminals. They are the first thing to get crappy.
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To answer your question in a different way than the others do, most equipment like this has wiring harnesses. Batches of wire slung through some sort of wrapping, with bits of wire poking out at various places.
The electrical diagrams are _usually_ just showing what connects to what, not how it gets there, nor how to identify which wire is which, nor what wire size you should have.
You _could_ replace one wire at a time, using the electrical diagram to identify what terminal on what device is connected to another terminal on another device and double-checking with an ohmmeter. But that's slow and exceedingly painful. And you could easily go wrong with the wrong wire size.
It'd be MUCH simpler to buy a replacement harness. Which would be silly to do if the existing harness isn't busted.
[It's actually quite easy to _make_ harnesses, but to do that, you need the original manufacturing instructions to know "what" goes "where" and "how", lots of various pieces of wire, a chunk of plywood, nails, and appropriate cable sheathing material. Plus crimping tools etc.]
If you're trying to modify the electronics, then just add new wire and leave the existing harness alone.
But if you have to ask "how does all the wiring work?" or "what charges the battery", I think you need to take a course. There's no way _we_ could give you enough information to be practically useful.
The alternator or generator charges the battery. Somehow that doesn't sound like enough for your purposes ;-)
The wiring harness of my elderly Cub Cadet is having severe problems where it goes near the engine (regulator, headlights, starting solenoids etc). It was getting worn and melted thru, bare wire...
Replacing the wiring (even as a harness replacement) would have been a major expense and/or PITA. So I settled for carefully repairing the exposed/damaged conductors (praying I didn't lose track of what connected to what) with solder and electrical tape.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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