Scotts riding mower won't start

Here's what I've tried so far. Checked all wiring, don't find any loose or broken wires or connetions. Fuse is good. Battery is new and fully charged. My friend tried connecting jumper cables from the battery straight to the starter motor, he said that this would bypass all electrical connections, (in case there was a bad wire that I didn't find). This should have caused the mower to start, it still didn't start, so he thinks the starter motor is bad. I have taken the starter motor off and thought I'd get a new one. These things cost around $100 bucks, so I thought I'd get a second opinion before doing this, what do you all think? My friend said that he was 85% sure this was it. Thanks for any help, Eileen It's a Scotts L4217, with Briggs & Stratton engine 17 HP INTEK OHV model 311777.
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did it make any noise at all when he did the jumper test; as in it cranked but did not fire up?
Or did it remain silent?
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Probably, but not necessarily. Same symptom would occur if the negative battery cable is not connected to the frame. If the mower has headlights (most do), an easy way to test this is to turn on the lights. If they light up, the battery-to-frame connection is good; if they don't, it's not.

Now that you have the starter off, test it before you buy a replacement. Connect the jumper cables from the battery directly to the starter, like so: 1) red cable to the post on the starter where the electrical cable connects. 2) other end of red cable to (+) battery terminal 3) black cable to (-) battery terminal 4) other end of black cable to the frame of the starter
If the starter spins, it's good. If it doesn't spin, either it's bad, or you don't have the jumper cables hooked up right. :-)
If, after doing this test, it appears that the starter is indeed bad, it still wouldn't hurt to take it along with you when you go to buy a replacement, and ask to have it tested first.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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Doug Miller wrote:

Thanks Doug. I'll recheck the battery ground to make sure it's solid. The starter motor didn't spin when we tried connecting the battery directly to it, but the battery ground was not hooked to the starter motor frame. The mower does have headlights and they do not light at present. Will try your suggestions this weekend. Grass is knee high now! Will soon be tick city! Eileen
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Doug Miller wrote:

Thanks again Doug, this would be wonderful if that the problem! A new starter motor costs ~$100. The battery terminal connections are clean, but I haven't checked the ground end of the negative cable. Will do this weekend. Eileen
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E Gregory wrote:

Well the ground is good too. Also I took off the starter motor and tested it off the mower using the metal bracket of the starter motor as the ground and it turned as it should. So, even though the mower still doesn't start, you have saved me ~$100 in not buying a part that is working fine. Must be a chewed wire somewhere that I just can't seem to find! Thanks for the help, Eileen
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Yep, sounds like it. If you don't already have a voltmeter, this would be a good excuse to buy one.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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Doug Miller wrote:

Yep, I have one. Guess I'll just keep poking parts with it to see where the current is and is not. Eileen
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If the headlights don't light up, then you almost *certainly* do *not* have a good ground connection between the negative battery terminal and the frame. (Assuming that the battery is in fact fully charged, as you said in your original post.)
Another possibility (but less likely) is that corrosion at the positive battery terminal has completely insulated the positive cable from the battery. It can't hurt anything to take both battery cables off the battery, and thoroughly clean the connections.
FWIW, same symptoms (*nothing* electrical works) in a car = same problem.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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