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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Folks, I was mowing the grass the other day with our craftsman tractor with belly mower. I bent over to pull a weed out. This tractor has the safety switch in the seat so the engine started to die. I sat back up before it died and it was up and running again, but the mower stopped working. I shut the tractor off and pushed the mower PTO switch to the off position and started it back up. I pulled the PTO switch and the mower still won't run.I've checked all the wiring connections and they look OK. Do you folks think the PTO switch is bad or the actual PTO clutch? All I get is is a faint click when I pull the PTO switch on.I've done the bend over thing while mowing many times and this has never happened.
 

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I just got a JD mower that does the same thing. I have checked all the wires and find nothing wrong. But once it cools off it comes back to life. I have mowed with it 3 times so far this year and try to keep mowing until done but something always happens and have to stop. Before I mow the next time I'm going to clean the ground. I don't think it's the clutch and I have power to the clutch. Hope more folks reply on this to help us both......
 

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I must have the same Craftsman (18LT) Lawn Tractor as you, 18 hp 44 inch cut, about 18 years old now.
I sometimes lean too far on the seat too & it starts to shutdown the engine & react just as you did.
Recheck the seat safety switch for bad connection, - tie down the seat & wiggle the toggle deck switch & listen if the click is by the dash/switch or the clutch on engine shaft. It just could be the seat switch went out, & jump the connections to determine for sure.
I've had previous issues with the starter engaging teeth jamming to flywheel but that didn't render deck switch from engaging, it just tore up the fiber teeth on starter.
Mine doesn't want to restart (engine) if I run out of gas & have to let it cool down (about an hour), been told coil over heats & wont fire to plugs. Most times I make sure it's full of gas & oil before I even start but the first mowing this year I didn't check as I thought I'd filled it a week or so back when I changed oil & put on deck after sharpening blades.
Hope some of this is helpful info for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Folks, Looks like this is a problem that sticks it's ugly head up for many of us. My son just came over and messed with it a little. The seat switch kills the engine when he bent over. When he pulled the PTO button you can still hear a faint click. He says he smelled something burning when he pulled it out just for a few seconds. I lost my sense of smell years ago so I couldn't smell it. He thought the smell was coming from the clutch area, but it's hard to tell. We're going to tear into it this weekend. I did find one fuse and it was good.I still want to spend more time diagnosing the seat switch as that is what started this.
 

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Bob I was mowing the yard with mine onedoy and the deck quit going through the yard for no reason. It was the PTO switch, went just that quick. As for the seat switch I know I shouldn't say this but thats the first thing I jump out, I know they'll find me windrowed up in the grass someday but the yard I got I have to do a lot of fender riding and the two dont go well together.
 

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I've had the clutch go bad on a cub cadet. It acted the same way...if it was hot, it didn't have enough "pull" to engage. Not saying this is your problem, but that's what I've run into.
 

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Gordon, The township raised the roadbed many years back, in front of our place & then backfilled to make up for that & that's the area I have to set on the side edge of the seat for at least 2 rounds until I get to where the yard is level. All-in-all this lawn tractor has been fairly reasonable on repairs for me. Our neighbors both bought Craftsman of the cheaper design at the same time I got mine & both of them are now into their 3rd mower since mainly because they buy the "throw-away" cheapo models.
When the Craftsman does give up, I'll get a zero-turn Cub Cadet with a 50 inch cut which should last me the rest of my lifetime. My wife's nephew has been selling them for 18 years now & is good on servicing those that he sells & most don't have breakdowns issues if the operator is careful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
gordon1121 said:
Bob I was mowing the yard with mine onedoy and the deck quit going through the yard for no reason. It was the PTO switch, went just that quick. As for the seat switch I know I shouldn't say this but thats the first thing I jump out, I know they'll find me windrowed up in the grass someday but the yard I got I have to do a lot of fender riding and the two dont go well together.
I am not a fan of the seat switch eitther. I'm a fender rider on hills too.I'm sure a lawyer got them installed on everything nowadays. While I'm on peat peaves. I hate those giant plastic grass deflector shoots they put on the mowing decks. I cut them way back with a knife so they spread the grass clippings like they are supposed to.
 

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Removed my grass deflector soon after I got it, didn't like the "windrow strip" it left.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bob Kline said:
Removed my grass deflector soon after I got it, didn't like the "windrow strip" it left.
I hear you. If I ever decide to start to baling my yard, they are better than a hay rake.
 

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I poke a hole in my deflector and tie it up about half way, then when I pass a post or something I can pull it up.
 

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i do the same. i have a piece of that orange hay string tied from my deflector up to something near my knee.. then i need to i just pull up on the string.

thought i was the only one using that ;)
 

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A short bungee cord works for me. ;)
 

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The deflector on my 54" deck has to come all the way up to get through the shed door
with an inch to spare on either side. So it had to be easily adjustable without tying knots. ;)
 

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Preacher79: Have you gotten the problem solved with the mower deck not operating as it should??????
 

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Been a few weeks since any posting on his lawn tractor problem, did you find what was at fault?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sorry for not posting sooner. I had to wait for my son. I needed help from my son to trouble shoot. It was the PTO clutch.
 
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