Homemade riding lawn mower. Homemade riding lawn mower
This Homebuilt V8 Powered Lawn Mower Is Simply Ridiculous
Check out this wild journey of a YouTuber building his own V8 engine for a Briggs and Stratton Lawn Mower.
Have you ever seen a Lawn Mower with over 200 horsepower and roaring V8s? Well, in a snowy land in Northern Europe, there’s a man who should be considered the Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor of Sweden. He looks at something like a lawnmower and decides to “rewire it”. And rewire it, he does.
Easy DIY Racing Mower
Lyckebo Mekaniska YouTube Channel shows us that he likes “engines of all kinds that make a noise”. On Mekaniska’s Channel, his impressive engine work is on full display for you to enjoy. In a recent series of videos, he designs and crafts his own V8 engine in his garage and documents every step of the way.
Typically, lawnmowers are powered by single to four-cylinder engines, and they don’t need more. But “need” isn’t how craftsmen like Lyckebo Mekaniska operate. Sometimes you want more power and more noise, and more ridiculous lawn mowers. Lyckebo delivers just that!
Not The First V8 In A Lawn Mower
Although this may be simply ridiculous, it isn’t the first time a lawn mower has gotten souped up. The internet is filled with daring folks who do ridiculous things, and people such as Hartwick Performance have swapped out for a V8 with some very stylish exhausts. Then you also have the RacingRamFam Channel, that built a V8-powered lawn mower with some wild sparking exhaust.
Lyckebo Mekaniska’s V8 is unique because it is a home-built engine on a Briggs Stratton lawn mower. It is a more simple design. Instead of one standard block on either side, Lyckebo creates 8 individual blocks for each cylinder. Housed in each individual block are the valves for the particular cylinder. This design creates a smaller V8 than what you would normally see. Just because it is smaller doesn’t necessarily mean it has less power. When you give it a listen, you’ll notice it sounds as intimidating as a standard V8.
The Journey of Mekaniska’s V8 Lawn Mower
Building an engine from scratch is no easy task, let alone a V8. It requires very specific machinery as well as measurements. The lack of appropriate design can have very hazardous results. But Lyckebo has both the expertise and proper equipment to design a homemade V8 engine.
While witnessing the creation of this V8, you’ll notice that Lyckebo creates every piece of it from scrap aluminum. The craftsmanship is something surprising from one man in his garage, but it isn’t without its challenges.
Toward the end of his initial build, Lyckebo encounters an issue with the air and fuel mixture. The Weber carburetor was working well but required a self-made choke since the mixture was too lean. Watching Lyckebo fashion it himself is a masterclass in design and problem-solving.
With 8 cylinders to measure out and design, you risk piston freezing and, therefore, cylinder scrapping. This was exactly what occurred with this home build V8 as well. After altering the pulley system, Lyckebo encounters a problem with the engine freezing up. Lo and behold, after opening up one of the cylinders, he reveals a locked-up piston.
With the help of some spare parts from the old Briggs and Stratton Engine, Lyckebo is able to repair some of the issues with his V8.
Does A V8 Make Sense In A Lawn Mower?
Giving this V8 Lawn Mower a listen. You would think it belonged to an airplane, but this isn’t so out of the ordinary for a V8. The V8 engine itself wasn’t originally designed for use in cars or trucks but was mainly designed for use in speedboats and later on in airplanes.
Built by Leon Levavasseur in France, the first V8 engine was called the Antoinette. This V8 was built at the turn of the century, but the V8 we know today wasn’t built until 1932. Designed by Henry Ford, the Ford V8 revolutionized the car world, making powerful engines affordable.
A general lawn mower typically packs engines ranging from single-cylinder to four-cylinders. Usually, lawn mowers run on 10-30 horsepower and don’t need much more for the task of cutting grass. With the addition of this V8 engine, a lawn mower runs with anywhere from 200 to 400 horsepower. Although unnecessary and ridiculous, the use of this V8 in a lawn mower is a testament to the engineering capabilities of certain individuals. It’s the inventiveness of these individuals that do propel ideas forward, no matter how ridiculous they are.
We don’t want to spoil the entire journey of this beautiful piece of work. Lyckebo is still making alterations and improvements to the engine and working out the kinks. We recommend watching the journey for yourself from start to finish.
Is There A Way To Make A Homemade Mower Deck?
A mower deck is one of the most important parts of a mower. It is found at the lower part of a mower, houses the blades, and it helps prevent the mower from spraying clipping and flying debris in all directions. However, is there a way to make a homemade mower deck?
Homemade mower decks are definitely possible and some designs are very effective. There are also multiple ways to build one. Using premade parts from other machines and combining them together is one way. It is also possible to make a homemade deck from scratch with sheets of material.
Mower decks are made from several materials and there are different types. This and more topics are covered in this article. Would you like to find out?
What Are Mower Decks Made From?
Generally, a mower deck is made from three main materials; plastic, aluminum alloy, and steel. The quality and strength of the deck are dependent on the material used.
Mower decks made of aluminum alloy are considered to be the best quality. This is because aluminum is rust-resistant, strong, and does not easily wear away. As expected, the mower decks made from this material are quite expensive and require more maintenance.
Steel-made mower decks are a good alternative to aluminum alloy. They are relatively strong and able to absorb shock. To prevent a steel-made mower from rusting, it is coated with powdered paint.
Although aluminum alloy is rust-resistant, you cannot compare it to plastic. However, plastic does not have the strength of aluminum.
On that note, plastic is a good choice depending on the functionality of the mower deck.
How To Build A Homemade Mower Deck
Typically, factory-made products are created to meet different needs unless customized. Customized products, on the other hand, are more expensive to acquire.
When you need a product that solves a particular problem but can’t afford a customized version, you need to find other alternatives. A homemade version is often the alternative.
The Modification Alternative
- You can buy two used Cub decks for about 25 each, depending on who the seller is.
- Afterward, you cut the left end out of one deck and split the other down the middle.
- Next, you overlap the first deck with the second by bolting, welding, and cobbling. It is not the easiest task to accomplish, but if you do, you will be able to cut your mowing time in half.
The Fabrication Alternative
For those wanting to make their own for a hobby or because they have experience and skill in manufacturing, fabricating your own from sheets of material can be an option.
It is important to note that for those simply wanting to save money, the time, tools, and expertise required could make buying a commercially available deck more cost effective.
It is not hard to imagine that your homemade mower deck will not be of the stamped variety. It will have to be a fabricated deck unless you own some very expensive and specially designed large machinery for the job. Since this is most likely not the case, welding, cutting, and punching tools will be needed and some experience using them.
What Makes A Good Mower Deck?
There are several aspects that go into a good mower deck. To make your own homemade version, you need to keep some of these aspects in mind. So, what makes a good mower deck?
The pitch of the deck, material used to construct it, and the size of the deck all contribute into making a good mower deck better than the rest. There is also the stamped versus fabricated deck versions that can make joints or the material used stronger or weaker depending on construction.
Let’s look at these three aspects a bit more closely. It is important to get these right on any mower deck you buy and especially on homemade ones you plan to build yourself.
What Is A Good Pitch For A Homemade Mower Deck?
The pitch of a mower deck is important for a good quality cut in your lawn or the lawns of customers. The pitch from front to back develops a ‘lift’ for the grass blades under the deck and allows for a clean cut.
The pitch for a mower deck or ‘rake’ as it is sometimes called is the tilt of the deck from front to back. For a good mower deck pitch, a 1/4″ difference should be maintained from the front of the deck to the rear. This ensures proper cutting and discharge of the clippings.
This configuration can make a ton of difference in the cleanness of your cut and distribution of debris.
What is A Good Material For A Homemade Mower Deck?
- Plastic is best used for electric motorized mowers. Their light weight make these decks good for small mowers with low power output.
- Aluminum is also a light weight, but much stronger material. Its fabrication will take considerable knowhow, extensive machinery, and quite a bit more capital.
- Steel is comparable to aluminum in strength with much less cost, but has a couple drawbacks. It is much heavier and more susceptible to rust.
What Is A Good Size For A Homemade Mower Deck?
The best size for a mower deck completely depends on the jobs that the mower will regularly handle. Too large and many spaces in a lawn cannot be reached or could be damaged. Too small and the job becomes unmanageable and very time consuming.
Difference Between Fabricated And Stamped Mower Deck
An average person does not care much about certain specifics when choosing a product.
For many people, the common features and functions are all that matter. But, to get the best out of a product, you must understand the importance of every specific or at least most.
If you own or operate a mower, then you might be familiar with the terms “fabricated mower deck” or “stamped mower deck.”
Now you might be wondering what they mean and what their unique differences are.
Fabricated Mower Deck
A heavier form of steel is used to build a fabricated mower deck. Once each part has been formed, they are then coupled together.
A fabricated mower deck is a good fit for commercial mowers. It is often more rigid than its counterpart. The rigidity of the fabricated mower deck makes it less prone to wear and tear.
Different pieces of steel are welded together which creates seems. These seems are very strong, but can provide airflow and clipping buildup issues. The thickness and durability of the steel is the main factor.
Nevertheless, this does not make it superior to the stamped mower deck.
Stamped Mower Deck
Unlike the fabricated mower deck, a stamped mower deck is made from a thinner form of steel. It is used in the construction of mowers for residential environments and some commercial applications.
This thinner steel is pressed into its usable form by large machinery and are not assembled by pieces and welding. As can be imagined, the steel must be less thick than in fabricated versions to be able to be formed in this way.
Stamped mower decks are flexible, easy to use, and can have better airflow. If you only need to mow your yard or lawn, then a stamped mower deck is all you need. Your needs and financial capacity are primarily the determining factors for which mower deck to get.
Before you choose, do not forget that everything has its pros and cons.
Are Mower Decks Interchangeable With Homemade Ones?
Often a mower deck wears away faster than the mower. I know it can be quite a struggle to toss away a good product because a part of it got damaged. So, you wonder if the damaged deck can be interchanged with a good one.
Some parts of a mower deck are interchangeable with any available alternative. In comparison, some other parts would require close similarity to be interchanged. The engine, for instance, are not as easily interchangeable something like the blades.
- Oil level
- Oil quality
- Does the oil tank leak?
- Is the engine swap straightforward?
- How does the engine start?
- How does the engine run?
- Does the engine run with smoke?
If the engine checks positively to most of the points mentioned above, then you can take it a step further.
- Any strange noise when driving?
- How good is the belt?
- Does the mower need pushing on the hills?
- Does it drive easily?
The answer to these questions would help you determine the health of the drive system. Fixing the drive system of a mower can be quite expensive. Therefore, getting a new mower might be a better option if the drive system is bad.
Once you are sure that the mower is in a generally good condition, you can proceed to change the deck. As mentioned earlier, not all mower deck parts are easily interchangeable.
Homemade Lawn ROLLER From OIL BARRELS !?
Before you swap your mower deck, consider the compatibility of the old body with the new part. Usually, the point holding the engine is standard and can only accommodate a compatible engine.
The best way to replace your mower deck with no hassle is by using the same or similar deck. Find a mower that has the same or similar deck model as yours. The engine must also be a good fit for your engine mount point.
You can find this in a store or take it out of a non-functioning mower. Remove the damaged deck from your mower and simply replace it with the new part you have at hand.
The Final Touches On Homemade Mower Decks…
Though homemade mower decks are possible, the practicality of them make their construction out of reach for most homeowners and even commercial crews. Those building them are usually farmers with many parts from other machines readily available or those looking at welding and construction as a hobby.
That being said, if you are wanting to tackle a homemade mower deck, it can be done. It is not something that comes with an instruction manual or step by step procedures. But if you are determined, you can figure it out for the specific machine you have or one you plan to build.
Mathew has worked in landscaping professionally for over 10 years. He is a grandpa and frequently interviews other experienced landscapers and lawn care experts who are also grandpas for these articles.
Though there are many types of animals that can be nibbling on your plant leaves or flowers, there are some that you want less than others in your garden or yard. We know bunnies, deer, and other.
No one likes a clogged gutter and all the problems that come with it, from water damage to pest infestations. So now and then, we have to get our hands dirty. But what do you do when you have gutter.
We are Jerry McMillan and Mathew Booe (Father-In-Law/Great-Grandpa and Son-In-Law/Grandpa). Jerry has been in the landscaping business professionally for over 45 years and 10 of those years Mathew worked with him and helped him run his business. Together they answer landscaping, lawn care, and gardening questions of all types from hard work, first hand knowledge, and experience.
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Lawn Mower Parts
Search and shop all the parts you need for your riding lawn equipment and Gator UTV including lawn mower blades, filters, belts, spark plugs, oil, and home maintenance kits.
Search part numbers and John Deere parts diagrams to identify exactly what you need to keep your equipment running smoothly.
Quick Reference Guides
As a John Deere owner, when it’s time to maintain, service or repair your equipment we have easy-to-use information sheets that keep your John Deere equipment running well.
Home Maintenance Kits
Feel confident in tuning up your lawn mower or garden equipment this season with our Home Maintenance Kits. Easily find the right product so you can DIY and save!
Looking for your Serial Number?
Finding your lawn mower’s model number and serial number is as easy as locating the identification tag on your machine. As seen in the example, the model number will be displayed below the MODEL heading (Example: Z235), and the serial number will be underlined on the top-right corner of the tag (Example: 130002).
If you’re looking for the engine number, that can be found directly on the engine itself.
Home and Garden, eat your heart out.
Get the latest on how to care for and enjoy your yard and garden. The articles and videos are informative and the ideas are amazing.
MowerPlus Mobile App
MowerPlus is the app you need to keep your John Deere riding lawn mower running well and your lawn looking great this season. The app tracks and records yard tasks and serves as a one-stop shop for seasonal care tips and maintenance activities. Know your mower and know how you mow with John Deere’s MowerPlus app.
The Right Part. The Right Price.
At John Deere, you get the value of choice for your maintenance and replacement parts for all makes and ages of machines – at any budget.
Genuine John Deere Belts Blades are your best choice for your newer machines.
Alternative Parts are an economical solution for your John Deere equipment.
The John Deere Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System
Never drain engine oil again.
We’ve changed the oil change. Revolutionized it really. See how fast and easy changing your oil can now be on 100 Series Riding Lawn Tractors with the John Deere Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System. Only from John Deere. Included on the E120, E130, E150, E160, E170, and E180 models.
Step One. Take it off.
Lift the hood. Make sure the engine is cool, then, twist to remove. It’s that simple.
Step Two. Twist and lock.
Grab the new Easy Change™ Canister, twist and lock into place. Make sure the arrow on your Filter System aligns with the arrow on your engine.
Step three. Done.
Close the hood and mow. John Deere recommends the Easy Change™ 30-second Oil Change System every 50 hours or at the end of your mowing season. Don’t drain engine oil ever again.
Draining engine oil is so 2017.
The engine modifications and new technologies are in. The re-envisioned oil filter with a media designed to resist breaking down in oil over time is here. The thousands of hours of testing are done. The end result is an all-in-one, oil and oil filter system like no other. The first of its kind. And thanks to the new John Deere Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System (“System”), you’ll never have to drain the oil from 100 Series Riding Lawn Tractors again.
Here’s why: The new System captures contaminants and recharges your engine with nearly a quart (0.8qt) (0.76 l) of new oil. In fact, this System increases the amount of oil in the engine by nearly 40%. 2 Your engine likes that.
What do you mean, I will never have to drain oil from my engine again? How is that possible? The answer is simple. We have developed a better filtration system and filter design for our 100 Series Riding Lawn Tractors 1. This fully synthetic filter media has greater surface area which increases its capacity to hold harmful contaminants. What’s more, the filter media is designed to resist breaking down in oil over time. Which means you’ll get a cooler running engine. And a cooler running engine and better filtering helps increase engine oil life. John Deere’s recommended oil service for 100 Series Riding Lawn Tractors 1. is to change the System every 50 hours or once a season, whichever comes first. Remember, the System replaces a portion of your engine oil. And that’s plenty.
The System uses John Deere Turf-Gard™ Oil. Using John Deere Turf-Gard™ Oil ensures you are using the exact oil specified by John Deere engineers.
Testing. Testing. Testing. Thanks to thousands of hours of rigorous and extensive testing, you can feel confident your engine will run for years to come.
1 The John Deere Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System is available on E120, E130, E150, E160, E170 and E180 Lawn Tractors today.
2 Compared to similar V-Twin engine models that do not have the John Deere Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System. That includes equivalent Deere 2017 models and 2018 models without the System.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is new with John Deere Riding Lawn Equipment?
We are excited about the exclusive John Deere Easy Change™ 30 second oil change system. Exclusive to John Deere and only available on certain models of the new 100 Series Lawn Tractors. These tractors are designed for ease of use for both operation and maintenance. The John Deere Easy Change™ System (“Easy Change”) allows the user to easily complete the recommended engine oil and filter maintenance in 30 seconds.
What is this new oil change system?
We changed the oil change. The all-in-one oil and oil filter system gives the owner the ability to change a portion of the oil and the filter in less than 30 seconds.
What happens to the rest of the oil in the engine when the Easy Change system is replaced?
The Easy Change system replaces.8 quart of oil. The remaining oil in the engine is refreshed by the charge of new oil included in the replacement Easy Change system. Combined with 40% more engine oil capacity, improved filtration and cooler running temperatures which help extend oil life, it is no longer necessary to remove and dispose of all the oil in your engine during service.
What makes the Easy Change system unique from other filters?
It is not just a filter. It is a newly developed technology system that allows a new “filter” to come already charged with oil and allows you to remove an existing filter and the contaminants inside without tools and without making a mess. Beyond the filter, technology within the canister and on your engine makes this possible.
Models with the Easy Change oil system use a fully synthetic filter that has more capacity to trap and hold contaminants. The larger surface area of the Easy Change canister acts like a radiator helping the oil to stay cool.
Does the Easy Change system somehow decrease the life of the engine?
The John Deere 100 Series lawn tractor models, with and without Easy Change, are specified for the same lifetime and are rigorously tested to the same standards to ensure the life of the tractor meets expectations.
Can I add the Easy change system to an existing tractor?
Because this system also requires unique features within the engine, the Easy Change system cannot be added to an engine that was not equipped with it at the factory.
Can I change all the oil if I choose to?
You could if you wanted to. There is an oil drain plug. It is not required for maintenance.
How often do I need to change the Easy Change canister?
Every 50 hours or once a year. The 100 Series Lawn Tractors with and without the Easy Change system have the same maintenance schedule.
What type of oil is recommended?
We recommend only John Deere Turf-Gard™ 10W30 Oil. The Easy Change canister comes pre-filled with John Deere Turf-Gard™ 10W30 oil.
How do I recycle the old oil?
Many local government recycling programs, authorized retailers, auto repair stations, and auto parts stores will puncture and recycle used oil filters and oil.
Do I ever need to add oil?
Yes. Consistent with our service recommendations for this product, you should check oil level daily and add oil if required.
Riding lawn mower engine won’t turn over or click video
If your riding lawn mower doesn’t do anything when you turn the key to start the engine, it could be a variety of things. This video shows you how to pinpoint the cause by checking the riding mower’s battery, solenoid posts and coil, fuse, ignition switch, brake switch and blade switch. It also walks you through how the starting system works, so you can better understand how to track down the problem.
For additional repair help, including common symptoms and troubleshooting tips, step-by-step riding mower and tractor repair guides and articles, check out our repair help section. In addition, find the riding mower parts you need to fix your mower.
Hi, this is Wayne with Sears PartsDirect. Today we’re going to troubleshooting a riding lawn mower that doesn’t do anything when you turn the key to start the engine—not even click.
Before you do anything, make sure the parking brake is set and the blades are disengaged. The riding mower won’t start otherwise. You’d be surprised how many people forget those steps and think something is wrong with their riding mower.
Supplies you might need
- Work gloves and safety goggles
- Wire brush
- Clip-on meter probes
- Wrench set
What went wrong
What is the significance of the click when you turn the key? When you hear the click, you know the starter solenoid coil is getting power from the battery through the ignition switch.
If you don’t hear that click, either the starter solenoid has failed or the starter solenoid coil isn’t getting power.
We’ll show you how to pinpoint the cause by checking the riding mower’s battery, solenoid posts and coil, fuse, ignition switch, brake interlock switch and blade switch.
We’ll use this Craftsman riding lawn mower for our troubleshooting. This type of riding mower is common, but the wiring and components in yours might be different. Refer to the wiring diagram for your model if you notice differences.
How the riding mower starting system works
To understand how we track down the problem, it helps to know how the starting system works:
- The positive, red battery cable connects to one of the two large terminal posts on the starter solenoid.
- The black wire connected to the other large terminal on the starter solenoid carries power to the starter motor to start the engine.
- A small red wire branches off the red solenoid terminal post to carry power through the ignition switch to the coil at the bottom of the starter solenoid.
- When you turn the key to the start position, the ignition switch sends power through the white wire and energizes the coil inside the solenoid. The coil closes an internal contact to send power from the red battery cable to the black wire, which powers the starter motor to spin the engine.
Is the battery dead?
So what can go wrong with the starting system?
Well, a dead battery won’t power up the starter system and could prevent the solenoid coil from clicking.
To check the battery, we’ll use a multimeter to measure the DC voltage across the battery terminals.
- Put on work gloves and safety goggles.
- Turn off the ignition.
- Access the battery. In this type of riding lawn mower, you lift the seat to get to the battery.
- With the multimeter set to measure DC voltage, touch the red multimeter probe to the positive or red battery terminal and the black meter probe to the negative or black battery terminal.
- If the battery is good, it measures more than 12 volts DC.
- If it measures less than 12 volts, the battery is weak or dead and you’ve likely found the problem. A weak or dead battery won’t power the starter solenoid coil.
Try recharging the battery using a charger. Or, in a pinch, you can use jumper cables to jump-start a riding lawn mower model that uses a 12-volt battery.
If the battery won’t recharge, replace it.
Check for power to the solenoid
If the battery is okay, it means power is getting to the red battery cable. But, is voltage getting through the red battery cable to the red terminal post? To check that, let’s measure voltage at the red terminal post.
With the multimeter set to measure DC voltage, touch the red meter probe to the red post on the starter solenoid and the black meter probe to the negative terminal on the battery. It should measure more than 12 volts.
A word of warning here: Don’t let the meter lead touch both the solenoid posts at the same time or you’ll see a severe spark. Shorting across the solenoid posts sends the current to the starter motor. Some of you may be tempted to short across the solenoid posts intentionally using an insulated screwdriver to start the engine. But we strongly discourage this approach, because this dangerous practice overrides safety switches.
If the meter measures less than 12 volts, check the battery terminals and cable leads for corrosion. Clean corrosion off the battery terminals and battery cable leads with a wire brush—corrosion can prevent the red solenoid post from getting power. Recheck the voltage. If it still doesn’t measure more than 12 volts at the red post, replace the red battery cable.
Check for power to the solenoid coil
So, let’s get back to troubleshooting the starting system.
Now that we know the red terminal is getting power, the next step is to find out whether the solenoid coil gets power when you turn the key.
If you measure voltage at the coil but the internal contact doesn’t click, the starter solenoid is to blame. The solenoid clicks when it sends power to the starter motor.
To check voltage on the solenoid coil wires, you need clip-on meter probes to hold the probes on the wires as you turn the ignition key, unless you have a helper to turn the key while you hold the probes on the wires.
- Pull the white and black wires off the spades of the solenoid.
- Set the multimeter to measure DC voltage.
- Clip the red meter probe to the white wire female spade connector and the black meter probe to the black wire female spade connector.
- Turn the ignition key to the start position, note the voltage reading on the meter display and then turn the ignition key off.
- If the multimeter measures battery voltage, it will be more than 12 volts. Replace the starter solenoid because the coil is getting power but not closing the internal contact to send power to the starter motor. Here’s a video that shows you how to replace the starter solenoid.
- If it measures 0 volts, there’s a break in the circuit to the solenoid coil. The starter solenoid is likely okay, it’s just not getting power. Time to test the coil circuit.
Test the coil circuit
We’ll check the ground side of the circuit first. The black wire attaches to the solenoid coil and connects to the metal frame of the riding mower as a ground. A break in that wire keeps the coil from getting power.
To check the ground wire, we check for resistance between the female spade on the black wire and the metal frame of the mower.
- Disconnect the negative battery cable and then the positive battery cable to completely kill power to the mower before checking resistance.
- Tuck the cables away from the battery to keep them from touching the posts and accidentally restoring power.
- Set the multimeter to measure resistance and touch one meter probe to the black wire female spade and the other meter probe to bare metal on the mower frame to ground it—I’m using the mower deck height lever.
- A reading near 0 ohms of resistance means the black wire is grounded.
- A reading of infinite resistance means you must to find and repair the break in the black ground wiring. Once you restore a good path to ground on the black wire, you should be able to start the engine.
Check the fuse
If the ground side of the circuit is okay, we’ll check the hot side of the circuit that begins with the small red wire on the starter solenoid terminal and ends at the white wire that connects to the coil spade.
The circuit includes a fuse, the ignition switch, brake switch and blade switch.
First, we’ll check for a blown fuse because you can usually see a blown fuse just by looking at it.
The fuse in this mower is right here next to the starter solenoid, but we need to pull out the battery and battery box to access the fuse.
Move the zip tie over and pull the fuse from the holder.
If you find the fuse element broken like this, replace the fuse because it’s definitely blown.
If you’re unsure whether the fuse is blown, check for continuity through the fuse using your multimeter. Place one meter probe on each of the fuse leads to measure resistance through the fuse. You should measure near 0 ohms of resistance through the fuse. If you measure infinite resistance, replace the fuse because it’s blown.
Keep in mind that the fuse blew because of a short in a component or wiring. Follow the steps in this video to determine the cause of a blown fuse and fix the problem so the fuse doesn’t blow again soon after you replace it.
If the fuse is okay, reinstall it in the holder and secure it with the zip tie.
Test the ignition switch
Next, we’ll check continuity through the red wire from the starter solenoid post to the ignition switch.
- Open the mower hood.
- Pull the wire harness off the ignition switch.
- Release the locking tabs on the ignition switch and push it out of the dash.
- Push the wire harness plug through the hole so you can easily access the contacts for testing.
- With the multimeter set to measure resistance, place one meter probe on the starter solenoid post with the red wire and the other meter probe on the female plug spade with the red wire attached.
You should measure near 0 ohms of resistance through this section of wiring. If you measure infinite resistance, find and repair the break in the red wire.
If this section of wiring is okay, we’ll test the ignition switch next.
When you turn the key to start the engine, internal ignition switch contacts should complete a circuit from the red wire on the B terminal to the white wire on the S terminal.
To test the ignition switch, we’ll measure the resistance between terminals B and S with the key turned to the start position. With the multimeter set to measure resistance, touch one meter probe to the B prong on the back of the ignition switch and the other meter probe to the S prong. Turn the key to start the engine and check the resistance in your meter display.
You should measure near 0 ohms of resistance. If you measure infinite resistance, then replace the ignition switch because it isn’t closing the contact B to S to send voltage to the solenoid coil.
Test the brake interlock switch
If the ignition switch is okay, then we’ve isolated the circuit break to the section of white wire that includes the brake switch and blade switch.
We’ll check the brake switch first. To give you a better view, we’ve removed the hood.
- To access the brake switch, remove the air duct mounting screws and pull off the air duct.
- Carefully move the fuel tank out of the way. Drain some fuel from the tank if it’s too heavy to lift.
- Next, remove the lower right dash fastener and pull off the lower dash. Now you can get to the brake switch for testing.
- Note the prongs that the white wires connect to because those are the prongs that we’ll check resistance through to determine whether the brake switch is okay.
- Pull the wire harness off the brake switch.
- With your multimeter set to check resistance, touch one meter probe to one prong and the other meter probe to the other prong that connects to the white wires.
You should measure near 0 ohms of resistance if the brake switch is okay.
If you measure infinite resistance, replace the brake switch because it’s broken. Here’s a video that shows how.
Check the blade switch
If the brake switch is okay, we’ll check the blade switch.
- Remove the clutch lever assembly mounting screws and pull the assembly down slightly to access the blade switch.
- Note the prongs that the white wires connect to and then disconnect the wire harness from the blade switch.
- With your multimeter set to check resistance, touch the meter probes to the prongs that the white wire connected to.
The multimeter should show near 0 ohms of resistance if the blade switch is okay. If it measures infinite resistance, replace the blade switch because it’s broken.
If the blade switch is okay, then there’s a break in the white wire between the ignition switch and the solenoid coil that’s preventing the coil from getting power. Find and repair the wiring break.
Now that you’ve gotten through all of our troubleshooting tips, you should be able to start your mower. Now you can get to the real work of mowing your lawn!
I hope this video helps you out today. Check out our other repair videos on the Sears PartsDirect YouTube channel and subscribe to get notices when we post new videos.
Zero-turn mowers and lawn tractors provide the wide decks and speed needed to maintain large yards. However, they have their pros and cons, which could make one a better choice for your yard.
By Stacey L Nash and Bob Vila | Updated Jun 9, 2020 3:58 PM
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Lawns over half an acre give you plenty of space to play and lounge in the great outdoors. However, when it’s time to mow, you’re looking at a major commitment. Factor in landscaping like flower beds and trees, and you’ll likely add some trimming and spot mowing to your to-do list. The power machines of the landscaping world—zero turn vs. lawn tractor—can keep you from spending the better part of every Saturday behind a lawn mower.
A lot of factors go into determining which type of mower would be best suited for your lawn. Your yard’s size, incline, and landscaping all come into play. Before choosing between the two most common lawn mower types for large yards, get to know the biggest differences between zero-turn mowers and lawn tractors. This guide lays out the pros and cons of each to help you avoid making a mowing mistake with the wrong mower.
Zero-turn mowers are better for lawns with curves.
If your yard spans ½ an acre or more and is dotted with trees, bushes, and flower beds, a zero-turn mower will save you time when it comes to your lawn care routine. Zero-turn mowers have dual-hydrostatic transmissions controlled by two levers, which are key factors in their responsiveness and tight turning radius.
To move forward in a straight line, you press both levers forward, making sure to keep them even. To turn the mower, you either slow or stop power to one side by pulling the lever back, while the other side continues to move forward, giving the mower the ability to do a zero (or near zero) radius turn. This gives zero-turn mowers a mowing pattern that leaves far fewer missed patches of grass at the end of the swath or around curves and corners.
In comparison, lawn tractors have a wide turn radius, which leaves a patch of grass at the end of every swath. You can either come back around on a second pass to get those missed patches or stop and reverse to cut every blade of grass.
Lawn tractors power over slopes and hills.
Lawn tractors have a front-wheel drive that allows them to inch up slopes and hills with relative ease. In contrast, a zero-turn mower’s rear-wheel drive may be difficult to control or lose traction on uneven ground.
However, a word of caution: Both types of mowers can tip over on extreme slopes, which is anything over 15 degrees. Some lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers have roll bars and seat belts, but you’re better off using a push mower or a trimmer on extreme slopes.
A lawn tractor’s steering wheel provides intuitive control.
For those who want to jump on the lawn mower and go, a lawn tractor’s familiar steering wheel and gas pedal will take little if any time to get used to. Basically, you push the gas pedal and go, just like you would in a car. When you want to slow down, you release the gas and press the brake.
The differential speed control offered by a zero-turn machine’s dual-hydrostatic transmission, on the other hand, can take some practice. On these models, you control the speed by pressing the control levers forward rather than using a foot pedal. Hydrostatic transmissions can be touchy, so there may be some lurching and sudden stops until you get a feel for the speed control.
You also have to learn how to time the manipulation of the levers (one pressing forward, the other pulling back) when making turns. Considering that zero-turn mowers can go faster than lawn tractors as well means you’ll be trying to learn how to control the machine at higher speeds.
If you’re nervous about controlling a zero-turn model, a few newer machines have joystick control, which is much easier to use but still requires practice to master.
Deck size makes a difference, but the winner will depend on your yard.
The wider the deck, the fewer swaths it will take to cover the lawn, and the faster you can mow your full property. Lawn tractors have decks that range from 42 to 54 inches, while zero-turn mowers have decks from 42 to over 60 inches.
Choosing the appropriate deck size (and the mower or tractor that provides it) not only involves considering the size of your yard but also the width of the narrowest spaces you’ll need to mow in between or around. To maintain tight spaces between trees or flower beds, you’ll need a narrower deck. However, if you have a flat yard that’s 2 or 3 acres without obstacles, choose the machine with the widest deck you can afford.
Zero-turn mowers go faster, but slower speeds leave a cleaner cut.
Zero-turn mowers offer clean cuts at 5 miles per hour (mph) and can reach speeds of more than 10 mph. In comparison, lawn tractors mow at about 4 mph with a top speed of around 7 mph. However, in some circumstances, such as on sloped or hilly terrain, lawn tractors may be able to maintain their traction and speed better and, therefore, may occasionally mow faster under certain circumstances.
Know that cut quality goes down the faster you mow, whether you’re on a zero-turn or lawn tractor. Even if you have a zero-turn mower, the top speeds are generally used for traveling to another part of the yard rather than actually mow the lawn.
Both types of mowers are pricey, but zero-turn models rise to the top.
When it comes to price—zero turn vs. lawn tractors—both top the price charts. However, lawn tractors are the more affordable of the two, and they’ll earn their keep. They may also be used to pull carts, sprayers, spreaders, and other yard equipment. For the right buyer, a lawn tractor may be a Smart investment. A base model starts around 1,200, but any extra accessories like a bagging kit, trailer, or sprayers must be purchased separately.
Zero-turn mowers start around 2,500 and go well above 5,000, and you may have to buy a bagging kit separately. If your yard spans several acres and/or has a wide range of trees and flowers you need to mow around, a zero-turn model may be well worth it for the time it saves.