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Sears Craftsman 11 Horse Varidrive Help Please!


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#1 crokit OFFLINE  

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Posted June 12, 2013 - 08:00 PM

  1979 model. Used it today.  Drove short distance, parked for about an hour. Went to start it, totaly dead.  It has a rigged start system.   Turn key to " on ' and push button to start.  Get nothing at all.  I know it's not the battery.  Happened just at dark, so not sure about connections to starter etc.  Tried lights and got nothing.  Frankly, can't remember if  engine needs to be running for lights to work.

 

  If clutch went, will that cause the problem?  Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.   Thanks in advance. 


Edited by crokit, June 12, 2013 - 08:01 PM.


#2 superaben OFFLINE  

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Posted June 12, 2013 - 08:07 PM

If the lights work when the tractor is off, then you have a bad connection somewhere.   Take your battery cables loose and clean them up and reattach. 

 

Does it have a fuse in the start system anywhere?

 

Ben W.


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#3 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted June 12, 2013 - 08:54 PM

I'm thinking it still has a safety switch somewhere.
Maybe the one for the mower... I've left them engaged and shut down before.
Wondered why it didnt start later :wallbanging:
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#4 crokit OFFLINE  

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Posted June 13, 2013 - 04:19 AM

If the lights work when the tractor is off, then you have a bad connection somewhere.  

 

Does it have a fuse in the start system anywhere?

 

Ben W.

 

 

  Did you mean if the lights DON'T  work when the tractor is off?  Yes, there is an in-line fuse.  Not sure what it's for, but it's not blown.


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#5 crokit OFFLINE  

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Posted June 13, 2013 - 04:22 AM

I'm thinking it still has a safety switch somewhere.
Maybe the one for the mower... I've left them engaged and shut down before.
Wondered why it didnt start later :wallbanging:

 

 

  No attachments connected, but I'l check  to see if levers have been moved


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#6 superaben OFFLINE  

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Posted June 13, 2013 - 05:20 PM

I guess its time now to pull out your multimeter and see what you can find.  Test for voltage, not continuity only, and see if power is getting to the rigged start switch.  Have a helper hold that switch in and CAREFULLY test down the line for power.  Disconnect the lug to the starter if you need to and definitely pull the spark plug wire so the motor can't do something suddenly to you. 

 

Ben W.


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#7 UncleWillie ONLINE  

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Posted June 13, 2013 - 07:02 PM

On mine I am forever hitting the deck engagement lever and then i think the tractor is dead when I try to restart it. Check that first it is about the only safety on them. After that check the electrical connections and make sure they are tight and not corroded.


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#8 crokit OFFLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2013 - 07:38 PM

I guess its time now to pull out your multimeter and see what you can find.  Test for voltage, not continuity only, and see if power is getting to the rigged start switch.  Have a helper hold that switch in and CAREFULLY test down the line for power.  Disconnect the lug to the starter if you need to and definitely pull the spark plug wire so the motor can't do something suddenly to you. 

 

Ben W.

   Well, did as you suggested.  Couldn't find my meter, so used a Magyver meter, an insulated screwdriver.  LOL.  Turned the ignition key, pushed the button and got nothing.  Turned the ignition key, layed the screwdriver across both terminals of the button switch and bingo, fired right up.  Button switch has only been used 15-20 times.  It was made in a certain Asian country.  Go figure.  Seems like it should have lasted longer than that.  Fortunately it's inexpensive.

 

   Thanks again everyone for your help.  Love this site!!


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#9 superaben OFFLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2013 - 08:34 PM

When you get a new button switch, make sure it is rated for the amperage draw you have in your battery.  The start system is the biggest drain you will get electrically, and that switch has to not only carry 12 volts (any little wire can do that) but also "power" in the form of amps.  Amperage will burn up a cheap switch faster than you can say smoke. 

 

Try an auto parts store switch that can handle what you want to punish it with.

 

Ben W.


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