Powercraft Riding Lawnmower Won't Start

I am trying to fix my MTD/Powercraft riding mower. It has an 18 HP I/C B+S motor, twin cylinder. 42a707 series. It has a hydrostatic transmission. The starter will not turn the motor to start it. I have put on a brand new starter and it still will not turn the motor. Even when I jump past all of the switches and solenoids and jumper straight from the pos (+) battery terminal to the starter, the starter still will not turn the engine.


The battery is fully charged and tested so I have ruled that out. My question is could it be that the transmission belts/blade belts are too tight? Should the transmission belts be disengaged when trying to start somehow? Right now the belts are very tight all the time and the engine is VERY hard to turn, even by hand. I know it is not a compression problem, I have taken the spark plugs out and the problem persists.

It is not an OHV engine so I am not inclined to believe that it is a valve problem. Should the clutch be disengaging the transmission belt? What exactly does the clutch do on these machines? This may be a very vague question, but I have been fooling with this tractor for a week now and I am at my wits end. If more info is needed, or questions arise please let me know. Help me if you can! Thanks.

By michael garrett from Peoria, IL

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April 2, 20090 found this helpful

Fixed it. Please disregard this message. Apparently one of the safety switches was malfunctioning.


I rewired the mower to bypass all of the safety switches and it cranked perfectly.

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April 2, 20090 found this helpful

Well on my riding mower it has safety devices. One of which is the mower will not turn over unless I am sitting in the seat. If the mower is running and I leave the seat the mower will shut down. It is possible to over ride the safety device. If my battery is low I hook up my charger to the battery but I have to be in the seat for the mower to turn over. Once it starts I kick off the cables with my foot or have someone unhook the charger. I also use alligator clips instead of nuts and bolts to hook up the battery to the mower. makes it easier to disconnect the battery.

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