I have a Craftsman 917 series riding mower that I purchased last year. It ran fine for the first month or so but after that it was intermittently having issues starting. I noticed the connections on the ignition switch were loose and rusty so I replaced the connectors. Now I am not able to get the starter to engage via the ignition switch but I can get it to crank (but not start) when I apply power directly to the starter. I am not sure if the issue is in the switch/wiring or if its somewhere else in the line of startup processes. I was able to get it started a few weeks ago and it died out after about a minute of running. I verified that fuel was making it past the filter so I do not think that is an issue. I used the wiring schematic from the manual as a guide when replacing the connectors. Any thoughts on how I can determine what the issue is? I would like to temporarily disable all the safety switches to see if there is an issue there but I am not sure how to do so. Can I just remove the connections from the ignition switch? ( I think it would be A1 & A2)enter image description here

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    please explain how this is a home improvement question – jsotola May 22 '18 at 18:46
  • I guess it is not but I didn't really know where else to turn to for an answer to my question. – Steve Salowitz May 22 '18 at 18:49
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    can you activate the starter solenoid by hand? .... otherwise, use an automobile jumper cable across the start solenoid contacts (not across the coil) ............ i think that the ignition switch may be miswired – jsotola May 22 '18 at 19:01
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    You changed the ignition switch wiring and now it doesn't work... I'd focus my attention there. Are you s.u.r.e the switch isn't bad? – Harper - Reinstate Monica May 22 '18 at 20:54
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    make sure that the mowers blade switch is not energized and that the brake is fully pushed in or locked to parking brake. – d.george May 22 '18 at 23:25

So I was able to get it started by connecting directly to the starter but when the clutch/brake pedal was released it died so I must have either a crossed wire or bad relay somewhere

  • were you sitting on the seat? – jsotola May 23 '18 at 0:28
  • Not me personally but my son was – Steve Salowitz May 23 '18 at 0:29
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    the switch may be weight sensitive. try sitting on it yourself – d.george May 23 '18 at 10:34

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