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  1. #1
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    Default CRAFTSMAN tractor 18.5 Kohler V-twin

    I purchased this tractor new more than a decade ago, to only use a couple of times per year, to prevent summer grass fires on less than a acre of land in Northern Calif. The problem: the engine won't turn over? It has a new battery, the connections are clean and tight...new starter switch...solenoid checks good... the wiring is unmolested from any rodents, and the 30AMP fuse is good too! I don't have any wiring diagram for trouble shooting?

    The tractor has always been garaged, and in mint condition; it was running fine when last used, which was last fall. The only way to get the engine to turn over is, bypass all of the above, and run a jumper wire directly from the battery to the starter motor. Would this be a "safety switch" issue somewhere?

    Thanks in advance for all your help!

    LEE

  2. #2
    Elite Member ToadHill's Avatar
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    Catt county New York
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    Kioti DK35, Ford 8N, Oliver Cletrac

    Default Re: CRAFTSMAN tractor 18.5 Kohler V-twin

    Could be a safety switch. I think that craftsman units have 3, one under the seat, one when the brake-clutch is depressed, and one on the on the deck engaging arm. You might try to bypass them one at a time to see if it starts.
    I can't control my day but I can control my attitude.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: CRAFTSMAN tractor 18.5 Kohler V-twin

    My 20 year old Craftsman mower has a similar problem. Sort of how I ended up buying it. The original owner didn't want to mess with it, had sold his place and just wanted it to go away.

    I figured out that there was a saftey switch on the clutch pedal that wasn't working right. I put a hose clamp over it to keep it in the closed position, and solved my problems. It's worked great like that for the six plus years that I've had it.

    Eddie

  4. #4
    Gold Member Superduper's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
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    midwest
    Tractor
    John Deere 3120

    Default Re: CRAFTSMAN tractor 18.5 Kohler V-twin

    I see you've already installed a new battery. Mine needed annual replacement as I have never bothered to keep them on a trickle charger. When they go dead, they stay dead. I solved this problem 5 years ago by modifying the battery tray to accept a normal sized car bettery (optima). Since then I have had ZERO battery issues, always starts no matter how long I crank it and I have never had to charge it, even if it sits all fall/winter. Next season, it always starts right up!

    As for the safety switch issue, the other posts have addressed them. My guess, you've probably left the PTO switch in the on position or it's the clutch switch.
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  5. #5
    Elite Member wushaw's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    Bristol Texas
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    Kubota L2800, 15 hp 372 Mitsubishi

    Default Re: CRAFTSMAN tractor 18.5 Kohler V-twin

    I had the same problem with my RER Snapper till I removed all the saftey switches...I have not had a problem in 7 years.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member bontai_Joe's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
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    northeast PA
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    Deere 316 (Kohler) Deere 316 (Onan) Deere 210

    Default Re: CRAFTSMAN tractor 18.5 Kohler V-twin

    You mentioned that by bypassing everything, it turns over... does it actually start and run ok?
    If it's free, it's for me!!!!!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: CRAFTSMAN tractor 18.5 Kohler V-twin

    Quote Originally Posted by EddieWalker View Post
    My 20 year old Craftsman mower has a similar problem. Sort of how I ended up buying it. The original owner didn't want to mess with it, had sold his place and just wanted it to go away.

    I figured out that there was a saftey switch on the clutch pedal that wasn't working right. I put a hose clamp over it to keep it in the closed position, and solved my problems. It's worked great like that for the six plus years that I've had it.

    Eddie
    Hey Eddie, I am troubleshooting my craftsman mower & I notice that it starts & runs until I release the clutch/brake. I suspect it it the safety switch. Can you tell me how to locate & access the switch so I could replace it?

    Thanks for your time, Eddie S.

  8. #8
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: CRAFTSMAN tractor 18.5 Kohler V-twin

    Sorry, I just read my quote and I'm drawing a blank on all the details. I remember it being by the pedal, and that it was something that deperessed when the pedal was pushed down. I just put a hose clamp over it and tightened it down so it was always in the depressed position. After that, it was never a problem.

    I ran that mower into the ground and whent he rear axle snaped, I gave it away to a client who took the engine out for a project he was working on.

    Good luck,
    Eddie

  9. #9
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    Default Re: CRAFTSMAN tractor 18.5 Kohler V-twin

    Hey Eddie, I replaced the clutch safety switch only to have the engine still die when I let go of the clutch pedal. Do you know what else could be at fault?

    Thanks, Eddie.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2006
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    BEECHER CITY, IL
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    KIOTI DK45S

    Default Re: CRAFTSMAN tractor 18.5 Kohler V-twin

    if it dies when you release the clutch pedal it is the seat safety switch. sometimes if the connection isnt seated the secondary switch built into the seat switch will activate killing it every time. push in one the seat switch wiring harness and try again. if not replace switch.

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