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Thread: I think my zero turn mower is cursed!

  1. #16
    Irony: Needing to replace a $400 starter that's failed 3 times since last summer, but not wanting to buy a cheap Chinese $100 starter for fear it'll fail once a year

    (don't shoot me, just a joke)
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    Irony: Needing to replace a $400 starter that's failed 3 times since last summer, but not wanting to buy a cheap Chinese $100 starter for fear it'll fail once a year

    (don't shoot me, just a joke)
    I hate buying things over and over again and throwing stuff in the landfill.

    The issue with the current starter is the previous owner apparently buried the mower deep enough in mud to get mud inside the starter. I had the starter rebuilt and the guy said it was full of dirt.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    A rebuilt starter should be as good as a new one.
    When I ran heavy equipment we would buy rebuilt starters because new ones had a 1 year warranty and rebuilt ones had a 5 year

  4. #19
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    I'm in agreement with Tom 100%. IF the starter was properly rebuilt it should be as good as new. As Lee mentioned the bearings are the only thing that should have grease on them. It sounds like a brush sticking and when you tap on the starter body it engages. I looked because I had not encountered a Mitsubishi starter on a Kubota before. Denso brand is far more common and maybe an option. If the mower was ran off in a pond or ditch and got water and mud where it didn't belong I would expect you to find evidence of that in other locations as well. When you have the starter off look in the bellhousing for evidence of that. At any rate there are many options for th as is. I just looked and Napa appears to have replacement starters for this as well.

  5. #20
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    Here is a picture I took back when I took the starter out before it went to the rebuild shop.

    There is plenty of evidence that the mower got very wet and muddy. The "dashboard" is full of mud. I had to remove both of what you might call the fenders to get to the safety switches for the control arms to check to see if the switches were working. There was mud all up inside the fenders where the dealer didn't wash the unit completely. The two wheel motors are quite rusty on the outside. I am going to change the hydraulic fluid and filter twice to make sure no water or dirt got into the hydraulics.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #21
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    Brian, you keep saying stuck in the mud, but i'm thinking it may have been salvaged from a flood - - not that it matters, nor help with the diagnosis.

  7. #22
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    I recall you making a "journey" to get this mower. Obviously the dealer isn't ethical or the person who traded it in wasn't. Hard to believe the dealer wouldn't have been aware of it if it was submerged. It's not unusual for ZTR mowers to end up in a pond or lake by operator error. As for the starter though if properly rebuilt it should be as good as new. If you have doubts I would check out replacement options. We had starters rebuilt all the time when I was working on heavy equipment. New starters were only purchased if it was a different starter than we had on the shelf. Then the failed unit was rebuilt and put on the shelf.

  8. #23
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    Some of these mowers have a lot of safety gates to get through before the motor turns over. I had starting issues with my Scagg and it turned out to be the PTO clutch.... big surprise cuz I didn't know it had one.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick McCarthy View Post
    Brian, you keep saying stuck in the mud, but i'm thinking it may have been salvaged from a flood - - not that it matters, nor help with the diagnosis.
    I am no expert on floods, but I wouldn't think there would be grass and mud packed up inside the "dash" if it was flooded. I might be wrong on that.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence Duckworth View Post
    Some of these mowers have a lot of safety gates to get through before the motor turns over. I had starting issues with my Scagg and it turned out to be the PTO clutch.... big surprise cuz I didn't know it had one.
    The first time it wouldn't start last summer I pulled the mower apart and tested all of the safety switches. They were all working. I could also hear them clicking. I even talked to Grasshopper tech support and they told me there is only one safety switch that prevents starting the engine. It sat for a few hours and then I tried again and it started.

    The second time it wouldn't start I checked to see if the solenoid was getting power. It was. I decided hit the starter and then it started right up when I turned the key to start.

  11. #26
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    I don't think some of you understand I already had the starter rebuilt in the beginning of April. Less than ten starts later the starter is acting the same way it did before I had it rebuilt. It wouldn't crank and I had to give the starter a gentle tap to make it work again. Before I gave it the tap I checked to be sure the solenoid wire was tight and that the positive cable to the starter was still tight.

    I doubt the John Deere dealer knew what happened to this mower. I find it hard to believe they would risk their reputation by intentionally selling a used mower that was flooded, sunk in the mud, or something. I'll never know what really happened to the mower before it ended up at the John Deere dealer.

  12. #27
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    Brian, the gentle tap required, to me, indicates (1) something electrical inside the starter is loose and the tap helped make it to make electrical contact, OR (2) something mechanical or electrical like a brush inside the starter is physically "hung/binding" and the mechanical tap freed it to function normally.

    The fact that someone "overhauled" doesn't mean it was done correctly or that a part that was installed hasn't failed prematurely.

    Do you have a friend who is mechanically inclined who could help you disassemble the starter to see if you can find the cause of the problem?

    There is nothing magic about a starter.

    I know it's frustrating, but the mower can be fixed.

    Good luck!
    Ken

  13. #28
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    I call this mower cursed because it spent more time in the shop last summer than it spent at my house. It breaks almost every time I mow with it. I didn’t even make it through the first cut this year before it broke again with the starting issue. I needed to pick up branches and decided with the cost of diesel to shut off the engine. It didn’t start after that.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald View Post
    Brian, the gentle tap required, to me, indicates (1) something electrical inside the starter is loose and the tap helped make it to make electrical contact, OR (2) something mechanical or electrical like a brush inside the starter is physically "hung/binding" and the mechanical tap freed it to function normally.

    The fact that someone "overhauled" doesn't mean it was done correctly or that a part that was installed hasn't failed prematurely.

    Do you have a friend who is mechanically inclined who could help you disassemble the starter to see if you can find the cause of the problem?

    There is nothing magic about a starter.

    I know it's frustrating, but the mower can be fixed.

    Good luck!
    That was where I was leaning Ken. It might be no fault of the rebuilder. They should make good on it though. Sometimes components put back in aren't always "perfect" either. We had an issue with starters on John Deere 4045 engines. 4 cylinder 100 HP diesel. The rebuilt starters were eating the starter ring gear after about 3 months out from rebuild. Had the rebuilder start putting JD drives in because the after market drive wasn't extending the drive gear for full engagement. Ring gears aren't hard to change but shouldn't be needed. Half engagement lead to early failures though. In this case it wasn't any fault of the rebuilder.

  15. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick McCarthy View Post
    Brian, you keep saying stuck in the mud, but i'm thinking it may have been salvaged from a flood - - not that it matters, nor help with the diagnosis.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Elfert View Post
    I am no expert on floods, but I wouldn't think there would be grass and mud packed up inside the "dash" if it was flooded. I might be wrong on that.
    Maybe a victim of a hurricane? Been plenty of those the past year...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


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