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Diagnostic Puzzle - 05 Snapper Rider (series 23), 28" cut, 12.5 Briggs, OHV, Elec.

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VABeach_John
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2016/07/09 12:53:44 (permalink)
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Diagnostic Puzzle - 05 Snapper Rider (series 23), 28" cut, 12.5 Briggs, OHV, Elec.

I purchased a used Snapper riding lawnmower from a private seller.  It is 10 years old but has been garage kept and very rarely used.  It actually looks like it rolled off the assembly line.  I looked at it and tested it one evening, then picked it up the following day.  Both days the unit started right up with no problems.  When I picked it up, I drove it up sellers ramps into a standard pickup and traveled about 30 minutes to my home.  Offloading was more difficult, because I had no ramps ... so I backed the truck close to a hill in my yard and pulled the unit out backwards until the rear tires hit the ground.  I then tilted it up on end drove the truck forward and lowered the unit back down.  Nothing was done aggressively.  When I tried to start the unit, nothing happened.  I turned the key, and silence.  So I rolled it into the garage and started my diagnostics.   Here is how that progressed:
 
1) I checked the battery with my multi-meter.  It showed 12.4 Volts (or 75% charged).
2) I used the multi-meter to check continuity at the following:  Break/Clutch safety switch; seat safety switch; blade safety switch; and ignition switch.  All appeared to be working properly (depressed and not depressed).
3) I pulled the 12 V ignition switch wire from the solenoid (3 pole) and used my multi-meter (positive to the ignition switch wire that I pulled off the solenoid and negative to ground - frame of unit).  Sat on the unit with break fully engaged, in neutral, and blade disengaged.  I showed no voltage going to the solenoid.  This told me that I had a problem with one of the safety switches ... but I had tested them all!
4) I then put a screw driver across the + and - poles on the solenoid, which engaged the starter (assumed at that point that the solenoid and starter were not the issue.
5) Finally I checked the 10 amp/32V fuse in-line on the small red wire coming from the battery side of the solenoid, and it was blown.  I went to the auto store and bought a similar fuse and installed it.  I sat back on the unit with break fully engaged, blade disengaged, and in neutral and turned the key ... absolutely nothing (silence).  I then checked the new fuse and it too had blown.
 
I am stumped as to what could have happened to my new/used Snapper riding mower ... and how to repair it, without taking it in to a mechanic.  ANY help from this forum would be greatly appreciated!  John     
 

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    Mikel1
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    Re: Diagnostic Puzzle - 05 Snapper Rider (series 23), 28" cut, 12.5 Briggs, OHV, Elec. 2016/07/09 13:30:40 (permalink)
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    You have a short. Make sure you use the right amperage fuse, some people like to use a higher amp fuse. This could damage the wiring.
    So is it blowing the fuse in the ignition switch on position or when in cranking position(trying to start)?
    Do you have a 12v test light?
    VABeach_John
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    Re: Diagnostic Puzzle - 05 Snapper Rider (series 23), 28" cut, 12.5 Briggs, OHV, Elec. 2016/07/09 13:42:23 (permalink)
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    Mike, good questions.  I don't have a 12 V test light, but I may be able to use the multi-meter for what you are suggesting.  I have been assuming that the fuse is blowing in the cranking position.  I have not tested to see if it is blowing in the on or cranking position.  I will also go through the wiring to see how I might be having a short.  Possibly the vibration from the travel to my house in the back of the truck.  Still puzzled.  John
    VABeach_John
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    Re: Diagnostic Puzzle - 05 Snapper Rider (series 23), 28" cut, 12.5 Briggs, OHV, Elec. 2016/07/09 13:43:04 (permalink)
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    Also, I am using a 10 amp fuse - similar to the OEM fuse that blew.
    VABeach_John
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    Re: Diagnostic Puzzle - 05 Snapper Rider (series 23), 28" cut, 12.5 Briggs, OHV, Elec. 2016/07/09 14:04:07 (permalink)
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    BINGO!  The small red wire was shorting as it exits the back end of the frame tube on its way to the solenoid.  The previous owner had a new clutch/break cable installed, and the new cable had pinched the red wire against the tube and wore it down and shorted the wire.  Thanks so much for your advice.  Great site!

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    Mikel1
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    Re: Diagnostic Puzzle - 05 Snapper Rider (series 23), 28" cut, 12.5 Briggs, OHV, Elec. 2016/07/09 14:52:55 (permalink)
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    Wow, that was fast. Great Job!
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