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sounds like the electronic PTO Clutch has developed a Flat spot or a problem and is not working when cold. At least does not have much power. It may need adjusted. Or, as stupid as this seems, you may need a new battery.
First. a battery problem will cause major trouble with the PTO. It takes an enormous amount of battery energy to run an electric clutch. So if your battery is low...or goes down, the pto cannot work. Even if there is enough power to start the engine.
If you bought a battery from a discount store. There is a good possibility that either the battery was bad right off the shelf or that it didn't have the required 350 cca that is the minimum for an electric clutch to work correctly for any length of time.
If the battery keeps going down, you could also have a problem with the charging system. Just a note about charging systems in a lawn mower. YOU CANNOT EVER JUMP-START A LAWNMOWER WITH AN AUTOMOBILE OR YOU WILL RUIN THE CHARGING SYSTEM OF THE MOWER. tHE SYSTEM OF THE CAR WILL BLOW THE MOWER'S CHARGING SYSTEM.
You'd have to have the charging system in the mower checked.
The PTO switch could also be bad causing this problem. This happens fairy often.
Also check the wires that attach to the pto clutch. If they came loose, it won't work. Also check for any corrosion on any of the wire terminals and also the battery post and terminals. Also check to make sure that there is not corrosion on the ground cables.
Last but not least, the PTO itself could be bad.... or at least need adjusted...if it has an adjustment. If you have an adjustable clutch, the setting is .010" between the two halves of the clutch...(in between the slots)
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Under the flywheel there is a set of charging coils called a stator. On the flywheel there is a series of magnets. As the flywheel moves, the magnets pass over the stator coils and electricity is manufactured. This is AC electricity. The Ac (alternating current) is then changed into DC (Direct current) by either a diode located in the wiring or by a voltage regulator. Then the DC electricity is carried through wires to the battery which uses it to charge the battery.
When a battery continually runs down, this means that one or more of the components is not working.
Sometimes something just plain goes bad for no apparent reason.
Most of the time, the reason that the system burns out it is because at some point in time...the battery has gone down and because the operator does not want to wait until the next day to mow.....after he has put a charger on the battery to charge it up....the owner tries to jump-start the mower with his car. This will almost always burn out the charging system of the mower. The charging system of a car or truck IS NOT COMPATABLE with the system of the mower and it burns out the charging system of the mower.
The first thing that goes bad is the diode or voltage regulator. Sometimes you will get lucky and that is all that has to be replaced. Most of the time you have to replace the stator as well.
Make sure that when you replace the battery, you get a good one, meaning that in the majority of cases if you purchase a cheap battery from a discount store, the usually don't work very well. I can't tell you haw many times that a customer has told me that he has replaced the battery, then the charging system, then the starter, the solenoid, safety switches and more...spending hundreds of dollars on parts...trying to fix things himself and they still cant get the mower to turn over or it wont stay charged....and they finally give up fixing it themselves, so they bring it in so that I can fix it,,,,,,,AND the only thing I have to do is to replace their "NEW" battery with a "GOOD" new battery and send them home......all because they went to a discount store and bought a cheep battery that wasn't any good. Beware of cheap batteries.
I hope this helps
Also, the fuel solenoid on the carburetor requires electricity. If the battery can only handle the PTO and no more, it will shut the engine down by cutting 12V to the solenoid just as if the key was turned off.
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