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Curtis B.
Curtis B., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 13581
Experience:  have worked on and around most engine models for 35 yrs./Polaris ATV expert
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I've just purchased a reconditioned toro zero turn mower. it

Customer Question

hi, I've just purchased a reconditioned toro zero turn mower. it is a time cutter 5050 model. the two issues that I have with the mower that I need help understanding to fix, or what to do with is: 1. the drive motors seem to quit working entirely and unexpectedly when I go to make a sharp turn, or in conjunction with operating one direction lever backwards and the other forward. when the fault occurs, the drive will lock up entirely. it only seems to work again if I open the bars to the parking position, wait a couple minutes, and then close them back and attempt to move again. if, I try to go backwards again it will lock up again after two inches of movement, if I go forward everything works again. 2. The mower has also developed a refusal to crank up. gas is good, and full. turn key, I can hear the starter engage, but it won't spin the motor over. I suspected a weak battery, used my truck to jump off the mower. if, it was the battery. no dice to crank up. even jumping the solenoid produced no results. oil is clean, full, and with no water or gas filled in with it. so it couldn't be back filled crank case. thank you for your time and help. can I fix it simply, or send it back entirely.
JA: What's the make and model of the mower? And can you guesstimate how old it is?
Customer: Toro, time cutter 5050, zero turn
JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?
Customer: if it is simple enough, or send it back to call in the 1 yr. limited warranty.
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: I just want to diagnose the issues I have. if, it is a common problem, or should it need professional attention.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 12 months ago.

Hi, my name is***** will be assisting you.

The drive issue sounds like a belt slipping when you put it under a load of trying to turn the machine. My thought would be to replace the belt that runs from the engine to the hydro drive pumps which should solve that problem.

Can you describe the starting issue in a little more detail for me so that I can help you with it? Does the engine crank over good, just not start? Is it not cranking or slow to crank? What engine is it(Briggs, Kohler)?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
1. Kohler 24 hrp. 2. I can hear the starter engage, but no spin. at first I suspected the motor might be stuck in compression stroke. so, I manually rotated the flywheel at the top of the motor to where it should be easier on the starter out of the compression stroke. we have a similar issue like this with our craftsmen riding mower. no, dice. I then suspected that the battery just didn't have enough juice. I then tried to boost the mower with my tuck, no dice either. I even tried jumping the solenoid, nothing. after that, I wondered if I might have the old problem of a leaking carb and maybe filled the crank case with gas. no dice there as well. oil is clean, at the proper level, no milkshake. gas tank has good non-ethanol kind, and plenty of it.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 12 months ago.

The motor turns fairly easy by hand? You even tried to jump it from your vehicle and it still wouldn't turn the engine over.

It sounds to me like you have a bad starter or brushes in the starter. Since it won't crank the engine over even when you jump it from your vehicle. It sounds like the solenoid is providing power to the starter and the starter just won't turn to crank the engine. I would do one of two things 1. have the starter rebuilt or 2. replace the starter with a new. If you have the starter rebuilt they should be able to check it prior to doing anything to it just to be certain that everything should work once they finish the job.