My Kubota died on me yesterday, in a neighbor's yard of course. Put it in neutral to move something out of her yard, and it cut off like the safety switch had kicked in. Now it won't restart. The dealer is an hour away, no trailers available to get it there, and no-one around here can figure it out. Looked online, and it seems there is a recurring problem with the safety switches. I've jiggled everything, made sure all was in neutral, checked connections, tried jump starting--nothing. Just hoping someone might have some ideas for me!
UPDATE: Tractor is back home, working fine. It was the safety switch under the forward/reverse pedal, it had broken. No idea how, something must have gotten thrown up there just right. Five dollar part, much more for labor and hauling. I want to go to tractor school now.
Last edited by Amazona13; Apr. 29, 2013 at 06:23 PM.
Very likely a microswitch that has either failed or isn't "caught" by whatever it guards. With my smaller BX22, it's sometimes the PTO lever that needs to be engaged and then disengaged if the machine will not start. If you hear any "ticking" or other sound when you do turn the key, one of the microswitches is likely to blame.
Thanks, I suspect one of the safety or micro switches too. I just don't know enough about machines to know how to bypass them. When you say make a jumper wire, do you mean take any old wire and stick it in either side of the switch? I can try that. I've already disengaged both PTOs and tried to make sure the hydrostatic pedal is completely neutral. When I turn the key, I get one click and then nothing.
Sure makes me feel like I wasted my money at a university when what I really needed were some practical skills!
I don't know how your tractor is wired, but my experience with JD is that if a safety switch is involved, you will not get any clicks.
The reason being that the safety switch is located in the circuit in such a way that ZERO power is available to the tractor.
I would suspect a bad battery or dirty battery terminals or posts.
Checking the battery with a volt meter is not sufficient. If the battery is suspect, you need to clean the posts thoroughly by removing the cable clamps, cleaning the inside of the clamps as well as the posts.
Then put the battery on a charger. When it is fully charged, put a load meter on it for the period required and see what the load meter tells you.
A battery can test 13v on a voltmeter and fail the load test.
If the battery checks out, then trace the safety switches one at a time.
I doubt OP has the ability to determine whether a safety switch is faulty.
My suggestion is meant to determine the problem. Whether one bypasses permanently or for only a few seconds is their option, not my business.
I would say that when testing, one should be in the seat and not doing something dumb like standing in front of the rear wheel.
This is exactly how I would deal with it and have. I have found most problems tend to be pretty simplistic. I always start from the basic and work up. My engineer friends always want to approach it from a complicated side. I/we are assuming that when you turn the key nothing happens, doesn’t turn over? Start with the safety/idiot switch, pull off the wires on either side of the switch, either jump them with a wire that has alligator clips on it, or tape them together if they do not have a plastic cover making sure there is good metal to metal contact. Or take a small finish nail or something of like that will fit in the ends and push together. If still nothing happens check the safety switch on the PTO and or make sure it is turned/pulled off. Maybe a bad switch that won’t turn off. Disconnect the wires to it and tape the ends. Check and make sure no wires fell off any where.
I have by passed all of the seat safety switches on my mowers. They are a PIA, one always has to get off and on to move stuff. Having to restart the thing numerous times when mowing takes time and puts a lot of wear and tear on the starter and the battery.
Most mower have hydrostatic transmissions these days so they don’t move when started out of the seat. And most have PTO safety switches that won’t allow the mower to start when engaged. If an operator can not tell when the mower is engaged by the sound they shouldn’t be operating it.
If this doesn’t work get back. Or call the repair shop they may give you some basic advise.
Thank you, everyone, for all the good suggestions. I wouldn't permanently bypass the safety switches, I was just trying to get it started long enough to get it out of my neighbor's yard. Alas, nothing worked, and I had to resort to getting it winched up onto a tow truck. I didn't feel quite so dumb, though, since the repairman they sent out to get it couldn't start it either He tried the jump wire on the safety switches and even on the starter--got it to turn over a few times, but not start.
Certainly a learning experience for me. And again, thank you all for your help!
Had a fuel solenoid relay go bad on our JD, a learning experience for sure. Would crank, but not start. I now know far more about our tractor than I ever really intended. I won't even get into taking the 3 point apart...
This wouldn't work on my Cub. They are female ends with plastic covers. Simple to pull off insert a small finish nail to connect the 2 wires. I have never worked on Kubotas. I only buy what I would like to think are American brands. Hard to tell these days.
Yes, please keep us informed! I have the same tractor and I want to know if there's a potential problem lurking. It sucks to have it happen but at least the service guy couldn't start it either. I always feel a little vindicated when none of the simple fixes they suggest to "the little lady" doesn't work out for them either.