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Small Engines (Lawn Mowers, etc.)/Mower blows fuses immediately


QUESTION: I have a 1987 Toro riding mower model 57360.  It worked fine until one day the mower deck suddenly disengaged but the engine continued to run.  I turned off the key to see what was wrong and since then I have been unable to start it.  It doesn't even click when I turn the key.  The fuse right behind the key switch is blown, and now blows immediately when I replace it even with the key off.  I even tried taking the connector off of the key switch to see if the switch was bad but the fuse still blows even though the wiring harness is unplugged from the key switch.  I tried replacing the worn battery cables but no other exposed wires are obviously worn.  What's wrong? It never had a problem before.

ANSWER: Dis-connect the clutch and charging system connector to isolate them from the wire harness.

You have a direct short to ground causing the fuse to blow.

Have you had the battery tested?  I would start with a know, good battery as I have had them fail in the past.

Do you have a mutltimeter to test/check for shorts to ground?


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I have a multi meter.  I am not really sure how to go about spotting the exact location of the short though.  I am sure the battery is good as it is new.

These are usually the batteries I have trouble batteries.   Many years ago, there was a bad batch of batteries that had reverse polarity issues.

Buy a bunch of fuses...probable 10 or so.

Next, download the parts manual (schematic is in the parts manual)

Go here: Toro Product Center Typing in this model number in the "Enter Model Number" block will do it: 41-20OE01. After clicking on the red "Search" button, click on the red "Manuals" tab and it should give you a list. You should see the Demystification manual listed. Be prepared, even on a high speed connection, it takes a while to download those 500 plus pages.

Try this URL:

You are looking for the demystification manual(523 pages) is a good Toro manual for you mower that tells you how to check the electric clutch and all the other switches.

I would start trouble shooting by disconnecting the the clutch and the charging system (the connector coming out of the engine.  See if the fuse still blows.  If so, disconnect the clutch switch, check to see if the fuse blows.  If it blows, disconnect the key switch.

If it still blows then there is a wire shorted to ground.  Most likely the wire will be behind something, it  got pinched and rubbed through the insulation.  Also, pay very close attention to all areas where the wire runs through holes or next to any metal part.

It can be difficult to find a bad wire or you may get lucky and find the clutch is the issue.


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Eric A. Jones


Lawnmower Repair . Certified Master Service Technician from B&S. Have 23 years experience on B&S, Lawn Chief, Weed Eater, Echo, Peerless, Wheel Horse, Snapper, Atlas, MTD, McCulloch, Homelite and many other numerous brands. Specialize in electrical repair.


Born and raised in the midwest. Started tinkering with engines when I was about 14 on my Suzuki RM-80. I began lawn mower repair at a small hardware store. I knew absolutely nothing. I read lots of repair manuals and met an older fellow who taught me many lessons. I continued working on small engines through high school and paid my way through college working on mowers at the same hardware store. Decided to get away from the midwest and mower repair so I joined the Air Force. I repaired air traffic control electronic equipment and ended up in Hawaii where I got a part time job at Small Engine Clinic. I gained a lot of experience from the Small Engine Clinic and had a blast repairing small engines. I then took the Briggs and Stratton Master Service Technician test and earned my MST. I then traveled to Wisconsin where I attended the factory update training seminar and received formal training. Continued working on mowers part time as I completed 20 years of military. Retired from the military on a Friday and continued in the lawn and garden industry the next Monday.

MAS Aerospace Operations BA Mathematics AAS Electronic Communications AAS Electronic Technology

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