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Small Engines (Lawn Mowers, etc.)/Wheel Horse 417-8 is not working right.


1986 Wheel Horse 417-8
1986 Wheel Horse 417-8  
I've got a Wheel Horse 417-8 and its been running fine since March and in June the key switch wires came off and it wouldn't start so I fixed that and got it running, than the next day it wouldn't start so I took it to a professional and he found the float had a hole in it about 4 mm wide and he fixed that and it started up but it only ran there and when I got home it wouldn't start to back off the truck. well I got it to start the next day and it ran amazingly but it idled for 10 15 minutes and I turned it off and it wouldn't start backup, but I got it running three days ago and it ran very smooth then I drove it around my yard and I stopped and went to engage the mower blades and it turned off and wouldn't start back up. so now I'm in a pickle. could it be shorting out somewhere or is the oil sensor not working because it just got a oil change to the proper amount. so I'm out of ideas of what it could be. I appreciate the help, because I'm tired of working on it more than I use it.

It could be a low oil sensor.

The more likely problem, since it died as soon as you turned the blades on, is a defective safety switch or connection.

Do you have a Kohler engine?
Do you have a digital multimeter to check the safety switches and electrical system?

Did you find the manual, Check page 32 for the wiring diagram.

The wiring diagram is very detailed, better then most.

Also, you will be hard pressed to find another decent tractor like the one you have.  A good tractor, similar to what you have, would cost $5,000 to $8,000.  The newer, lower cost machines at Lowe's or Home Depot are not even close to the quality of the Wheel Horse.

Let me know if you have a multimeter.

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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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