Electric PTO Won’t Engage On My Riding Mower

My Troy-Bilt Bronco riding lawn mower quit cutting the other day because the electric PTO would not engage.  I checked the leads going down to the crackshaft mounted electric PTO for power with a test light.  It had power running through leads when the PTO knob was engaged.  I then began looking online for a replacement PTO which ranged anywhere from $250 to $300 on eBay and Amazon.  I did some more research online about PTO not engaging and found another user who had similar issue with the electric PTO not engaging.  His issue was a low battery charge which did not allow the electric PTO enough juice to engage.  Evidently the PTO runs entirely off the battery power and when you have a low battery charge the electric PTO will not engage or stay engaged in my case.

This got me to thinking to check the charging system on my mower.  I went to start the mower from the shed to bring it into the garage and it would not start.  🙁  A quick charge of the battery and the mower started and while I was driving it up to the garage I tried the PTO which engaged too.  🙂  I set my multimeter to read DC voltage and put the black lead on the negative battery post and the red lead on the positive battery post which read 12.6V with the engine NOT running and 12.6V with it running.  This meant the charging system was not working.

I checked the two wires which connect up to the voltage regulator mounted on the starter.  I set the multimeter to check AC voltage and put the leads on these two wires coming from the stator in the engine.  It should be about 28VAC when operating normally.  Mine showed 0VAC and that was when I noticed one of the black wires was cut.

After removing the engine shrouds and covers to get a better look at the damaged wires I noticed that the other one was nearly cut in half too by rubbing up against the engine flywheel.  A couple of weatherproof butt connections and I was able to repair the leads coming from the stator.  I reassembled the engine covers, etc to retest the charging system and now I had 30VAC from the stator leads coming into the voltage regulator.  I also had 14VDC from the third middle wire on the voltage regulator.  The charging system was now working and I was able to finish mowing the other half of the yard!  I was just happy I didn’t need to purchase an expensive PTO or STATOR and it was a simple fix.


  1. When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every
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  2. My troybilt mower’s pto clutch keeps cutting off even after I replaced it and the pto switch,maybe the stator too?

    • When the stator wire on my mower was cut the battery was not get charged which caused the electric PTO to disengage after the battery depleted. Fixing the charging system in my case resolved my issue of the PTO disengaging after a while of mowing. Might check that the system is charging the battery and that the battery is good. Thanks!

  3. Dose anyone know at what voltage the P.T.O.. will start to cut out . I have about 12.4 volts at the clutch and it has been cutting out or . will not engage . if anyone has the right answer . please let me know what that low would be thanks Den

  4. when the power take off in control the blade will not urn. I changed the cable and I get the same t I Bolden 32In. rider. ( do not reply to this email address please thank u aAbe.

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