Disabling Lawn Tractor Safety Switches (Part 2)

In the first part of this series we disabled the seat safety switch.  In this instalment we’ll bypass the safety switch that prevents you from starting the engine unless the brake pedal is depressed.

BrakeSafetySwitch1

The Brake Safety Switch is located under the hood on the left-hand side, near the brake pedal.

BrakeSafetySwitch2

The switch features a pin.  When you press the brake pedal down all the way, the pin gets pressed in as well.  A depressed pin closes the circuit between a couple of wires, and allows the engine to start.

Now, you probably could use cable ties (or other approaches) to try lock the pin into the depressed position, but (as before) I am interested in a permanent and fail-proof solution, so didn’t explore that line of thinking.

Unlike the seat safety switch, the connector that plugs into the brake safety switch is not ‘intelligent’, so a simple solution is to just bypass the safety switch entirely.  Start by unplugging the connector.

BrakeSafetySwitch3

Now, there isn’t a lot of slack on the wires leading into the connector — which makes inspecting it and working on it a bit awkward.  To make life a bit easier for yourself, simply feed the connector back past the battery to the other (right-hand) side of the engine compartment.  (Mine came out around the dip stick.)  That gives you a lot more slack to play with.

BrakeSafetySwitch4

The next step is to short two of the wires that lead into the connector.  This can be done by simply using some scrap wire as a bridge and jamming it into two slots at the end of the connector, but I don’t see that approach as being particularly robust.  Instead I would suggest using a small screwdriver to help release the two purple wires from the connector.

BrakeSafetySwitch5

Once you have them released, you just need to connect them in some way that doesn’t risk conducting any electricity to/from any other components in the engine compartment, or the frame.  I prefer to do this by simply cutting off the terminals from the end of the wire, stripping them back a bit, twisting the bare ends together, then inserting the exposed ends into an insulated screw connector.

BrakeSafetySwitch6

BrakeSafetySwitch7

The required pair of wires are now shorted and you should be able to start your lawn tractor without having to depress the brake pedal.

I couldn’t find a nice place to secure the wires on the right-hand side of the engine compartment, so I simply fed the connectors back through to the left-hand side and plugged the original connector back into the brake safety switch.  With the purple wires removed this serves no function other than to keep the connectors and wires secured.  The screw connector just hangs there — it doesn’t touch anything or need additional support.

BrakeSafetySwitch8

That’s it.  You’re done.

This whole process can be summarised as “short the two purple wires”, but since I had the photos and was asked how to do this, I figured I’d put together a more comprehensive and step-by-step guide.  Hope it helps.

6 thoughts on “Disabling Lawn Tractor Safety Switches (Part 2)

  1. Thanks again, I have now turned my tractor into a 1960’s safety model, much better.

  2. Richard, yep, not having to press the brake to start the engine takes us back to much more sensible times. I can understand having a brake safety switch on a manual transmission — protecting you in case you accidentally stopped the engine whilst still in gear — but my D125 has a hydrostatic transmission, so it’s not even possible for the tractor to be in gear (and thus lurch) when a start is attempted. Yet another cost-increasing, ill-considered and pointless government-mandated ‘feature’, IMHO.

  3. Haha also have a D125, love it, been running lawn tractors too long for all this mess. Old Cub Cadet, can’t remember model number, guy bought it as a collector item. Thanks again.

  4. Ur AWESOME!!!! After reading bs for a year…no joke, I’m determined NOT to go to a mechanic b ripped off again…and here’s a laugh, I live right next to a JD dealership!!!! I stumbled onto ur postings….I have a gt245 and I THINK\HOPE that part 1 is my problem. Someone has tried to disable my seat switch because I’m small and anytime I bounce, mower dies. I don’t have ANY mecha
    nical skills so I’m sure one of my friends who have looked at my mower thought they were doing me a favor but the end result is a total clusterfuck …it seems theres a fuse removed and replaced w a wire. Ima try to find that cable thingy and trace/reconnect and start over following ur directions in part 1. Any advice or opinions would be greatly appreciated!

  5. Nikki, I’m glad that these posts have given you some useful information that will let you have a go at solving the problem(s) yourself. I’m not sure what fuse you are talking about, but as for the seat safety switch… yeah, light folks can often not weigh enough to keep the seat safety switch pin pressed down constantly, and rough ground makes it even moire difficult. I think you’re on the right track: Restore any third-party changes if you can, so you’re back to a known and working state, then make any required changes from there. Have fun, and good luck!

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