Over the years, the Bad Boy brand has earned a reputation for producing some of the most powerful zero-turn mowers for landscaping.
While among the best mowers you can find, there are times you need to break out the touch-up paint, carry out some Bad Boy mower maintenance of your own without taking it to a local dealer. If you have some technical knowledge and the right tools, you can troubleshoot Bad Boy mowers at home.
Changing filters, blades, or clearing a fuel line can be some of the mowers repairs you need to deal with, although things such as leaking hydraulic fluid, could be outside your remit and best fixed by a dealer especially if your mower is under warranty.
In our guide, we look at the Bad Boy mowers’ problems that crop up as you are mowing or about to start and you find your mower won’t fire up.
By the end, you’ll have enough information to deal with many defective mower parts, know how to replace missing screws, and get your heavy-duty lawnmowers cutting action doing what it does best. (Read our Bad Boy Maverick Reviews)
Why Is My Bad Boy Mower Bogging Down?
If you’ve used a Bad Boy mower for a while, you’ll be aware of faults that can rear their head now and then. Many come from lack of proper maintenance, wear and tear, and sometimes wrong usage.
Whether you know of these, or are using Bad Boy tractors for the first time, here are a few issues affecting the Bad Boy brand.
Electric Deck Lift
Your bad boy mower’s electric deck lift can face issues like a failing actuator that won’t lift or lower the deck. Even if the actuator spins, it could mean a shaft failure when screwing in and out.
To fix your electric deck lift problems, unscrew the actuator, see any moisture on the actuator housing, and make sure it is securely sealed.
If your housing isn’t adequately sealed, use a sealant gasket to correct this problem. Should the issue be rust on the screw shaft’s sleeve? Clean it and then lubricate before checking the deck lifts and lowers correctly with no squealing sounds.
Transaxle and Hydraulic Issues
Bad Boy mowers have an excellent suspension mechanism that keeps the mower deck steady even on difficult terrain for a better, cleaner cut. (Read our McLane Lawn Mower Review)
However, transaxle and hydraulic issues might cause rough riding and poor lawn cutting. In addition, an uneven cutting pattern and poor cut quality are detrimental for turf grasses, which need a neat cut and a high mowing height, like Bermuda grass.
To troubleshoot, try:
- Check blade sharpness and replace blades or sharpen once per year or as needed.
- Check blade tightness.
- Check spring and belt tension.
- Check beneath your mower deck to see if the mower is free of grass build-up and debris.
- Make sure your mower is running at full throttle for cutting.
- Vary your mowing pattern when you cut your grass.
The hydro system is a sealed lifetime transaxle system in some versions, requiring no maintenance.
Follow the steps below to change the oil when the engine is turned off:
- Two levers can be found under the back of the mower. These bypass levers act as a neutral, allowing you to move the mower when the engine is turned off.
- To activate the bypass, pull the levers out and lock into place.
- To replace your hydraulic oil and filter, follow these steps.
- Underneath the oil filter, place an oil drain pan. To drain the oil, remove the oil filter from the reservoir.
- Install a new oil filter once the oil has been emptied from the reservoir. Tighten to a 3/4 turn when the gasket has made contact.
- Using the fill cap, add fresh motor oil to the reservoir. Fill the oil level until you reach the the bottom of the upper fitting.
- Do not overfill the container. Instead, add oil until the level reaches the fitting, and the air bubble is no longer visible.
Note: Remember to change the engine oil every 50 hours on an air-cooled engine and every 100 hours on a liquid-cooled engine on your Bad Boy mower.
Leaking Hydraulic Fluid
Getting a new seal kit and installing it is the best solution for leaking fluid. The hydro system could be defective, so you should have a mechanic look at it and remedy any issues.
Mower Pulls To One Side
Alignment is another major issue with Bad Boy Mowers and other zero-turn mowers, and you can find your Bad Boy tractors pulling to one side as you mow your grass. (Read Troybilt Lawn Mower Oil Guide)
While such issues on zero-turn mowers stem from a variety of issues, common ones are:
- Some tires offer better grip than others.
- You have a faulty shock absorber or dampener.
- Steering problems are created from poor adjustments.
How to fix a mower that’s pulling to one side:
If the problem is not a serious mechanical or transaxle fault, there are a few fixes you can try to get rid of this problem.
Here’s how to fix the issue if nothing is broken, such as your shocks.
- Balance air pressure as your Bad Boy tractor will drag to one side when tires are under-inflated. Check tire pressure and ensure all sides have the recommended PSI.
Shaking Mower Deck
Bad Boy mowers usually are sealed deck, but after a few hundred hours of mowing, the blades and deck may need attention.
Vibration or shaking of the cutting deck can indicate missing set screws from pulleys and lock collars. Likewise, the deck will rattle or shake when you start and run your Bad Boy mower if the spindle key is worn.
Tighten the belt adjustment at the back of the driving pulley. Replace any missing screws on the pulleys, spindle, and bearings.
This should fix the Bad Boy zero turn mower mowing deck shaking issue. If not, check to see if the blades are balanced.
The most common cause of steering problems on a mower is hitting a foreign item. This might jar the wheels and impede steering. However, other issues may arise from normal component wear and tear.
Follow these steps to avoid steering issues:
- Drive carefully. Avoid sharp twists and strange objects.
- When not in use, store the mower in a garage or shed.
Note: Hitting something hard with wheels or blades can cause bent spindles, and thus you could hear squealing sounds as your blades or wheels turn.
Bad Boy Tractor Safety Switch
Your Bad Boy Mower has a safety interlock. This approach prevents serious injuries, deaths, and property damage. The system includes:
- Operators switch in the seat
- Mower parking brake
- Blade engagement switch
- Ignition switch
- Neutral gear
How Fast Does a Bad Boy Mower Go?
The speeds of Bad Boy mowers can range from 4 to 12 mph. Depending on the model, it may differ. The ZT elite residential zero-turn mower, for example, offers a forward ground speed of up to 7 mph.
What Would Cause A Zero Turn Mower Not To Start?
A stuck air filter, a defective battery, clogged air filter, loose connections, faulty electrical components, or a malfunctioning charging system can all cause Bad Boy mowers not to start.
If you are experiencing this problem, try the following tips:
- Check your battery charge and connections.
- Check visible wires for loose connections.
- Check your fuel. Make sure you use fresh gasoline under 30 days old.
- Make sure there is no water in your fuel tank.
- Use brand fuel recommended by Bad Boy mowers.
- Check you have a clean air filter. A clogged air filter makes it tough for the engine to draw air.
- MEnsurethe spark plug is in good condition and that our spark plug wire is attached and not broken.
- Check in-line fuses.
Where Are The Fuses on a Bad Boy Mower?
On the engine, the 25-amp primary fuse is roughly 3” from the starter. On smaller commercial and light-duty commercial mowers, the 25-amp main fuse is located directly behind the battery attached to the starter solenoid.
Three safety fuses are included with MZ series models: a 25-amp main fuse, a 10-amp clutch fuse, and a 15-amp linear actuator fuse.
The main fuse lies near the starter solenoid on the left side of the Bad Boy mower. The clutch fuse is situated right beneath the control panel., along with the linear actuator fuse
The 25-amp main fuse is positioned around 3 inches from the starter on more significant commercial engines (27 hp and higher).
Bad Boy Mower Electrical Problems
Electrical issues can make it difficult for your mower to start. To troubleshoot electrical system issues, use these instructions:
- Examine the wiring harness ground cable for damage. In most versions, the ground is positioned inside the right-side fuel tank. Determine that the ground is connected, clean, and secure. This wire may be linked to the negative side of the battery on select Bad Boy mower models.
- Examine the condition and connections of the under-seat relays. Check to see if they’re clean and connected. Ensure that the wire terminals in the relay block have not been pulled out.
- The alternator’s charging wire is the red wire coming out of the engine on most models. With the engine running at full throttle, look for 13.6-14.2 volts DC at this wire.
- Make that all fuses are in good working order and are properly connected.
- Replace any blown fuses on your Bad Boy mower.
- Double-check that the signal wire is attached to the starter solenoid if your mower isn’t starting.
Faulty Battery Recharging System
An alternator and a voltage regulator are part of the electrical system that recharges a mower battery. If these parts fail, you may restore power to the battery the next time you operate the mower by replacing them.
How To Adjust the Correct Belt Tension on a Bad Mower?
You can change the spring tension on the pump belt that attaches directly to the pump spring if your Bad Boy mower belt has slid or is performing poorly. It’s a black, all-thread bolt with 1/2-inch nuts that may be tightened or loosen to adjust the length. (Read Lawn Mower Starts But Won’t Keep Running)
To adjust the tension on the deck belt, loosen the nut on the Bad Boy deck idler spring and slide the spring forward or backward as needed. A 0.030 Feeler Gauge can determine the proper belt tension.
What Do You Do When Your Lawnmower Won’t Start?
Starter Rope is Hard to Pull:
A prominent source of this is the engine flywheel brake. The bar you hold on the handle stops the engine when it is released). Make sure the bar is attached to the handle before pulling.
This can also happen if your Bad Boy mower blade is dragging in the grass or is clogged with grass clippings. Move your mower away from your yard to a hard surface.
With the mower switched off and the spark plug wire detached. Clear the underside of the mower from clippings, and assume a safe mowing stance to try again.
Bad Boy Mower Won’t Start:
Make sure you have enough fresh gas first. It’s also possible that difficulties will arise because of using old gas. If your mower still has last season’s gas in it, drain it and replace it with new gas. Other factors to consider are:
Your Lawn Mower’s Spark Plug is Loose, Dirty, or Disconnected: Check it out, clean it out, reconnect it, and tighten it up.
- Clean or replace a dirty air filter.
- If the fuel isn’t getting to the engine, tap the side of the carburetor to help it flow. If this doesn’t work, a new gasoline filter may be required.
You Lose Power On Your Bad Boy Mower While Mowing
Here’s why this happens and what you can do:
- First, clean or replace your lawn mower’s dirty air filter.
- Mowing Tall Grass: Raise your lawn mower’s cutting height.
- Next, clean or replace a dirty spark plug.
- Clippings and Debris Build-Up: Clean the underside of your lawnmower deck as described above.
- Sharpen or replace a dull, bent, or loose mower blade.