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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tonight as I was out at my dog kennels, Mule loaded on my trailer I notice red lights on. I figured one of my grandkids may have found the keys and had the switch on. Uppon looking at it the keys weren't in and the switch was off. I tried starting it but the battery was drained. I put the charger on and it started up and the lights went out. Oops I forgot to mention it is the oil and parking brake lights. When I stopped it the lights came back on. Sometimes real bright and sometimes dim. I unplugged one of the fuses and they went out but it will not crank or do anything with that fuse out. Upon putting it back in I notice a click when I put it in or out. Left the fuse out until I can figure out the problem.

Could it be the key switch that has gone bad and has a feed back or should I look elsewhere????

Thanks for any help, need my baby back up and running quick.

John
 

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Yes, check your diagram to see if the idiot lights feed from the ignition switch. I would disconnect the battery and then wash out the back of the ignition switch with WD-40 or contact cleaner. while you are at it clean the top of the battery. until you find the problem when you shut down for a while pull the fuse, or disconnect the negative lead on the battery,then plug it back or hook up the negative l lead when you get ready to start up.
 

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If it is not the key switch conking out, check the Controller Unit. It is down by the battery, and is the box below the finned voltage regulator. They get water inside and die in cold weather.

Never use a pressure washer on the electronics on these as the Controller Unit gets nuked within a few weeks of using one every time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My baby is broken

Thanks for the responses!!!

RCW

What does the control box do??? This morning I put the fuse back in and the lights come on again. I took all the plastic off on passenger side of the mule and looked at the wiring thinking I may have pinched a wire a few weeks ago when I installed a winch. Not the case. The only thing I noticed was the accessory plug wires were pulled out, guess I may have pulled them out when I installed the winch. Before plugging them back in I unplugged and inspected the plug on the switch. All was clean. The lights stayed on with it unplugged. I plugged all back in and low and behold lights go out. Wasn't expecting them to go out so I didn't notice if they went out when I plugged the accessory plug back or the switch plug. For further assurance I would not have a drained battery again I installed a waterproof toggle switch between the control box and the fuse. That way I can switch it off if I see the lights come on when stopped and at night when not in use. I ran it 4 hours before putting the plastics back on just to make sure I wouldn't have to take it apart again. I had often stop and starts and always started up with a strong battery and the lights never came on except when they were suppose to. It may be a control box issue, we have been having a lot of rain and been driving in water although not deep. Trailered it in heavy rain and the other time I had to boast it was when we had the snow and ice and I posted all Iced up. May have been the lights that had come on then and drained the battery then also. I purchased the Mule used and did pressure wash everything when I first got it. That has been since August. At that time I got water in the hour meter and it went up in smoke. It has been replaced and works just fine and I have a very low hour mule now.

If it's the control box, will I harm anything if I continue running it???

It had 334 hours on it when I purchased it and am told it is very low hours considering how long these things last. My cousin has a job site mule and says it has over 2.000 hours on it and only had plugs, battery, oil changes and belt changed, oh and tires.

John
 

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The Controller is the termination for the electrical control circuits that handle the warning lights, energize the ignition coil field (magneto), senses when the engine is running so the starting circuit does not engage, and powers the voltage regulator/rectifier.

There are also two relays located near the battery compartment, one of which is a key switch relay. The key switch relay can stick or bridge with corrosion and keep the Controller hot and light the warning lights, too. The relays are easily checked with a multimeter. The Controller should be checked by the dealer, and generally can be removed and taken to their parts counter and arranged to be checked.

It normally does not hurt to run with either a bad relay or a bad Controller as long as the main fuse is pulled when shut down. However, keep an eye on that key switch. If it is shorting internally, it can engage the starter relay with the engine running and/or go up in flames while you are using the mule and create some serious headaches.

I treat the Mules like tractors, and when they get around 3,500 hours I figure a top end is needed on the gas models. I do routine annual lubrication of wheel bearings, splines, and universals, but a lot of guys just run those items until they fail and replace them at that time. I also use Comet clutch lube intended for high performance Snowmobile clutches (same design on these) and my clutches and belts last for years without further maintenance.

Just keep the valves adjusted and always use first rate oils, and they are tough as nails.

I used to tweak and speed them up a bunch, but ended walking out of the muskeg for three days, then had to get another couple units and go back and retrieve mine. Learned to leave them alone the hard way.

The bad thing about Mules is that the owners develop smile wrinkles over time from chugging past the guys with the go-fast machines that are either broken down or out of gas.
 
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