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JimmyJam

Turn Key... and nothing!!!!

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Exactly!!! I think the previous owner really abused this horse. He said he bought a Husqvarna tractor after this Wheel Horse, and its dead now too!! Wow!! What a cowboy!!!

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Well the new starter was installed today... and nothing. So I am guessing that when the solenoid was sparking the last time, I am guessing its fried too! So I will order that next and will continue to check relays.

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the solenoid was sparking the last time, I am guessing its fried too!

Jimmy, time to take a half step backward. With the new starter mounted, jump the two large wire mounting studs on the starter relay. This troubleshooting step will verify power from the battery will actually make it to the starter. You can ignore the ammeter in the jumper wire. I include one in mine to give me a sense what amperage the starter is drawing.

2bfa7a57.gif

If the starter cranks, starter supply wiring is good.

The next check will be to confirm if the starter relay is functional.

Jump the battery side relay stud to the third smaller "trigger" terminal on the starter relay. This step should activate the starter relay and activate the starter.

NoCrank-triggertest_zpsb954098a.gif

If this test fails, replace the starter relay and test again.

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OLD IRON: Thanks for the "visual; very helpful! Is your ammeter setup: is it a standard automotive ammeter that you have added jumper clips? if so, what should the amp draw read?

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Jimmy,

I use a standard 60 amp ammeter. When used as a diagnostic tool, I expect "normal " current draw around 30 - 35 amps. This does depend somewhat on thickness of the engine oil, outside temp, etc.

A 0 amp draw confirms the problem is in the starter.

A draw 50 amps and over usually ends up being a shorted or compromised starter.

The tool is not meant for an exacting diagnosis, but it does put you on the right track within minutes.

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Old Iron: Thanks for the info. What is the wire gauge you use for jumper wires on ammeter? The wires to and from relay, battery and starter is a huge gauge. Do I use something similar?

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I would suggest to not delay your testing to construct the gauge. I believe I used 10AWG marine wire (due to better flexability than standard stranded wire).

Even though it is undersized wire, 10AWG will easily support the 30 - 35 amp current draw used to perform a go/ no go test of a new starter. I chose 10AWG precisiely because what you said is true. The "right " gauge is too bulky for a test tool that will only be used for a few seconds.

10AWG can easily be fitted with insulated connectors on the back of the gauge and is still small enough to handle appropriate sized fully insulated alligator clips at the other end.

http://www.mpja.com/...number=16445 BC

p.s. the testing of the trigger on the starter solenoid can be accomplished with much lighter duty alligator clips. The current drawn thru the trigger may only amount to 0.1 to 0.2 amps of current.

http://www.mpja.com/prodinfo.asp?number=16050+TE

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the solenoid was sparking the last time, I am guessing its fried too!

Jimmy, time to take a half step backward. With the new starter mounted, jump the two large wire mounting studs on the starter relay. This troubleshooting step will verify power from the battery will actually make it to the starter. You can ignore the ammeter in the jumper wire. I include one in mine to give me a sense what amperage the starter is drawing.

2bfa7a57.gif

If the starter cranks, starter supply wiring is good.

The next check will be to confirm if the starter relay is functional.

Jump the battery side relay stud to the third smaller "trigger" terminal on the starter relay. This step should activate the starter relay and activate the starter.

NoCrank-triggertest_zpsb954098a.gif

If this test fails, replace the starter relay and test again.

OLD IRON: I used a jumper cable across solenoid posts (+) and the starter spun. So the starter wiring is fine. Now my next test will be to use jumper wire on trigger post. My question is I have two trigger posts: 1.) green wire to switch relay (seat safety); and 2.) black wire to hour meter; Which trigger post should I jumper?

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Jimmy, you have a 4 terminal starter relay. No problem. The 4 terminal relays use one of the terminals to act as the ground for the relay instead of depending on the metal mounting ears of the relay to establish a ground to the tractor chassis. The ground will be the black wire on the relay. Make certain it goes to a ground connection.

The GREEN wire on the starter relay is the terminal you wish to connect the jumper wire to.

Disconnect the green wire from the trigger terminal.

Connect one end of your jumper wire to the large post on the starter relay which is connected to the battery (+)

Be careful as this jumper wire is now live with battery voltage.

Touch the free end of the jumper wire to the trigger terminal on the starter relay.

Note - the starter will continue to spin as long as you have the jumper wire attached to the trigger terminal.

If the motor starts, remove the jumper wire from the trigger terminal.

Reconnect the green trigger wire to the starter relay.

testing4terminalstarterrelay_zpsebf4fa98.gif

If the starter engages and spins the flywheel, the starter relay is good.

If the starter relay tests good and you have no starter activity when using the ignition switch, start troubleshooting the electrical and mechanical operation of both the safety switches and safety switch wiring.

Let us know how the starter relay jump works out.

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OLD IRON: I used jumper cable to green terminal as you instructed, but there was only a slight spark and it did not engage starter. Does that mean bad solenoid or incomplete ground?

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Excellent, you got it now.

I would do as you suggest and make sure the black ground wire is on a good ground. I would jumper from the black wire terminal on the relay directly to a good ground. Then temporarily jumper the battery (+) to the relay trigger terminal once again.

If the relay still fails to engage, replace it.

Of course, make sure you pick up a 4 terminal relay when you by a replacement.

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OLD IRON: Solid good ground! I went to Auto Zone for the solenoid they didn't have the exact one but the guy behind counter showed me a 4 terminal solenoid for an early model Ford. He said that basically most solenoids are the same: a relay. Could he be right and I could use it or do I try to locate one / order one? The one at Auto Zone is $10; you're right inexpensive.

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Ford style can be made to work. Even though it is a 4 terminal arrangement, the 4th terminal on the old Ford style is not for grounding purposes. The 4th terminal is actually meant to be wired to bypass the ignition coil resistor on start up to provide a temporary "hotter" spark on older vehicles. The 4th terminal on a old Ford style will become hot with 12 volts when the trigger terminal is active.

IF you physically have the room for it, AND the starter stud terminals have the same side studs AND the current wiring can reach the new relay, yes, a 3 terminal or a 4 terminal Ford relay can be used.

The Ford relay can be grounded by fastening the metal mounting tabs of the relay to a bare spot on the chassis OR fastening a ground wire from the metal tabs of the relay to a good chassis ground,

Check with Autozone or NAPA. They have a minimal garden tractor parts section. I believe I saw a 4 terminal relay in their self stock for around $10. The Ford relay is much heavier duty and will likely be the last one one you need to replace on the tractor, but there are likely to be some size and placement issues that will get in the way.

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I went to a local tractor repair/supply shop, they had a similar Kohler solenoid (Sorry!: for a John Deer) ... and after priming the system: Yee Haw! it finally started and ran awesome!!! Thanks everyone for your input, especially Old Iron!

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Question...do the grounds have to be physically wired to the ear of the solenoid or can they be left as is...i.e., starter ground to the frame via the casing and the battery ground to the frame via the normal connection to the frame?...thanks n sorry for the stoopid question...Ron.

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ground via the frame is fine with a three terminal starter relay

 

a 4 terminal relay will not ground thru its mounting tab 

you will need to wire the 4th terminal to a ground , which also could be the frame

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thanks...I have the three terminal solenoid...i used your info to check my starter motor and then will check solenoid...in the meantime i found a loose connection which I'm hoping is the problem...the wire connector between PTO switch and the solenoid was in terrible condition...so thanks!

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Ron. If you will follow the squirrell through this post. Everything you need to know should be here. Only I would pull your flywheel and make absolutely sure everthing is OK behind it before trying to start tractor. The clicking you heard and the fact you are on your 3rd starter definitely warrants that.

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will do...just want to solve this electrical problem but won't run crank for long without checking the magnet situation.

 

So I followed oldiron testing here and looks like were are getting closer to solving the problem...I jumped the main solenoid posts and the starter cranked...then jump to the trigger and again the starter cranked...so look like the supply wiring is good (which i rewired tonight), the battery is good, the starter is good and the solenoid is good...so I guess I'm onto the safety switches and their wiring...because she still does nothing when I turn the key :(

 

...but eveyone's help is narrowing it down!...and after this pull the flywheel and check...and someday soon I'm hoping i can order new front tires which I told myself I won't do until she cranks with the key.

 

...any suggestions on how to proceed with the safety switch inspection is greatly appreciated...with located via the manual,visual inspect wiring to both and I guess replace the switches if the wiring looks good...but let's see what there first....thanks, ron.

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Start at the wire which hooks to the trigger on the solenoid with it unhooked at the point it hooks to the trigger and work your way back from there with a continuity tester.It will work you back through the safetys till you get to the switch.If you make it back to the key switch with continuity AND you have power from the battery to the switch then its probably time for a switch. Or start at the battery going to switch and follow the path through to the solenoid. If you have my luck which ever end you choose to start from will be the furthest from the problem.

 

If you read between the lines above you can take a shortcut !

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Ron, good to hear you are making progress, Trust me, no matter how long this takes the first time to fix, the amount of familiarization you gain from doing the troubleshooting is priceless. Once you fix this issue, you will stand back and think "I could have found that in 10 minutes if I had know all this stuff." Hang in there. As puddlejumper says, there are no right or wrong ways to troubleshoot. Some methods are more efficient and time saving, some methods teach you more and help further develop skills you will need if you continue in this hobby. There are always many different angles in which to approach any given problem.

 

90% of fixing a problem is identifying the issue, replacing the part takes the remaining 10%.

 

Keep asking questions. We will help you thru to a final fix.

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Thanks all...need the encouragement and the guidance...so with new knowledge and motivation in tow I went into my 20 something degree garage and started to check for continuity.

 

...first I decided to drop the mower deck off the tractor...it needs a total reburshing anyways...I started at the clutch switch which was covered in mud...cleaned so I could remove...removed the entire switch and clean things up a bit and started testing. 

 

Set my multimeter to the lowest ohms setting and testing between the solenoid trigger and the end of the wire leading to the clutch safety switch,I get a reading of 1- 3 ohms...then with the switch removed and pushing down on the little ball, I get a reading that varies between 50 down to 1...dont know if this is because it take more hands to do or if the switch is compromised...what do you guys think?...does any reading below infinity indicate continuity?

 

so if i do read between the lines, can i run a wire from the ignition switch to the solenoid trigger bypassing the safety switches, i should get power to the starter?

 

...also, I removed the gas tank and was starting to remove the metal piece that holds and supports the gas tank to get better access to the PTO switch...do you think that's necessary or go in through the rectifier opening?...thanks all...thats alot of questions!...lol

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Yes, you can bypass the safetys, Make sure you trace and use the right terminal, OR you can check for power at that terminal with battery hooked up and key in start position that will also tell you if the problem is the switch If you trace power from the battery to the switch First. or further down the line (safetys). As far as your clutch safety I am going to say its good since you get a fluctuation,I never really pay attention to the scale It is either on or off  like a light switch, I would rather see you test it on the tractor so you can also make sure the mechanism that engages it is contacting it with enough force to activate it from open to closed.

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Well, I tested the clutch safety switch for continuity once re-installed using a bungee cord to keep the clutch pedal compressed and yep, there was continuity again...so i start to think about heading way upstream because the ignition switch is just sitting there...I followed the manual and tested the different combination of leads as noted and there was continuity again...sigh...guess the PTO switch is next.

 

...thanks, ron.

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Pjump...to your point about power getting from the battery to the ignition switch...from the wiring diagram it looks like this comes in from positive terminal of the battery, across the ampmeter and to the ignition switch...if that is correct, then could a bad ampmeter be the problem?

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