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mbmatt73

Can't even jump

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Just in my own defense.. the person whacking the starter was not me, but the previous owner, who is also a close relative and therefore shall remain nameless... :)

 

The real thing I was trying to establish was whether a starter on its way out would cause additional decay in the solenoid/relay components... and I think if I am understanding Chuck correctly, the answer is no, not really that much..

 

Dan

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After reading this again I believe he is saying because of the heavy discoloration inside the solenoid  It was in fact the solenoid and not another wire.

 

Not quite sure exactly what Chuck meant, I'll let him clear that up next time he's in...

 

Obviously there was a lot of heat on that one connection.  We can't know if it came from the inside out, or the outside in.

 

My previous thoughts were based on the assumption the darkest / roughest area on the copper was probably going to be at the source of the heat. Just as if you heated a copper pipe at one end until it started to oxidize, the other end of the pipe would likely not be as discolored if indeed it became discolored at all. What I was going for was a rough visual clue of where the heat was most intense. My belief is the extreme discoloration of only one solenoid lug means the heat was most intense at the copper ring / wiring stud. The solenoid melted from internal heating.

 

Having said all this, the good news is the solenoid has been replaced and the starter is (apparently) spinning the engine. The diagrams I posted earlier were to bring us to this point and I was probably a little late in posting them. My apologies.

 

You should be able to purchase an appropriate starter cable at Walmart, The last cable I bought there was about $4 and I use it as a troubleshooting tool in my tool bag. Measure up the distance from the battery to the solenoid and grab an approximate sized cable for a few dollars and end the discussion of cables and terminals. If a new cable is not available, a multimeter can be used to perform a voltage drop measurement while the engine is cranking. Any further potential trouble spots in the cabling can be quickly identified with a voltage drop test. I will post some pics later tonight if you are unfamiliar with the troubleshooting routine.

 

Please note - do not crank the engine for extended periods of time without resting the starter. You can still overheat the starter by cranking for over 30 seconds without allowing the starter to cool for several minutes before the next cranking attempt. Your engine is CRANKING  but fails to RUN. Time to turn your attention to checking for spark and fuel delivery.

 

At this point we may be confusing you with too many cooks in the kitchen. I will bow out unless you have specific questions you need me to answer.

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The real thing I was trying to establish was whether a starter on its way out would cause additional decay in the solenoid/relay components... and I think if I am understanding Chuck correctly, the answer is no, not really that much..

 

Dan

 

A healthy solenoid will have very little internal resistance and will develop very little heat with brief use of even an aging starter.

 

Technically, a starter solenoid "degrades" every time it is used. Internal arcing at the moment the copper ring touches the copper studs happens EVERY time you engage the solenoid. It is only when resistance forms in the connections that excessive heating begins.

 

I found this out in a very surprising way on my E tank setup. When I went to clean one of the rods in the tank, i burned my fingers. Scanning the rod with a remote thermometer targeted to the battery charger clamp revealed the high resistance connection to a dirty rod. There's the heat !

 

 

IMG_1041.jpg

 

 

laser dot is on the clamp

 

and here's the heat ...

 

 

IMG_1039.jpg

 

 

 

You could use a similar tool to show corroded connections on any high current wiring setup.

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At this point we may be confusing you with too many cooks in the kitchen. I will bow out unless you have specific questions you need me to answer.

 

No no!  :no: I was only 'subbing' for you while you were offline...  and I sensed some confusion in terms that might be leading Matt down a blind alley...

 

You are the Master Oh Be Wan Save Old Iron!  :bow-blue:

 

I was going to suggest the voltage drop test myself, but you have a much better way of saying a lot more with fewer words than I do... so please, continue!

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After reading this again I believe he is saying because of the heavy discoloration inside the solenoid  It was in fact the solenoid and not another wire.

 

Not quite sure exactly what Chuck meant, I'll let him clear that up next time he's in...

 

Obviously there was a lot of heat on that one connection.  We can't know if it came from the inside out, or the outside in.

 

My previous thoughts were based on the assumption the darkest / roughest area on the copper was probably going to be at the source of the heat. Just as if you heated a copper pipe at one end until it started to oxidize, the other end of the pipe would likely not be as discolored if indeed it became discolored at all. What I was going for was a rough visual clue of where the heat was most intense. My belief is the extreme discoloration of only one solenoid lug means the heat was most intense at the copper ring / wiring stud. The solenoid melted from internal heating.

 

Having said all this, the good news is the solenoid has been replaced and the starter is (apparently) spinning the engine. The diagrams I posted earlier were to bring us to this point and I was probably a little late in posting them. My apologies.

 

You should be able to purchase an appropriate starter cable at Walmart, The last cable I bought there was about $4 and I use it as a troubleshooting tool in my tool bag. Measure up the distance from the battery to the solenoid and grab an approximate sized cable for a few dollars and end the discussion of cables and terminals. If a new cable is not available, a multimeter can be used to perform a voltage drop measurement while the engine is cranking. Any further potential trouble spots in the cabling can be quickly identified with a voltage drop test. I will post some pics later tonight if you are unfamiliar with the troubleshooting routine.

 

Please note - do not crank the engine for extended periods of time without resting the starter. You can still ruin the starter by overheating by cranking for over 30 seconds without allowing the starter to cool for several minutes before the next cranking attempt. From what I have read , your engine is CRANKING fine but fails to RUN. Time to turn your attention to checking for spark and fuel delivery.

 

At this point we may be confusing you with too many cooks in the kitchen. I will bow out unless you have specific questions you need me to answer.

 

I really appreciate the help from everyone.  Every suggestion is an opportunity for me to learn how to do something new.  Quite honestly I didn't know what a starter motor looked like before I began this adventure.  Today I disassembled and cleaned one.  I'll bring a multimeter home tomorrow and pick up a new wire as well.  Pics would help if you don't mind.

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Before I replaced the starter solenoid the starter wasn't turning or wasn't turning much.

 

And that obviously was because of a loose, corroded, high resistance connection at the solenoid, not a problem with the starter itself.

 

What happened after that then? (too lazy to read back, sorry!)

 

I think you hit 'enter' too soon!  ;)

 

Yes, I edited the message. My kids removed buttons from my laptop and It's a bit hard to type.

 

 That sounds like when the Clinton Adminisration was leaving the Whitehouse and removed the "W" from all the keyboards before George W came into office.  :laughing-rolling:   :text-lol: 

 

Start with a new spark plug, body grounded to the block and high tension lead attached, remove old plug and crank it over to see if you have a spark at the electrodes of the new plug. If you do then screw it in and try starting, may want to use a shot of starter fluid if it didn't start on it's own.

 

Let us know how you are coming along. :USA: 

 

 

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That's one great aspect of this hobby, the discovery. Gathering all the clues to make a diagnosis. Visual clues, smells, sounds, indications from measurements both mechanical and electrical. The whole philosophy of troubleshooting is a topic unto itself. Do I start at the battery and work down to the starter - or begin by confirming the starter works and work backwards to the battery. Can I start in the middle and work to either end ? Yes.

 

Each person skilled in troubleshooting will have their own preferred method. No methods are ever truly "wrong" but can be confusing if several folks advising have different philosophies on approaching a problem. You seemed to be in very capable hands at this time and I did not wish to add yet more possible confusing choices.

 

On closer inspection of the picture you posted for the starter armature, I had a few observations.

 

startercommcheck_zpsdf3d723f.gif

 

 

Yellow and green areas show a transition from shiny enamel to overheated enamel coating on the armature wires - there is evidence of overheating here.

 

Purple area shows what appears to be the melted enamel from the green area displaced from the overheated wires and reformed in the purple area.

 

Red area shows the commutator segments have very little wear ( the undercut area between commutator copper segments seems undercut almost like new). The commutator segments show little physical wear but some electrical abuse from arcing brushes placing a black coating on the commutator segments.

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You could use a similar tool to show corroded connections on any high current wiring setup.

 

As a quick aside... hopefully of interest...

 

Insurance companies that write policies for businesses often do inspections of the property just as some companies that write homeowner policies do, but more in-depth.

 

One of the things they do is use FLIR (Forward Looking InfraRed) cameras to look at electrical panel boards.  Hopefully this picture will link properly.  One can easily SEE the overloaded, or defective circuit breaker.  Visual inspection alone would not catch this.

 

flir-t640-panel.jpg

image courtesy flir.com

 

Sorry for drifting the topic, I dig this kinda stuff...

 

Now, back to your regularly scheduled programmng

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Just to endorse a point about cranking an engine on the Starter for long periods, it will burn the Starter out as they are Not  'Continuously Rated'......

For example, Kohler Manual states- 

A maximum of 10 seconds cranking, followed by 60 secs of rest (to allow heat to dissipate). Refer to Section 8, page 20. 

 

Usually, if an Engine doesn't start within that period, then something is not 'Playing Ball' in the sequence.

 

So yes, the Starter in the pics where the commutator is blackened,  has had a hard time at a stage in it's life - loooong  Cranking, but is now saved.

 

(Think I'll have to service mine on my 72 Raider soon)

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To perform a voltage drop test - hook up the multimeter from the (+) battery terminal to the starter terminal. Place the meter on DC volts and select a low voltage range - say 2 volts. If your meter is an "auto ranging" meter, the meter will select the most appropriate range when it senses the voltage being measured.

 

Remove the spark plug wire from the spark plug to prevent the engine from starting and running. Crank the engine for a few seconds and read the voltage off the multimeter. The meter reading may bounce around a little as different strokes of the 4 cycle engine will make different demands on the starter and hence cause different amounts of power to be lost in the wiring and solenoid. In this case, an analog (pointer needle) meter is better to use to obtain a reading. The pointer will tend to "smooth out" the pulsing voltage and make it easier to obtain an approximate reading of the voltage drop. If your digital meter has a min / max function, use it. The max reading will record the highest voltage drop measured during the testing process.

 

Here is a typical reading when all the wiring, terminals and solenoid are all functional.

 

(click on image to enlarge)

startfunctionvoltagedrop015ok_zpsf8d7574

 

 

Notice the meter reading is very low - about 0.1 to 0.2 volts.

 

 

 

 

 

Now check out a questionable voltage drop

 

 

startfunctionvoltagedrop209bad_zps80d5e3

 

 

 

The voltage lost between the battery and the starter is much larger - over 2 volts.

 

Any significant voltage loss can usually be attributed to corrosion or loose connections in the starter circuit wiring.

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voltage drop can also be measured on the negative ground cable.

 

place one multimeter lead on the (-) battery terminal and the other meter lead to a good chassis ground.

 

crank the engine and observe the voltage drop.

 

any excessive drop could be attributed to a bad negative battery cable or corroded areas underneath the cable terminals.

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voltage drop can also be measured on the negative ground cable.

 

place one multimeter lead on the (-) battery terminal and the other meter lead to a good chassis ground.

 

crank the engine and observe the voltage drop.

 

any excessive drop could be attributed to a bad negative battery cable or corroded areas underneath the cable terminals.

Now you are into the meat of trouble shooting. Once you determine the voltage drop is out of range, you and pin point it by doing the same test on every wire in the circut and narrow it down to the exact wire or component.

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Thanks again for all the suggestions and help.  Hopefully I can get out tomorrow to check voltage. 

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If the engine is turning over with the starter at what seems to be a reasonable speed, but the engine isn't starting and running, before you do any more troubleshooting on the starter circuit, make sure you have spark and fuel...

 

After you gitter runnin' again, you can go back to the starter circuit and 'fine tune'...

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If the engine is turning over with the starter at what seems to be a reasonable speed, but the engine isn't starting and running, before you do any more troubleshooting on the starter circuit, make sure you have spark and fuel...

 

After you gitter runnin' again, you can go back to the starter circuit and 'fine tune'...

I got sidetracked.  That was next on my list.Thanks.

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Ok, I think we need to start from the beginning here. What condition are we trying to fix.

Option A= Crank no start

Option B= No crank, no start

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A while back I asked the same question and after sorting the semantics we arrived at Option A ...  crank, no start.

 

Original problem was no/slow crank but the solenoid replacement seems to have corrected that.

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Woo Hoo!!!  Replaced the battery and ground wires and spark plug.  Started right up.  Only issue now is when I flip the PTO switch the engine stalls.  Looking at the trouble shooting checklist it says to check for jammed attachments or seat must be occupied to close interlock system.  I have the seat switch bypassed right now.  Would it cause a stall if bypassed?  I'll change it over this weekend.

 

Thanks again for all the help!

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Matt, not sure the year of your machine, but the schematic I'm looking at indicates that when operator is on the seat that seat switch is OPEN.  So, if you've got a jumper on that seat switch, it's looking like the operator is NOT in the seat.

 

212 models up to and including 1990 have the seat switch OPEN when operator is on seat.

 

1991 and later are just the opposite and wiring is different.  Operator ON seat and switch is CLOSED.

 

If yours is '90 or older, remove the jumper and try again.

 

Why did you jumper the switch in the first place?

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This has magneto ignition so remove the jumper in the seat switch wiring and it should keep running. That jumper is grounding the ignition through the pto switch. Don't forget about it though. That is one safety switch that is very important and needs to function.

 

Garry

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Matt, not sure the year of your machine, but the schematic I'm looking at indicates that when operator is on the seat that seat switch is OPEN.  So, if you've got a jumper on that seat switch, it's looking like the operator is NOT in the seat.

 

212 models up to and including 1990 have the seat switch OPEN when operator is on seat.

 

1991 and later are just the opposite and wiring is different.  Operator ON seat and switch is CLOSED.

 

If yours is '90 or older, remove the jumper and try again.

 

Why did you jumper the switch in the first place?

With all the issues I had, I pulled the two wires from the switch and tied them together in case the switch was bad (it wasn't).

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Do you know what year your 212 is?

 

Did you remove the jumper and try again?

 

If you have 90 or earlier, jumping the switch will cause shutdown whenever you engage PTO because by jumping switch you are permanently causing 'operator off seat' condition.

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:woohoo:   Starts and runs, you are doing GOOD! :text-goodpost: 

 

:USA: 

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Thanks again for all the advice.  I tried to start the tractor Sunday and was back to the crank, no start symptom.  I have a week off so I have some time to 'learn'.

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