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Bad starter solenoid?

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I redid the wiring on my Commando 8 very similar to how it was outlined in this thread, , using a solenoid. This included a new ignition switch and solenoid too. I can start and run the tractor by bridging the two solenoid poles, or going directly from the + on the Batt to the starter gen pole. However, I can't get it to engage the starter using the key switch. The solenoid will click when the key is turned, and after two times of trying to turn the key it won't click anymore. If I leave the battery disconnected for a while then I end up going through this same routine. I checked the voltage at the key switch when the key is on run and I get nothing at the S terminal and a strong 12v on the I terminal. If I turn the key to start I continue getting a strong 12v to I, in addition to a strong 12v on S. I believe that's how it should be, correct?

Thanks

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Does your solenoid have 2 large terminals and 2 small terminals ? If yes ground one of the small ones as you have an externally grounded solenoid, instead of a 2 large one small terminal internally grounded one.

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2 large and 2 small. The other small terminal that doesn't have any wires is the I terminal which I believe is another method to get power going to the coil. Your saying ground that one? Thanks.

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Be careful about grounding the 2nd small terminal.

 

If the relay in use is a true "Ford" style starter relay, the 2nd terminal is NOT a ground terminal. It is used to supply 12 volts directly to the ignition coil and bypass the coil resistor in an early Ford ignition system.

 

2a676462.gif

 

 

If you were to hook a wire from this terminal to ground, you would have a direct short to ground when you placed the ignition switch in the START position.

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If the relay you are using doesn't have the look of the classic "Ford" style relay, you will need to ground the 2nd small terminal to get the relay to function properly.

 

testing4terminalstarterrelay_zps3fb7df7d

 

The only real way to tell if the two small terminals work as a team is to measure the resistance between the two with an ohmmeter. I think the resistance is in the range of about 30 - 50 ohms.

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The one I'm using is a generic 4 post from an auto parts store that I've used on other tractors, (not a Ford specifically.) It has two big terminals labeled M, and two small, one labeled S which says should go to the start circuit of the IGN switch, and I which runs from the switch to the coil. It states if your application only uses 3 of the 4 terminals then dont hook up I, so I believe its internally grounded. Thanks.

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I measured ohms with a meter between the two small poles and only got a solid 1. As long as I measured correctly then that would mean its grounded through its body, right? Or no?

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Well, I fixed the problem, though didn't figure out what was wrong. I swapped the solenoid I had bought for one off another tractor. That solenoid had to be grounded with a second wire to the 2nd small terminal. When I put that one on the commando setup with the ground wire everything works as it should from the key switch. So, I thought well let me try this solenoid I bought in the other tractor and it worked in that one. I'm wondering if the solenoid I bought required a higher amperage battery to work properly because the other tractor I put in has an automotive size battery and the commando only has a lawn and garden battery. I just left the solenoids swapped to the opposite tractors and they're both working fine. Thanks for all the help guys.

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