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RJMcEachern

518-H won't start, starter just clicks, battery appears to be fully charged

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When I turn the key to start it the solenoid just clicks, wondering if my battery is at its end of life, it is several years old, or if it is the starter that has failed?

 

Anyone know how to test the starter while it is installed?

 

RJMcEachern

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check to see if the wiring from the relay is transferring power to the starter solenoid. i had the same issue with one of my 416s and the terminal on the relay socket was bad.

when you turn the key to start check the start signal wire on the starter solenoid (small terminal) to see if 12 v is getting there.

 

you can check the starter condition by jumping the large terminal that the heavy gauge wire is connected to on the starter solenoid to the smaller one, it should pull the solenoid in and turn over the engine.

Edited by Martin

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Awesome, thanks man!

So the battery wire terminal to the small wire on solenoid should nagged solenoid and turn motor over?

Sounds easy enough

Rjmceachern

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also check electrical grounds........ 

they are most important..

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yes, jumping them on a good starter will turn it over. just be careful that you don't burn the terminals by holding jumped for too long. a large screwdriver momentarily held there is better than using a piece of wire in your hand. just real quick, you only want to test it, not try and start it.....

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Ok, will do, thanks again for chiming in, much appreciated

RJMcEachern
 

Edited by RJMcEachern
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so I jumped it and it kicked over. I then tried to start it and it started??? Probably a dead spot on solenoid?

 

RJMcEachern

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mine acted the same way. i would look at the relay socket terminals as well. mine worked like yours for a few starts and then went back to the same issue. ended up being a loose connection at the relay socket. these tractors are sometimes full of corroded terminals and loose connections after 20 to 30 years of working.....

 

it doesn't take much corrosion to lose the electrical path through terminals.

 

also check the fuse block that you are getting power all the time. wiggling terminals while operating electrical circuits sometimes uncovers problems...

Edited by Martin

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My guess would be your starter is getting near the end of it's life. Worn brushes and a dirty commutator. When you jump it directly you provide the extra power needed to overcome this. Do as Martin said and if it happens again, replace the solenoid and replace/overhaul the starter.

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Thanks everyone for the replies, I will monitor it and hope she makes it through this winter, if she dies, I guess I am shopping for a new one.

 

RJMcEachern

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well she's not making it through, I now have to start everytime using a screwdriver, so is there a definitive test to perform on both the starter relay, solenoid and starter to figure out which is faulty?

 

RJMcEachern

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If it starts by holding a screwdriver on the two big posts on the solenoid then it is prob the solenoid.But you stated earlier that it started again after you jumped it.

The first thing I would do is check the small wire coming from the ignition switch to the solenoid.When you turn the key to start this little wire should have power,bou only when you turn the key to engage the starter.If you have power in this wire then the solenoid is bad,

Having said this the first thing you should do is clean all connections,not just the battery cables.Clean all connections including wires ti ignition switch before you change anything.

If you do not have power to this small wire on the solenoid after all this it is prob the ignition switch.

If you read some of the electrical problems on this forum you will find that over half are from bad connections.

Get some dielectric grease to put on them after you have cleaned them.

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Thanks for the replies.

 

I am jumping the small wire on the starter to the big post, I have circled both of them in the photo below, this is with key on, it fires right up everytime. When I try with the key just clicks.

 

starterpic_zps4217ab8d.jpg

 

after it warms up a little I will go out and try the electrical tests mentioned by

flyovrcntry

 

Thanks for the replies and direction :)

 

RJMcEachern

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Did you check for corroded or bad terminals at the fuse block and starter relay as was previously mentioned? This still sounds exactly like the problem I was having with mine. I think your starter switch is ok because you say it 'clicks'.....that should mean it's sending a signal to the relay. Maybe not consistently though..My money is still on relay terminals and or fuse block terminals being inconsistent in transferring power where it needs to go. 99% of the time you will find electrical problems directly being caused by bad/corroded terminals on this series of tractors.....

You will invest way more time on these machines chasing electrical issues than you really want to, but you've just got to work your way through it.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Cool, as stated previously I will go out after it warms up a bit, still too cold to stay out longer than I want this morning. I am ok chasing electrical problems just time consuming is all. I will report back with my findings later this morning and hopefully updated photo with electrical connections cleaned and dielectric grease on them.

 

RJMcEachern

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So I was able to go out and test some things just now.. I am starting with the relay solenoid, here are my results in picture form

 

solenoidpic_zps33c9da86.jpg

 

so while performing this test it started by key for the first time in two weeks, next I am going to go out and check the grounds, and all the connections, clean them up with a wire brush and will post results later tonight after work, thanks everyone for the replies

 

RJMcEachern

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not a dumb question at all, no the first photo is the starter itself and the second is the starter relay solenoid mounted next to engine on frame.

 

RJMcEachern

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Ahaa.. now it begins to make sense to me :)

I'm not good writing in English,  but i would like to ask:

On the starter you have 2 big terminals ?  one has a big heavy wire and 12V all the time from the battery (the other terminal goes via a short heavy wire to starter motor)  and one smaller post.  You said that if you short the small wire to the big post it fires up everytime ?  then the starter/and solenoid is working as it should.

This leads me to the other relay in your second picture..it didn't make any sense to me why it is in there in the first place since the starter has its own relay.  But, it looks like there is a blue wire coming from the post where you don't have 12V with the key turned to start ?  If this blue wire goes from that post directly to the relay on the starter..it could be in there just to take the strain off the keyswitch
(the relay on the starter draws around 5-6amps and could burn out the keyswitch)  

This tells me..that the "Click" you hear when it won't start, is not from the starter itself but from this relay = If you short the two terminals it should start = bad relay. 

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just for clarity the service manual calls the item in the first photo the starter solenoid, the item in the second photo the service manual calls this starter relay solenoid.

 

you are correct in that the small wire closest to us is going to the starter solenoid, if I jump that at the starter it works everytime, I have not tried jumping from the relay solenoid. So if I jump the small blue wire to the other side of the post in the second photo it should start also? if this works this means the relay solenoid is bad?

 

RJMcEachern

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Sorry, i don't know all the correct terms and what all the things are called in English :)  I do know a thing or two about electrics and wiring, just not how to explain it all in English and please excuse me if i write things in a wrong way.

If you jump the two posts on the starter relay solenoid (the second photo) and it starts ok,  But if you turn the key to start and you can HEAR it click (but no start ) my best guess is that the starter relay solenoid is bad. 

 

Edited by Kai Thomsen

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your doing fine, I only know them because I found the name in the service manual. If I hadn't found it there it would be called the thingamabob and doohicky... I am not great at electrical but I muddle though...

 

Thanks Kai for the help, I will try this next, I am leaning to a corroded or loose contact, I will check them all tonight after work. I will also be cleaning them all with a wire brush and some emery cloth, then put some dielectric grease on them so they don't corrode again.

 

RJMcEachern

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Think of a solenoid as having two parts. Control, which is when you hit the start key. That is low current and is the small wires. The second part is the contacts which when asked to close by he control side directly connects your battery's power to the starter. If the control doesn't make the contacts close, your solenoid is bad or you have a lose tonne took somewhere.

You can use an volt/ohm meter to test your solenoid. When you turn the switch to start, the contct is either close or it isn't and your meter will show a reading the same as if you touched the two leads together.

On the control side, you can test for the presence of voltage and work back through the wiring to the switch.

Good luck,

Bill

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The later model 520 got rid of the redundant solenoid and neither of mine has it. Just power from the key switch directly to the solenoid on the starter itself.

 

Cleat

Edited by cleat

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