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1973 16 hp hydrostatic model 10440.  Reversed battery.  Turned key, heard a click - lights went out, heard another click.  Switched battery - nothing.   What parts will i need to replace after this stupid move?

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You probably didn't do any damage. Check for clean and tight connections at the battery, grounding points.

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:WRS: Wes

Picked up a tractor awhile back that the PO sold because he couldn't get it running. After troubleshooting for an hour finally figured out the battery was installed backasswards. Corrected and she fired right up. Yes as ole red suggested make sure all the connections are good. Report back with any problems after that and we'll  help from there. Perhaps @gwest_ca can find us manual with wiring diagram.

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A reversed battery will make the starter spin backwards. Ask me how I know this! :)

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2 hours ago, squonk said:

A reversed battery will make the starter spin backwards. Ask me how I know this! :)

In that case, you don't have to worry about it engaging into the flywheel starter ring and making the engine run backwards! :ychain:

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Posted (edited)

Not sure, but does the reverse current short the points to ground and possibly weld them together?     Just thinking out loud here.

 

Check the fuses.

Edited by Ed Kennell
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1 hour ago, Ed Kennell said:

does the reverse current short the points to ground and possibly weld them together?

 

No, the ignition coil stays in the circuit as the load, limiting current thru the points regardless of the direction of current flow.

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3 hours ago, Ed Kennell said:

does the reverse current short the points to ground and possibly weld them together?

The coil isn't polarity sensitive, when I went from six volt positive ground on my '48 Ford to twelve volt negative ground all I did to the ignition was add a ballast resistor. The "+" on the coil is just to let you know it is the primary input terminal. A magnetic field will be created by the current flow either way. 

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On tractors with positive grounds the + terminal of the coil goes to the  points (Distributor)  The - terminal goes to the ignition switch

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