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Toro 212-5 no electrical power

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Hello everyone. The other day I picked up a 92 Toro 212-5 lawn tractor with no deck non-running for $30 (MN: 32-12O503). The guy I bought it from said the ignition was left on with the headlights on and killed the battery so it should just need a new one. I made attempts to jump start the tractor, it would get power (the headlights would turn on and clutch would click) but wouldn't crank. I tried jumping the solenoid terminals to see if the starter was good (and it does work, tho I couldn't attempt to start the tractor due to the position of the solenoid terminals I couldn't maintain a good connection). But since doing that I've lost all electrical power on the tractor; absolutely nothing turns on, even with a new battery. Did I short something out? Also when I got the tractor I noticed one of the fuses had melted into the fuse block, so I spliced in some new connectors and fuse (as well as replacing the 2 other fuses). I tested the key switch and thats working fine. All my connections are good.


I'm really stumped, I'm not sure where to go from here. I'm really not the best at figuring out electrical issues. If it was a mechanical issue I'd have had it running the same day I got it.

Edited by HandCannotErase

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So I looked over the wiring and found the seat switch wires were cut, so spliced them back together. I also took the solenoid off and inspected the terminals and cables, everything looks okay, so I put it all back together. Now whenever I connect the battery the starter continuously spins (but doesn't engage the engine) until I disconnect the negative battery cable (which will arc when I do that).

What on earth is going on??

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:WRS:      You may have a bad solenoid. Remove the lead that goes to the engine starter and connect the battery cables, turn the key and see if it closes, check the output with a test light to see if it is working.

1 hour ago, HandCannotErase said:

the starter continuously spins (but doesn't engage the engine)

You will probably find that it isn't getting enough voltage to allow it to go to full speed. Could be the Bendix drive needs to be cleaned up too.

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Disconnect the small wires from the solenoid small terminals and see if the starter still wants to run. If it does the solenoid is shorted internally and requires replacement.



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So the solenoid was bad and I found a replacement for $20. It arrived today, I installed it, and it's doing the same thing: running the starter when I connect the battery.


Somewhere the circuit is being completed without the key being on, but it must not be enough to make the starter engage the engine. Like I said above the ignition switch is fine, I tested it and it's working like it should be. I'm really stumped here.

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2 large terminals on the solenoid.

One terminal has a white wire that goes to the battery (+).

The red wire on the other large terminal goes to the starter.


2 small wires on the solenoid.

Black wire grounds the solenoid coil.

Purple wire supplies power only with the key in the start position.

If you leave these 2 wires disconnected what happens when you connect the battery cable?



  • Excellent 1

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  It could be that the switch is melted together internally and the start circuit does not disengage. Short work to find this out if you are handy with a multimeter or a test light.


 You mentioned that a fuse block was melted, so the possibility of something like this increases.Even though you tested the switch, is it possible that the PO put on the wrong switch in his attempt to repair it?

Edited by ohiofarmer

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