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Old 11-06-2007, 11:15 PM   post #16 of 21
uriahslim
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Post Re: How do you test a starter solenoid?

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Originally Posted by RED-85-Z51 View Post
If you have a volt meter, fluke meter, whatever you want to call it.

Push the BLACK probe into the negative battery cable, just peirce the insulation and jam it in there.

Now take the meter and put it on DC Volts, Reading 00.00vdc

Touch the RED probe to the POS. batt. terminal. That is your Battery voltage.

Now touch it to the battery side of the solenoid, should show the same or just a hair less than the battery reading.

Next touch it to the Starter side of the solenoid, key off, should show 0 volts. Now turn the key to START, and note the reading. If it goes to 12.5 or whatever, you have a good solenoid, but a ground or starter problem. If it doesnt do anything, move the probe to the small wire terminal on the side of the solenoid, and note the reading with the switch in the START position. If it is 0, you have a wiring problem, or a Safety switch problem. If it goes to Battery voltage, you have a bad solenoid, or a poorly grounded solenoid.

Check your Safety switches, make sure the battery is HOT too.

A quick way to rule out the battery, heavy gauge wires, and starter is to carefully lay an insulated steel screwdriver over the 2 posts on the solenoid. If the motor jumps, you know its in the key switch, Safety system, or the solenoid.
When you say to move the probe to the small wire terminal does it matter which one since there are 2 small terminals on the solenoid one reads around 2.5 volts with the switch in the start position the other one reads around 11.5 to 12 volts.I'm having trouble starting the tractor and i dont know if its the solenoid or the interlock system.appreciate you help
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:17 AM   post #17 of 21
Caseguytoo
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Default Re: How do you test a starter solenoid?

The true Case solenoid has four terminals on it. The two large diameter terminals are for the heavy lead coming from the battery and the heavy lead going to the starter motor no matter which engine is under the hood.

The two smaller terminals are connected as follows. One terminal receives a lead coming from the "Start" terminal on the ignition switch. The other terminal receives a black lead coming from the safety switches put on this tractor to save you from harm or to keep others who might try to run this tractor (like your kids or wife for instance) from being harmed.

IF...you have the correct four terminal solenoid, then test it by taking a length of wire with bare ends and grounding one side of the wire to the negative terminal on the battery and touching the other end to the small terminal on the solenoid that does not have the wire from the ignition switch going to it. If you turn the key to "Start", the engine should crank. If it does, then that is telling you that you have a safety switch issue that needs to be repaired, NOT BYPASSED. The usual culprit is the neutral safety switch that is found directly under the dashboard where the travel lever resides. There is also a safety switch on the lever that engages the mechanical PTO. Later tractors (Ingersoll's) also have a seat presence switch. The neutral safety switch itself might be OK but it gets grounded by the rod on the travel lever and if rust or corrosion is present, then grounding does not take place. I mean..... whadda ya expect after twenty plus years? LOL It could also be a broken wire on the safety switch circuit. It's not hard to trace these wires and find the true problem.

While you are at it, go test the one you took out but running a positive and negative lead from any 12 volt battery to the small terminals on that solenoid. If it clicks in, then coil in the solenoid is good but perhaps the copper washer and studs inside the solenoid are pitted so badly that they don't allow heavy current to flow from the battery to the starter every time you tried to start the tractor.
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:24 AM   post #18 of 21
Caseguytoo
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Default Re: How do you test a starter solenoid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by uriahslim View Post
When you say to move the probe to the small wire terminal does it matter which one since there are 2 small terminals on the solenoid one reads around 2.5 volts with the switch in the start position the other one reads around 11.5 to 12 volts.I'm having trouble starting the tractor and i dont know if its the solenoid or the interlock system.appreciate you help
Slim,
Read my post above. The correct solenoid does not care which small terminal you connect the lead from the ignition switch to. The solenoid is not polarity sensitive. The reason you are reading 2.5 volts on one terminal is because you have a bad ground, most likely at the neutral safety switch. Without a really good solid ground, the solenoid's coil isn't seeing the full battery voltage and it won't pull in unless it does. You have a high resistance in the safety switch circuit that is causing this problem. Find the high resistance and remove it by cleaning off rust, corrosion etc or replacing the defective switch.
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Old 11-07-2007, 11:20 AM   post #19 of 21
lawnmowertech
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Default Re: How do you test a starter solenoid?

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Thanks for the pictures. They really help!
hey eschoendorff is that solenoid still acting up ??? let us know and also can you look on the one you took off and see if there are any numbers on them ?
thanks
calvin
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Old 11-07-2007, 12:03 PM   post #20 of 21
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Default Re: How do you test a starter solenoid?

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Originally Posted by Caseguytoo View Post
Slim,
Read my post above. The correct solenoid does not care which small terminal you connect the lead from the ignition switch to. The solenoid is not polarity sensitive. The reason you are reading 2.5 volts on one terminal is because you have a bad ground, most likely at the neutral safety switch. Without a really good solid ground, the solenoid's coil isn't seeing the full battery voltage and it won't pull in unless it does. You have a high resistance in the safety switch circuit that is causing this problem. Find the high resistance and remove it by cleaning off rust, corrosion etc or replacing the defective switch.
Dang, Caseguy, you're reading my mind even before I see the posts you are responding to. You know your stuff.
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Old 11-08-2007, 06:38 AM   post #21 of 21
eschoendorff
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Default Re: How do you test a starter solenoid?

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Originally Posted by lawnmowertech View Post
hey eschoendorff is that solenoid still acting up ??? let us know and also can you look on the one you took off and see if there are any numbers on them ?
thanks
calvin
Yes, it is. I'll have to take pics of both solenoids and show you guys what's going on...
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