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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi
I have an 86 318 w/ 50" deck. The engine runs great when first started and for like 10 - 30 minutes depending on how hot it is outside, then it will stall and everything goes Dead, Dash panel goes blank, nothing when the key is turned.
Then about 10 - 20 seconds later, you hear a click under the battery and the Dash lights up, turn the key and I'm off for about 1 - 2 minutes and then it cuts out again (my wife thinks I'm crazy but I do get the lawn done :)
I too have had it to my local JD Dealer but it does not do it so they will change a part or 2 and I get it back - Same thing.
Thanks
Timmy from Connecticut
 

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Moderator
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Sounds like--right off the top of my head--That 'clicking you hear is probebly a relay--resetting itself---It's going dead as it gets hot....
Try just driving the tractor around for awhile--without the deck engaged--does it run o.k. now?
When you engage the deck--is it an electric PTO switch? Is anything else hooked up to the tractor--aux. lights or anything?

Isolate the problem by checking one option at a time--could very easily be just a loose/bad connection or ground.
That will take some sluething--a test light and a multi-meter, but you learn about your machine. If you intend to track it down yourself--you need the wireing diagram for that machine--The JD guys here can point you to that source.
 

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The Magnificent
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20,952 Posts
Welcome Timmy,
From what you've stated, it sounds like an intermittent, or heat related electrical problem. You don't list the serial number so we don't know which engine you have.

Do you own a multi-meter? This is the kind of problem you need to troubleshoot when it's happening.

First step is of course the visual inspection. Stem to stern looking for loose connections, corroded connections, chafed, bared or pinched wires.

A good technique when troubleshooting an intermittent electrical problem is to remove, clean, then re=tighten every electrical connection on the tractor.

There is a 25 amp circuit breaker just after the starter solenoid, and before the ignition switch. This is most likely what you hear clicking when your lights, etc come back on.

That in itself is not much help. What is causing the breaker to trip? If you did not engage the front PTO, and just drove the tractor for half an hour or so would it cut out? That's easy enough to try out.

Has the dealer already changed the ignition switch? What other parts have they changed? Just to help us eliminate possible culprits.
 

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Super Duper Member
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1,472 Posts
There is a jumper wire that runs to the selonoid with an end that caps on. I had the same problem once, and it turned out to be that wire. I purchased a new one from Deere, and the problem was gone.
 

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Now that I think of it, i'm not sure what the ends on the wire look like. Does anyone have access to this wire, that could take a picture of it? It is a single heavy guage wire, and i think it has a fuse link in it.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Guy's
Thanks for "gett'n involed"
I went out to the shed - in the Rain, it is an 1986, Model M00318X363113 with the B43G Engine.
I believe my local JD Dealer changed the Ignition Switch like 3 or 4 years ago - I guess his attempt at curing the "Cutting out" as he told me it did not do it (intermittent issue) for them.
I would say that it might only be when the PTO for the mower is engaged is when I have the problem, I have run it in the Driveway (last year) and it did not stall.
Next time I mow with it and it cuts out, I will start it up and only drive it around without the PTO engaged.
What does that Relay do, It is only after I hear the Click that the Dash lights up and I can Start it Immediately and off I go, sometimes I can only go like 2/3 of a pass - I have a small lawn.

Thanks again
Timmy from Connecticut
 

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The Magnificent
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That relay or circuit breaker is your main breaker. You could jumper across it and look for the smoke, problem found. (I'm joking, I hope you realize that).

Anyway, do the PTO test. I'll see if I can get a pic of my solenoid and the wire to which saleen refers.
 

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The relay or circuit breaker, is essentially --resetting itself--after it cools down....That is a safety device--better than a fuse that blows and you have to replace it each time.
But somewhere--a short/bad connection, something is tripping it...That is what you have to trace down, to fix your problem.
And you don't want to keep running it like this--you are just wearing your starter out by constantly haveing to restart it--then You'll have another problem.

Not raining on your parade--but look at it--as tackling a building block puzzle.
Do one piece at a time--don't try to do all at one time!
Get the wireing diagram/check and clean each connection as you go--Start at the power souce--the battery and go from there..

I think the big jumper wire a previous poster is talking about is a
'fuseable link"--and yes--they can go bad--building up a resistance to the current....
Just another place to look.
Keep us posted--it is usually not a quick job, but you must be methodical and move thru it like a phyisical exam--one step @ a time...
 

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I'm not living in my house right now, so I don't have access to my 318. I had this problem with my tractor, and the solution was changing out the link that goes to the solenoid. It was failing under heavy load. I would at least take it apart and inspect it to see if it is melting, or if you can see signs that it has been corroding.

It has been many years since this occurred, so my memory is foggy. I really hope this helps.
 

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Super Duper Member
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Hi
I have an 86 318 w/ 50" deck. The engine runs great when first started and for like 10 - 30 minutes depending on how hot it is outside, then it will stall and everything goes Dead, Dash panel goes blank, nothing when the key is turned.
Then about 10 - 20 seconds later, you hear a click under the battery and the Dash lights up, turn the key and I'm off for about 1 - 2 minutes and then it cuts out again (my wife thinks I'm crazy but I do get the lawn done :)
I too have had it to my local JD Dealer but it does not do it so they will change a part or 2 and I get it back - Same thing.
Thanks
Timmy from Connecticut
I know this thread ran out of gas, but working on my Deere reminded me to take this picture. I had the same problem with my 318 losing power while mowing. I found this red wire in bad condition (melting), and rewired it to the breaker.



I may have also replaced the breaker with a new one when I did it. Been great ever since.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #12
Hi Guy's
Yes, I kind of dropped following up on this Blog & kind of put up with it being Intermittent.
I also have been busy with a few other blogs and since then, this past Summer, I am hopping to have fixed my issue.
My Son was mowing and the Whole Electrical system shut down, the Breaker was clicking on and off.
When one of the Breaker Wires was removed, it obviosly stopped "popping".
I found the only way to run the Tractor was to disconnect the Battery side of the Rectifier. I could start it and run it, just had to charge the Battey every few weeks.
Waiting for a break from Lawns to Snow Blower Season, and trying to get away from Pulling the Engine - I did it as I kept getting Continuity to Ground from the Stator side of the Rectifier.
I also had to Scrape, Clean and had the Engine Steam Cleaned After fixing what was probibly a 25+ year Oil Leak, the Bolts for the Oil Filter/ Pressure Sending unit.
The Stator was Burned out - the Bottom "pole" was burnt and I replaced that with a unit from Onanparts.com.
I cleaned the Chassis and replaced the Foam insulation on that panel/ firewall in front of the Battery.
I think my "cutting out" problem was from the extra crap in the blower housing keeping the Engine Hot and that probibly burnt out my Stator - Oh Well !
All back together, 3 MTF Mod's to my Model 49 Blower - Awesome !
Timmy from Trumbull, CT
 

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