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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
EDIT: I am not entirely certain if this is in the correct forum. Sorry guys. I'll take a closer look and see if it belongs somewhere else. Mods - if you need to move the thread, I understand. Thanks.



Hello,

Today, I did something brave/stupid to my little Cub Cadet.

I am planning on changing to a push button starter, toggle switch for shutoff, and also eliminating some of the safety features that will create too much hassle, since I will be using the mower strictly as a snow blower. Specifically, I intend to remove the pressure switch on the seat, and set it up so that it will only start in park with PTO off. However once it's running there will be no safety features.

Anyway, I started noodling around with the electrical components, trying to trace the wires to their roots, hoping to figure out the relays, etc., but then I just got frustrated and tore everything out. I mean everything; there's just a couple of wire relays and ground wires that have stubs. All of the harnesses and other things have been removed.

Now, mind you, I know well enough to use a multimeter. I know that if I'd had the patience, I could have methodically tested each wire with each setting of the ignition switch, and eventually I could have rooted the whole thing, maybe could have kept most of the setup as it was. But I just didn't want to deal with it. I kept looking at this rat's nest of dusty old wires, made tacky from old electrical tape, and just said to myself "F this S, I'll figure it out." :maddd:

I did this primarily because of my frustration, but also because of a concerted desire to really learn about electronics; I've been good enough to troubleshoot and repair, but I still feel threatened by wiring, and I want to get better.

So yeah, now I'm here at square one and not sure what to do first.
The idea I have for the wiring setup seems simple enough. I can probably figure it out on my own in time. It would be nice if there was a website or something that offered step by step instructions, or an index of different parts. So far the stuff I'm finding is kind of poor and too inconsistent to be really useful....

Do you guys know of anything?

Thanks,

Mike
 

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Well your going to need a heavy duty push button switch for starting it. And heavy duty toggle switch for the PTO.

Do you know how to wire it so the engine will start and run? If not,,what engine is in it??

As far as the charging system? Hmmm??? Lights?? Hmmmm??

Did you destroy the wiring harness?? If not,,might be better off modifying it to a basic start and run harness and involving the ignition plug and main plugs?things you need.

Or you could run the lights off the battery,,,and recharge the battery on your own after each use.

I'm sure you probably know it now,,but would have been easier to modify it while installed. Maybe 4 safety switches to bypass.Oooops. :dunno:
 

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You don't need a heavy duty switch for starting, but I do recommend one that is waterproof/resistant.

You should have a look at the off-road mower forums; they do this all the time. The wiring for starting, charging and shutoff is very simple without all the safety switches.
 

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10K and Climbin!
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How about looking where you are at before you leap:

MVcylQm.jpg

Examine the circuits you have-

Run

Start

PTO

Then set up your switches and button using the wire you need. I recommend you at least keep the Seat switch in the loop so you don't get bit by a hungry snow blower!
 

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Thinking...
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I know how to wire the starter, shutoff, etc.... Maybe I worded it incorrectly, but I am capable of getting the mower running and working without issue, and I know how to pick the right parts for it. The problem for me is understanding the wiring for the safety interlocks, as I intend to set it up so that it won't start unless the PTO is off and the parking brake is on. Personally I don't care about the seat switch; I think it's a nuisance, and since it won't have a deck with blades anymore, I don't see much of a point, because my only concern otherwise would be if I put my foot under the deck by accident.

TractorTinkerer, thanks for the diagram, that is LOADS of help. The way I am planning on having it work, is to keep the solenoid, use it exactly as it was before. I am not sure how the PTO and Brake button work together, though. Do they run in series using positive current, as in, Does current flow through each interlock like a canal, stopping at one or the other if the gate is closed?
Or does it use a grounding mechanism to somehow cancel the battery?

Also, I imagine that the way I'll have it set up will mean that the starter terminal on the solenoid will always be hot if the tractor is just sitting unused. Would that cause a problem to let the solenoid be hot like that all the time? There wouldn't be active current, just a live terminal, so I am not sure if it will cause an issue. If that is the case, then I will also install a toggle switch for a basic ignition on/off, probably tie it into the switch wire on the solenoid so it will cut the current before it activates the starter terminal.


I am going to study the diagram now, maybe I'll find the answer on my own in a few minutes. Thanks again, you've helped a lot!
 

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START- NO Brake Sw. has to be closed. Pedal pressed. The starting power will then travel to the PTO sw. The PTO sw. needs to be OFF and if so it will transfer power to the Starter Solenoid.

RUN- opens the Ground connection to the Magneto (OFF kills the spark by grounding the magneto) It also connects the battery power to the alternator and PTO relays.

PTO- First- the Key has to be On and Brake off. The tractor must not be in Reverse and the Operator needs to be in the Seat. It accomplishes this by using the PTO sw. and the Reverse Relay to interlock or provide the power to the PTO clutch. I cannot stress this enough: **Bypassing these interlocks opens you up to legal action in event of any tragedies if someone is hurt or worse. MTF in no way endorses anyone to do this so you are on your own there.**

Both the positive and negative sides of power are utilized in different sections of this complex circuit to make the necessary connections to energize the PTO clutch. If you study the diagram you should be able to decipher how it works. Follow the wires though the switches and with the above logic you should be able to figure it out.
 

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Thinking...
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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you sir, I have a decent understanding of how it works now. It will be less complex since it will only be using interlocks for the start position on the ignition. Hopefully I can get it done tomorrow afternoon. Probably take me a few hours to get it over with. Once I've done it, though, my knowledge will be more thorough and I will be able to work on these things with better efficiency.
 

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I would recommend wiring the start circuit so that the brake pedal has to be depressed for the starter solenoid to be energized. If your unit has a frame mounted solenoid you ground the solenoid through the brake pedal safety switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The solenoid for this machine is a 3-prong, I think it grounds to the frame where it is bolted down. The only connection aside from battery and starter is the little tab for the gate switch (or whatever it is called).
 

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It's normal for one terminal of the starter solenoid to be hot all the time. It's connected right to the battery in most cases.

What I would be worried about is the charging system of the engine. You might want to isolate that part of the stock harness and reinstall it. Having to charge it every night is no fun, and being a snow removal tool means you will need to depend on it in cold weather.

Everything is else is pretty straight forward. I would just use a relay on the kill wire, so you can use whatever switches that you want, if any. Otherwise you can just use a kill wire.

Get familiar with 5-pin relays and how they work. You just have a + and - to energize the coil (you can switch either side) and two other terminals with continuity when energized. You can use them to connect a ground or positive circuit, and the best part is that it takes very little current so you can use cheap switches and small wiring. They can handle 30-40a of current.

I buy a few of these every month or so. You can find them at a parts store but they cost more. That website also has great switches or other components with fast and cheap shipping. Buying all that stuff at Oreilly's will break you.
http://www.parts-express.com/emitter-12-vdc-4-pin-relay-spst-40a--339-099

The solenoid for this machine is a 3-prong, I think it grounds to the frame where it is bolted down. The only connection aside from battery and starter is the little tab for the gate switch (or whatever it is called).
In that case if you really wanted to have the clutch switch (I think it's a good idea), you could use a relay. Just connect the clutch switch wire to the ground of the relays coil, + relay coil to a switched ignition, and have the starter solenoid wire go through the other two terminals. So when the clutch is pressed, the relay is energized, and the gate is closed so current can flow to the solenoid. If the clutch is out, the relay is not energized, and the gate is open. It's kinda hard to explain the connections using only words, but the concept is simple. Relay's have numbered terminals (87, 30, 86?) but I can never remember what number does what.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's normal for one terminal of the starter solenoid to be hot all the time. It's connected right to the battery in most cases.
The way I am picturing it, the starter terminal will also be hot all the time, feeding current to the button for the starter -- when I put the mower away, the PTO will be off and the Brake lever will be depressed, so it will basically be in start position, and juice will be actively moving through the entire solenoid and terminating at the push button. Would it be OK for the solenoid to sit active like that for a long time? That's the reason I think it will need an extra toggle switch between the power line coming from the interlocks, and connection at the gate switch.


What I would be worried about is the charging system of the engine. You might want to isolate that part of the stock harness and reinstall it.
The way it was set up originally, the battery was just connected directly and it fed juice into the rectifier when the stator wasn't producing current. There was no switch, it just flowed in or out depending on which side produced the greatest current. Is there normally supposed to be a switch between them to disconnect the charging system?


Thank you for the link to parts express, I'll bookmark it and have a look when the next project comes up -- at this time, I've already bought several switches and several yards of 18ga from the Tractor Supply near my house.
 

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I would keep the safeties in place and make them work. The seat switch is important, even for snowblowers, because you don't want to hop off and get in front of it (while trying to dislodge something, get unstuck, etc.). If you want to run it to troubleshoot, you can always just put a weight on the seat.

Personally, the only safety feature that I feel really is a nuisance is the reverse interlock for the PTO, but with small kids at home, I understand why it's there.

Hope this helps.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Maybe you are right.

I guess what I really want is the ability to turn on the PTO while I am standing beside the tractor. Perhaps I can interlock the seat with the brake pedal, but go around the PTO, so that I can inspect the movement of the tiller while it is parked. That seems like an acceptable alternative. I am 26, no kids yet, just me and my girlfriend. No one to flip the PTO while I'm working on it.


Then again, I just read over that paragraph and realized how stupid I sound. Yeah, the more I think of it, the more sense it makes to just leave the seat switch. If I want to, I can just use wire nuts to hold the connections together. That way if I want to do some serious work or troubleshooting, I can just take the wire nuts off and bypass the seat temporarily.


Also, yes, I agree that the reverse shut off is a huge annoyance. The setup for this mower was pretty convenient, though; it has an actual switch with a metal tong that is triggered by the shifter for the hydro gear. All I had to do was remove the switch and put some tape around it. Not like that matters now, because it's getting new from the ground up.

So basically this whole post means that I tore out all of the electronics for no real reason. I'm an idiot.
 

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Not necessarily... If the old wiring was held together with tape as you described, that's reason enough to start over. I have a tractor with gremlins caused by a PO who made a complete mess while adding accessories. :banghead3

BTW... :Welcome1:

Mike
 

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If you cannot get different colored or marked wire to keep yourself sane in the future "gee, all the wires are black or green or white, how do you tell them apart?" you can use colored tape on either end of a lead. Yellow, red, black, blue and green tape are available. If not that, then you can put narrow stripes .. cut the tape along the length to get little strips and put similar strips on either end.
Reminds me of boat wiring where it is ALL the same color. A un-welcome 'feature' when you have to trace a problem.
tom
 

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The way I am picturing it, the starter terminal will also be hot all the time, feeding current to the button for the starter -- when I put the mower away, the PTO will be off and the Brake lever will be depressed, so it will basically be in start position, and juice will be actively moving through the entire solenoid and terminating at the push button. Would it be OK for the solenoid to sit active like that for a long time? That's the reason I think it will need an extra toggle switch between the power line coming from the interlocks, and connection at the gate switch.

The way it was set up originally, the battery was just connected directly and it fed juice into the rectifier when the stator wasn't producing current. There was no switch, it just flowed in or out depending on which side produced the greatest current. Is there normally supposed to be a switch between them to disconnect the charging system?


Thank you for the link to parts express, I'll bookmark it and have a look when the next project comes up -- at this time, I've already bought several switches and several yards of 18ga from the Tractor Supply near my house.
There doesn't need to be any switch for the charging system. Since you have a system with a separate regulator it should be pretty easy to hook back up. Just make sure you fuse the charging wire.

Not sure if we are visualizing the same thing. To run the starter I would use the stock solenoid, (uses a switched +12v to activate) and use a single or pair of relays to control the safety switches. As each switch is closed, it's relay closes the gate and allows current to pass to the solenoid, then starting the engine. The relays need both a + and - to close, so you could just hook up a positive lead to them from the ignition switch, so when the switch is off they cannot be energized and the machine can't be started. The negative of each relay would go to it's safety switch.

At the very least I would try to use the PTO and clutch switches. You will have to check and see how each switch works, if one of them is a two wire switch that is normally open you can tie it into another switch that just closes to ground. So the current path would go from the - relay coil terminal, to the normally closed switch, then to the grounded switch. Both of them would have to be closed to start the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the advice guys. I understand how the relay switches work now, and because of that the interlocks for the other parts of the mower make intuitive sense.

However, I have run into another snag, as I have a fuse that keeps blowing. What I have done is wire the solenoid directly to the starter, and the push button is supposed to trigger the solenoid to fire the starter.

I know a picture is worth a thousand words, but I've no photos at this time... Basically, the little power wire that is supposed to supply juice into the ignition (it's the wire that shares the battery terminal on the solenoid) is routed through a toggle switch (this will act as an on/off for everything under the hood), and then supplies power to like 4 other wires (big wire nut), one of which goes through the relay, then through the PTO switch (off position), and then terminates at the push button.

When I flip the main toggle switch to send juice into the relay and everything else, it just pops the fuse. What does that mean? The last time I had a fuse popping like that, it was because I'd replaced a switch which sent power through different terminals than the old one, and it was trying to fry an ignition coil......
 

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It means you either have a short to ground or a wire hooked up incorrectly. If you have the Yellow wore that goes to the Magneto hooked in there that is it. Never sent 12V+ to that wire! That wire is to ground the magneto and kill the start. Sending positive power there is effectively grounding it and will.. yup- you guessed it- blow the fuse! :crybaby:

The Start button will get 12V+ from your Run switch. It will then travel through the interlocks as shown to keep the interlocks in the loop properly. (hint- Look @ the PTO sw and you will see the numbers for the wires)

The Run switch should supply 12V+ to:

The PTO Sw terminal
The Regulator output to the battery (through the Ammeter)
The power supply for the Light switch if you install it.

You will need a KILL switch. One side hooked to ground and the other side goes to the yellow wire.

Make sense?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I figured it out, I think. I wired the ammeter incorrectly because I did not know how it worked. I connected it to the positive terminal and then ran the outgoing line to a ground bolt. Apparently the ammeter is supposed to have a positive feed on either side of it, by splicing a wire and connecting both ends.

However, aside from that.... is it possible to have too many items drawing power from 1 wire? What I've done is run a 14ga wire from the battery and used a wire nut to splice 4 or 5 wires that feed all of the utilities. Could that be causing an issue?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Or, the ammeter is supposed to run in series with the positive terminal, so I can probably run the power through the ammeter and then feed it into the PTO/ignition, etc.

Hopefully that's the issue and I've solved it, because when I left the tractor last night, it was 75% finished wiring, and the other parts have been delivered. I'd like to have it running tonight.
 
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