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Discussion Starter #1
My 4018 (with Onan Performer) won't start. Last weekend I mowed two acres I have 30 miles from my house with it and it worked great as usual. I loaded it up and brought it home. I started it and took it off the trailer and parked it in the garage and hooked the Battery Tender to it as usual. No issues.

Today I go to start it and it doesn't. In fact, it doesn't do anything - no click, no nothing. Well, something - the battery is showing around 12.5 volts as it should and the headlights work when the key is on and the switch is flipped.

Whatever happened to cause it not to start today happened when the mower was static in the garage, after all, it started last week when I unloaded it in my driveway. It didn't get a bath when I got home last week, but did get a complete going over with the air nozzle to remove any grass, so it's been dry with no chance of water getting into something and fouling it up.

I'd like to blame a switch, but surely there are other things to look at. Literally it starts one day and not the next.

Clues?
 

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Sounds like "possibly" a safety switch is holding it out from starting. Seat is occupied, PTO off, travel lever in neutral ? Could also be a bad ignition switch or solenoid. Make sure ALL the wire connections are CLEAN. Time to get the test meter out and start checking for 12 volts at the starter solenoid with key in start position. If no voltage, ignition switch could be bad. If there is voltage then lift the other small wire from the primary side of solenoid and ground that terminal with a temporary test wire. If it starts then a safety switch is in question. The safety switches are a path to ground for the solenoid coil. The proper wiring diagram in the operators manual or on the www.ingersolltractors.com site will show the wiring circuit.

:trink40:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
These are good places to start, indeed.

And now to add this to the mix - the seat safety switch was disabled when I got the mower, meaning t would start and stay running even if you vacated the seat. I know safety first, but I was okay with that. Only thing is, the switch is still there and the two wires still plug into the switch and the tang is also functional. So how did they disable it? I have to say I never really bothered to care until now, but this has to be suspect #1. Or is it?
 

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The seat switch interrupts the power to the ignition module so if someone disabled this switch without simply unplugging the wires and connecting them together, they would need to get power directly from the ignition switch to the PTO connector to power the coil because they are inter-related. The fact that the seat switch is still there and connected is suspect to me to say the least. Are you sure it has been disabled or was it just stuck in the closed position allowing the tractor to start and now something there has really failed ? Check to see if there is power to one of the wires under the seat with the key on .... With that being said, the issue you have is it won't crank over so I would concentrate on the start circuit rather than the ignition circuit first. It seems to me that the newer models like yours had some issues with the wire connector/safety switch for the PTO. that caused a non-starting situation as you have. Check that connector for corrosion. Bottom line is, do you have power to the solenoid and then backtrack from there ? Your best friend is going to be the test meter. It will isolate the problem quickly ....

:kens:
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Bam!

Got her started. Someone sent me a PM with the suggestion to jiggle the forward/reverse lever while having the key on start. This worked.

Later I did a forum search and found a thread from a couple years back with a fellow having a similar starting problem. These and more suggestions were made, and more talk of switches and how they can be a PITA (as we all know). I've had trouble with switches before on other tractors (this issue with my 4018 is only one example, but my little 224 has given me a few issues as well - the numerous MTDs and Craftsman mowers I've worked on for others are even more problematic), and they are seldom cut and dried since they might need only a good cleaning or they might need replacement. Visually it's often hard to tell if they work. In fact, it is often hard to even visually see them as they are usually hidden behind some other component.

All good info here and I appreciate it much!
 

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That certainly is good news and an excellent tip from a helpful member. I have a simular issue with mine but I just need to jiggle the lever once in awhile to get the neutral light to come on but it still will start ... Sounds like your neutral switch just needs a little adjustment.

:trink40:
 
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