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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
This isn't the longest, but it is a long one for what should be relatively simple, "how to tell if my starter is bad or not".

Starters are very simple motors that, typically, either work or don't. But, there are also typically a lot of other stuff, like solenoids, relays, safeties, and wiring that also come into play with, does it work or doesn't it. If you know what you are doing, you can skip a lot of the troubleshooting steps and have success. Even if you don't, you can just replace parts until it finally starts working or you give up in frustration. The other choice is proper troubleshooting to identify the actual source of the problem. Sometimes, there is more than one problem. When that is the case, proper troubleshooting is the difference between a one page thread and an eight page one. Looks like we are almost halfway to the latter.
I will hold my tongue on that except to say how many pages are credited to your solenoid search under the battery tray!

I never said I took the starter off. " I was very clear" on that. Installed was often sited..

Starter just arrived will get photos now
 

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Gassed, So that we may help you, what is your next step. test existing parts or put new starter/solenoid in? Bob
 

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I don't have a 318, so I don't know how easy access is to the starter, when it is installed. It is generally safe to trust, but verify, that a new part works. I would probably assume the part (starter plus solenoid is working), since it is a new(remanufactured) part. So, I would install it and hope for the best. It will either work and your project would be complete. Or it won't and then you will need to do more troubleshooting to figure out why.

This is how this thread started:
the battery was stronger this morning but still no crank just clicking.
There are a few things that click when the key is turned. It was not clear which one(s) were clicking from your post.

You then said:
i dont want to believe anything is wrong with the oem starter
That is a fine belief to have, but really needed verification.

You then said:
showed me
a starter improvement kit AM107421.
This started people down the path of the starter improvement kit. On a tractor as old as yours that didn't come with one from the factory, that would be a generally good idea to add one, if it doesn't already have one. But, the improvement kit only helps in certain situations. Without verification of basic functionality for the starter, solenoid, wiring, the improvement kit might or not be an improvement.

There were then helpful suggestions on other things to look out for, but without doing the basic verification of what part(s) were the problem, might or might not actually help your particular issue.

Then there was the "complication" you brought up about changed wiring. This is where things got particularly difficult. The wiring you had was blowing a fuse. That is usually a good indication something is wrong. That also means that it is possible/likely the wiring no longer matches what is the default for the tractor. This causes a lot of confusion on many peoples part because no one really knows exactly how your tractor is wired.

There was then some discussion on batteries and solenoids and relays. Then there was discussion on the fact that the 318 had different types of starters/engines and it wasn't clear exactly what yours has.

I will say this has been an interesting thread and I learned some things following it. I hope your new remanufactured starter just works when you hook it up. If not, there are several people here willing to help you figure out why it isn't.
 

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Gased,
60+ posts on this thread.
You picked this 318 tractor up and you were impressed - it seemed to operate fine and was started several times without issue.
Later, it wouldn't crank to start, to even move it off a trailer?
The wiring on that thing per the pictures posted = = whoa, ??? What'd the people that worked on it say?

My old notes to self - 1987 JD 318 L&G Tractor:

"No start ---
[usually - multiple clicks = electrical, poor battery
electrical OK, - then if one click = maybe bad starter
battery will not turn engine over = it's defective, bad, loose, poor wiring connections
neutral start switch \ safety switches defective or out of adjustment
solenoid, circuit breaker, starter motor defective
PTO on or tractor not in neutral (maybe not even get a 'click' then) ]"

The key start switch - the contacts on those and the wiring plug for it can become faulty over time too,
The key switch is something you ought to replace anyway. Don't forget that.

Am wishing you all the best - regarding getting your problems fixed, resolved.
 

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JDDottie, I see where the safeties have been bypassed at the TDCM, I'm wondering if there isn't some Prior Owner modifications that we aren't seeing elsewhere. Heaven knows I've had fun on some of my 322's with PO wiring modifications.
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
Ok I got under it and got a wiggled 14g wire to touch the post on the solenoid. It makes a growl sound. It very very briefly sounded like metal to metal when it starts. When I say brief like the one second and then more growl. The 1 second happened only twice. It was smoking that little wire, my hands shake a tad and that makes it hard for me to be graceful going into that small opening with the wire and hitting my target. But all it was doing last time was click. I was super pleased to hear noises, lol.

I don't have a larger wire long enough and I don't want to burn it up. Guess I could go find one if needed thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
I don't suspect the guy that did what no one else would do, my valves caused this. Makes no sense. Makes more sense the ride home did something. Of course I will find out the cause eventually. I want to focus on getting it cranking
 

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I don't suspect the guy that did what no one else would do, my valves caused this. Makes no sense.
If the second sentence is talking about the 1st sentence, I agree. If not, I am not sure what either mean.

Ok I got under it and got a wiggled 14g wire to touch the post on the solenoid
Which post did you touch with the 14ga wire?

There are probably three connections on a solenoid starter combo. Post #1 probably has an uninsulated wire that goes into the starter motor. Post #2 goes to the battery with a thick insulated cable/wire, usually red, but sometimes black. The third connection is much smaller and is typically a spade connector (this is what your pictures show).

The jumper needs to go to the spade connector, not either of the posts. If you went to post #1, that would be trying to run all the starter current through a 14ga wire which would be bad and get very hot very quickly.

Get a wire with a spade connector, hook it up to the starter solenoid and then you can have an easier time using your jumper wire.
 

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From what he said, I think he had to have been on the spayde connector post. Hopefully that was on the old starter and not the new one pictured above.

So when you touched your wire to the spayde connector terminal, that mimicked what the key should try to do. Your wire getting hot (NOT NORMAL) has four possibilities that I can think of:
1. You touched the wire to ground somewhere and created a short that heated the wire - but I think you would notice sparks?
2. You still had the tractors wire on that terminal and there is a short in the tractor wiring that led to your wire heating up
3. Your solenoid has shorted windings inside it and it is pulling high current.
4. Your solenoid did not completely engage the starting gear into the flywheel. A little more difficult to explain, but essentially the solenoid will pull high current when the gear is full out and the current will drop to very little when the gear is in. So if you don't pull in fully, the current remains high. The cause of this could be mechanical obstruction or a weak solenoid (item #3).

At this point, I would suspect #3 or #4 - for both of which I would install the new starter.

When you get the new starter in, I would have a spare wire with a spayde connector on it that I could attach to the spayde connector and safely repeat the procedure that you just did (then you don't need to worry about shaky hands). That will just rule out any other wiring issues the tractor may have. If the solenoid is bad and was pulling high current, it may have done wiring/component damage elsewhere, so it's good to islote your problems and go step by step.
 

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Am with ya PA318Guy,


Gased: very doubtful engine valves. Ride home did something?

Again, it operated OK and was started several times without issue prior to the trip home?

Looks to to me like that tractor's problems are electrical.

Via the pictures/photos posted so far - the wiring on that thing may be a rough, tough mess to figure out.
One photo posted shows MOO318X602603 = at least a 1989 Model that has the brake safety switch,
something earlier 318s did not have.
Then, an electrical fuel pump was added.
Might not even need a new starter.
Am no expert at all here, but again, per the info posted so far - that particular tractor's wiring surely seems to be a wreck.
Be wise to get all that straightened out before spending $$, throwing parts at it.

Bear in mind - the last new JD 318 was = 1992.
Even if you took it to a JD Dealer service dept. - may not be anyone there anymore with much, if any, experience working on that model.

Guess you own it now - and can do as you wish with it. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
Well guys thanks for your help. I loaded it up and took it to Deere. I made them record on the work order what transpired. I will pay them to tell me exactly what's wrong and make a decision based on what they say. I will update the thread. Feel free to place your bets now before you hear the result.

I had an ulterior motive during this I found the zerks on the drive shaft all three of them are missing, I replace that one. We got that map on where exactly they were laid out and so I was able to visually see with the pan off, the battery tray out at one point etc those are gone for some reason, all three so I want them on there, they quoted me 180 for that Andrew I'm going to let them do it I want them there and I want it greased. I didn't muddy the water I just told them will not crank etc and after we get to that point I'll say do the zerks. And once I get my mechanics and my safeties (2 missing) back on I will paint it I have every nut bolt except one it will be here Thursday. I can put that lift hook back on the engine. The hook and bolt got gone on my watch. Thursday I will be whole and will go back to Deere and put in back on.

It was hard to get it on a trailer. I was pinned between the tractor and trailer for about 20 minutes. Only one foot was on the ground. That brute is heavy.

More later
 

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Discussion Starter · #74 ·
If the second sentence is talking about the 1st sentence, I agree. If not, I am not sure what either mean.


Which post did you touch with the 14ga wire?

There are probably three connections on a solenoid starter combo. Post #1 probably has an uninsulated. wire that goes into the starter motor. Post #2 goes to the battery with a thick insulation

cable/wire, usually red, but sometimes black. The third connection is much smaller and is typically a spade connector (this is what your pictures show).

The jumper needs to go to the spade connector, not either of the posts. If you went to post #1, that would be trying to run all the starter current through a 14ga wire which would be bad and get very hot very quickly.

Get a wire with a spade connector, hook it up to the starter solenoid and then you can have an easier time using your jumper wire.
The only connector I could get to on the solenoid was the one next to the starter post where the battery connects. The opening was a little larger than a pencil.

Someone mentioned what did guy say that worked on it? I had trouble getting valves adjusted. The guy that did it was where I was coming from. I ran it for a good 10 minutes. It started right up each time. Ran perfectly. Got home it would not crank to drive off trailer. I hoped something bounced lose.

I hope Deere can solve this it's not inside the engine. It also has that improvement kit. Surely they can handle this.

And on the fuel pump it is one to two PSI and one amp draw I thought that would be perfect for an old wiring system of course the amps on that and the PSI on on the car b
 

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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
I might not have had enough wire to provide enough current to the solenoid. Maybe if it had been solid rather than stranded so when I pushed on the solenoid it had a better connection.

And to be clear my feelings won't be hurt at all if it's not the starter and I wind up with an extra starter My starter will quit one day and I'll have one and it'll be harder in three years or five years then it was for me to get it today. I don't know enough about it but I I don't think there's anything wrong with a starter not not now I don't feel that way but we'll see
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
For the record: This is the start circuit Not a great copy. I am going to pickup the 318 and take it to the guy that is Onan. He listened and asked me to bring the starter and tractor with me. We will get way more info out of him than I could bring back from Deere just because I will never see that mechanic. His only concern was the safeties since that is a Deere thing so I went looking for chart. I mentioned the Improvement kit, he had no response. I am certain he did not know what I was talking about so I will send this and a copy of those instructions to him and see where we go. I left nothing out in my telling.

Is there a sentence or two that would better explain the improvement kits role to the engine guy. Better than sending install instructions which is really all I can do.I am picking up the zerks tomorrow and when he pulls that shaft I will be there to install those. He said he had a cherry picker to lift that engine while he works.

This tractor is a breast. I got pinned to the trailer after I pulled the tractor up on the trailer. I only had one foot on the ground when it overtook my efforts to get out of the way. made it hard to get free.
Schematic Font Parallel Circuit component Pattern
 

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A brief explanation of the starter improvement kit.
The solenoid on your starter motor requires a certain amount of power (volts & amps) to operate correctly. In the schematic shown, power must go through over 2 dozen switches and connections which can, due to corrosion, reduce the power to the solenoid to the point it may not operate correctly. The improvement kit solenoid requires far less power and can be activated by the normal starter wiring. Once activated, the improvement kit now supplies battery voltage & amps to the starter solenoid.

When you see your Onan guy, bring the schematic that you posted above in post #76. Then, go to page 1 of this thread, post #4 and print the picture of the improvement wiring and the verbal description. Then go to post #8 showing the actual schematic of the relay. If your guy can understand your starter schematic, he'll know exactly what/how the kit works. B
 
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Discussion Starter · #78 ·
A brief explanation of the starter improvement kit.
The solenoid on your starter motor requires a certain amount of power (volts & amps) to operate correctly. In the schematic shown, power must go through over 2 dozen switches and connections which can, due to corrosion, reduce the power to the solenoid to the point it may not operate correctly. The improvement kit solenoid requires far less power and can be activated by the normal starter wiring. Once activated, the improvement kit now supplies battery voltage & amps to the starter solenoid.

When you see your Onan guy, bring the schematic that you posted above in post #76. Then, go to page 1 of this thread, post #4 and print the picture of the improvement wiring and the verbal description. Then go to post #8 showing the actual schematic of the relay. If your guy can understand your starter schematic, he'll know exactly what/how the kit works. B
Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
Regarding the troubleshooting steps taken so far. I am unclear on how the circuit breaker helps but it is part of the electrical system and when the thread covered it there seem to be the impression it was grounded to the tractor and it needed to be removed and cleaned. I am certain of that with the posts. But here we can see the body is plastic. I did not trace it but looking at this nice clean one it is just inserted into the wiring from the battery. I see my guy Monday or Tuesday and I wanted to have certain items like new battery cables on hand to be installed along with the new starter. I looked hard and can not find new cables around here, they would need to be ordered and unless he runs into something I will need to hope the installed ones will last another 10 years.

more later
Material property Font Electronic component Transparency Auto part
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Circuit breakers/fuses generally have two connections and are NOT grounded. Circuit breakers stop current flow when it gets too large (due to a short), which can help prevent a fire. When a circuit breaker (or fuse) is not working (and when it is working, by preventing a short from causing a fire) it prevents the flow of current. This will generally cause things to no longer work.
 
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