My Tractor Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. I was mowing this evening for about 30-40 minutes when my 318 quit. The sequence of events was as follows. Mowing great then the battery light comes on and the tractor quits. No lights on the dash when I turn the key. Now I know I have a bad fuseable link in this beast so I fiddle with that, its not the problem here. What I am getting is a click....click, sort of sounds like a latch (dash lights come on) then an un-latch sound (dash lights go off.) When the dash lights come on I can start the tractor and it will run for 10 seconds or so then quit.

Thinking a battery failure could be the problem I jumped my marine battery to the tractor and started it up again but that didn't help.

Any ideas?

Thanks for the help.
 

·
The Magnificent
Joined
·
20,952 Posts
Didn't we just do the "clean all the connections" dance around your 318?

Sure is sounding like a weakened battery, and a non-operational charging system. What does Mr. Voltmeter say?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
headed out to check with the voltmeter now. I had to grab the push mower and finish up quick.

...sometime later....


The battery reads 12.4 so that should be good right? Can't get it to crank any longer though. Here is another tidbit. Even with the switch off that click...clunk sound every few seconds happens. Ran out of time and light to troubleshoot further tonight. I have the battery out so I'll clean up all connections tomorrow. Going to run a few fuel lines too since I'm "going in"!

If I get some muscle over here its safe to push that thing around with the lever on the right side disengaged right???
 

·
The Magnificent
Joined
·
20,952 Posts
If you suspect your battery has a dead shorted cell, pull it out of the circuit altogether and crank with your marine battery. Test the alternator with your marine battery hooked up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Yep, now that I have the battery out I can jumper one or the other in and see if the behavior changes.


If you suspect your battery has a dead shorted cell, pull it out of the circuit altogether and crank with your marine battery. Test the alternator with your marine battery hooked up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Okay. Keep me honest here... I have a short somewhere. When I do a continuity test from the pos to ground I get a beep. Any idea where they commonly hide?
 

·
The Magnificent
Joined
·
20,952 Posts
With the key off?

I doubt a dead short or you would be letting the smoke out of the wires.

Try this. Battery disconnected, key off, meter on the highest resistance scale, leads on the positive and negative cables, what do you read? (btw if you are holding the metal ends of the leads with your sweaty hands, you'll read right through your body)

Battery box out, thorough visual inspection of the wiring, but if you have continuity to ground with your key off, it is likely your ignition switch is corroded.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Yep, I have a short. The click - clunk I was hearing was/is the circuit breaker tripping on and off. The way the machine sits now the battery is out, key switch is disconnected (and actually removed for testing, its fine.) When the battery is connected the click clunk comes pretty fast and things do get warm. I was going to replace the circuit breaker but after talking with the parts guys at my local JD shop they agreed its probably a short.

So my test now is checking continuity from positive to negative should be infinite (right???) but I get a nice loud beep. I haven't taken a resistance measurement.

Still think its not a short? (I'm not arguing, I'm learning.)

Oh and no, its been since last year we did the bad connection dance on my rig.
 

·
The Magnificent
Joined
·
20,952 Posts
Sounds like a short to me now - I didn't read your update at first.

I'm thinking the solenoid perhaps is stuck?

That's not the root cause of the overall problem though. There is something else going on here.

The solenoid has maybe been going bad for a while.

Thought for a while. To do this clunk with the key off, it has to be the starter solenoid staying engaged. Rotate the engine by hand to see if you can get the starter drive to release, then try reconnecting the battery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
that would be easy enough to test. Take the leads off one side right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
The circuit breaker stays energized with the key off. This is how it provides power to the key. I'm disconnecting different plug ins and seeing if I can isolate further.

My troubleshooting hasn't taken me to the starter yet. I disconnected the heavy lead that goes to it and the problem remained. To me this means that lead and starter were not the problem.
 

·
The Magnificent
Joined
·
20,952 Posts
Hang on a second. The battery lead comes down to the solenoid. The 25A circuit breaker come off that same terminal of the solenoid, so a sticky solenoid woudl NOT trip the circuit breaker. AND it is tripping the breaker with the ignition switch out.

Let me review the schematic.

But, in the mean time, you might as well remove the battery tray and side covers.
 

·
The Magnificent
Joined
·
20,952 Posts
Oh, you're going to hate this.

Let's look for a light green wire coming from the ignition switch to the engine connector which also has a tan and a pink wire.

that wire goes on to your regulator, where is is shorting against something or the regulator is dead shorted internally.

This is the ONLY wire with a connection to the circuitbreaker which would have juice on it when the ignition switch is removed.

BTW, I don't see a fusible link in the schematic. Do you perhaps mean a limp light green wire (which goes to you regulator as mentioned) which is limp from being burned up?

You should have a 2 and a 15 amp fuse, and a 25 amp circuit breaker.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thank you for the help. I really appreciate it. So I found the wire you were referring too. Its in the top center terminal on a 3 prong connector that goes to the VR. I disconnected that wire and my short goes away. Does this mean the VR is bad or might this still point to the solenoid? It does prove that the link between voltage and ground is not in the wiring harnesses. Right?

My fusible link is definitely after-market. It has a 10 amp fuse in it and sits in line after the 25A circuit breaker and the rest of the wiring. I may be wrong on that.
 

·
The Magnificent
Joined
·
20,952 Posts
Does that wire look alright? Mouse damage?

Let's disconnect the voltage regulator altogether and take a resistance measurement on the stator windings while I try to see if there is a test procedure for the regulator.
(two white wires I think).

OK, now with the regulator out of the circuit, start the engine up and measure on the AC voltage scale, the output of the stator with the engine running 3/4 throttle or better. We want 41 volts minimum.

Your short was definitely through the regulator, btw. Solenoid and wiring should be good. Of course, you're about to start the engine so we'll know for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Are we *sure* the tractor will run without the voltage regulator? With it unhooked I get nothing for lights or action. When I hook it up I get the same old symptoms.

If the VR is bad I'll pick one up tomorrow, JD parts says my dealer has six of them on hand. After that I may be dealing with bad ground. Right now things are still in a state of dis assembly. (I used jumper cables hooked to the battery leads to do testing tonight.)

Thanks for being generous with your time. I'll keep you posted on progress, it may be Saturday morning before I can spend anymore time on this.



Does that wire look alright? Mouse damage?

Let's disconnect the voltage regulator altogether and take a resistance measurement on the stator windings while I try to see if there is a test procedure for the regulator.
(two white wires I think).

OK, now with the regulator out of the circuit, start the engine up and measure on the AC voltage scale, the output of the stator with the engine running 3/4 throttle or better. We want 41 volts minimum.

Your short was definitely through the regulator, btw. Solenoid and wiring should be good. Of course, you're about to start the engine so we'll know for sure.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,625 Posts
Yes your tractor should run without the VR! The VR only returns electric to the battery to keep it charged. I ran a 216 for months without one, just kept charging the battery!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the confirmation PA318Gey. I won't bother putting in a new one then until I figure out whats going on. Right now when I turn the key I get nothing, no dash lights or anything.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,625 Posts
Test your hot wire coming into the ignition and see if it has voltage. If it does then you may need a new ignition! If not you'll need to do some tracing back the line to see where the break is at!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
This morning I found the electrical diagram for the 318 over on WFM. I was just studying it a few minutes ago looking where my test points for power will be once I get the some pieces put back in. Right now I'm hoping my problem is I don't have some wires on the same terminal ring grounded. I don't want to find other expensive, non-returnable parts that need to be replaced.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top