My Tractor Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am a divorced mother of five and all of my kids are gone from home except my 12 year old. I have spent a ton of money on my mower this year and am ready to take on the next problem myself.... MAYBE.
Please don't laugh at me for asking for help. I can usually fix stuff if I get the right help. I have learned a lot about working on my washer so I figure I ought to be able to perform a simple task on my mower..... MAYBE.
My mower guy tells me that my solenoid might be out. I was supposed to go out and cross it out but I don't even know what it looks like. I know my boys have done that in the past on things but I didn't pay attention.
Would anyone have a picture I could look at and tell me how to figure out if the solenoid is bad. Then, if it is, how the heck do I change it?
The mower is a Troy Built model #303777.
Thanks for any help you might offer. I might end up having to call my mower guy anyway but I would at least like to try it myself first.
Susan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
Hi, Susan

Standing at the front of the rider on the left side you will see the starter on the left side of the engine. There will be a red cable running from the starter to the solenoid usally mounted behind the engine under the steering console. The solenoid will also have a red cable running to the positive side of the battery and two small wires that push on that connect to the ignition switch. There should also be a small fuse that can be checked. The easiest way to check it is to connect a jumper cable to the positive side of the battery and tounch it for a second to bolt where the cable connects at the starter. this will confirm the starter is ok if it cranks. There could be other problems like a safety switch under the seat, the clutch pedal or the blades engagement safety switch which will stop it from cranking.

Solenoid


Best,
Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all so much for the advice. It is dark now but in the morning I will go out and see if I can figure anything out. I will let you know how it goes.
Thanks again,
Susan
 

·
Former MTF Admin.
Joined
·
25,773 Posts
Welcome Susan, these guys here will help you get this figured out as you've seen already, don't hestitate to ask for help and glad to have you aboard with us :fing32:.
 

·
The Admin from... Nowhere!
Joined
·
13,935 Posts
Hi Susan,

So just a little bit of geeky stuff here about what exactly the starter solenoid DOES, and what you're trying to do to test it (just in case you want to know... AND because I think its pretty neat....)...

So, it takes a LOT of electricity to turn the starter motor that starts your tractor's engine... So much so that if it were ALL going through the little switch that is behind where you put in your ignition key, it would melt it into a little puddle of slag.... So, what some brilliant person thought of, ages ago, was a way to direct that electricity to your starter WITHOUT having it go through your ignition switch... That's the solenoid. So, if you look at that drawing that KBeitz posted (AWSOME drawing, Kevin, BTW!), you'll see that what its made up of is two big copper contacts, a copper bar that can connect across those contacts, and an electromagnet that is hooked to that copper bar. So, when you turn your ignition key, a small amount of electricity is sent through the electromagnet, pushing the copper bar up against the contacts. When the bar is touching the the two contacts, a large amount of electricity passes directly from your battery into your starter motor, making it turn, which in turn starts your engine (hopefully!).

So, one easy test to try to start diagnosing what's wrong is to turn the key on your tractor, and if all you hear is a "THUNK", but the tractor doesn't turn over, that "THUNK" is most likely the big copper bar in the solenoid hitting the two contacts... That would mean it is probably working, and that you have some other problem

What your mower guy is asking you to DO is to bypass the solenoid altogether, although only very briefly, because its not really a very safe way to start your tractor. You're doing this JUST to test to see if it is in fact the solenoid that has failed. To do this, you can take a heavy piece of INSULATED wire (like, booster cable heavy, in fact most folks USE a booster cable to do this because they can clamp one end on ) and like Shoals said, attach one end to the POSITIVE terminal of your battery. Then carefully touch the other end of the booster cable to the bolt on the red cable on the FAR SIDE of your solenoid (the wire that runs between your solenoid and your starter). What SHOULD happen is that the starter motor should kick in and your engine should crank over.... Again, as Shoals said, there may be other safety switches that prevent it from doing that; however, IF your engine DOES crank over, you have a pretty good idea that your solenoid is bad.... Now, WARNING! Just so you are prepared for this... What WILL LIKELY happen when you touch the end of the cable to the bolt on the far side of the solenoid is a good sized spark! Just be ready for that!

Hope this helps!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
WOW! This is so interesting and helpful too. It has been raining a little here but now that I have my boy off to school, I am going to go out and see what happens. With all of the information that you all have provided, I think I can do this!
Thanks SO much. I'll let you know what happens.
Susan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
WOOHOO!!!! Mower is fixed. Had a little rain this morning which set me back but I did all the testing stuff and then went to town to get a solenoid. I hooked everything back up and it wouldn't do anything. So... I figured with all the messing around I had done that I might have run the battery down. I was right. I jumped it and now I am set. My biggest challenge was keeping my gloves on while working in such a small area so I wouldn't mess my nails up. I was successful though. And after all that interesting information and diagram, I wanted to see what was inside the old solenoid. I figured a hammer would take way too much energy that I need for weedeating so I got my pistol out and shot it to pieces.
I learned so much and it only cost me a trip to town and 15.04. Thank you all SO VERY much for helping me.Wish I could return the favor but I'm kind of at a loss. Of course, if you want to know anything about raising kids, running a greenhouse, milking a cow, cooking, butchering or teaching Hunter Safety, then maybe I could help.
But for now, thanks again,
Susan
 

·
Retired MTF Admin
Joined
·
26,557 Posts
Wish I could return the favor but I'm kind of at a loss. Of course, if you want to know anything about raising kids, running a greenhouse, milking a cow, cooking, butchering or teaching Hunter Safety, then maybe I could help.
But for now, thanks again,
Susan
:Welcome1:
Well Susan, click on the Home Page and surf the Site, there are many Forums here that you can help with!!!! :trink40:
 

·
The Admin from... Nowhere!
Joined
·
13,935 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I just came in for a short break. It's miserable hot out there! I'm not sure how to post a picture but I'll try to figure it out after while. What do you want a picture of? The shot up solenoid???
 

·
The Admin from... Nowhere!
Joined
·
13,935 Posts
I just came in for a short break. It's miserable hot out there! I'm not sure how to post a picture but I'll try to figure it out after while. What do you want a picture of? The shot up solenoid???
If you can figure out the picture posting, ya! Although I've been TEMPTED to take a gun to some hardware before (mostly computers) I've never done it... You could just attach it using the Manage Attachments button at the bottom of the posting window....
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top