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I have a 2004 John Deere x320. I replaced the solenoid with a new one and put it back exactly the way the old one was bolted, wired etc. As soon as I connected the battery, sparks flew from the positive. I also heard the starter trying to start. I disconnected everything including the solenoid and redid it. Still the same result. I just can't figure out why sparks are flying when I re connect the battery. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Ok thank you. To give a little history. The mower was hard to start. Just lots of clicks. I figured the solenoid so I researched and found one on eBay that is John Deere and fit exactly. Maybe I will try putting the old back in and testing that out. That might prove faulty solenoid or starter.
 

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Ok thank you. To give a little history. The mower was hard to start. Just lots of clicks. I figured the solenoid so I researched and found one on eBay that is John Deere and fit exactly. Maybe I will try putting the old back in and testing that out. That might prove faulty solenoid or starter.
Agree with northbama above - if the starter is engaging when you connect the lead to the solenoid then the electromagnet is engaged which can only mean one or two things. Disconnect the small wire (left hand side small one if you have a 4 post solenoid) and see if you are still actuating the starter. I know this may sound obvious, but make sure the key is not in the ON position in your ignition switch!
 

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Lol. That was one of the first things I did was make sure the key was off. I even took it out. Even after disconnecting the small wire it still actuated and the battery sparker. Also the solenoid is a 3 post. I'm attaching a picture of the old one. It's exactly the same as the new one
 

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either way on the start circuit shouldn't be any power until foot pedal is depressed, you have a short to power in the start wire or the solenoid stuck closed! put an ohm meter across large terminals while disconnected and check for continuity!
 

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For this to happen ie little wire is off the solenoid yet the starter is starting the momemt you connect power - either the solenoid is stuck-closed.... ie defective....
Or the battery cable lug is touching the starter motor cable lug on the solenoid, effectively bypassing it.

If your lugs and wires are not touching, you can ohm-out the solenoid to test it.

If you could take a closeup photo of the solenoid installed and post it here - it would help

The sparks are because you are trying to start the starter motor the moment youbtouch the cable ro the battery...
 

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Donmac has it right.
 

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if you check the solenoid and it's open circuit when disconnected I would connect the battery with all the solenoid wires disconnected and clear of any possible grounds, just to make sure your looking at the real problem, if no sparks then check the start wire for power if it's there start tracing that wire back in the harness for a short to power!
I know these machines have a diode in them but I think it's only used in the pto circuit, if a diode failed it could cause a short. usually only happens when a battery is reverse polarity connected in a charging circuit
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Unfortunately I don't have an ohm meter. I have to admit I'm not an expert but it didn't seem that hard of a replacement. I have lots of work to do with all the great advice. Thank you everyone. If worse comes to worse, off to the repair shop I go!!
 

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JCB, A volt ohm meter can be purchased at Harbor Freight, Lowe's or Home Depot for around $50, OR you can take it to a repair shop, for prolly $65 an hour and maybe 2 hours! Your call! WE can help you through the learning process of a meter. Bob
 

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There is no wrong side of the solenoid... its not a directional device....
Unless there is a freewheeling diode in there - which i highly doubt but it is possible.

Unless you put both power lugs in the same terminal... which again is highly unlikely....

Can u take a closeup pic of your connected solenoid?....
 

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There is no wrong side of the solenoid... its not a directional device....
Unless there is a freewheeling diode in there - which i highly doubt but it is possible.

Unless you put both power lugs in the same terminal... which again is highly unlikely....

Can u take a closeup pic of your connected solenoid?....
His solenoid is part of the starter.
 

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Unhook the hot wire coming from the battery to the solenoid. Also unhook the wire going back to the tab on the solenoid. Touch the cable to the post on the solenoid, if it is defective and engaging all the time, it will turn the engine.
 

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His solenoid is part of the starter.
Those built-in solenoids normally don't have 2 heavy-cable lugs like the picture of the one he posted.
In fact the posted picture looks like a relay... used on some systems.

If this is still part of the total starter (still waiting for some more pictures - which would eliminate all the guesswork), then the 2nd lug is superfluous and is used simply to connect the heavy ribbon-cable that normally then goes into the starter-proper.
And in that case, if the battery cable is connected to the wrong lug - it would behave that way: ie attempting to start the moment you try to connect the battery.

Anyway - my guesswork is exhausted... without better pictures it becomes increasingly more impossible to help any more......
 

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Lol. That was one of the first things I did was make sure the key was off. I even took it out. Even after disconnecting the small wire it still actuated and the battery sparker. Also the solenoid is a 3 post. I'm attaching a picture of the old one. It's exactly the same as the new one
that is not the correct solenoid. see the strap that goes from the battery post to the little lug on the top side(in your pic) of the solenoid? that is a ground trip solenoid, you need a positive trip solenoid on your machine.
you need Deere part MIU10981 if your serial number is below 180,000, or part MIU12537 if you are 180,001+



EDIT: unless you have a very early one with the kawasaki FS651v, with a solenoid shift starter, then it would be part number MIA11504, and if that is the case, make sure the end of the solenoid gets hooked into the bendix shift lever, if it doesnt, it will push the contacts closed and cause the issue you are having. then that would be the correct solenoid...
 
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