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    wits end...

    i have an 87 jd sx95 that for the life of me i can't get to running. previous owner said it would act up occasionally so he bought a new key switch for it. what he didn't tell me was that it looks like he may have been tapping on the starter with a hammer or something. nothing too hard but there are little dings on it here and there and he did make some reference about the starter that i don't recall. i have done every test in the manual a couple of times but all i can get out of it is a faint clicking of the solenoid. the original solenoid was on the iffy side so i got a nos one that bench tested great. mounted to the starter they both test good. can the starter still be bad even when it turns like crazy on the bench? i have turned the flywheel slightly in case there was a flat or dead spot on it but still not it. the only thing i haven't done is no-load test the starter because i don't have the equipment. all the other switches etc., have checked out as being good. i'm pulling 12 at the key terminal on the solenoid. any rabbits you could pull out of your hats for me?

    thanks, steve
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    johnH123's Avatar
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    You need to clean the battery terminals.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sroysr View Post
    i have an 87 jd sx95 that for the life of me i can't get to running. previous owner said it would act up occasionally so he bought a new key switch for it. what he didn't tell me was that it looks like he may have been tapping on the starter with a hammer or something. nothing too hard but there are little dings on it here and there and he did make some reference about the starter that i don't recall. i have done every test in the manual a couple of times but all i can get out of it is a faint clicking of the solenoid. the original solenoid was on the iffy side so i got a nos one that bench tested great. mounted to the starter they both test good. can the starter still be bad even when it turns like crazy on the bench? i have turned the flywheel slightly in case there was a flat or dead spot on it but still not it. the only thing i haven't done is no-load test the starter because i don't have the equipment. all the other switches etc., have checked out as being good. i'm pulling 12 at the key terminal on the solenoid. any rabbits you could pull out of your hats for me?

    thanks, steve
    Yes. I remember my first car (100 yrs ago ) had a starter problem. Worked fine on the bench....threw the Bendix (starter drive) out fine and spun easily and fast, but wouldn't throw the bendix if it was in the car. Replaced the starter and all was well.
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    Clean battery cables on each end, both positive and ground.
    Look for evidence of hot or corroded spots on the cables.
    Often on damaged cables or corroded connections only a small amount of current can pass through the wire, such as enough to engage the solenoid, but not enough current to rotate the starter motor.
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    Deere added a "starter improvement kit" on the Onans in the mid/late 80s due to issues with the wiring. Corrosion? Incorrect size? Strange aging magic? No idea what the actual issue was, but it solved it.
    The problem it solved was very similar to yours.
    Good components, but the starter wouldnt engage with the key switch.
    I had a mower that I got cheap, and I thought Id fix it and sell it. It was a 165 with the Kawasaki single 14hp I believe. The starter was acting up like your previous owner described. Worked sometimes, but not always.

    I made my own starter improvement kit, and it worked like a charm after that.

    Generally, its the trigger wire that is causing the issue.
    The kit is just a relay, using the original trigger wire to actuate the relay.
    The heavy gauge wire to the starter is left alone. Its rarely the problem.
    You can actually test this by running a jumper from that wire to the small terminal where the small gauge wire is attached (remove that wire first).
    If that works, then you know what to do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndianaJim View Post
    Deere added a "starter improvement kit" on the Onans in the mid/late 80s due to issues with the wiring. Corrosion? Incorrect size? Strange aging magic? No idea what the actual issue was, but it solved it.
    The problem it solved was very similar to yours.
    Good components, but the starter wouldnt engage with the key switch.
    I had a mower that I got cheap, and I thought Id fix it and sell it. It was a 165 with the Kawasaki single 14hp I believe. The starter was acting up like your previous owner described. Worked sometimes, but not always.

    I made my own starter improvement kit, and it worked like a charm after that.

    Generally, its the trigger wire that is causing the issue.
    The kit is just a relay, using the original trigger wire to actuate the relay.
    The heavy gauge wire to the starter is left alone. Its rarely the problem.
    You can actually test this by running a jumper from that wire to the small terminal where the small gauge wire is attached (remove that wire first).
    If that works, then you know what to do.
    AM107421 is the part number for the starter improvement kit.

    Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk
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    IndianaJim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcopterdoc View Post
    AM107421 is the part number for the starter improvement kit.

    Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk
    Thats the one. Looks like it fits a LOT of different tractors now (been a while since Ive looked at it). Well, it probably did before, they just updated the list as they went along.

    In my case, I had the relays, wire and connectors on hand, so mine was free. $40+ is a lot to pay for a $5 relay and some connectors.
    These are fairly easy to make if you know how to use a crimper for the connectors.

    If you prefer a more factory look, you can always find a relay with an attached block with wires, or just buy the one Deere has if the price doesnt scare you.
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    Jim B.

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    MDrew's Avatar
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    Clean the posts and terminals. I discovered the other day that the cables themselves had corrosion in them. It went quite a way up the cable. I saw it in the ground and replaced that. Need a new posi cable also.Replacing the ground helped the intermittent starting issue. Look at the cheaper repairs first. If parts don't need replacing at least you know they checked out OK and are good to go.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sroysr View Post
    i have an 87 jd sx95 that for the life of me i can't get to running. previous owner said it would act up occasionally so he bought a new key switch for it. what he didn't tell me was that it looks like he may have been tapping on the starter with a hammer or something. nothing too hard but there are little dings on it here and there and he did make some reference about the starter that i don't recall. i have done every test in the manual a couple of times but all i can get out of it is a faint clicking of the solenoid. the original solenoid was on the iffy side so i got a nos one that bench tested great. mounted to the starter they both test good. can the starter still be bad even when it turns like crazy on the bench? i have turned the flywheel slightly in case there was a flat or dead spot on it but still not it. the only thing i haven't done is no-load test the starter because i don't have the equipment. all the other switches etc., have checked out as being good. i'm pulling 12 at the key terminal on the solenoid. any rabbits you could pull out of your hats for me?

    thanks, steve
    Many years ago a girl friend called. She was stranded her car would not crank. I tried jump starting it, nothing. Then I crawled under it and hit the starter with a hammer. It then started. I told her that was not a fix, get the starter replaced.
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    Jim is correct that the starter improvement kit is a good thing to do for the little rear engined riders since they use a solenoid-shift style of starter (the solenoid both operates the starter pinion engagement AND closes the high current contacts...)

    In the thread above I did not hear any mention of the solenoid even clicking when you turn the key, so check all the circuit to the solenoid coil in addition to the key switch itself (safety switches, etc...) Verify that the PTO switch is turned off and that the transmission is in Neutral and that both these switches are working correctly.

    Here is the closest wiring diagram I have to the subject tractor on this thread:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Chuck

    ...by the way, here is the simple wiring of the improvement relay application, and I too have made my own out of locally available relays from the auto parts stores. Surplus Center has them with sockets and pigtail wires for under $5 -- but you need to be ordering other things as well to get past the cost of shipping making it more than double that...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	starter improvement kit schematic.JPG 
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