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Discussion Starter #1
Like a dummy I left one of my 265s outside all winter, uncovered. With a fully charged battery there's no electricity. No headlights, no dash lights, certainly not a peep from the starter.

Both fuses are OK. Next, I got out the test light. But I don't have a wiring diagram handy, and figured I'd inspect the switch first. It and the harness end looked ugly. Both are soaking in vinegar.

Unless there's something else to check beforehand, I'll know tomorrow if corrosion is the problem.
 

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Battery connections would be the first suspect. Fuses too, but you checked that. Is there a chance a mouse/squirrel/rabbit chewed a wire? My dad had a rabbit chew up the wiring harness on his Chevy 2500 truck a couple years ago. Weird, I know.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Battery terminals and cables are not bad. Some anti-corrosion pads had previously been used on the battery terminals so there's no issue there. The vinegar has about done whatever it's gonna do. I may break out an old toothbrush on the switch terminals tonight (they already look a million times better). As for the harness connector, I no longer own a tool for safely removing the wires/terminals from the plastic block, so I might just poke around with a flat blade to scrape whatever I can there.

After that, a quick water soak to stop the acidic process of the vinegar, some drying time, and then a brief dunk in isopropyl alcohol to displace any residual water.
 

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Battery terminals and cables are not bad. Some anti-corrosion pads had previously been used on the battery terminals so there's no issue there. The vinegar has about done whatever it's gonna do. I may break out an old toothbrush on the switch terminals tonight (they already look a million times better). As for the harness connector, I no longer own a tool for safely removing the wires/terminals from the plastic block, so I might just poke around with a flat blade to scrape whatever I can there.

After that, a quick water soak to stop the acidic process of the vinegar, some drying time, and then a brief dunk in isopropyl alcohol to displace any residual water.
Battery terminals can “look” OK but not be. There is no way to visually check them without removing the cable ends, cleaning them, and tightening back down.

I don’t know how many people I’ve seen go down a rabbit hole of diagnosis with some type of electrical problems only to learn days later that the battery terminals were corroded and not making full contact.

How long does it take to clean the terminals? This should be the first step in any electrical diagnostic procedure.
 

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It's worth removing the ground cable from it's grounding point the engine block or frame and cleaning the contact area as well.

Good news is the wiring diagram is very simple for this tractor. It usually is something simple and likely is in your case as well.

Make sure to load test the battery. Just because a battery shows 12 volts doesn't mean it's ready to roll.....

I really like this type of battery load tester, very simple, very effective and it can also diagnose charging system function, etc.
Amazon.com: Schumacher BT-100 100A Battery Load Tester and Voltmeter: Automotive


Make sure to let us know what you found and how you restored life to the machine.
 

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Battery connections would be the first suspect. Fuses too, but you checked that. Is there a chance a mouse/squirrel/rabbit chewed a wire? My dad had a rabbit chew up the wiring harness on his Chevy 2500 truck a couple years ago. Weird, I know.

Rob
Had a mouse nest under the hood of my x738, they chewed the insulation off the main wiring harness. Didn't chew through any wires so I got a bottle of liquid electrical tape and covered them all back up. It's been fine ever since. Now I keep mouse traps around the base of my tractor when it's in the shed or the garage. An ounce of prevention........
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
It's running again. Thanks for the links fellas.

I was able to quickly ascertain power was getting to the key switch but not coming out of it. So while its terminals had some corrosion I was able to clean off, the real problem is that the switch had died over the winter.

I didn't like the look of its harness, either. Looks to have partially dissolved or whatever. Like heat just made it brittle and ate away at it (not "melted" from heat.) I ordered a new switch, harness and terminal ends.


And then I remembered my other 265, sitting in the garage awaiting a miracle be performed on its mower deck spindles. I stole its key switch and got to cutting grass today. :)
 
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