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Eric... and others! A quick comment on the solenoid and starter improvement relay.
Whether your solenoid is mounted on your starter or a few feet away makes no difference. The solenoid is nothing more than a "switch" that connects the 2 large terminals together... supplying battery power to the starter. The solenoid does require a fair amount of power to close/activate the terminals to connect the battery to the starter. Often through poor/dirty connections many places in the tractor wiring, not enough amperage is available to activate the solenoid. When installing a starter kit, the wire that used to energize the high amp draw starter solenoid coil now energizes a low amp draw relay coil. Once the small relay coil is activated, battery power is directly applied to the starter solenoid.

Eric, Based on your last post, #20, I'm thinking dying battery. A voltage reading on your battery will pretty much tell you... NOTHING ! Your battery needs to be load tested. You can buy a $20 battery load tester at Harbor Freight or go to a local auto parts store for a free load test... charge battery before load testing, and 12.8 volts is a charged battery. You say you're 45 minutes from "civilization", but sometimes ya just gotta do what ya gotta do!

Above all, keep asking questions... that's why we're here, to help! Although you may not like the answers, it'll be the best advise we can give! Bob
 
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Eric,

Another source of poor starting because not enough current is being delivered to the solenoid can be the ignition switch. Here is a wiring diagram excerpt of what the devices are in the loop to power the solenoid -- notice the path passes TWICE through the key switch! If your switch is original to the tractor, you should just replace it.
Product Font Parallel Slope Schematic

The starter improvement kit does help preserve the new switch into the future by off-loading the higher current used by the solenoid -- here is how that modification looks on the wiring changes...
Schematic Slope Font Parallel Diagram


Hope this helps...

Chuck
 

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Eric,

One additional comment -- I notice that your circuit breaker is the oldest style that used the 'bullet' connections that simply press over the studs on the breaker. These connections can get unreliable over the decades due to corrosion and when heat causes the spring terminals to loose their tension. Many 318 owners replace those press on terminals with ring terminals that can be securely nutted down on the studs. You might consider this upgrade when you replace your breaker. At least inspect and clean the terminals you have now to see if they will be adequate to carry ALL the tractor current in the harness (everything but the starter motor load...) which can be upwards of 20+ amps.

Chuck
 

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The battery tested good but I was uncertain on what setting I should put the SAE to on the tester. I'll replace the ignition switch, the circuit breaker and upgrade the connections to the circuit breaker. I'll also install the starter upgrade kit. Anything I'm missing? Thanks everyone!
Liquid Fluid Communication Device Finger Audio equipment
 

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I'm not familiar with that particular tester, but I believe that your screen is telling you the battery is good, but needs recharging. The testing was done in accordance with 533 SAE...whatever that is!

For your repairs. do ONE STEP at a time. I'd start by cleaning existing terminals on circuit breaker and installing new ring terminals with nuts... use caution with nuts as I don't know if they're coarse or fine thread! Next, replace ignition switch. Unplug, spray with contact cleaner & reconnect, unplug, spray & reconnect, and one more unplug! Spray with contact cleaner, attach new switch and install. Try to start. If breaker continues to click, disconnect purple wire from solenoid and turn to "Start" If breaker still clicks, replace breaker. If breaker STILL clicks, you've got a short someplace! Follow diagram Chuck posted and follow wires to determine what's shorted. Leave the starter improvement kit to last! Make sure everything else in starting circuit is good.

Keep us posted and keep asking! Bob
 
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Repairing these older tractors can be as much fun/enjoyment as they are frustrating! Any repairs that I've done that don't work are usually cuz I screwed something up in the repair/installation! If you "repair" 2 or 3 times at once without verifying EACH repair, you've no clue what's screwed up where. Repairing 1 item will tell you if that was the problem or it's further down the line.

Keep going, keep asking if you don't know, and we'll get you running again. we may be the ones guiding you, but you are the one doing the repairs so YOU are the one that fixed it! It'll give you a great feeling of accomplishment when it fires up. Bob
 
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Okay, I would first like to apologize to the original poster for adding my issue to his but it seemed like a very similar issue.

Bob, I took some of your suggestions, but unfortunately a little out of order due to resources at the time. I didn't have extra wire and splicing material to replace the bullet connections, so I did just replace the circuit breaker.

Now I have brought the tractor home with me and I have the ability to work on it in a much better environment. Before I cut the purple and red wire (circled in the photo) to attach new ring connections, I want to confirm this because I will need to splice in some additional wire or it will be too short to reach the circuit breaker and solenoid.

I have also replaced the ignition switch and solenoid.

The behavior is still the same. The circuit breaker is tripping repeatedly and causing a ticking noise.

Also, when I get to it, I'm absolutely confused on where to attach the two purple wires on the starter improvement kit. The instructions talk about connecting it to the starter blade solenoid, but the photos are so poor I'm struggling to comprehend.

Thank you all very much.
Motor vehicle Water Automotive tire Green Wood

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OK, Now I'm a little confused!!!
First, do you have wiring instructions for your new breaker? In your 1st pic, does the wire on the left of the breaker (silver colored stud) go to the battery terminal? I'm thinking, but not 100% sure, your wires need to be switched. Typically, the dark (copper colored) terminal is the line terminal (battery) and the light (silver colored) is the load (tractor). Please verify!

Next, starter relay. Two relays are available, one with 4 connections and one with 5. Look at the schematic on the relay and it should show a coil with connections to 85 & 86. In your 1st pic, is the purple wire that wire that used to go to your solenoid? If so, this should go to 85 and run another wire from 86 to ground/frame.
Purple wires: One connects to 30 with the other end connecting to your starter solenoid. The other connects to 87 and the other end to either the circuit breaker or the battery terminal on the starter... no real difference but instructions probably say or show going to starter. If you have a 5 terminal relay, 87A is not used.

So far so good! You've got good questions. Bob
 

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If the circuit breaker is continuously tripping, the first thing to do is to clear the short circuit that is causing this. I presume this occurs when the key is in the ON position, if it occurs in the OFF position, the short is very local to the breaker itself or maybe the voltage regulator.

Attached is a wiring diagram that will help you separate the loads and remove them one at a time until you find the issue. The major things to disconnect and verify the tripping is cleared (in a logical order) would be pulling the 20 amp fuse at F1, followed by the 3 amp fuse at F2 lighting circuit. If the circuit breaker clicking stops when the 20 amp fuse is removed, then try reinstalling the fuse and disconnecting the lighting circuit downstream of its switch at the X16 harness connector. Still no joy? -- then unplug the PTO switch(es).

If the circuit breaker cycling only stopped when you unplugged the 3 amp fuse F2, then the seat switch and its wiring is the most likely culprit.

Let us know what you find, and we can provide further details...

As to the starter improvement kit instructions, they are specific for the later P-series engines with the solenoid shift starter (where the solenoid is integral to the starter motor.) You r earlier tractor has a firewall mounted solenoid, and the purple wire on that style solenoid is that bullet connector you circled in your photo above -- it goes to the small stud on the solenoid that is also shown in your green circle.

Chuck
 

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The wire on the left connects to the same post of the solenoid that the positive from the battery is. The circuit breaker came with no wiring diagram but I'll do some research into the part #. I checked the original circuit breaker and both posts were silver.
If the circuit breaker is continuously tripping, the first thing to do is to clear the short circuit that is causing this. I presume this occurs when the key is in the ON position, if it occurs in the OFF position, the short is very local to the breaker itself or maybe the voltage regulator.

Attached is a wiring diagram that will help you separate the loads and remove them one at a time until you find the issue. The major things to disconnect and verify the tripping is cleared (in a logical order) would be pulling the 20 amp fuse at F1, followed by the 3 amp fuse at F2 lighting circuit. If the circuit breaker clicking stops when the 20 amp fuse is removed, then try reinstalling the fuse and disconnecting the lighting circuit downstream of its switch at the X16 harness connector. Still no joy? -- then unplug the PTO switch(es).

If the circuit breaker cycling only stopped when you unplugged the 3 amp fuse F2, then the seat switch and its wiring is the most likely culprit.

Let us know what you find, and we can provide further details...

As to the starter improvement kit instructions, they are specific for the later P-series engines with the solenoid shift starter (where the solenoid is integral to the starter motor.) You r earlier tractor has a firewall mounted solenoid, and the purple wire on that style solenoid is that bullet connector you circled in your photo above -- it goes to the small stud on the solenoid that is also shown in your green circle.

Chuck
Thank you very much Chuck. I will update what I find out.
 

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From what I've found online, the battery terminal is copper plated and the auxiliary is zinc plated... and may be .08" shorter depending on manufacturer. I'd swap wires and connect battery to copper/darker terminal. Bob
 
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When I remove the fuses F1 & F2 (one at a time), I get no lights on the dash, and no tripping breaker. I'll continue to analyze the schematics and see what I can disconnect to attempt to isolate what is tripping the breaker.

Thank you @Chuckv
 

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With fuses installed, does new breaker trip? It's possible your old breaker was the problem and everything else if fine... or not! Bob
 

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Hmm, You've got some checking to do! I'd start by disconnecting plug(s) on TDCM and headlight switch. Install F2 fuse, turn key on. If breaker doesn't trip, sit on seat... to veriify seat wiring with seat switch closed. Try to crank engine... it should crank, but not fire. If breaker hasn't yet tripped, install F1 fuse. If breaker trips, problem is in dash lamps. If breaker doesn't trip, thinking "something' amiss with TDCM!

ChuckV has an excellent writeup for checking the TDCM, BUT it requires power to the TDCM. Go to search bar and enter, "TDCM voltage measurements and what they mean".
Perhaps with the plugs disconnected, you can run a temp wire to Pin 3 and power the TDCM... not sure if breaker will hold! If breaker holds, connect temp wire from Pin 10 to ground. I think (??) you can then use Chuck's directions.

That's all I've got for now. Hoping ChuckV will be here and say I'm correct or full of s***!... KNOWING he'll word it differently! Bob
 

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Bob,

Your description is a good way to apply power and test the TDCM (at least partially). Many of the voltages noted in the write-up are INPUT voltages, so if the rest of the tractor harness is not powered it may not provide totally useful information. The best results is to clear the harness short first -- for instance I did not see if the clicking only stops if both the fuses are removed, or if just one is removed, and if so which one? Knowing this will give us some additional things to suggest.

So you don't have to do a search, here is the voltage check list with explanations that I put together:

Black Font Parallel Paper Document


Chuck
 
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