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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think its like a 1986 or 1988 JD 316 with P218 engine.

Turn Key to On - Red Light On, Orange Battery Light comes on and and shuts off.
Turn Key to Start and nothing happens.

Stick a screwdriver across the Solenoid? and it will turn over and start.

Does this indicate the Solenoid is bad? Does the engine need to be removed to be replaced?

Thanks
 

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With a test light or a voltmeter determine if the solenoid is getting 12V signal when the key is turned - so you know if the start signal circuit is ok.

From description is sounds like you jumped the two large wires/posts at the solenoid.

You could also try jumping the positive battery lead to the post that receives signal from the start circuit. This would determine if the solenoid will work if/when it gets 12V signal applied.
 

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Marty, First, "Welcome to GTT Marty." Lots of friendly and knowledgeable folks in here willing to help.
For your issue, it makes no difference whether '86 or '88...'84-92 same wiring (almost!), but a '78 is wired completely different. I stated "almost" the same because '89 and later have a brake a brake switch and yours shouldn't. Not really important, but if you post serial number, we can tell you the year.
Next, some questions!
1.Do you have a multimeter and know how to use it?
2.Can you read a schematic?
3.Do you have a rear pto?
If the answer to 1 & 2 is no, get a meter and we'll teach you! If 3 is no, you'll have a purple wire as a jumper from X5 to X6 replacing the rear pto switch.
If 1 & 2 is yes, here's your wiring schematic for the starting system!
Font Parallel Schematic Diagram Rectangle

I'd start by removing purple wire from solenoid, turn key to start, and check for 12 volts on wire. If 12 volts, verify solenoid is grounded. If no 12 volts, check wiring back to see where your "losing" voltage...make SURE pto switch is off and hydro lever is in neutral
Kindly answer a the above questions and get back to us. Bob
 

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I'd look at the fuses first, then the key switch. I haven't worked on a 316 Onan but, I've played with the electrical on a number of 318s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys I will get back to you with more info soon, I lost this forum until I got back to my work computer and checked History. I have a meter and can try and stumble through that schematic.

I do not have a rear PTO.

I can say that after the last time I jumped the 2 big terminals and got it running the Ignition system worked properly about 5 times before failing again.

The tractor is at my Mom's so I am only there once a week or so but will work on it next weekend again. Also trying to figure out how to get these old tire chains back on, I have watched some videos but i may be missing something but what a Pain the Butt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So there is a large top and bottom terminal and small purple wire on a spade lug. Positive lead on the purple wire and negative on the large bottom terminal send -12.5v with the key on or off.

I hooked a lead to the top terminal and jumped that to the battery but I think it just spins the starter but does not engage the flywheel and turn the engine over. I hear a loud whirring noise.

After I left and did some more reading I found that I may need to apply power to the purple wire as well too nut since I am seeing the -12v there I assume I already have that and maybe the solenoid is shot?

Sounds like I may have to pull the engine? OMG what a nightmare for a novice, or a big expense I am sure. I just got this last year to snowblow my mom's very long driveway and used that once last year. I did cut her grass several times with it and it was great, bigger than her Craftsman but I guess i should have saved it.

When you just jumper the two big posts on the starter solenoid,you're only spinning the starter without shifting it into the flywheel.You must also apply 12 volts to the smaller terminal to turn on the field coil in the solenoid to make it shift into the flywheel.
 

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Marty, First, you should only need to apply 12v to the purple spade on the starter. This should activate solenoid shifting arm and close a set of contacts inside to energize starter motor.
I've never worked on a 316 with an Onan, but I've heard of folks just unbolting the engine and jacking it enough to access/remove the starter. If 12v to solenoid doesn't work, try jacking before pulling engine. Bob
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Bob,
Do you think there is a lot to unbolt / disassemble before it can be raised? I am fairly novice and a little intimidated but I am guessing this will be quite costly at a mechanic? Any guesstimate on number of hours of professional labour might be involved? Will help with getting quote or I can double or triple to estimate my time.
 

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Shouldn't be to difficult to jack motor: disconnect battery cables, remove 4 engine mount bolts, and jack. Fuel lines, throttle & cable linkage, wiring, driveshaft, and fuel line can stay in place.
I'd guesstimate, and this is without knowing local costs in your area, 2 hours to clean and remove motor & starter. No true idea of testing, repairing, or replacing starter, but thinking $400 for new starter. Another 2 hours to reinstall and thinking (??) $400 for all labor, so $800+/- out the door to you! OR, you spend 2 days fartin' around and LEARNING about your tractor and "How To" and maybe find a little oil on your Bendix repairs it and done with a cost of...hmm, how much does 5 drops of oil cost?...!

DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED! It's a bunch of nuts & bolts! If you can change a tire, you can rebuild an engine... just need a little guidance from the folks here. Bob
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's awesome to hear I was worried about all that other stuff you mentioned.
I will pull it in the garage and see what i can do. I should be able to jack from underneath? I do have a hand forklift avail if pulling is better.

My biggest issue is this at my mother's so I am limited in when i can get there, if I could just go out after supper and work it would be fixed by now.
 

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