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Discussion Starter #1
Just ran into an immediate problem.
Went to mow, I noticed at start up that the battery light stayed on much longer than normal (10+ seconds).
It eventually went off.
However, when I engaged the pto, the battery light came on again. It would go off when I disengaged the pto. I cycled it several times, with no change.
I returned to the pit area, and thought I knew what it must've been.
Earlier this week, while cleaning the gunk out of the tractor, I noticed that the secondary red wire running to the positive cable had been jury rigged to wrap around the post, and held in place by the terminal.
I then proceeded to drill the hole out where it had been, reinsert it and solder it back in.
The mower ran fine, even ran fine yesterday.
So, I figured this must be the trouble, as I hadn't used the pto since making the repair.
Now, I have reversed my actions, and the mower will not turn over all all.
Any help would need greatly appreciated.
 

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Not for noting but... what model machine are you talking about here?
 

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You removed the smaller red wire that you had previously affixed?
Normally I think the heavy red goes to the starter and it MAY have some more positive wires bolted to the starter post with it that distribute power for other electrical loads. Any smaller gage wire on the positive post will also feed other loads such as the ignition switch etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update.
After working with the connection some, and a little finagling, the tractor cranked.
However, the batt light still comes on when the pto is engaged, although not immediately anymore. It now takes 2 seconds or so.
 

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With these shenanigans going on it may be time to clean up all the ground and power wire connections.
30 year old machine, still looking good if that is the one in your avatar.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
With these shenanigans going on it may be time to clean up all the ground and power wire connections.
30 year old machine, still looking good if that is the one in your avatar.
I agree.
I'm just wondering if I'm safe to mow this evening, is my big concern in the moment.
 

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Update.
After working with the connection some, and a little finagling, the tractor cranked.
However, the batt light still comes on when the pto is engaged, although not immediately anymore. It now takes 2 seconds or so.

Just curious but, if you follow the battery connection to the starter, are there 2 red wires on the starter lug?

If I'm reading the schematics correctly, there should be a red wire from the battery to the starter. On the same starter lug there should be a 2nd red wire that runs to your key switch and to the alternator. That 2nd wire is how your battery recharges. So if it has issues, that would explain why you'd get the battery light.

I'm wondering if someone just moved that 2nd wire from the starter lug directly to the battery. Electrically, they are the same thing so it shouldn't matter but...
 
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I'm thinking that the previous owner(s) may have added an extra positive wire to facilitate use of a battery tender over the winter months. Or. something else entirely. The current hot weather short circuits a lot of good thoughts.

Brian
 
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battery light mean (low voltage)

most common causes of low voltage are

weak battery
weak or failing alternator
bad power wireing connections

i would check things in that order
 

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The 318 is known for crud developing on the battery posts. Scrape the posts and terminals with a knife to get it off and see if that does it.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Just curious but, if you follow the battery connection to the starter, are there 2 red wires on the starter lug?

If I'm reading the schematics correctly, there should be a red wire from the battery to the starter. On the same starter lug there should be a 2nd red wire that runs to your key switch and to the alternator. That 2nd wire is how your battery recharges. So if it has issues, that would explain why you'd get the battery light.

I'm wondering if someone just moved that 2nd wire from the starter lug directly to the battery. Electrically, they are the same thing so it shouldn't matter but...
The red wire originally was molded into/ onto the positive battery terminal from the factory, I assume. You can see where it was originally on the terminal as an extra part of the lead mold.
From there, it leads to a two lug terminal on the right hand (from the driver's seat) wall of the pedestal. The second cluster of wires are in a loom, and head in the direction of the ignition and other switches.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The 318 is known for crud developing on the battery posts. Scrape the posts and terminals with a knife to get it off and see if that does it.
Did that, and retightened terminals. That actually got it to crank, but still with the battery light on.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
UPDATE
It isn't only the PTO triggering the warning light. The headlights also cause the issue. I'm beginning to suspect a ground fault somewhere in my system. Possible that I pinched or nicked a wire the other day during reassembly, since I did have the batt tray, and left pedestal side off.
I mowed part of the yard with little issue. The tractor did seem a bit more sluggish than usual, but I can't solidly relate that to this issue.
 

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UPDATE
It isn't only the PTO triggering the warning light. The headlights also cause the issue. I'm beginning to suspect a ground fault somewhere in my system. Possible that I pinched or nicked a wire the other day during reassembly, since I did have the batt tray, and left pedestal side off.
I mowed part of the yard with little issue. The tractor did seem a bit more sluggish than usual, but I can't solidly relate that to this issue.
You might want to charge the battery, just in case it is a charging issue, even a secondary issue.

Treefarmer
 
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Clean all grounds. Wire brush clean to a bright shine, and use star/electrical washers where paint is present. Di-electric grease all connections.
 

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Also, check your connection at the voltage regulator. Those can become loose fitting and cause an issue similar to what you are saying.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Also, check your connection at the voltage regulator. Those can become loose fitting and cause an issue similar to what you are saying.
That's first on the agenda today. I had already replaced the connectors on it because they were pretty raggedy looking, but with everything being apart on Tuesday, it's hard to say what all may have been jostled loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
UPDATE:
So the tractor fires right up, just as usual. However, today the light came on and stayed on, with no auxiliary services, such as PTO or headlights running.
Does this possibly mean that the battery is draining while just sitting?
Sadly, my multi-meter died a few months ago, and I have yet to replace it, so I have no means of doing any solid testing at the moment. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So, I've had a family shindig in the works all day, and my better judgment (aka the wife), wouldn't have appreciated me tractor tinkering all day.
HOWEVER, I did manage to slip off and get a new meter, and tested the battery after sitting all night. 12.7 volts on the money! So, I don't think I've got an open circuit draining the system, so that's a step in the right direction.
To be continued.
 
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