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Discussion Starter #1
I'm pretty sure it's the battery, but this is what confuses me.

For the last 6 months it wouldn't crank at first, just click. So I would always use my jump starter portable thingy. it would start and run, and even start after running for 1/2 hour or so. But then it was dead 2-3 weeks later. Then it got harder to start with the jumper "thingy" - just clicking, but after jiggling the jumper clamps a few times it would start up just fine. So I figured it was just being picky and not making good contact easily.

Now I have a brand new jump starter "thingy." It has an indicator that shows a blinking engine icon when off and hooked up properly. And it is supposed to stop blinking and go solid when turned on and ready to start. I can't get it to go solid. And I only get a click still. Lights work, but there is no difference in brightness when I turn jump starter on or off.

I thought it may have something to do with a super bad battery interfering with the staring circuit or other problem with having a bad battery. The battery terminals and connection look clean and solid. And I can't buy a new battery until Monday - and of course I have stuff to mow this weekend.

And suggestions please?
 

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Thats sounds like a bad battery to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thats sounds like a bad battery to me.
Thanks John - I should have actually checked the battery voltage before asking my question, but I figured with the jumper pack available and hooked up, it wasn't important.

But I just checked it for kicks and it read 12.4 - and this is after sitting for 3 weeks. So, apparently the battery was never the issue as to why it wouldn't crank. But after jiggling the clamps before, it would finally start after a dozen or so attempts - so I assumed it was a bad battery and faulty connection when trying to jump. The starter would crank and sounded perfect - and the engine would start immediately.

But now I'm not so sure what is going on. Could the starter just be "sticky" and hard to get moving? The nice click I hear has got to be the solenoid engaging.
 

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Is that 12.4 volts at idle or while you are cranking? If idle, what is the voltage while cranking or while trying to crank.

It is almost certainly dirty cable connections, a bad battery, or a bad chassis ground connection - in that order.

I just went through a similar situation with my X500. It has started flawlessly for over 4 years. A couple weeks ago I jump on and go to start it and the flywheel just "jumps" a bit and it will not turn over. Repeated attempts yielded the same results. So I hop off and quickly hook up my electronic battery analyzer which upon connection showed 12.6 volts. I then hit the key to see what the cranking voltage was and viola... the engine cranked and started right up. So just attaching the battery tester caused the problem to go away.

So the first thing I did was pull off both battery connectors. They actually looked "ok". Certainly not the worse I've seen. I went ahead and gave the cable ends and the terminals a good cleaning with a battery terminal cleaning tool, put the cables back on and tightened everything up. It started right up and has been working flawlessly ever since.

Bottom line... even if the connections look ok, them off and clean the cable ends and terminals with a cleaning tool. Then check your battery voltage while trying to crank.

99% of the time it is the battery or connections.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks "jgayman."

For anyone reading this while trying to solve a similar issue.

I cleaned the terminals and tried my old tried and true jumper thingy. No joy. I jiggled, I wiggled, I jumped up and down, and rocked back and forth. PTO on and off - same with brake. Still just a click.

Then, on what could of been my last try, I think I pushed on the key a little sideways while turning it, and it cranked and started. Then it started the next six times without issue - and without the jumper pack. So, battery is good. Go figure.

Only thing that makes since right now is a short or connection issue of some kind in the ignition switch. Time will tell. But at least I have something new to jiggle if the problem repeats.

Is there some explanation (issue inside the ignition) that would cause it to allow the lights to work, but to only click and not turn over. I noticed nothing even clicks when the brake is off, PTO engaged, or seat switch is open - so the safety switches seem to be in order.

Would it be OK (or wise) to spray a little of the same "electrical terminal cleaner" into the key opening of the ignition switch?
 

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Kona, Your ignition switch is worn out! Continue to "wiggle" until you get a replacement switch installed...you won't hurt anything.

There's a spring inside of the switch that returns the key to "Run" after turning to "Start." This spring has worn the bearing area inside of the switch. When you first turn it to "Run," the contacts self-align and everything works normal. When you turn to "Start" the wear takes over and you're not making contact with the start connections inside of the switch. Wiggling/applying side pressure moves the contacts into alignment and it starts! $35 and an hour or so and you'll be good, Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update - I put off this repair for months thinking it would be a couple of hours with wires and removing the "dash board" etc.

Pleasant surprise:
- ordered the ignition switch from Amazon in about 3 mins for around $20
- discovered access was from under hood
- and only two "squeeze"clips holding it in
- and all wires were connected to one plug.
- unplugged it, popped old one out, snapped in new one and plugged it back in.

So, in less than more 5 mins. - problem solved - can't believe I procrastinated so long.
 
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