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Old 10-11-2004, 12:20 PM   #1
Doug Boyd
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Starter solenoid problems

In replacing the starter solenoid on my 1956 300 Utility, Im getting nothing on the key turn. Im wondering if I have crossed wires somehow. I replaced the solenoid because the + wire from the battery to the solenoid was getting very hot and the tractor would not turn over, it would just chug along. In the last attempt to get it started before replacing the solenoid, the + battery cable got so hot that it started smoking where it attached to the battery.
There are two wires coming from the key switch, one is a small wire with a prong connector and the other is a little bigger wire with a round connector. Then theres the + battery cable.
Could someone please refresh my memory as to what goes where ? Which lug on the solenoid does the battery cable go to ?
What about the two smaller wires from the key switch ? The solenoid has two large lugs and two small posts designated S and I.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks



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Old 10-11-2004, 07:31 PM   #2
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Hi Doug, use a test light to find out what the 2 terminals on the key switch do. The s term on the solonoid is start, the i is ignition. The i term is to bypass any resister in tyeh line to give a hotter spark for start up. The key switch fires the s term, the i term runs to the input side of the coil.



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Old 10-12-2004, 10:40 PM   #3
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If I bought a non 6volt solenoid, will it still work on this setup ?
I bought one just like the one that came off the tractor.
Only problem is I forgot what wire goes where.
Could there be more than one kind of solenoid (2 lugs and two terminals) that operate differently ? If so, maybe I did get the wrong one, but there was no numbers or markings on the old one except the "s" "i", to help in finding a new one.

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Old 10-13-2004, 10:47 PM   #4
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Doug, as far as I know, if it has 2 lugs and 2 terminals, they all work the same. Only difference should be 6 or 12 Volt.
I don't think a 6 volt battery would trip a 12 volt solenoid. The battery should say 6 volt or 12 on it?? I think.

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Old 10-14-2004, 03:36 AM   #5
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Its a 12 volt battery fo sho (been using it this way for a while) and the solenoid should be a 12v also. The guy at Napa acted as though he knew which solenoid to give me. If the rain holds off I will head out and try to get her started. First thing, make sure all connections are clean and tight. Next, use all the suggestions and hope one of them will get her going. I only need about another hour of mowing and I will be done for a few months. Only problem is that she is setting dead in a flood prone area and we are quickly approaching our wet season. If all else fails I will pull her back in with the truck, but wont be able to get it in the barn.
I sure appreciate all the help I have gotten.

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Old 10-14-2004, 07:25 PM   #6
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I would check the solenoid, use a jumper wire from the + terminal of the battery to the I terminal of the solenoid, that should set 'er off. Wouldn't be the first time one was bad "out of the box".

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Old 10-15-2004, 03:43 PM   #7
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I finally got the solenoid on and working. I ended up having to go back to a 6v solenoid. The 12v I put on after the other went ka-put was either bad or the wrong solenoid for my application. Anyway, she turned over fine but still wont start. There is gas coming out the bottom breather hole in the carb. Took the bowl off and sure enough the float needle was stuck. Unstuck it, put it back together and the same thing happened again. I guess it got stuck again or something else is sticking in there. Looks like a carb kit is in order. Flooding is not good.

Anyone else have suggestions ? Its getting fuel (too much obviously) but wont start. I assume its getting spark at all the appropriate places. I dont know much about coils, so how do I know if its bad or not ?

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Old 10-15-2004, 11:53 PM   #8
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With the updraft carb, it's not unussual for it to drip gas out the bottom if the engine doesn't start. The gas that hasn't made it all the way up to the valves drops back down and dumps out through the drip hole in the bottom of the carb.
First place to check for spark is from the coil wire itself. Unplug the coil wire from the cap and put a good sparkplug into it. Ground the plug against the engine and whirl the engine over to check for spark. If no spark there, clean and gap the points (I think it's about .020). Once you've done this, check back and we'll go on to the next step(s).



Good luck, and keep yer chin up, we'll work through this!

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Old 10-18-2004, 12:24 AM   #9
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No spark on engine turn over. The distributor cap is virtually brand new. What do you mean by gapping the points ? Are the points inside the distributor cap ? If so, they look practically brand new with just a little wear. Maybe I wasnt doing the spark test right. I pulled the coil wire off the dist. cap and did as you said and got no spark. I then tried the opposite end of the wire in case I was trying the wrong end and still got nothing.
As you can tell Im not mechanically smart, but Im trying. One of the wires bolted on the coil seemed very loose and when I gently wiggled it, it broke off. I didnt have my wire repair kit with me, so I couldnt repair it. Would that have caused my no start ? Or did I not do the spark test right ? This tractor is trying to get the best of me but it aint happening. Im in it for the long haul. We did pull it back to the barn though, so at least its in a safe place now and in a lot more convienent place to work on.

Thanks,
Doug

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Old 10-20-2004, 07:39 PM   #10
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HI Doug, sorry!! I missed this thread last night somehow.

The poinst and condenser are inside the distributer cap. It's a good idea to clean where they contact each other with a little fine sand paper, or my preference, an emery board (like my wife uses to file her nails ). They may not be getting a clean conection between the 2 contacts.
It sounds like you did the spark test correctly, with the coil wire still in the snout of the coil, put a good spark plug in the wire and ground it against the engine block. Make sure the coil is getting electrical current to it, and whirl the engine over. There should be a spark.
By gapping the points, I mean to set the space between the 2 contacts when open. You will need a feeler guage and set to .020 inches. You should be able to get an inexpensive set of feeler guages at Harbor Freight or similar store.
If you are still not getting spark, conect the spark plug like for the previous test, run a wire from the points side (+) if it's still 6V + ground, (-) if it's been changed to 12V - ground, then conect a wire to the hot terminal of the battery and tap it on the other terminal of the coil. You should get a spark, not necessarily a strong one, but a spark. If not, the coil is bad.

Good luck, and keep us up to date with how it's going. Don't let it get you down, you can work through this, just have patience.

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Old 10-21-2004, 10:56 PM   #11
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starter problem?

HI DOUG,hope you have had luck getting her started up.Parts man,i don:t want to jump into your instructions which are near always as if you were sitting right there beside the fellows your explaining the stuff to,but like he said he wasn't mechanicaly inclined,you maybe should have told him to turn the motor over a bit to line up the high spot on the lobe on the distributer to set the points,hope it helps RAY

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Old 10-22-2004, 12:49 AM   #12
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Ok, I had a buddy go out with me today to take a look at the thing. He showed me what points were and yep, they were worn bad enough where they couldnt be filed flat. It seems the middle of them were sort of cratered. I guess thats not good. Anyway, I will have to find a set of them and a new condensor. It looked awful too. It was very rusty. Not sure if its bad but I will replace it anyway. The carb is definitely in need of help. After cranking it a couple of times before checking the points, I pulled the air intake hose off the side of the carb and gas poured out. I guess one of the needles is not shutting off the gas flow when its supposed to, therefore its spilling over into the air intake. When I say poured out, I mean it looked like someone pouring out a full glass of water.
So, a carb rebuild and points/condensor are in order for now.
It may take me a while to find the parts, but I will check back in when everything is replaced.

Is there anything else I should check while Im at it ? How about any advice on a place to get a carb kit or points/condensor ? Will a decent auto parts store like NAPA carry these ? Or will I have to order from a tractor parts supplier ?

Thanks again,

Doug

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Old 10-22-2004, 11:05 PM   #13
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NAPA or similar should have the points and condenser, and maybe the carb kit as well. You should also have a resister in teh system, your tractor is a 6V system, and with a 12 V battery it will damage coil, points, and condenser. If the coil is a 12V coil, the resister goes between the coil and points, if a 6V coil, between the ignition switch and coil.
Good luck, sounds like your on the right track.



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