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If you are getting sparks across those two terminals as I think you are describing, then you are bypassing the solenoid. So the problem is the starter and it is drawing current(hence the sparks) so there is something keeping the starter from turning, either an internal short or as been already mentioned stuck against the flywheel. Either way the starter needs to be removed or if this is a manual trans you can rock the tractor to rotate the engine. That could eliminate a stuck starter.
 

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Premium Member
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And you still get sparks? There is a very small probability this is a solenoid issue. To make sure disconnect both leads from the solenoid and short the battery lead directly to the starter. If you get sparks(meaning a short to ground) then the starter for some reason is hung up.

Why did you have the battery side disconnected in the first place? that batt cable looks like it is poorly positioned relative to the starter terminal.

Your original test bypassed the solenoid so a logical conclusion is that the solenoid does not pay a part in this failure. However,, if the starer side of the solenoid is grounded internal to the solenoid then it could be an issue. That is why you want to isolate it from the test.
 
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