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Small Cabin Forum / Off Topic / More tractor troubles...need some input
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Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 7 Dec 2021 10:18
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If I may take another shot at this. I would not ground the small wire going to the solenoid, if that's what I understood in earlier post. As you would be grounding the hot wire.
The power 12.7v supplied when you turn the key on energizes the magnet inside the case which closes contacts between the 2 outside larger lugs. Because your solenoid only has 1 small terminal it grounds threw the case. So the base has to be clean to ground. But it is usually only energized in the start mode. Meaning it gets power when you have the key in start position. Not when in run. The start position is like in your car , it goes past run and into start. Then return to run after the engine starts.
If you are not holding the key to keep it at 12.7v on your meter Your system appears to be set up so that the solenoid closes the circuit n stays on when the key is on. If that is the case then the power would run threw the solenoid to the starter button. When it it depressed it closes the circuit n supplies power to the starter motor.
On most systems I've been around. The solenoid gets energized when the key is in the start position or when you want the starter motor engaged. And the key returns to run mode. Maintaining power to the ignition circuit. So key switch would be off , on , start. Some, like in older cars would have an auxiliary if you turn the key backwards from off position.
When you turn the key past the run and into the start position the solenoid gets energized n closes the circuit inside the case, energizing the lug that carries power from the solenoid to the starter. The starter motor grounds threw the case.
Again I may not have interpreted something about grounding the small wire to the solenoid correctly but I believe you would be creating a direct ground. This would damage the key switch.
Which BTW go bad. So to check put your meter on the small wire on the solenoid. Turn key one position, you should have no power to the solenoid. Turn key a bit more to the spring loaded position and you should get power to the small wire.
Or as others have written, put the key in run position and jump across the 2 larger terminals on the solenoid. It will spark becouse of the larger amperage draw. This is why you have a solenoid. If you're starter works the solenoid is bad. And I've bought bad used ones.
There is also a continuous duty solenoid but check out this procedure first. It's basic stuff n not too difficult. Good luck

WILL1E
Moderator
# Posted: 7 Dec 2021 10:58
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The key/switch is not spring loaded.

BobW
Member
# Posted: 7 Dec 2021 18:36
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Don't worry about neutral, a '55 tractor had no safety interlock switches. It will crank in gear and I have used the starter to get a dead truck out of the road.
Is this by any chance a positive ground. It likely was when it was 6V? In which case the frame of the solenoid is at +12V as is the small wire (the trigger). When the small wire goes to ground the solenoid should energize unless it is polarity sensitive. Has this worked after the 12 volt conversion?
Was there a resistor put on the wire to the points in the distributor? This would drop the 12 volts to six volts for the coil.

Tim_Ohio
Member
# Posted: 8 Dec 2021 08:27
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Quoting: Tim_Ohio
Will1e,

How to test your solenoid video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnqdbcQYAI4


1tentman
Member
# Posted: 10 Dec 2021 17:28
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WILL1E I have been looking for my shop manual on your tractor so I could get you a wiring schematic, but somebody has borrowed it and I cant remember who so I will just wing this off memory. With the new solenoid installed it still wont crank so lets see if we can figure this out.
First off some of the other post keep mentioning the key switch and I understand why , but on your system the key has nothing to do with getting the starter to crank on the original wiring harness.
This is how it was originally wired, and it should still be wired this way. The + cable hooks to the hot side of the solenoid, inside the solenoid a wire picks up current and goes through a coil and to the terminal on the solenoid, which is always hot. The wire that hooks to the small terminal on solenoid goes through the wiring harness and hooks to the starter button. When you put the trans. in neutral and push button the switch grounds in the trans. this completes the circuit, current flows through the coil making a electro magnet which pull the plunger in and it makes contact with the 2 terminals on solenoid allowing current to flow to starter and it cranks over. Releasing the button breaks the circuit and solenoid disengages. Its just like turning on a light, flip the switch and complete circuit and light comes on, turn switch off and light goes out.
Now to troubleshoot your problem,put your new battery in and have everything connected. Check the small terminal and see if it has 12 volts if it does then you have got the right solenoid for your unit. Then go to the starter switch on trans. the wire should show 12 volts also. Ground the wire on this switch the starter should crank. You can disconnect it and ground or just short across with screwdriver. If it cranks over the starter switch is the problem, if it doesn't then the problem is in the wiring or the solenoid. If it doesn't crank take the wire off the solenoid and ground small terminal to the frame, solenoid should engage, if it does then the problem is in the wiring. Grounding at the solenoid its just like grounding it at the starter switch you are completing the circuit.

I am going to say that the problem is not the starter switch or the solenoid I think it is a bad connection in the wire between the solenoid and starter switch. When they installed the new switch converting it over to 12 volt they probably cut this wire and tried to wire the new switch in. When they couldn't make that work they spliced it back together and I think this is where your problem is. I don't understand why they changed the switch anyway, you don't have to change it to convert it over. To many people get to carried away when converting these small tractors over and try to make it to complicated, it is a very simple procedure.
To answer your question about you pushing the starter button and your gauge went to 0, this could happen without solenoid engaging. The bad connection could allow enough current to go through to make gauge drop to 0, but not allow enough amperage to go through to engage solenoid. I hope that made sense.
BobW your tractor may crank over in gear, but that is not how it was made to work .Your switch is probably shorting through the side of housing allowing it to crank in gear. I don't think Ford or any other company would sell a tractor that can start in gear, this would have lawsuit wrote all over it.
WILL1E try this and if you have any other questions just ask, good luck and I hope you have good weather to work on it.

WILL1E
Moderator
# Posted: 14 Jan 2022 08:14
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1tentman somehow i missed your last post here, but thank you as well as others for your suggestions and explanations.

When i went up 2 weeks ago I brought a brand new battery. Hooked it up and still a no go. I tried jumping the tractor with my truck, neg clamp on bare spot of frame and tapping positive clamp on starter post and she was really struggling to turn over. So i suspect with the cold i'm not getting enough CCA through the jumper cable to crank it over properly.

I'm going up this weekend and plan to check the continuity of the small wire from the solenoid to the starter button (which looks original). Now that i've done a little more research i have a better understanding how that starter button works. Given this problem started in fall after the tractor had been sitting awhile, i don't wonder if corrosion built on the inner workings of the button and the transmission preventing the ground from happening.

If i find the starter button is not the problem, what would be next on the list?

So i'll report back after this weekend, hopefully with good news!

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 14 Jan 2022 08:46
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Starters do get weak. How old is it?

ICC
Member
# Posted: 14 Jan 2022 08:52
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Quoting: WILL1E
she was really struggling to turn over.


I have not read every message in this thread but that quote makes me wonder what grade of oil is in the crankcase.

scott100
Member
# Posted: 14 Jan 2022 13:39
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I kind of read through this, but didn't see that you tried jumping across the starter solenoid. That's pretty much a first step. If you jump across the big terminals on the solenoid and it cranks over, that leaves out the battery, and any wiring and connections between the starter and battery.

Then you need to know if the small terminal on the solenoid needs power or ground to switch it. Jump that to either power or ground depending on how it's wired. If it cranks over, then the solenoid is good and you have an issue with the ignition switch, or in your situation, likely the push button switch and / or wiring.

But now it's winter. Not sure if your tractor is diesel or gas, but on the old 57 diesel farmall I had, it would not turn over well in the winter, let alone start, unless you plugged the block heater in for a while first. It was truly a fair weather machine.

Also, it would be helpful for you to know if that tractor is positive or negative ground. Particularly important if you're trying to jump it. Is the braided "ground" cable connected to the positive battery terminal? If so, then it's positive ground and you need to think backwards for all things electrical...kind of.

One last thing to mention, and I think someone else may have mentioned this... You can get sent off on a wild goose chase using a DVOM to test circuits like this.
The meter needs no current to measure voltage, but the circuit needs current to work. Sometimes using an old fashioned incandescent test light is the way to go, as a dim light is meaningful even though your meter shows 12v. The DVOM is the correct tool to chase down bad wiring and connections using voltage drop tests, but the circuit must be loaded.

1tentman
Member
# Posted: 14 Jan 2022 20:39
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Will1e first thing do what Scott said buy you a good test light it works better on the old tractors.When you get there take test light and see if the small terminal on solenoid is hot, if it is then we know that you replaced the solenoid with the right style. Next go to the starter button it should show 12 volts also. If everything checks out ground the wire on starter button and it should crank. If it fails to crank go back to the solenoid and ground the small terminal with a jumper wire it should crank, if it doesn't then we have a wiring problem. If all this fails we will have to go to plan B, don't really know what that is yet. The problem you have with it cranking over is probably your cables are not making that good of contact, also remember when you are cranking the motor over you are also turning 2 hydraulic pumps. The one for your loader you cant do much about that but the one for your three point just make sure your control lever is in the down position or as you crank the motor the three point will try to raise as soon as you crank it.You cant believe how much strain this will put on the starter. You might have to take the starter off and clean the armature up and check brushes. Good luck and keep us posted,have a great weekend.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 15 Jan 2022 07:45
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Quoting: 1tentman
Will1e first thing do what Scott said buy you a good test light it works better on the old tractors.When you get there take test light and see if the small terminal on solenoid is hot, if it is then we know that you replaced the solenoid with the right style. Next go to the starter button it should show 12 volts also. If

He jumped the power directly to the starter with cables from another battery. To me this tells me the starter is weak. Bad grounds on starters dosnt happen much because they generaly ground through the case. I have seen plenty of worn or broken brushes though.

WILL1E
Moderator
# Posted: 17 Jan 2022 13:36
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Well, the tractor saga continue Mind you this was one of those weekends where nothing went right from the second i stepped foot up at the cabin.

It was minus -14F w/o the wind and I had other priorities this weekend so i didn't get much time with the tractor. I forgot my good meter at home so all i had was my Harbor freebie POS meter and the dang wire broke cause it was so cold. So i installed the new battery and connected a wire from the small post on the solenoid to the bare spot on the frame and nothing. Also connected it from the switch to the frame and obviously nothing as well.

When i went to pull the battery i heard some sparking from the neutral cable. So i pulled the cable clamp apart and low and behold the wire was corroded as all heck, including inside the clamp. So i cut about an inch of the wire off, wire brushed the clamp (didn't have a real wire brush so i used the grill brush). When i went to put the negative back on, the tractor instantly started turning over. Thank god the tractor was in neutral and nothing was in the way of the fan blade or belts, etc. So i disconnected the small wire coming off the solenoid thinking maybe the new solenoid i got was the opposite of the one i needed. I finished hooking the battery up.

Thinking i solved the problems i put all my tools away, got some gas to put in the tractor and when i came back from the shed i thought there was an odd smell around the tractor. Not 100% it has to do with anything, but just making note of it here. So with some gas in the tank, i then connected that small wire back to the solenoid and it didn't do anything. So with it connected, i pushed the normal starter button, it started turning over. But this is where it gets weird.

When i let go of the starter button...it kept turning over After a few frantic hits of the starter button it stopped. So i obviously tried again since the tractor hadn't started yet. Unfortunately this time after i let go it wouldn't stop again and hitting the button didn't work. Since i didn't have any tools by me the only thing i could think of was to pull the small wire on the solenoid....still kept trying to turn over. By the time i sprinted to the shed, unlocked it, got my wrenches and ran back the battery finally died enough where the starter wasn't going anymore so i quickly disconnected the battery.

As i was pulling the battery again to take home with me, the positive cable fell out of it's clamp. It looked like the clamp on the right in this picture, but it wasn't crimped in or anything, looks like the strands were just pushed in and twisted.

So i think i've come to the conclusion that i just need to stop and wait till it's warmer and i have time to spend a couple hours on it to go through all the wires and replace/clean all the connections. The fact that it kept trying to turn over even after i pulled that small solenoid wire has me confused. This is the new solenoid i bought, i still have the old one so maybe i need to put that one back on since i think the problem was the battery connection.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 17 Jan 2022 14:18
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Those cable clamp style terminals with 2 bolts are absolutely terrible...unless you crimp or solder on eyelets and use the bolts to bolt the eye to the terminal.

WILL1E
Moderator
# Posted: 17 Jan 2022 15:39
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I'm going to replace them both with something, not sure what yet.

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 17 Jan 2022 17:31 - Edited by: gcrank1
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A battery disconnect switch is such a good idea.
And just buy the right length and gauge cables with the right size ring terminals. Gauge? Go Big.
I had that happen with my old, high mile '73 Moto Guzzi one time, solenoid stuck after it started and the starter was still running. Shut the bike off, still cranking....tried rapping the soleniod, no diff; by the time I got the tool kit out, the right wrench to pop a bat cable, the bat cover off, etc. the bat was hot and venting acid.
The relatively new bat was pretty well toasted.

WILL1E
Moderator
# Posted: 18 Jan 2022 08:05
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Yeah, might have to look at a kill switch. Cheap insurance in case one of the light switches gets left on or anything like that. I'll have to do some research and find a simple one that i can install on the tractor.

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 18 Jan 2022 10:34
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Look at RV stuff, Battery Disconnect Switch, not a 'kill switch'.

travellerw
Member
# Posted: 18 Jan 2022 11:22
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Quoting: gcrank1
Look at RV stuff, Battery Disconnect Switch, not a 'kill switch'.


Look for a switch rated for the most current! I'm willing to bet the inrush current for that tractor starter is about 300A, tapering to 100A once things are spinning (in warm temps). I would try to get a switch rated for about 400A!

I'm ghetto and just take the positive wire off the battery everytime!

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 18 Jan 2022 11:24
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Good call, Trav!

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