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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Folks,

Having some electrical problems with my '78 446 and could really use some help. :headscratcher: Here's what I'm seeing:

1. When I turn the ignition switch, nothing happens. Even when I jiggle the travel control and PTO levers, there is no change.
2. Battery shows a full charge when placed on a charger
3. Ignition switch and solenoid are brand new
4. Best I can get is the solenoid to hum when key is turned and charger is placed on battery
5. Starter barely turns when battery is on charger and I bypass the ignition switch using the old "screw driver on the solenoid posts" method.
6. Starter and ignition system worked fine about a month ago and the tractor hasn't been used since

I have looked at the schematics and have checked what I think to be the likely suspects with the notable exception of the neutral safety switches. I know generally where the switches are located, but, how do I gain access to them? Do I have to remove the motor and hydro tank just to get to them?

I'll be the first to admit that electrical problems are not my strong suit and I know this is about as easy an electrical system as you'll find, but I'm growing frustrated. I would really appreciate some assistance from the pros here.

Many thanks!

Tim
 

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The first thing I would check is that the ground wire from the battery to the engine is in good condition and is firmly attached. If the connections look corroded then they need to be taken apart and cleaned thoroughly.

If the ground is good then you should be able to turn the engine over by attaching a jumper wire between the small terminal on the solenoid that (should) have a black wire attached to it and the negative side of the battery then turn the key. This jumper will bypass all the safety switches temporarily so make sure the travel lever and PTO levers are in the neutral or off positions. If you have a rear hydraulic PTO make sure it is not engaged.

If the engine does not turn over then you could either have a problem with the switch wiring, bad contacts on the positive cable or a bad starter. If you have some heavy duty jumper cables you can test the starter by connecting the jumper to the positive side of the battery and firmly touch the other end to the stud on the starter where the cable from the solenoid is connected.

Try these things and report back the results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Bart. I'll check those things wires again. The wire from the solenoid to the starter is also new but will check the ground from the battery to the motor. All other wires appear to be intact (those wires that I can see that is).

Appreciate your assistance.
Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK. I used a jumper as recommended from the solenoid to the battery and nothing happened. I checked the voltage on the battery and it's around 8V. The battery is only a few years old and the water levels look fine, but, this machine has sat a long time. I picked it up this past April and have had it running in the past but never for an extended period. The previous owner replaced the battery (looks like he purchased it at Walmart which makes me suspicious). Could this simply be an issue of a tired battery? Also, my battery doesn't have a start feature like some have so I question its ability to generate the starting amps necessary to turn the starter over. I haven't ruled out the starter yet but would like to think that the solution is simpler.

Thanks!
 

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tss8690 said:
OK. I used a jumper as recommended from the solenoid to the battery and nothing happened. I checked the voltage on the battery and it's around 8V. The battery is only a few years old and the water levels look fine, but, this machine has sat a long time. I picked it up this past April and have had it running in the past but never for an extended period. The previous owner replaced the battery (looks like he purchased it at Walmart which makes me suspicious). Could this simply be an issue of a tired battery? Also, my battery doesn't have a start feature like some have so I question its ability to generate the starting amps necessary to turn the starter over. I haven't ruled out the starter yet but would like to think that the solution is simpler.

Thanks!
Sounds a lot like the battery to me 8v is very low I have resently had a battery on one of my ride on trains go bad over night and it went down to 9v and it would hardly move
 

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Your battery is gonzo :facepalm: .You should have 12.4 to 12.8 volts if it is not hooked up to anything.I would also question your charger....may also have failed.Get a good Exide or Diehard Gold.If any of your grounds feel weak where the lugs are attached to the wires (frayed or corroded) replace them.I usually use #6 THHN machine tool wire with copper solder-on lugs.Voltage and a good ground connection are the keys. :thumbsup: Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK guys. Just installed a new battery is there's no change. I turn the ignition switch and NOTHING happens :headscratcher: :headscratcher: :headscratcher:

Any thoughts? I want to believe that there's a very easy solution to this but it's escaping me right now.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Bart said:
The first thing I would check is that the ground wire from the battery to the engine is in good condition and is firmly attached. If the connections look corroded then they need to be taken apart and cleaned thoroughly.

If the ground is good then you should be able to turn the engine over by attaching a jumper wire between the small terminal on the solenoid that (should) have a black wire attached to it and the negative side of the battery then turn the key. This jumper will bypass all the safety switches temporarily so make sure the travel lever and PTO levers are in the neutral or off positions. If you have a rear hydraulic PTO make sure it is not engaged.

Tried this. Nothing happened other than the ends of the jumper cable becoming VERY hot!

If the engine does not turn over then you could either have a problem with the switch wiring, bad contacts on the positive cable or a bad starter. If you have some heavy duty jumper cables you can test the starter by connecting the jumper to the positive side of the battery and firmly touch the other end to the stud on the starter where the cable from the solenoid is connected.

Did this. Starter turned over. Don't think it's the starter.

Try these things and report back the results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
446 Electrical/Fuel Problems - HELP!

OK, here's the latest. I jiggled some wires near the ignition switch and now it turns over like a champ. But, wait! Now the carb is not getting any fuel. I recently rebuilt this carb (has the integrated fuel pump) and it looks like there's no fuel making it to the carb. I would think that I should be seeing some fuel after turning it over a few times. I don't want to overdue the starter.

On the positive side, it's getting very close to Beer O'clock around my house! :trink: :trink: :trink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Disregard my last post. I discovered the problem with the fuel. While I'm not usually against admitting my stupid mistakes, let's just say the fuel "problem" was entirely "mechanic (me)" error. Helps if you actually attach the fuel line to the correct port on the carb... :facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm:

Machine runs like a champ (right now). Still a little concerned about the ignition wiring though.

Beer O'clock starts early tonight! :trink: :trink:
 

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Based on what you described I would get in there and check and redo connections as necessary. Also replace wiring as needed. I use high quality marine wiring, connectors and shrink wrap. Better now than having another problem during this winter during a snowstorm. JMHO
:222: :446: Best Regards, Rich
 
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