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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I changed spark plug one looked bad - Onan B43m 16 hp - plug gag at .025, torqued it to 25 ft lbs and now it doesn't turn over. The lights work, I am getting 11.97 volts to the coil, what gives??
 

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With the ignition in the run position put a screw driver across the two large terminals on the starter solenoid. It's probably gonna spark a little so be prepared for it.

Report back. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Snotrocket
That did the trick, started it up when placed screwdriver to starter, the starter looks new as I think it was replaced at sometime. I just bought this 1985 446, so I am tweeking what needs attention, it has 544 hours on the meter. What causes that to happen?
 

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I bet some or all of the wiring behind the dash is old and brittle and you accidentally moved some of them while working on the engine. Go into the manuals section of the forum and look for the dash wiring diagram for your tractor. Inspect all the wiring and ensure all terminals are secured and tight and there is no broken wires anywhere. Especially on the ignition switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I placed the screwdriver on the two screws of the solenoid. That got it started, I shut it down and tried to resart it, and it turned over with out having to use screwdriver. After I let it set for a while, (5 to 7 minutes) it did not turn over again. I had to use screwdriver after I let it set for a while. All the wires are in good condition, the wires look like they were replaced, no brittle wires behind the dash, near the switch etc etc...
So it cant be the solenoid, correct??
If it is the safety switch, looking at the wiring diagram the safety switch (one under dash) leads to the switch (nuetral start PTO) which then leads to the connector (on solenoid). Which switch should I look at replaceing.
 

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Use the serial number of your tractor to see if we have the correct OP Manual for your tractor. That has a proper wiring diagram that identifies the colours of the wires. If we don't have that manual, then find the Parts Manual. It will have a wiring PICTORIAL that is almost as good.


Here's what you need to understand. The key switch sends 12 volts to the solenoid to get it to close so that the heavy current from the battery will cause the starter to spin. Sometimes, the safety switches interrupt the 12 volts that the key switch is trying to send to the solenoid. You need to buy a simple tester to figure out which switch is not closing. The tester looks like a screwdriver with a sharp end on it. The handle is clear because there is a lamp inside that lights up when 12 volts are present. There is also a wire that exits the top of this tester with an alligator clip on the end. You clamp that end onto a good ground such as the negative post of the battery and then use the end of the tester to look for 12 volts while someone holds the key to the start position.

The wiring diagram will show you the colour of the wires that are in question. You have to use the tester on the ignition switch first. Turn the key several times to the START position to see if 12 volts shows up on the tester every time. Maybe you have a bad ignition switch. If it tests OK, then follow the wire to the whichever safety switch it goes to and keep on testing. Something is intermittently stopping the flow of juice to the solenoid. Only you can perform the tests to figure this out.
 

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The solenoid generally has two wires, yellow and black, that are attached to the small terminals. The yellow one comes from the key switch and sends 12 volts when the key is in the start position while the black is a ground that runs through a series of safety switches. I find the quickest and easiest way to test the solenoid is to place a jumper wire directly between the battery negative post and the solenoid where the black wire is attached then use another jumper from the positive side of the battery to the post with the yellow wire--if the engine turns over then the solenoid is fine. Then do the same test with just the ground jumper and using the key switch and that will tell you if your switch/wire is ok. If all these items test out ok then your problem is in the ground wire on the solenoid and you will need to trace it for continuity through the safety switches--your problem could be damage to the wire or a bad switch or, perhaps, you just don't have the travel control precisely in neutral. By following the black wire you should be able to isolate the problem.
 

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I don't know if my advice and Bart's advice is confusing you. Essentially, both of us are right.

Here's why. I don't know what tractor you have. All you disclosed in this thread is that it is Onan powered but you did indicate that you had a solenoid mounted on the starter motor. Or....at least that was my understanding. My reply was based on the solenoid being on the starter motor. Safety switches interrupt the power going to the solenoid.


Now, if your starter motor does not have a solenoid mounted on it, then Bart's advice is correct. The safety switches are used to between ground and the grounding terminal of the completely separate solenoid. This is why using YOUR tractor's serial number to find the correct Op Manual and Parts Manual is so important. This is not a "one size fits all" situation. Different tractors used different engines and they were wired differently. I see this type of confusion all the time on other forums because the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. People ASS U ME facts not in evidence and then the threads become filled with bad advice that helps no one. This is why this site went to the trouble of creating the Tech Library. When asking questions about your tractor, it is most helpful to include the model and serial number so that everyone knows what you are working on. Do not expect us to keep a log of who owns what. We cannot do that, especially when members own multiple tractors and buy/sell on a frequent basis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yo Hydrive and Bart - Thanks so much for the help, I went out to the garage today and I was going to start going thru your list to check it out. I went out today and I thought.... ah may as well try to start it up again...well it started right up?? What gives I start thinking......so long story short I think that the control lever was not getting back to neutral position. I still feel stupid here because I think that I was not getting the control lever back to neutral position, so if the control lever is not in neutral position the motor will not turn over?? It is a 1985 - 446 SN 14073957. While I got your attentiopn here I tried to mount a J-44 mower deck to this tractor and the lift links seem a little long (measure 8 3/4" long), the deck does not lift up, what is the correct lift links for this? Or can I just install a few bolts above the lift arm so it pulls the deck up??
 

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coalcracker said:
Yo Hydrive and Bart - Thanks so much for the help, I went out to the garage today and I was going to start going thru your list to check it out. I went out today and I thought.... ah may as well try to start it up again...well it started right up?? What gives I start thinking......so long story short I think that the control lever was not getting back to neutral position. I still feel stupid here because I think that I was not getting the control lever back to neutral position, so if the control lever is not in neutral position the motor will not turn over??

Correct, because it needs a ground to complete the circuit. Though we can't fix stupid here, you are not the first to have revealed it--in fact, I believe that is a requirement of membership. :sidelaugh: :sidelaugh:

While I got your attentiopn here I tried to mount a J-44 mower deck to this tractor and the lift links seem a little long (measure 8 3/4" long), the deck does not lift up, what is the correct lift links for this? Or can I just install a few bolts above the lift arm so it pulls the deck up??
Under the best of conditions the lift links really don't provide much lift. A quick and simple fix is to install a couple of short 1/2" bolts in the top of the slot of the lift links. On most of mine I have welded up about 1.5" of the slot to accomplish the same thing.
 

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If the travel lever is not in the neutral position, then the starter will not spin. If the PTO lever is not pulled all the way back, the starter will not spin.


There are two sets of lift links for decks. One set is short because they are for the LO Pro Series. The other set are longer for the Hi Wheel tractors. The deck is supposed to lift high enough off the ground so that the gauge wheels do not spin. The long slots in those link provide the "floating action" for the deck. You lower the deck to the ground and then use the lift lever to put the pin on the bell crank in the middle of the slot. That way, the tractor does not interfere with the movement of the deck as it rises and falls while mowing your grass.

Some owners have added a nut/bolt and washers to the top of the slot to get more deck lift. Give it a try and see if that works for you. If your property is dead flat, then you should be OK with just one bolt on each lift link.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the help guys, I am glad to see my stupidity still meets requirement to membership. As I sat on tractor today I even said to myself "stupid ass, put it in neutral"

As for the lift links I will buy a coulpe of 1/2" bolts / nuts above the slot,my yard is on incline but otherwise not to rough, pretty even grade if you get my drift.
 

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The main issue is when you descend a grade while mowing and then the front wheels reach the flat land at the bottom. That's when the rear wheels are still on the sloped area and the deck has to drop down to stay in contact with the lawn. The long travel in the link is needed right at that point. If the travel is not there, then that area of the lawn will not get cut at the same level as the rest of the grass.
 
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