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Discussion Starter #1
I've been having trouble with the starting system on my 4118 with Onan P218. When I turn the key I get a loud click but only intermittently get it to turn over. When I run a jumper cable straight to the starter it turns every time. Is this likely a solenoid issue? Is the attached solenoid on these starters serviceable? See the pic below to see where I am putting the jumper cable. With the jumper method I notice that the starter always turns, but occasionally doesn't catch the flywheel and just spins super fast. Seems pretty tough on everything....



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Using a voltmeter measure the voltage coming from the wire that activates the solenoid. It cannot be much less than battery voltage.

Or use a jumper wire straight from the battery to the terminal on the solenoid.

Then we can talk further.

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Is this likely a solenoid issue? Is the attached solenoid on these starters serviceable? See the pic below to see where I am putting the jumper cable. With the jumper method I notice that the starter always turns, but occasionally doesn't catch the flywheel and just spins super fast. Seems pretty tough on everything....



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That certainly seems like a bit of a starter issue. Could be several things, but the big thing to remember is, that starter will have to come off to correct the question that I've added the bold italics to. So, that being the case, and since they are a royal pain to get to, I'd be getting a hold of Boomer,, for a rebuild kit. For the cost, once the starter is removed, it's relatively cheap to do.
I'm assuming you've used the jumper cable right to the positive side of the starter solenoid, with a good source for 12 volts? In essence, by doing that, you've already eliminated most of the potential problems,, excluding the starter gear not engaging the flywheel, which, in my way of thinking,, points to a starter problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Using a voltmeter measure the voltage coming from the wire that activates the solenoid. It cannot be much less than battery voltage.

Or use a jumper wire straight from the battery to the terminal on the solenoid.

Then we can talk further.

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Thanks for your reply. When I test the small blue wire going into the solenoid and turn the key I get 12.9 volts.

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Thanks for your reply. When I test the small blue wire going into the solenoid and turn the key I get 12.9 volts.

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That is very good. And possible it is very bad. You are getting all you need to power the solenoid, but it is not working. That says what it is.

Boomer the Onan guy says he doesn't replace the solenoids, but that might be because of a huge barely used inventory of starters he has.

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Man I fought that on a 3016 a few weeks back. It would click, and click, and sometimes not. If everything worked right and it slammed in just right it really turned the starter over well. By the way John Deere had a lot of issues with this series of Onans in their 316,318, and 420 Tractors. They even have a "Starter Improvement Kit" to help that situation.

Their Kit basically takes juice from the Positive wire and thru a rectifier, it also is grounded well on tractor somewhere back to that rectifier. Then the Blue wire that excites the solenoid is attached to that boosted rectifier, and a wire then leads out of the rectifier to the solenoid with the boosted juice. The issues is that after the key switch sends the juice thru all of the (corroded -probably) safety switches there is a real voltage drop, so it doesn't want to start.

Note: if the voltage is high enough and that solenoid slams well enough, the magnetism on that end of the solenoid pulls the other end toward where the wires go in. That movement then pulls a lever back toward the wires and if it is a strong enough pull it engages with the starter. I had one checked a starter/generator rebuilder, and he tested it several different ways and said "that is a real good starter" On the tractor it wasn't working, so pulled it back out and was working well. Switched solenoids between starters and it worked. The original solenoid would not move that lever far enough to engage. 3 bolts to change solenoid.

Deere also has had issues of the same kind on their Kawasaki Engines, and the new series Briggs engines. Their everyday price is right at $40.

Bill Moyer
 

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Discussion Starter #7
When I jump from the positive input on the solenoid to the small spade connector on the solenoid from the switch it turns over like a champ every time. I guess the issue is more likely the amount of voltage coming in on that small lead from the switch. I should start hunting down where I’m losing juice. My seat switch is gone so shouldn’t be the issue. I guess I can try bypassing neutral safety temporarily to eliminate that. Otherwise I guess it could be the key switch or the wiring. I think the PTO switch just acts in series with the seat switch, right? Thanks for your help so far guys. I know that this is a common battle. I had a similar issue on a Wheelhorse. In that case it was a slightly worn wire near the gear shift that got corroded. It’s amazing how the symptoms initially come out looking like a cooked starter or solenoid and distract from the actual issue.


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Seabee/ Bill,

Do you have a link for what you described? I am a little confused, to my understanding a rectifier changes AC to DC volts. Unless you meant relay. Summit and others offer a wiring harness with relay to boost head light output. The relay is activated by the original wiring which is disconnected from the head lights, the relay powers the new wiring to the lights directly from the battery. This bypasses the original long wire runs and switches that cause voltage and current drops, just like he is doing with the jumper cable. :mechanic:Other examples can be found under the hood of your car where relays are used to supply power to heavy loads like electric fans, Ac clutches, ect...

Gordy
 

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The spinning without engaging is because when jumping to that large terminal, only the starter motor is powered. Since the solenoid is what engages the gear there will be no engagement in that test. Normal.

The click click is almost always due to low current available to pull the solenoid in. Your voltage test may have been done with the wire disconnected from the solenoid thus no load was on that circuit when tested.

My guess would be ignition switch first followed by the safety switches.

The JD kit mentioned is simply a relay, not a rectifier. The relay is provided battery power and a wire leads from another terminal to the solenoids spade lug. The starting lead from the ignition switch triggers the relay. which provides a shorter path with less resistance.

This relay is commonly available at auto parts stores as a lighting relay. Often used to install aftermarket lights. Just add wire and connectors. For less that 15 bucks you have the equivalent of the JD kit.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
In the end it was the key switch. I chased it through the PTO and neutral switch by jumping them and ended at a rusted battery terminal on the starter switch. Guys, thanks for talking me down from the idea of pulling the engine and extracting the starter. The testing under load idea above makes sense to me now that I have been fooled by ‘good voltage’ without load.


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"Relay" is the correct term instead of "Rectifier" that I used. If I can find the manual that John Deere puts out it becomes easy to do your own from the auto parts store.

Bill
 

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Bill,

I do want to Thank You for bringing up the JD fix :goodpost: :thumbup: A buddy has a older JD 445 that we have swapped starters on and been through the wiring harness :deadhorse: Been :headscratcher: as it is still 50/50 weather it will crank or click:wtf: and the starters bench tested fine :sad: Now I know what to do :mechanic:I have a couple parts vehicles behind the barn so parts cost will be $0 he's gotta like that :grin:

Thanks Again,
Gordy
 

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Somebody PLEASE correct me if I am wrong, but the way I see it he drew that wrong. He has 12 positive going to both sides of the exciter/ electromagnet in the relay, and the switching side of the relay connected to the ground and the solenoid that needs + power. The ground and the 12+ need to be switched around in the drawing.

Gordy
 

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Looking at mine which was wired by a dealer for the PO is wired completely different.

I have a red wire along with the battery cable from the positive side of the solenoid powering the relay always on.

The dark blue wire that would normally switch on the solenoid to kick in the bendix has been spliced and is now brown and attached on the right of the red (hot) wire on the relay.

Next to the brown wire on the relay is a yellow wire which replaces the dark blue wire to activate the bendix, the yellow wire is directly across from the red hot wire and plugs on the solenoid.

The ground wire in on the left of the hot wire and connects to the negative post on the battery.
As seen in the picture, it's a clean reversible installation.

The red (hot) wire is always on and could be attached to the positive side of the battery.
I kinda like they didn't cut wires in the dash!

Sorry I couldn't get a clearer picture tried several times.

IMG_1395.jpg

Thanks

Jim
 

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Jim,

Like this? This is how I'd do it :think: Visual is easier for me, but I think we are on the same page:wink: The drawing may be a little rough, OLD dog trying to learn new tricks :lol: 2nd time with the paint program :wave:

Gordy

starter solenoid.jpg
 

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Gordy

Been looking I'm 99% sure these would work, there 5 wire and meet all the requirements.
https://www.amazon.com/Pack-EPAuto-...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=372STMJJDM7M7NEA4EPJ

As seen in the wiring diagram #86 would be the old solenoid wire/ switch and #87 would go to the solenoid, 87a would not be used.
So other than the switch you would have power and ground.
As you can see it's a 5 pack with pigtails @ a great price.

Yes the pos. + neg. provide the current for the coil and once the switch is engaged the power is transfered through the new 14 gauge solenoid wire to the tab on solenoid.
BTW you drawing isn't half bad!

Mine works great, have one I'll need to do one on a 4116 once the dust settles.

Thanks

Jim
 

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Jim,

Those will definitely work. The only thing you left out on how to hook it up, is the new hot wire from battery positive connecting to #30 spade. :wink:

About the drawing, Thanks :smile: Looking at it, next time I'll draw it bigger to fill the page.

Gordy
 

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Gordy

Yes mine runs from the pos. post on starter solenoid along with the old solenoid switch wire and new wire solenoid wire in a harness in a split plastic harness cover.
Mounted behind and above the hydraulic tank and grounded at the neg. post. Nice and clean this was my first 4000 tractor and it had a safety switch problem.

I thought the relay was OEM and finely figured out why my harness didn't match the schematic, then found the receipt tuck in the manual that came with the gt.

Yep quite the Edison moment!

Thanks
Jim
 

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Somebody PLEASE correct me if I am wrong, but the way I see it he drew that wrong. He has 12 positive going to both sides of the exciter/ electromagnet in the relay, and the switching side of the relay connected to the ground and the solenoid that needs + power. The ground and the 12+ need to be switched around in the drawing. Gordy
Good catch! You're right, the +12V and ground connections to the relay are flipped around on that drawing.

A previous owner added a starter relay to my 4020PS. He mounted it on the side of the engine tin down near the starter so the existing blue wire (that used to go to the stater solenoid) is long enough to simply plug into the 86 terminal on the relay. The 85 terminal is grounded with a short jumper wire to the relay mounting screw. He then ran a short wire from the relay's 87 terminal to the starter solenoid. And finally a wire with an inline fuse from the BAT stud on the starter to feed power to the relay's 30 terminal.

It's a good location for keeping the added wire length to a minimum, but isn't really the neatest looking hanging off the side of the engine like that. I'm planning on re-locating it up under the hood similar to Jim's. And I'll also be adding a relay for the charging system to take the load off the ignition switch.
 
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