Starter Solenoid

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  #1  
Old 06-19-03, 05:52 AM
ander440
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Starter Solenoid

I have a 10 year old Snapper riding lawn mower. Model Number 28088TE, with a Tecumseh 8 HP engine. Model Number TVXL 195150241.

According to the mechanics at the lawn mower shop the starter and the battery are in good shape. Turning the ignition switch on sends twelve volts to the positive side of the starter. The bendix momentarily activates, the starter takes a strain on the engine and then disengages. Turning the ignition switch to the start position will repeat the end result three or four times. Then the solenoid just clicks but power is not sent to the starter. If I let the mower sit for 10 minutes or so and then turning the switch to the start position will repeat the process or start the mower.

I have disassembled every connection in the electrical system to clean, sand or wire brush, every connection. I have replaced both the ground and the positive cable. I have also removed and cleaned the bolts mounting the engine to the frame.

At this point I suspect the solenoid is overheating therefore not sending or maintaining power to the starter. If I am correct, believe me that is suspect, how do I check it?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-19-03, 01:46 PM
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Wow!!!!! You already did just about everything. The starter solenoid might be the problem. One way to find out is to take a screwdriver and by-pass the solenoid by touching the two studs coming out of it. If it starts every time, then you found your problem. As for the battery, the only real way to check it is to load test it. To load test it requires a special meter that you hook to the battery and draw out current that would simulate a hard starting situation. After putting the load on the battery, the meter will tell you if the percentage of charge is high enough to consider the battery still good. Just using a multimeter will show you if the battery is low, however it won't show you if the battery is capable of holding a charge or if the battery is putting out enough amperage to start the engine. Charging a battery that is not capable of holding a charge would just allow it to get a surface charge in which it would appear to be fully charged until you try starting the mower with it, then it would be back to being dead.

I hope this helps.
 

Last edited by mower17; 06-20-03 at 12:07 AM.
  #3  
Old 06-19-03, 07:44 PM
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Yep...I think you have pretty well narrowed it down to the solenoid. To be sure, check the power to the solenoid on the small wire near the base of the solenoid. If there is 12 volts going to the solenoid when you turn the key to start, but the solenoid doesn't click, or it clicks but power is not sent to the starter, then the solenoid is bad.

Let us know if you run into trouble!

Sheesh Mower!...you're picking up on this stuff quick, huh?
 
  #4  
Old 06-19-03, 08:07 PM
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Not to get off the subject, but today my teacher asked me if I wanted to go work at a local case and kubota tractor dealer as their engine mechanic. At 17 years old, that's pretty good I figure. Obviously, my teacher is doing something right. I figured I will stay in school a little longer and learn as much as I can before working on a several thousand dollar tractor!!!!
 

Last edited by mower17; 06-20-03 at 12:08 AM.
  #5  
Old 06-20-03, 03:30 AM
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I figured I will stay in school a little longer and learn as much as I can before working on a several thousand dollar tractor!!!!

Surely he idn't mean for you to quit school! Might be a good way of getting hands-on experience. Starting at seventeen, you might have your own business at a very young age. Besides the hands-on experience, you could pick up on how the business side works. Might be worth considering.

I say this because I think I read a post where you expressed interest in doing this for a career. Might as well start off by learning to work on high dollar equipment .
 
  #6  
Old 06-21-03, 01:05 PM
ander440
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Thanks to Cheese and Mower17, I know that the solenoid works properly. However while testing the starter this time I was able to sit behind the mower while someone else turned the key to the start position. I noticed that when the starter attempted to turn the engine over the starter rotated to the right about 4 or 5 degrees on its axis. Placing the starter in a bind.

This was caused by the the last "Mechanic" that worked on it. He used the wrong bolts to fasten the starter to the motor. The threads in the bolt holes are partially stripped. I am afraid there may not be enough material left to put a heli-coil in the three remaining bolt holes. The metal around the fourth hole is gone. Am I stuck with the starter rope or is there an alternative way to repair the bolt holes? The motor runs very well. I hate to give up on it.

Thanks
 
  #7  
Old 06-21-03, 02:29 PM
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I had wondered if maybe the starter was getting in a bind, but you had said someone checked the starter. I would still check the cogs on the starter since it was loose. Not sure I understand what you mean by metal gone from one of the holes. The bracket that holds the starter or in the engine itself? If the starter, maybe you can place a washer on it or fabricate another bracket. Think you can retap the holes and go to next size bolts?

Fella came by one day and thought his mower was stuck. His starter gear had bad cogs on it and the starter gear was hanging on the flywheel and not releasing. The solonoid was just clicking, but the starter could not turn the motor because of the gear being stuck in the flywheel.
 
  #8  
Old 06-21-03, 03:12 PM
ander440
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Thanks Bowman,

The bolt holes in the motor casing that the starter bolts to are partially stripped. The bolts cannot be tightened enough to keep the starter from rotating on its axis when it tries to start the motor. Maybe, just maybe, if these bolts could be tightened enough to keep the starter in place while trying to start the motor every thing else would work properly. The teeth on the bendix appear to be as good as new.

Thanks
 
  #9  
Old 06-21-03, 11:22 PM
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If going back to the dealer and demanding they fix it is out of the question, then you can, as mentioned, drill and tap for the next size larger bolt or try to get a proper length helicoil and install it. If just one hole is really messed up, then you might be able to fill the hole with a compound that will harden. One such compound is red hand. This stuff is like a puddy but when mixed with the hardener, will dry hard as metal. I have heard of cracks in compressor blocks on oilfield platforms being filled with this stuff.
 
  #10  
Old 06-23-03, 12:15 AM
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Good suggestions. I would definitely try to go the helicoil route if at all possible. You actually want an oversized hole for installing helicoils anyway. Just be careful not to drill too far and go through the block.
 
  #11  
Old 06-24-03, 07:17 PM
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Just be careful not to drill too far and go through the block.

Gauge the dpth of the hole with something slim enough to fit in it. Measure and put tape on the drill bit at this measurement and go no further than the tape on the bit.
 
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