John Deere LT-155 won't start


Old 08-17-04, 12:54 PM
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Question John Deere LT-155 won't start

I have a John Deere lawn tractor, model LT-155 that won't start. The solenoid clicks when the key is turned, and will barely turn the motor (sometimes). I jumped the battery directly to the starter and it started and ran fine. I bought a new solenoid and installed it, but it still wouldn't start. In fact, it is totally dead with the new one - no lights, etc. I returned it and got a second one, but it is the same. If I put the original one back in, the lights will come on with the key and I can hear the seat switch engage. The replacement one shows no signs of life.
The replacement is a bit different from the original, but it was purchased at a JD dealer.
Any thoughts?
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Old 08-17-04, 03:27 PM
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Simply, your battery is insufficient and/or battery cable are corroded. You will have a total of six cable ends to be concerned with for corrosion. First, have the battery load tested for sufficient amperage. If good, clean all cable ends.
Old 08-18-04, 06:46 AM
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Thanks for the reply. I will check (recheck) all connections, but I'm not confident that is the problem. The battery is new and starts the motor just fine when I jump it past the solenoid. Battery-to-solenoid and solenoid-to-starter connections have been checked and are good. The two terminal connections at the solenoid look fine; I'll have to further check the inside of the spade plugs.
If there is a corrosion problem, why can I get power to lights and switches with the old solenoid and not with the new one - either of the new ones? Is there a way to test the leads at the solenoid? It would seem the problem is at the solenoid since the motor starts and runs fine when I bypass it. What do you think?
Old 08-18-04, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mts
If I put the original one back in, the lights will come on with the key and I can hear the seat switch engage.
I dont recall of all the riders I have sat on ever hearing the seat switch engage or disengage...? What sound are you hearing? (PTO engaged maybe?)
When trying the new solenoids, did you mount them to the frame before trying? You may also have a key switch going. Try jumping 12 volts to the Positive terminal,(One of 2 small wires not the big ones) on your solenoid, or check for 12volts at the wire when the key is turned to the start position. Also you can jump the 2 main lugs on the solenoid itself to see if the starter engages.
When you returned the solenoid, did they test it to confirm it being bad? There is also a relay involved in your circuit. Maybe I can get time later to look thru my manuals and see what checks they suggest.
Old 08-18-04, 02:06 PM
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Thanks for the info. I'll try those checks.
The noise I hear from the seat switch is a clicking sound when pressure is applied to the seat. It's not very loud, but it can definitely be heard. It's been like this since the mower was new.
And jumping the lugs on the solenoid does start the motor. I was going straight from the battery to the starter since there was better clearance for the clamp of the jumper cable that way.
I'll check the other terminals. And make sure the new solenoid is mounted securely before I try it. The first solenoid was not checked - just swapped for another one.
Thanks again.
Old 08-18-04, 02:30 PM
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Good, jumping the solenoid should verify that your cables and connections are good, so now its down to the solenoid or the key and perhaps the relay, just occured to me that maybe the seat switch is tied into the starter relay and the relay is actually what you may be hearing, if so good and great observation btw
Let us know on the other checks
Old 08-19-04, 06:35 AM
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Fire it up, baby. It works!
After bolting the 2nd replacement solenoid to the frame, everything checked out and works fine.
To recap: My initial assumption that the solenoid was bad was correct. I first jumped the battery past it to verify this. The first replacement solenoid was bolted to the frame and had all wires secured (no corrosion was visable). No power came on at lights, no click from the seat switch (which does come from the solenoid, btw). So I returned it and got another one. I hooked that one up before mounting it to the frame - just wanted to make sure it worked before I secured everything in place. Well, it didn't work.
Then I got smart and contacted "The Forum". The solenoid apparently is grounded to the frame. One it was secured in place, everything worked. I did have 12V at the starter terminal (top small lug) and at the battery terminal. Then I tried to start the motor and it worked. It was too late to pull it off and check for voltage to verify this. The first solenoid apparently was bad.
But I thank you all very much. I used The Forum several months ago to fix a water dispenser in my refrigerator and, as in this case, the advice was right on the mark.
Thanks again.
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