Scag SSZ CV22 Dies Randomly

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  #1  
Old 05-11-19, 02:25 PM
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Scag SSZ CV22 Dies Randomly

Hello. My old (1996 vintage) Scag SSZ CV22 (22 HP Kohler twin) with a 61" deck quits and sometimes won't restart randomly. Earlier, I had a problem with engaging the mower deck which I solved with help from this forum (Thanks!). I solved that with a new coil. However, I've got a new issue where it just quits randomly. When it does so, it won't restart. Wiggling the wiring will eventually get it to start.

As part of the deck issue I cleaned both battery terminals and the positive connection at the starter. I couldn't easily get to the negative cable ground on the engine to clean it, however.

With the key on I can hear the PTO engage when I throw the mower switch, so that's getting power. I obviously have an open wire somewhere, but I'm not sure where to start looking. The manual for my mower is here, wiring diagram on page 32. Whatever is open cuts both the engine and the starter, but not the PTO.

Any ideas where I should start?
 
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Old 05-11-19, 02:48 PM
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Are you wanting to keep it original or just make it work?
 
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Old 05-11-19, 03:08 PM
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If you can get to all the harness connectors/interlocks/etc. considering your problem and the age of the machine-it would help a lot to take the time to disconnect, clean and reconnect all the wire junctures.

Unless your mouse got into more wiring, the problem you have is likely at dirty connections. You may get it going this time by wiggling wires, but it will keep coming back on you.
 
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Old 05-11-19, 03:31 PM
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The jiggling isn't working anymore. I can get a few clicks out of the starter, but that's it. And I can't get it to happen consistently so I can't ID the bad wire.

I checked continuity on these and they are all OK:
  • Negative battery terminal to the ground bolt on the engine
  • Negative battery terminal to a few chassis bolt
  • Negative battery terminal to the connector where the second wire from the battery goes.
  • Positive battery terminal to the starter
  • Key switch to the spade terminal on the starter (I don't see this one in the diagram. An old hack to fix or bypass some other problem perhaps?)
  • All connections between the two connectors along side the engine

The harness is full of splices, I've replaced a couple thinking that might be a source of trouble with no luck.

I've disconnected & reconnected the two connectors near the engine more than once. I did find a loose pin in one and re-seated it in the housing but that did not help. I did not clean any of the pins / terminals, however.

I don't care about originality, I just need it to run. I'm tempted to rewire the whole machine, but I'm not confident in my ability to get that right.
 
  #5  
Old 05-11-19, 04:27 PM
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I follow where you're at. You have neutral interlocks both left and right. Could be there. Usually a click on the starter solenoid and the starter not responding is low voltage either from bad battery or dirty cable connections. Continuity on a load cable won't tell you if it will work to handle a lot of amps to say, spin the starter. You about have to get things cleaned up.

On the starter you would have a solenoid of some type (relay) to handle the heavy current. A small wire from the ignition switch would control it and a battery cable would feed through it to the starter on the other side. That setup is pretty common.

Continuity through the switch is usually good enough.

Rewiring, with all the safety devices in place and the Smart Spark working is a little complicated. It would come down to replacing each wire in the diagram you mentioned.
 
  #6  
Old 05-11-19, 04:45 PM
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Although I haven't checked it, I don't think low voltage is the issue. The battery was new last year and it cranked well and started fine, I got on it, turned it around in my shed and then it quit and would not crank. I will check it when I go back to it tomorrow.

New Scag harnesses are about $230 plus shipping, $250 with the battery terminals. Frankly, that's tempting, given the conditions of this harness.

I already cleaned the battery connections and the negative terminal on the starter. I need to clean the ground on the engine, but it's a pain to get to.

I should clean the connector terminals too and re-check the wiring under the engine shroud where the mice were.
 
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Old 05-11-19, 05:12 PM
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I would be inclined to do the $230 and hold off on the battery cables. Just get the ground for the battery to the frame cleaned up.

To get rid of all the patch work would make tnat thing run a lot better with less headaches. The $230 may seem like a bargain.
 
  #8  
Old 05-11-19, 09:25 PM
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Try taking a jumper cable for a car and use one of its two leads to jumper between the negative terminal of the battery and the engine block or starter housing. Then if this helps it to start you'll know you need to fix the connections in that area.
 
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  #9  
Old 05-12-19, 04:36 AM
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As attractive as the nuclear option of replacing the harnesses is, I'm not 100% convinced that the problem is in the wiring. Could it be the key switch or a relay? I do hear the hour meter ticking when the key is on and I do hear the PTO engage when I throw the mower deck switch with the key on. That seems to mean the switch is OK, right?

The fault is such that it both kills the engine and prevents it from restarting. In addition to cleaning the ground at the block and trying to use jumper cables to bypass / supplement the negative the negative battery cable, I'd like to try to bypass the key switch.

This is the wiring diagram. I'm not very good at reading wiring diagrams, can anyone tell me which two wires at the switch should engage the starter if connected? There seems to be a single relay, could a failed relay cause this?
 
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Old 05-12-19, 06:21 AM
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Green to red (which is the hot feed). But that only checks the switch itself. There's a lot of hardware before anything happens at the starter.
 
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Old 05-12-19, 10:10 AM
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I do hear the hour meter ticking when the key is on and I do hear the PTO engage when I throw the mower deck switch with the key on. That seems to mean the switch is OK, right?
The switch controls the hot wire red and passes that current on to the red wire on the other side to power the "on" system. Anything not safety sensitive or devices that have met "position" requirements would come on.

Say you're sitting in the seat you could engage the PTO. Get out of the seat it would likely turn off.

In short the key switch is good for powering the "on" system as described. Those contacts are good. The others would have to be tested.
 
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Old 05-12-19, 10:52 AM
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My seat interlock switch housing is broken and fell out of its mount. It has a zip tie holding the contact down. The neutral switches have been functional in the past. When the seat switch zip tie failed the mower would start but would die if either lever was moved out of neutral. I really ought to replace the switch.

If I understand you correctly, however, since I hear the pto engage with the key switch on, that verifies that the run part of the switch is working. It's possible that the starter part is bad but unlikely since whatever is the problem kills the engine.

It's not likely a bad neutral safety switch as they only will kill the engine if the seat switch is open, right?
 
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Old 05-12-19, 11:32 AM
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Wiring diagram shows ignition switch having 2 terminals indicating battery minus and 4 terminals indicating battery plus. Deciphering which are sources and which are destinations will take some time as the interlock switches and relays terminals are not identified by function. I can't open your other reference to the manual as it opens in java script which I need to keep off to use this forum. Does the manual offer any other info for the interlock, ignition and relay terminals?
 
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Old 05-12-19, 01:33 PM
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When the engine dies, check to see if the anti-backfire solenoid on the carb has power. It may not be "killing" the engine through the safety interlock system, it may be losing power to that solenoid and letting it shut down that way. If so, that enforces a single point of failure where it is losing power to part of the harness. A common spot for that is the multi-connector at the engine.
 
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Old 05-14-19, 04:08 AM
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In researching Scag interlocks came across this website that may be helpful.[ https://www.lawnmowerforum.com/showt...ith-Tiger-Cub] In reading the contents of the website, it appears the wiring diagram you provided from the manual possibly doesn't show a diode built into the relay. Do the conditions you experience when trying to start the machine agree with anything in the manual? I also noticed the wiring diagram shows a wire from the hour meter that dead ends on the chassis connector so either the wiring diagram is not complete and it contains partial wiring for options you don't have. The wiring diagram also doesn't show the components for charging and ignition. It would be most helpful if you had a schematic in addition to the wiring diagram. Does anyone out there have one they can attach in a post?
 
  #16  
Old 05-19-19, 02:53 PM
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I haven't updated this thread in a bit. I punted and ordered the harnesses. It wasn't cheap, but should eliminate a lot of possible trouble spots.

I scanned through that thread and the parts list for my mower and I don't see anything in the electrical section called an Interlock Module. My problem isn't just a starting or cranking problem, if I get it started it may simply die randomly. My Super Z dates to 1996, perhaps it predates that Tiger Cub and doesn't use that module.

The harnesses come in tomorrow, we'll know then if that solves my problem.

I do have the service manual for my Kohler engine. I've attached it here. My engine is a 22HP with Smart Spark, diagrams on page 37 & 38.
 
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  #17  
Old 05-19-19, 02:56 PM
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Also, I wasn't sure what you meant by this:

Do the conditions you experience when trying to start the machine agree with anything in the manual?
The conditions I experience when I turn the key is nothing. No click, no crank, nothing. I'm not sure how that matches the manual.
 
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Old 05-19-19, 03:38 PM
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Hopefully that will get you going. Sometimes an expense rooted in a condition that's been building for a long time seems like a lot, but spread over the years it's not so bad. You're going over 20 years and it keeps ticking.
 
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Old 05-20-19, 06:53 PM
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I received and installed the new harnesses tonight and nothing has changed. The new harness included two new fuses and a new relay, so I've verified they are not the problem either.

However, I learned something odd along the way. My old harness had no yellow wire going to the bottom key switch terminal in the diagram above.. There is a 5 pin connector covering the rest of the switch, but nothing connected where the yellow wire is shown. It looks like the yellow wire was joined with one of the two red wires connected to the top left key switch terminal in the diagram above. I've attached a picture.

Also, there was a wire added to my old harness. It goes from the wire in the key switch shown as green in the diagram above to a spade terminal on the starter. In my old harness, however, the wire in the connector is black and there's a spare green wire coming out of the harness with a wire nut on it.

The new harness has nothing to connect to that spade terminal on the starter. I replaced the starter last year and the old starter had this spade terminal too. There's nothing in the new harness to connect to that terminal on the starter.

But, in the engine manual linked above, the wiring diagram there shows that the starter terminal should be connected to the engine wiring. There should be a blue wire from the engine side connector to that spade terminal. There is a blue wire that was cut and connected to a jumper into the short Scag engine harness. It was connected to the terminal shown as open in the diagram above.

I connected that blue wire in the engine side connector to the starter spade terminal and it made no difference. Still nothing. However, in the Kohler manual, that blue wire and a red one should be in the top center position (AM in the diagram), it's not, it's in the top left (W). I've attached an image of the Kohler diagram as well.

I should add, that with the key in the run position I also tried shorting across the two starter screw terminals with no luck either. That was before I had connected the spade terminal, however.

I'm stumped and frustrated. All new wiring and still no crank. Thoughts? Bad ignition switch? Interlock? Seat switch? Not much else it could be.
 
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Old 05-21-19, 04:34 AM
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Kohler, the manufacturer of the engine (including the starter and start solenoid), doesn't care about the color of the wire Scag, the manuafacturer of the mower, uses for connection to the engine as long as the wire is functional. Therefore accept any differences between Kohler and Scag literature regards wire color until you can prove otherwise. I have checked the Scag website and they list 6 or 7 different manuals based on the serial number of a SSZ-CV22 because Scag (and maybe Kohler) made revisions including electrical. What is your serial number? I have been studying the wiring diagram for OFF, RUN and START conditions. Problem is the wiring diagram doesn't show which terminals are associated with each switch pole (neutral interlock switch, clutch switch, key switch) or if the contacts are normally open or closed. A schematic for you serial number is essential, especially after you found the harness modified. I have been unsuccessful in finding one. The Scag schematics I have found, newer models, indicate the neutral interlock switches are only a single pole, 2 terminal device. I am assuming the neutral interlock switches in the wiring diagram you posted are 2 pole, 3 terminal devices. This can result in many combinations that need to be analyzed. Much easier with a schematic. Can anyone out there help? Do you know the history of your machine? Could any of the electrical components have been replaced by a different type and the harness modified to accommodate?.
 
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Old 05-21-19, 05:54 AM
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Does the free spade connector at the starter get hot when you turn the key to "start" with your switch wires hooked up?
 
  #22  
Old 05-21-19, 09:35 AM
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Model SSZ 22CV, serial number is 14550676. I believe that the diagram I posted above is specific to my mower, but I may be wrong.

I know by the S/N that it was build in 1996, the engine is of a similar vintage (model CV22S, spec number 67509) and so likely the original. I bought the mower in 2016 when I bought this house. Previous owner was moving from this 1.5 acre lot to a small neighborhood lot and no longer needed this mower. I paid $500 for it. I've replaced the battery and starter to date. This year I replaced the rear tires, blades and now the harnesses. I think I do have a folder of receipts at home from the prior owner, but I don't recall anything major in them. I'll look again when I get home.

The wire colors I was referring to are on the Kohler harness and the Kohler manual, not on the Scag side of things. In other words, my Kohler harness doesn't match what the Kohler manual says it should be. The manual could be wrong, or maybe I have the wrong manual for my specific engine.

marbobj - When you say "gets hot", I assume you mean +12v not physically hot, correct? I can check when I get home tonight.
 
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Old 05-21-19, 10:12 AM
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Yep. That's correct. I' m wondering if that isn't a solenoid wire for another application. I take it you have a wire in the harness for the starter solenoid (relay). That being the case we need to get it carrying 12V from a circuit coming from the switch, when in "start"

Go back to the switch. You'll have a hot feed wire with continuity to the start wire only with the key in start position. You can find that with an ohm meter or test light.

Those two points working should get the starter spinning.
 
  #24  
Old 05-21-19, 10:38 AM
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The diagram shows a "piggy back"starter solenoid. Is that what you have or is it mounted off the starter?
 

Last edited by marbobj; 05-21-19 at 11:22 AM.
  #25  
Old 05-21-19, 12:31 PM
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I typed up a whole response and evidently didn't hit submit.

Anyway, I've attached a picture of the old starter. I think it's a piggyback. You can see the spade terminal too.

I've also posted a picture of the engine end of the harness. The Kohler harness is in the foreground, the short Scag harness behind it. You can see the blue wire from the Kohler harness with the butt splice connected to a black wire. That goes to the spade terminal on the starter. The only wire that goes from the Scag harness to the starter is the small red wire in the background from the far end of the Scag harness that connects to the same screw terminal as the positive battery terminal.

This all seems to match both the Scag and Kohler diagrams. I'm beginning to suspect the key switch.

Lastly, can you more explicitly describe how to check the start wire? I know enough about using a meter to be dangerous (and to get bad readings). Mechanical things come naturally to me, but electrical I have to work to understand. What do I set my meter on, where do I probe, what key position, should I disconnect anything and what reading should I get?
 
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Old 05-21-19, 01:54 PM
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Yes that's a "piggy back" solenoid.

The spade terminal on the starter solenoid is where the wiring harness wire goes. It actuates the solenoid. A hot battery cable goes on the top one.

The wire carries 12 volts from the switch. And that circuit has some hardware in it to let the 12 volts get to the starter. If you have 12 volts in that wire at the starter and the cable is carrying sufficient voltage from the battery the starter will kick over the engine.

If you have the voltage and the engine doesn't turn over, the problem is from the starter towards the engine.

If you have a test light that will work for now.
 
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Old 05-21-19, 02:09 PM
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Rereading your post. Is there not a harness wire at or around the starter to hook to that solenoid male spade you have in the picture? You need one. You may have to jump to the starter.

You can check the starter easily if you have current at the solenoid battery cable - just put a spade connector on a short wire and jump from the spade to the battery cable. The starter should spin over.

You said this is the old starter. Is that what the current starter looks like with the solenoid mounted on the starter?
 

Last edited by marbobj; 05-21-19 at 02:42 PM.
  #28  
Old 05-21-19, 05:32 PM
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Once you get the starter motor going, you could also try disabling the kill wire that turns off the engine (just for testing purposes). You should be able to remove the pin from the "engine harness connector" that is attached to the white wire (shown in the upper right corner of the first wiring diagram you posted). Then put just a little tape on the pin to keep it from shorting on something. Then if you can start the engine with the key you'll know that there's a problem in the interlock system. If the engine does start then you'd have to ground the white wire to stop the engine. Avoid contact with the end of the white wire with engine running because a shock is possible, although less likely with more modern electronic controls.
 
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Old 05-21-19, 06:26 PM
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Is there not a harness wire at or around the starter to hook to that solenoid male spade you have in the picture? You need one. You may have to jump to the starter.
Nothing in the new Scag harness. As I mentioned (post #19), the old harness had been modified with a wire from the key switch to the spade terminal. The Kohler engine harness had also been modified and the blue wire (bottom picture in post #25) that I believe was supposed to go to the starter spade terminal fed back into the Scag harness. It fed back into what was supposed to be an empty pin in the Scag harness. (green in the attachment here)

Looking at the Scag diagram above, the added wire in my old harness followed the red path in the attachment here. If I'm reading the diagram right, the proper path is the one in yellow. So, the add on wire essentially bypassed the neutral interlock switches, the relay and all the harness connectors. The only thing in that path not new is the neutral interlock switches and the key switch.

Again, if I'm reading this right, I should have 12v between ground and the yellow wire between the ammeter and the key switch at all times. With the key on, i should have 12v between ground and the other yellow wire at the key switch. With the switch in start I should have 12v between ground and the green wire at the key switch. Correct?

You said this is the old starter. Is that what the current starter looks like with the solenoid mounted on the starter?
Yes, they look the same.
 
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Old 05-21-19, 07:35 PM
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It sounds like there was a problem with the starting circuit before and it was hot wired to bypass the safety devices or a fault in the wiring itself. Could have been either or both. The green wire being capped off is suspect.

The new Scag wiring harness should have a wiring connector somewhere for the spade terminal. I can't say why it isn't there. With a wire in the harness you'd have a start point at the switch to start the power towards the starter and the end point to work backwards if it didn't show up there. It would be easier to check interlocks and safety devices along the way.

To make it work, you can do what was done before, run a hot wire (the red one you drew in) and the starter should work if have the voltage crossing the switch. The engine would spin over with the steering levers out of neutral, though, so it's a safety compromise. It shouldn't start, though, as long as the kill circuit was routed through the neutral safeties.

Since you're dealing with the issues of starting and dying, though, you may have fixed one and still have the other. If the jury rigging on the start wire worked, it's pretty direct engineering, so why would it stop, unless the switch is at fault.

To check for the power switching from hot feed to the "start" terminal, just use a test light and check for the one terminal that gets the voltage when the key is in the start position.
 
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Old 05-21-19, 07:59 PM
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The new Scag wiring harness should have a wiring connector somewhere for the spade terminal. I can't say why it isn't there.
I may be causing confusion based on how I'm referring to the harnesses. I bought two Scag harnesses, circled in red & green in the attachment below. The starter spade connection, in yellow, isn't in either of them. It's in the pigtail that comes out of the engine, what I've been calling the Kohler harness. The Scag shows only a small portion of the Kohler harness, the Kohler diagram I posted farther up is more complete.

It does seem that they were trying to bypass something, but I'm not certain what. I don't understand the purpose of the other added wire, green in my earlier sketch, do you? May have to do with the other wire connected to that pin (see the Kohler diagram)

I don't own a test light (probably should, but don't), would the voltage tests I mentioned above work?
 
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Old 05-22-19, 04:20 AM
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I see. Yup there's a lot of stuff here, but we'll get it sorted out. You have the two Scag harnesses assembled and in place and have no spade connector.

The Kohler harness has an interface connector and the spade wire is a single wire that runs into the Scag harness? Then we need to find out where it goes. Probably into a Scag interface on the engine side that matches with the green wire coming back from the switch.

The testlight is a little easier to "chase currents" with, but you can certainly do it with a voltmeter. The latter lets you sort out problems caused by voltage level issues.

First I would get the engine turning over. Hook a spade connector to the starter solenoid with a wire long enough to reach the battery. This gets you out of the way. It's safer to come off the battery post with a jumper cable to avoid a spark that would set off gases from the battery. Then turn the key to the run position and jump the solenoid wire to the positive battery post.

That should spin the engine over. If it starts and runs, we just have to fix the routing of the green to starter wire, which isn't too hard. Also we have to check out the switch to make sure we're supplying the current to the green wire.
 

Last edited by marbobj; 05-22-19 at 04:40 AM.
  #33  
Old 05-22-19, 06:13 AM
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The following is my interpretation of the electrical operation(based on the wiring diagram) during the start function. Knowing how the circuit should operate may make it easier to understand the modifications you are encountering.The green wire in the Scag harness (circled in red) is the source of battery plus from the circuit below (circled in green) in the wiring diagram.It goes thru a chassis connector and exits as a green wire to a terminal on the LH Neutral Interlock Switch. This terminal should be at 12 vdc when the key switch is in the start position and the LH Neutral Interlock Switch is in the locked position (I am assuming this is a output terminal on one of the 2 form C switches making up the LH Neutral Interlock Switch). The 12 vdc at the key switch in the start position is input on the yellow wire (connected to ammeter) and output on the black wire (connected to LH Neutral Interlock Switch (same form C switch noted above common terminal) . This black wire is also connected to the chassis connector to provide battery plus to the magneto for ignition during starting.
 
  #34  
Old 05-26-19, 02:08 PM
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OK, got a test light and it's showing:
  • power at the switch terminal from the ammeter (yellow wire) all the time
  • power at the other yellow wire when the key is ON
  • power at the green when the key is in the start position

I'm also getting power at the spade terminal that's connected to the starter when the key is in the start position. Which should mean that the starter should work, but it doesn't

So, I made a jumper with a female spade at one end and an open wire at the other. I connected it to the spade terminal on the starter, turned the key to start and then touched the wire to the positive battery terminal.

Nothing.

So, it seems that what I have is a bad starter, right? Or maybe just a bad solenoid. That doesn't explain why it quit running, however, only why it won't start now. So it seems that I had two problems.

That starter was new last year, I believe. I need to go back and check and see if it's under warranty. I might put the old starter back on and see what happens.
 
  #35  
Old 05-26-19, 02:45 PM
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Actually, starter was new in July of 2017 and I bought an eBay aftermarket starter for about $45 when the new OEM Kohler starters are at least $100, typically $125 or more. Warranty was 1 year, so I'm long past that. It seems like a case of getting what I paid for. I'm thinking that a new OEM starter may be in order.
 
  #36  
Old 05-26-19, 04:06 PM
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I see the key switch as having three positions, OFF/RUN/START. Which of these is your ON? Also, there are multiple green wires shown on the wiring diagram. You need to include the termination point of the wire (location of voltmeter probe reading or test for ground or 12 vdc) of the green wire you are referencing. One green wire goes between the engine harness connector and chassis connector. Another green wire goes between the chassis connector and LH Neutral Interlock Switch.
 
  #37  
Old 05-26-19, 05:14 PM
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I tested at the switch and at the starter only.

On means run, start means start.

I used this video to test the old starter that I had removed in 2017 and it passed all the tests except the voltage test which I did not do.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=n-RzcsdFoRQ

Based on that, I swapped the starters. It still will not crank or start. After that, I tested the replacement starter I had removed and it passed as well.

I'm very confused.
 
  #38  
Old 05-26-19, 05:50 PM
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As far as your starter, if the battery is charged and your ground is good either your starter or the solenoid is bad. Double up on your engine ground with the jumper cables as posted earlier.

When you say the green wire is hot in the start position are you saying the terminal on the switch for the green wire is hot with the key in the start position?

Also the spade terminal you have voltage now in the key start position- did you wire a spade terminal into the new Scag harness or are you using something out of the old harness?
 
  #39  
Old 05-26-19, 10:40 PM
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Take jumper cables and re-test the starter independent of the mower's electrical system. From what I can gather following this, it sounds like you likely have ground issues.
 
  #40  
Old 05-27-19, 05:09 AM
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This driving me crazy so first thing I did this morning (before breakfast or coffee!) was go straight to the garage and put a jumper cable from the battery negative to the block. No change. I tried multiple places on the block including both starter bolts and still no change.

I'll do more testing after I've had my coffee. I want to go through the harness again for anything I missed, check my grounds again, etc.

Oh, to answer the starter spade terminal question. I wired it as the scag diagram shows. It's connected to the pigtail coming from the Kohler harness, so I guess in the old part of the wiring. It'stthe yellow line in the image in post 31 above.
 
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