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Question DetailsAsked on 7/10/2017

Late 80's John Deere 240 riding lawn mower with a Kawasaki FC420V engine.

Need ignition wiring diagram, purple wires fell out of connectors behind ignition key (3 purple, 2 the same size but smaller than the 3rd one, with only 2 possible places to return them. Engine starting running like it was low on fuel so I shut it off and checked, it wasn't, but then wouldn't start. Hasn't had spark to plug since. As I followed the wiring in search of a bad connection or wire I found nothing, until upon my second look I noticed I must have somehow knocked the 2 smaller purple wires from the plug to the back of the ignition key, and whilst fetching then the 3rd purple wire fell out and I don't know what positions they go back in, or if this could have even been my problem in the first place. I've found some diagrams that could be the correct ones but I'm not positive there for my specific mower. Any help or advice anyone could give will be greatly appreciated....thx in advance.

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1 Answer


I could not quickly find one either - though if they fell out then undoubtedly they corroded out at the connectors - if push-on connectors (likely) it should be pretty obvious which have large and which small wires.

here is the likely wiring configuration for a simple 3-wire switch - though you said two SMALLER than third - usually there would be two large (high-amperage), one small like this -

If only two places to connect them, then large would undoubtedly be the input to the switch, with smaller ones out to the coil/ignition, a second one to the starter solenoid - which would mean the main power feed to the starter motor would go straight to the starter and be engaged by the starter solenoid, not through the switch, like on a normal car ignition.

If the "plug" has two wire connections to it and then plugs into the switch, since you said the two small wires fell out of it that is where they go back in (should not matter which in which hole as long as the connector only has one prong to connect to the switch) though you will need to get a good connection to the plug - remove corroded/stripped out wiring and solder new wire ends on, or but a new connector for them. Large wire would then go to the other connection nonthe switch.

Ways to find this out definitively - contact John Deere or Kawasaki, or see if your library has a copy of a small engine or rider mower repair book which lists that model/engine. Or a local small engine/mower repair shop might tell you (probably need to take in the switch) for $10-20 cash.

If they just pulled out I would say a very good chance that was your problem source, plus you have to fix them anyway before it will work regardless.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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