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Question DetailsAsked on 4/15/2017

any techitions to answer problems on johndeere tractor mowers

put new starter and scilode on mower and starter stayed engaged

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2 Answers


Not knowing exact model or of starting system, somewhat in the gray zone here - and if one of the models (don't know if JD's ever used this) where the starter motor is the alternator/charger as well and is always engaged, then the following does not apply much if at all because your starter would not engage and disengaged - is always engaged.

Based on experience on vehicles, not mowers, following possibilities come to mind - with the bendix (starter gear engagement/retraction spring and spiral gear) sticking, or solenoid sticking or misaligned being the most common probably:

1) inadequate gear tooth clearance, so starter teeth cannmot retract - either because the engagement is too tight (not shimmed properly) or because it is too deep so the starter teeth are overengaging - getting hooked on the engine teeth. Some starters use metal-to-metal engagement to align the starter motor, some have shim packs or gaskets that have to be right to get the right engagement. Also, when installing, the bolts should be hand-tightened, then alternately tightened to about 10 ft-lbs, then alternately tightened to torque specs, making sure the startear mounting face is in good contact - not gapped at one side because it is not squarely mounted.

2) you don't say WHY you put a new starter and solenoid on - could it be that the key/start switch or key solenoid (if you have one) is the problem, staying engaged on the START position (or stray metal making contact) - either because of misalignment (or bolts came loose) of the starter switch or failure of the key switch to spring back to RUN from START (assuming your model is newer and has car-type ignition rather than ON-OFF key and push-button starter).

3) If you have a push-button type starter button (mosty on older machines) maybe it is not springing back - spring broken, corroded, packed with dirt, etc) - disconnect all power wires at the starter but leave the battery wires connected, and turn the key to START (or push starter button) and see if after releasing it you still have power at the solenoid power input wire (live wire at the solenoid). Should not have powewr to the solenoid activation lead after push button is released or key springs back to RUN/ON position - should only have power (the smaller wire, not the main lead from the battery to the starter) to the solenoid when key is in START position or push-button is depressed.

4) Solenoid may be sticking (though new one should not) - you would have to pull starter and solenoid off the tractor and bench test them - normal cable connections to each, then activate power to the solenoid (at the input point where it gets fed from the key/starter button) and see if the starter stays engaged and running after the START key/button position is released. If so, could be sticking solenoid, or sticking throwout bearing on the motor. With power disconnected, you should be able to manually "throw" the starter gear from extended to retracted position - by removing the solenoid and manuallymoving the actuating arm that pushes the starter gear forward. If tight or stuck, then the starter shaft may be marred or not properly lubricated, causing the gear to stick in the engaged position.

A broken or disconnected starter or solenoid return spring can also do this, as can a misaligned solenoid - not mounted properly on the starter motor. Also, on some makes, the solenoid engages in a slot or tab on the starter engagement mechanism, so it both pushes and pulls the starter gear forward/back. If the solenoid actuating end is installed "behind" that rod or engagement point rather than "in" it, it could throw the starter gear forward to engage OK, but when the solenoid retracts it would not then pull the starter gear back out of the engagement position. Might be during replacement (if solenoid did not come preinstalled on the starter motor or was improperly installed at factory) that the solenoid actuating mechanism was not properly positioned to engage the starter motor correctly.

I know some International Harvesters, and as I recall earlier Chevy's and VW's used that sort of starter arrangement - positive solenoid action both to engage AND to disengage rather than a spring kicking the starter gear back to the disengaged position - so when improperly installed or if the solenoid stuck ON, the starter continued to be engaged with the engine running and made for a nice electrical fire as the starter motor burned up.

5) faulty starter (especially if rebuilt) - it is VERY common for rebuilt starters to have burrs or roughness on the shaft (because that is the starter motor armature shaft too, so if you have to replace it you are replacing basically the entire starter, not rebuilding it) so they commonly reuse damaged ones in rebuilds, meaning your starter gear/bendix may be jamming and not retracting as it should. In my experience, about 1/3 of rebuilt starters are defective from the factory for one reason or another.

6) damaged/excessively worn teeth on the engine - so the starter teeth are engaging but can't slide back to disengage, though usually the issue is the opposite - not engaging right or kicking back because of worn/beveled flywheel gear teeth, not sticking.

7) miswiring when you installed it - possibly a solenoid connection wrong or missing ?

I really think looking at WHY you replaced them may well be the key here - especially if the reason for replacement was the same problem as you are having now.

Also - lot of blog comments on this sort of issue and strange causes like shorts in wiring harness or bad ground connections - google this search phrase to see them -

John Deere rider mower starter staying engaged

If this did not help, check online for the service (not Owner's) manual for your model - or your Search the List category for a repair shop would be Lawn Mower & Power Tool Repair.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



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Answered 3 years ago by Member Services

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