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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Nov 2011
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    Ville Platte, LA
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    John Deere 870

    Default John Deere 160 - stopped cutting

    I have an 86 JD 160 lawn and garden tractor. I was cutting grass with it when all of a sudden the blades quit mowing, out of the blue. Could not get it to work for anything, so I turned the machine off.

    Now the machine won't turn over, as though the battery is completely dead. I was not having problems with the battery at all, and the connections are clean and tight everywhere.

    I'm starting to suspect my entire ignition switch could have gone out. Is it possible the switch going out could have also affected electrical power going to the electric clutch?

    Thanks

    Brian

  2. #2
    Platinum Member JDTank's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
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    695

    Default Re: John Deere 160 - stopped cutting

    I imagine it's all ran through the key, so if the key is shut off while your mowing, obviously it would kill power to the electric clutch. I've noticed on mowers virtually everything is run through the key in some way or another, usually to prevent any accidental drainage issues.

    You could always grab a test light or a multi-meter and turn the key, see if power is coming to the key switch first, and then see if power is leaving the key switch, test each terminal leaving the key switch individually, maybe some have power and others do not.

  3. #3
    New Member
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    John Deere 870

    Default Re: John Deere 160 - stopped cutting

    Took a multi-meter and tested the ignition switch. It appeared to have problems, was definitely very iffy on contact between start and run, so I decided to replace it.

    Called up the John Deere dealer and they had it in the next morning.

    However, that apparently was not the problem, tractor still will not do anything. Not a big deal, the switch was only $18. Getting late in the day, so I guess I will have to try tracing more circuits. I'm starting to suspect the voltage regulator.

    LC

  4. #4
    New Member
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    Nov 2011
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    John Deere 870

    Default Re: John Deere 160 - stopped cutting

    Hi again everyone. We've had a lot of rain the past couple weeks, so I have not had time to deal with my electrical problem.

    Today I went out and we traced the circuits. I know that there is power getting to the 25 amp breaker in between the ignition switch and the starter solenoid. The power is getting to the starter solenoid, we checked it right at the connection. However, nothing happens when I press the clutch in and turn the switch.

    So, we disconnected the wiring harness at the voltage regulator, I turned the switch on, pressed the clutch, and the starter engages, turning the engine over. However, the engine didn't crank, and I believe that is because there is no power getting to the ignition coil since the voltage regulator is the only thing that completes that circuit. So I am guessing that my voltage regulator has an internal short that prevents any power from getting to the starter solenoid and the ignition coil when I turn the key.

    I am not an electrician, so I'm pretty much taking a halfway educated guess here.

    I am attaching an electrical schematic, can anyone tell me if my thinking is wrong?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    LC
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -jd-160-electrical-diagram-jpg  

  5. #5
    Super Star Member
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    Aug 2001
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    12,481
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    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: John Deere 160 - stopped cutting

    pressed the clutch, and the starter engages, turning the engine over. However, the engine didn't crank,
    Do you mean the engine didn't start? To me, if it turns over it is cranking.

  6. #6
    New Member
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    Nov 2011
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    Ville Platte, LA
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    John Deere 870

    Default Re: John Deere 160 - stopped cutting

    It didn't fire up. It didn't "catch".

    LC

  7. #7
    New Member
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    Feb 2012
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    Location
    topeka, ks

    Default

    The ignition coil will never have power going to it on that style. If you apply power to it, you could destroy it. Please tell me you shut the deck switch back off before trying to start. If not, do so and it should start. Next, if the deck quit, and then it wouldn't start, I would suspect the pto switch. The safety start system runs through it so that you cannot start the engine with the deck running.

  8. #8
    New Member
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    Ville Platte, LA
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    John Deere 870

    Default Re: John Deere 160 - stopped cutting

    The PTO switch has been off the whole time. If you are correct, then I don't know what is going on.

    The starter will turn the engine over when the voltage regulator is unplugged, the clutch is pushed in and the key is turned.

    Nothing happens when the voltage regulator is plugged back in. It is as if the battery is completely dead. Nada, zilch, zero.

    I don't see how it could be the PTO switch, can you expound on that? As I said, I'm not all that great with electricity.

    Brian
    LC

  9. #9

    Default

    I would agree with the pot switch, or seat switch

  10. #10

    Default

    Also if the connector on the key switch is burnt or on the back of the pot switch is burnt or melted that could be the problem also

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