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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
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    Apr 2002
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    864
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    Raleigh, NC USA
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    Massey-Ferguson MF 1220

    Default PT1418 won\'t start but clicks...ideas?

    Hey guys:

    My old PT-1418 is acting up right now. This is equivelant to the PT-180 (18hp Briggs and Stratton engine), but it's 15 years old now, and still running strong...usually!

    Anyway, when I try to start it, it either clicks or does nothing. I've hooked a jumper battery to it and same thing. I'm pretty sure the battery is not dead (fan comes on when I turn the ignition switch on...I re-wired it that way a while back). I had the same thing happen last week, and it was a short. I had been ramming into some dirt piles and had caused the battery to slide forward just enough for the positive lead connection to touch the engine, thus the short. I fixed that and that's not the case this time.

    I thought it might be the solenoid switch, so I tried putting a screwdriver across the poles from battery and starter, but no dice. I wonder if the ignition switch could cause this? I seem to have to replace the ignition switch once per year.

    I'm hoping this isn't some strange short somewhere obscure, or the starter going bad (requires the engine to be pulled out to replace the starter). I've committed to a church project Saturday, and I need to get this sucker cranking again quickly.

    Any ideas?

    TIA,
    Dave

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Charlie_Iliff's Avatar
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    Jun 2001
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    Arnold, MD
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    Power Trac PT1845, John Deere 2240, John Deere 950, John Deere 755, Jacobsen Turf Cat II

    Default Re: PT1418 won\'t start but clicks...ideas?

    Dave:
    The short may be a clue. Depending on how the contact occurred, part of a wire may have been fried. If the battery wires are old, replacing them and making sure the ends are clean and tight may solve the problem.
    I can't count the times that I've chased obscure electrical gremlins to find that it is a bad ground all along. If you don't replace the wires, check both ends of both wires to the battery, particulalarly the negative, to make sure the contact surfaces are clean and bright, and the clamps/bolts are tight. I use a wire cup brush in a portable drill. If that doesn't do it, work toward the starter, one connection at a time, taking apart, cleaning and reassembling tight.. The ends of ground wires to the engine and engine to frame often fail due to a little corrosion.
    I worked through a similar problem with Bubenberg and his skid steer recently. (He will say I was little help.) After we disassembled the switch panel, and unsuccessfully chased all over the wiring with a meter, in windy bitter cold, he cured it by replacing both battery wires. We'll never know, or care, whether the problem was actually the wires, or just the connections.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
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    Apr 2002
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    864
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    Raleigh, NC USA
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    Massey-Ferguson MF 1220

    Default Re: PT1418 won\'t start but clicks...ideas?

    Well, I just managed to go check the battery, and it was completely dead. So, perhaps the battery is just shot, or there's a short that's killing the battery. I got it cranked with a jumper battery, and parked it in the garage. It's hooked up to a battery charger right now. I was charging at 10 amps, but I noticed the battery is dripping some fluid and bubbling, so I turned it down to the 2 amp setting. I'm thinking the battery is shot, and I'm going to try putting a new battery in first. I'll definitely be taking the jumper battery with me this weekend...maybe the charger/starter too!

    Dave

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Charlie_Iliff's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Power Trac PT1845, John Deere 2240, John Deere 950, John Deere 755, Jacobsen Turf Cat II

    Default Re: PT1418 won\'t start but clicks...ideas?

    <font color="red">perhaps the battery is just shot </font>
    Sounds like it. [I'll resist the temptation to edit that back into my prior post.} [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2004
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    599
    Location
    western WA
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    sold PT-425

    Default Re: PT1418 won\'t start but clicks...ideas?

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( Anyway, when I try to start it, it either clicks or does nothing )</font>

    Ahhhh...the dreaded "click" of a dead battery. Looks like you found your gremlin.

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    Feb 2004
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    271
    Location
    Kingston, WA
    Tractor
    JD L130

    Default Re: PT1418 won\'t start but clicks...ideas?

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( I'm thinking the battery is shot, and I'm going to try putting a new battery in first. I'll definitely be taking the jumper battery with me this weekend...maybe the charger/starter too!
    )</font>

    If the battery is leaking then it is shot. But I think the source of your problem is more likely to be the starter. The clicking you hear is probably the solenoid. If you don't hear clicking, then you can blame the battery.


  7. #7
    Platinum Member
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    Apr 2002
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    Raleigh, NC USA
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    Massey-Ferguson MF 1220

    Default Re: PT1418 won\'t start but clicks...ideas?

    Ok, an update here. I installed a new battery, no dice. I pulled the solenoid and installed a new one, no dice. I thought I had found a short in the lead from the solenoid to the starter, so I took it off and cleaned and checked it, and put it back on tightly with good connections and routed away from the engine as much as possible, no dice. I pulled the ignition switch and checked that the starter pole consistently had a voltage when the key was in the start position, looks fine. Still wouldn't start...either clicked or nothing. I finally gave up for the night and put the hood/gas tank back on (on my old model you have to take the hood off to replace the battery...what were they thinking???)...decided to give it one more try with the jumper battery...it started! In fact, I removed the jumper battery and it started 5-6 times in a row. Go figure.

    It must indeed be the starter. I'm not looking forward to that one...the starter is on the bottom of the engine, and I don't believe it can be taken off without pulling the engine out! Fun, fun, fun...

    Dave

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Charlie_Iliff's Avatar
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    Power Trac PT1845, John Deere 2240, John Deere 950, John Deere 755, Jacobsen Turf Cat II

    Default Re: PT1418 won\'t start but clicks...ideas?

    OK - I'll go out on a limb and bet it isn't the starter. When starters are intermittent, usually it is when they stop in one spot where bad internal contacts or a winding don't work. A jumper battery should not make a difference.
    I still suspect battery wires and the connections at each end. New wires should be easier than the starter, so worth a try?

  9. #9
    Gold Member
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    Feb 2004
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    271
    Location
    Kingston, WA
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    JD L130

    Default Re: PT1418 won\'t start but clicks...ideas?

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( ONew wires should be easier than the starter, so worth a try?
    )</font>

    I agree with that opinion. Perhaps it might be a loose or corroded ground somewhere too since it is a much older machine.


  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Raleigh, NC USA
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    Massey-Ferguson MF 1220

    Default Re: PT1418 won\'t start but clicks...ideas?

    Well, it seems to be cranking reliably now. Either it was the solenoid exhibiting intermittent behavior, or cleaning the contacts, etc., did the trick. Perhaps it just needed a more TLC since I was beating it pretty hard last week!

    Thanks for the help guys!
    Dave


    Thought I'd add an update here. In thinking this over, I'll bet the electrical cable going from the solenoid to the starter had a loose connection on the starter. It was so gunked up with grease and dirt that I didn't notice if it was loose or not, but I do recall that the 2nd nut on it was loose after I had taken the cable off. That would certainly explain the intermittent-ness (sp?) of this problem. It started fine about 10 times today...let's hope it does the same tomorrow!

    L8r,
    Dave

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