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RUSS
RUSS, SERVICE TECHNICIAN
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 3666
Experience:  28 YEAR SERVICE TECHNICIAN
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My john deere 1986 year model 160 lawn tractor wont start.

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My john deere 1986 year model 160 lawn tractor wont start. I put a new battery in but it won't even turn over. I just bought it a few days ago and it wasn't running then. I got it running, by jumping the weak battery. Now I guess one of the switches is blocking the start process. When trying to start it, I push the brake all the way in, the PTO is turned off and it is in neutral. What am I doing wrong? I've also pulled the mowing deck out from under it.

RUSS :

Hi, this is Russ, I'll be helping you with your problem today. THANKS! By pulling the deck off you probably inadvertinly disconnected a safety switch or damaged the wire harness in some way

RUSS :

Try ( if you know how ) jumping the solenoid and see if it turns over. If it does, then the problem is as I stated.

RUSS :

This is something that there is no substitute for simply visually looking at the switch and harness for a break or damaged / disconnected switch

RUSS :

THANKS AND GOOD LUCK

Customer:

I don't know how to jump the solenoid nor do I know where it is. I am sure I didn't damage a wire harness, but I may have disconnected a safety switch.

RUSS :

As an asi8de, my tractor did this and the problem was a wire at the transaxle that rubbed through

RUSS :

sorry for typo's

Customer:

np

Customer:

I've got it jacked up on stands and been under it and nothing is disturbed that I can see.

RUSS :

Jump the solenoid to make sure I am correct

RUSS :

You may have to use a volt ohm meter to isolate the break in the circuit

Customer:

Where is the solenoid?

RUSS :

Follow the POSITIVE lead from the battery and the solenoid will be at the end of it

Customer:

Ok

RUSS :

To jump it simply take a large in diameter wire (jumper cable) FROM THE POSITIVE SIDE OF THE SOLENOID TO THE STARTER SIDE

Customer:

Ok, that turned it over

Customer:

Where do I go from here

RUSS :

If you need anything further, just ask I am going to another question and it will appear I have left

Customer:

Ok Russ, by jumping the solenoid, it turned the engine over. Where do I find the other safety switches that may be the problem. As I said earlier, the seat switch has been pigtailed together, so I know thats not the issue.

RUSS :

There are switches at the brake/clutch, the blade clutch, transaxle etc. ANY one may be unplugged or the wire going to them damaged/grounded. ALSO the seat MAY have a switch, I don't rmemeber if an 86 model had them

RUSS :

Was the seat switch ALWAYS tied together???

RUSS :

If just done that MAY be your problem

RUSS :

WOAH! JUST READ THE SEAT SWITCH HAS 3 WIRES.....PUT IT BACK TOGETHER

Customer:

Russ, I really appreicate your help guy!!

RUSS :

YOU ARE WELCOME! GOD BLESS

Customer:

Yes, It has 3 wires

RUSS :

PUT IT TOGETHER PROPERLY

RUSS :

WITHOUT IT TOGETHER RIGHT YOU WILL NEVER FIND THE PROBLEM make sure to tape each wire as an idividual

RUSS :

sorry again typo's!

Customer:

I'm not seeing the switches at the brake and transaxle. The seat switch is not with the tractor. It had apparently broken off or something, anyway the previous owner pigtailed the 3 wires together.

RUSS :

I am sorry, I wish I gould see t5he tractor, but those switches should be there and there is no way I can pinpoint the location of the problem. If you are good at wireing, find the terminal on the ignition switch that feed the safety switch circuit and run a wire from the switch to the small wire terminal on the solenoid. THEN TRY THAT TO SEE IF IT WORKS. You can use a volt meter to sww what terminals are energised in the START POSITION OF THE SWITCH!

RUSS and 3 other Small Engine Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Well until I can get a seat switch, I would like to run down and identify the other safety switches, can you tell me where they are? The tractor did run yesterday with the seat wires pigtailed before I pulled the mower deck off.

The switches SHOULD be located by the clutch break, seat, a neutral safety switch by the shift mechanism, but I have no idea WHAT THE PREVIOUS DID TO IT! This is why I suggested trying a little rewire in my answer.

RUSS and 3 other Small Engine Specialists are ready to help you