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Curtis B.
Curtis B., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 13581
Experience:  have worked on and around most engine models for 35 yrs./Polaris ATV expert
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I have a cub cadet model GT 1554. I just put a new battery

Customer Question

I have a cub cadet model GT 1554. I just put a new battery in, and now it won't crank. I checked the two fuses I could find and they're both good. I also changed the solenoid.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 2 years ago.
It may sound stupid but make sure that you have the battery hooked up properly, they make those batteries in a left and right hand positive if you purchased the wrong one and sit it in place it may be hooked up backwards which would cause your problem. Does anything on the machine work at this point? Lights? Electric clutch? If nothing else is working the i would say you either have a battery or fuse problem. If other items are working then i would check the start relay that is clicking at this time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Look, I'm certainly no "expert," but I'm not retarded, either. Rest assured, the battery is installed correctly. The positive (red) cable is hooked to the positive (+) battery terminal, and the black (common) cable is secured to the negative (-) terminal. The headlights come on when the key is moved to the "On" position. I found only two fuses, inspected both of them visually AND with an ohmmeter, and they're both good (not blown). I thought there might be another fuse somewhere that I'm not seeing. The starter relay is fine, and actuates properly when I turn the key to the "Start" position. I have 13.7 volts across the battery terminals (using a voltmeter), and 13.2 volts at the positive lug on the solenoid, but 0 volts at the positive starter lug. Something is open between the solenoid and the starter. I bought the mower new in 2008, and it has 11.7 actual hours on the Hobbs meter. There is no sticker under the seat where you would normally find the model number and serial number. The manager at Tractor Supply was supposed to mail it to me, but he never did, so I'm unable to find a wiring diagram online for my GT 1554. I found your site and was hoping you could help me find the problem.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 2 years ago.
I was only suggesting the possibility of the battery, most people are not aware of the fact that these batteries are offered with both left and right hand positive. I have been in the industry for twenty-eight years and you won't believe the number of times that i have found that to be the issue in these instances.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 2 years ago.
On the starter solenoid, How many total post are on the solenoid? Three or Four? You will have two large post on it that your actual battery or positive cables are attached to then you will have one or two small post at the base of the solenoid. What kind of voltage do you get to that or those small post at the base of the solenoid? If you have on small post it should have voltage when the key is turned to the start position, if you have two small post only one of them will have voltage when the key is turned to the start position.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There are four posts on the solenoid; two lug posts and two blade posts located directly beneath the lugs. The female connectors for the blade posts are coded orange and blue, respectively (I made sure they were connected properly when I replaced the old, rusty solenoid). The thing is, before I replaced the battery, the engine cranked but only fired briefly twice, and then died. I wore the old battery down trying to start the mower. Since it was a year old, I decided to replace it rather than recharge it. The old battery, purchased from Tractor Supply where I bought the mower, was rated at 360 cold-cranking amps. When I bought the new battery from the same store, they were sold out of the 360's. In fact, there were only two types in stock - one rated at 200 amps, which had the terminals reversed (as discussed above), and one rated at 420 cold-cranking amps. Physically, both were the same size as the 360-amp cell I was replacing, so I bought the more powerful one due to the correct placement of the terminals. Once I had installed the new battery, I climbed onto the seat and turned the key. Nothing happened (except for the sound of the starter relay actuating). I checked the PTO switch to make sure it wasn't engaged, reset the parking brake and checked the pressure switch under the seat to ensure it wasn't damaged. All of this checked out so, naturally, I suspected the solenoid had failed, so I replaced it with a new one from Tractor Supply. I've looked very closely for broken or chafed wires, but I can't find any. This has me baffled; the engine turned over before the old battery gave out, but now it won't crank with a new battery installed.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 2 years ago.
Have you load tested or had the new battery load tested to make sure that it is good? Sometimes you can get a new battery that is no good or not fully charged. The only thing that you get now is a click at the starter relay? Or the starter solenoid? Since you were not getting any response after replacing the battery I will keep going back to the battery as a possible problem. You say that it was working prior to changing the battery so you can see why I am going back to the battery as a possible problem.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The battery is good. As I mentioned in my first post, I measured 13.7 volts across the terminals, and 13.2 volts at the newly-installed solenoid. Again, I have ZERO volts at the positive starter lug. The headlights are nice and bright when I turn the key to the "On" position. And the starter relay is not "clicking," which would indicate a loose connection or a bad ground somewhere; when I turn the key to the "On" position, I hear a very satisfying "thunk," indicating the relay is ACTUATING the way it's supposed to do. My issue is that I have no voltage at the starter input. The battery is good and properly installed. The solenoid is new and also properly installed (please keep in mind that I replaced the solenoid trying to solve this problem of no voltage to the starter). The issue lies somewhere between the new solenoid and the old starter, which was working fine until I replaced the battery. I've looked for wires that may have been chafed or broken, but there are none (at least none that are visible - I can't see the entire wiring harness). Replacing the starter won't solve the problem, as that won't provide voltage to the starter input.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 2 years ago.
Are you load testing the battery or just testing it with your voltmeter, there is a serious difference in these test? Having zero volts at the starter lug just tells me that you are not getting anything from your starter solenoid to the starter. This could be caused by a bad battery, bad solenoid, bad connections in the wiring. One other thing to look at that i just thought about, when you replaced the starter solenoid on the two top post of the solenoid one side has only one wire going from the solenoid over to the starter, the other post has the large battery cable coming from the battery to the solenoid and a small second wire attached that goes back up to the starter switch to make it live. Make sure that you have the small wire attached to the proper side of the solenoid top post.