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JohnF2015, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 1107
Experience:  Owner/Service Technician at S & J Small Engines
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I have a Sabre 1438GS build in 1999 with an electrical problem. When I tried to start t

Customer Question

I have a Sabre 1438GS build in 1999 with an electrical problem.
When I tried to start the engine all I got was a clicking sound. I assumed it was the starter solenoid & replaced it. Then I didn't get anything, no sound at all. I know I wired it correctly so I replaced the ignition switch with no change. I don't know if the solenoid needs to be grounded & it isn't. Not sure what to do next.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 2 years ago.
Make sure that you have the wires on the top of solenoid installed correctly. You should have one wire on one post of the solenoid going over to the starter, the other side of the solenoid should have your battery cable coming from the battery and one smaller wire attached to it that goes back up to the key switch to make it live. If you have the small wire on the wrong post your system will be dead and not do anything, you may have also blown a fuse if this happened. Thanks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The wires on the top of the solenoid are installed correctly, in I swapped them just to be sure & there was no change. I know the battery is working as it was in another lawn tractor I was using. When I traced the wires from the solenoid to the starter switch the wires appear to go into a small (approx. 1.5" cube) mounted on the right rear frame. What is this & could it be the problem.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 2 years ago.
The cube is most likely a fuse terminal or circuit breaker, you may check that to see if you have power going into and out of it. By your comment in the original post you said that you were getting a click when trying to start which makes me think that you had a solenoid problem. You replaced the solenoid and now get nothing which makes me think that it has to be something to do with the solenoid. When replacing the solenoid, Did the original solenoid have three or four total post? Did you replace it with an exact replica? Does the new solenoid have a total of three or four post? I have to believe that you problem is due to wiring on the solenoid or poor grounding of the new solenoid.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Both the new & old solenoid have the same physical appearance, i.e. four posts, one for the battery, one for the starter & two spade terminals that are part of the wiring harness. I don't believe the solenoid is grounded as the frame on which it mounts is painted with on bare spots.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 2 years ago.
You are correct, with a four post solenoid, the solenoid actually grounds back through the wiring on the machine.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 2 years ago.
Concentrating on the two top posts of the solenoid. You have one wire/cable going from one side of the solenoid to the starter. You have one wire/cable going from the other side of the solenoid back to the battery and you have a smaller wire attached to that post that goes back to the key switch. If the small wire is not hooked onto the proper post with the wire/cable coming from the battery down to the solenoid then the key switch and entire rest of the system will be dead. Also make sure that you don't have a blown fuse, if you have a circuit breaker, the breaker will reset itself once it cools for a couple minutes.