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Use an uninsulated butt connector with heat shrink.
Yeah that sounds like a great way to keep the wires and routing downsized and less cluttered. If anyone finds it difficult to find uninsulated butt connectors then you can always remove the insulation as an alternative.

MY ignition switch was wired different from what the wiring diagram shows. These being 'older' machines it is hard to tell what they have been through with the previous owners. The first picture below is the 300 wiring diagram, I would expect the 316 to be the same. The picture below is modified to show where the wires actually went. The green wire from the alternator showed insulation pulled back from the ignition switch terminal by about 1/4 inch, that pull back possible caused by a hot connection at that point. Was this due to it being in the wrong spot? There may be a reason why the switch disconnects the alternator during the Start cycle? The Yellow light switch wire may have been moved so they could use lights with the key in the Off position?

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You know, this just gave me an idea. If the machine has an hour meter, it might be beneficial to have the lights wired this way. Makes it possible to use the lights with out putting time on the hour meter.
 

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I think they have the uninsulated ones on amazon or McMaster-Carr/ Grainger
 

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9 times out of 10 I have to replace the ign switch and connector whenever I bring a new one into the herd and start rehabbing it. I am big and clumsy so I just get a new switch from an accredited dealer, local or online, and a Stens five-wire wiring harness...basically a new plug with five colored wires, each about 18" long. Then I assess the rest of the wires/connectors and sometimes wind up making a new harness, following the wiring schematic for the tractor...crimp connectors done right and heat shrink tubing over the joint.
If by chance JD hasn't obsoleted the stock wiring harness, and isn't asking an arm/leg/ear/knuckle for it, I will buy the stock replacement harness...especially for tractors that have real potential and will probably remain in my herd. Right now I have four...Frank/430, Okie/322, LittleGreen/212 and a 216 which I haven't named yet. That's about all I can house/feed responsibly right now. Each has its work niche around the place.
I had an Onan 316 for awhile, and had been wanting a machine with the Kohler 16 hp...that's how the 216 waltzed into the garage after rehabbing. Also had a 317 temporarily, and really liked the Series I Kohler twin...but the 322 and 430 have me spoiled to PS...so the 317 found another good home.
All I really need for any future project is more time, shop space, and $$$. Ain't that the way?... :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
I can see where a new wire harness would be beneficial since the old/original wires have hardened, terminals exposed to moisture and corroded and maybe the old harness is hacked. I can't imagine what a harness would cost. My harness was sort of convoluted in that some of the wires going to the ignition switch went in front of the steering column and some went behind it, made it difficult to get at. They all run in front of the column now.
 

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MY ignition switch was wired different from what the wiring diagram shows. These being 'older' machines it is hard to tell what they have been through with the previous owners. The first picture below is the 300 wiring diagram, I would expect the 316 to be the same. The picture below is modified to show where the wires actually went. The green wire from the alternator showed insulation pulled back from the ignition switch terminal by about 1/4 inch, that pull back possible caused by a hot connection at that point. Was this due to it being in the wrong spot? There may be a reason why the switch disconnects the alternator during the Start cycle? The Yellow light switch wire may have been moved so they could use lights with the key in the Off position?

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'I have found that yes the key switvhes are different from your MTD or box stores. I get mine rioght from the dealer.
 

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I just change these out with every major rebuild and I've never had an issue with any new switch. I'm surprised so many do. I usually get them at Stens, sometimes locally, but I don't recall ever buying one from the dealer. In most cases, the switch gets blamed when it's really faulty wiring down line. Bad starter relays, bad safety switches, poor connections all make for high resistance and current flow. The contacts inside a switch are generally very small and round to allow them to operate smoothly. And with high current flows, the switch takes the beating. Not to mention being operated so often. If you grind your starter until it's hot, just imagine how hot that little terminal in the switch gets.

Pay special attention to the terminals, especially those female connectors where it's impossible to clean them. The only good way is to replace them. Buy the proper crimper and terminals and learn how to use them properly.

So take care of those connections and relays. Your switches will last as long as you have the tractor.

Here's another good source of Delfi connectors. (Giving away all of my sources)

 
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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
I just took the new girl out for her first drive up and down the driveway and I am impressed. The motor does not sound bad, maybe a bit noisy. The hydro linkage definitely needs work. It starts right up and does not smoke. And the steering feels way better than my old 300. It's too cold right now to power-wash the front to get rid of the oily mess and see where the leak is. All in all I am a happy camper!
 

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I just took the new girl out for her first drive up and down the driveway and I am impressed. The motor does not sound bad, maybe a bit noisy. The hydro linkage definitely needs work. It starts right up and does not smoke. And the steering feels way better than my old 300. It's too cold right now to power-wash the front to get rid of the oily mess and see where the leak is. All in all I am a happy camper!
They say there's some good in everything. Maybe you found the diamond in the rough.
 
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I'm sure you know this Tmac, 316K is the single cylinder Kohler. I pressure washed mine but did not use the paint peeling nozzle and just did a quick sweep of the area. Everything checks ok with multimeter after I washed it.

Before I swap engines I want to power wash the engine out of the 300. Like you said ... easy does it. I like to take compressed air to the area first to get rid of debris. The transmission area of my 316K did not clean up perfectly but did do a satisfactory job. Just need to know when enough is enough.
 

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I'm sure you know this Tmac, 316K is the single cylinder Kohler. I pressure washed mine but did not use the paint peeling nozzle and just did a quick sweep of the area. Everything checks ok with multimeter after I washed it.
I'm with you gabby, I have pressure washed all my Kohler equipped tractors and they fired right back up and ran fine.
 

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I have had really good luck with the aerosol spray cans of engine cleaner especially the foaming kind. Name brand or generic, they have all worked well for me. Spray, let it sit and it dissolves the oil and then you wash it off. You can use less water and don’t always have to use the pressure washer so you can control the spray and overspray a little easier. On heavy caked on areas, you might have to spray on and use a brush to scrub stubborn spots and repeat but the areas always clean up down to the paint with no oily residue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Thanks for the pressure washer tips ya'll. Anytime I use the pressure washer I use it in a 'conservative' fashion as opposed to 'blast the crap out of it' fashion. Simple Green is my go-to cleaner. I did use a cleaning product once years ago, it was called Scrubbing Bubbles and despite it's named it actually worked quite well.
 
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Thanks for the pressure washer tips ya'll. Anytime I use the pressure washer I use it in a 'conservative' fashion as opposed to 'blast the crap out of it' fashion. Simple Green is my go-to cleaner. I did use a cleaning product once years ago, it was called Scrubbing Bubbles and despite it's named it actually worked quite well.
The scrubbing bubbles are a great engine/engine bay cleaner. I love simple green on the tractor engine, always a slight scent hanging around... :D
 

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Of course I would be the one at the opposite end of the spectrum. I blast every nook and cranny I can see. Well I try to stay away from openings like oil fill tubes, breathers, intakes etc and just blast until everything on the tractor ends up all over me :/. No problems so far.
 

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I'm right there with you!
Ditto N2. The way I look at it is it's easier to contend with the wet ignition than do a lousy job of cleaning. Especially if it's coming apart anyway. And of course, use a little discretion with the pressure washer. But as hard as I try, I always seem to miss something. My fingers will always find a wet, greasy glob of dirt and grass-infested muck just after I put everything away. And always just after I've washed my hands or put on clean gloves. And of course, the itchy nose always follows immediately after.

As for the Simple Green? You folks must have access to some ultra "heavy-duty" variety as the stuff never impressed me. I never liked it much but I got away from it as it's wasn't allowed in aircraft hangars. It's very corrosive of aluminum. (So I was told) But so is everything else with any cleaning power. I never understood why the industry went after Simple Green the way it did and not the others. I think in the back of my mind it's always been associated with the 'tree-hugging, earth -first" crowd.

I'm a "Purple Power" guy myself. It does a great job of burning the heck out of your skin so it must work on grease. And it does. I learned the hard way not to wear cloth gloves when using that stuff. Ouch! But when I'm dealing with a really dirty machine, I use the foam stuff first, then the purple stuff. Squeaky clean.

It's so much nicer working on these things in your normal clothes vs coveralls, aprons, and gloves.
 

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Purple power for me as well. Same boat never liked simple green. No offense, different strokes for different folks. If it works for others then good on them :)

Edit: The last couple of times I had to suffer through with burning hands because I’m too stubborn to pay the excessive extortion for HF blue rubber gloves. They are crazy to charge nearly $20 per box and people are crazy to pay it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
I let my wife use the pressure washer to clean the siding on the house/garage, HUGE mistake. She even admitted to it. I have natural Cedar siding on the house/garage. She got too close to it and if you know how soft cedar is you will know what happened. Yeah, she left marks everywhere. Plus, I had keypads on the garage for both doors, she gave them a good blast too killing both of them. No more power washer for you young lady!
 
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