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When I turn the key on get no response from my 318. Battery has 12.38 volts and will not take any current when hooked up to a charger. Last week about 2/3 of the way through cutting the yard it shut down, I opened up hood and got the F510 to finish the grass. When I came back was able to eventually get it started and down to the garage, but battery light stayed on even when I pushed throttle to full. I've been working late every day this week and have not had to to investigate further.

Rick
 

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Rick, it sounds like it might be a bad ground. I had the same problem. On mine it was the three ground wires that are all connected to each other under the battery. I hope this helps.

Phillip
 

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Richard-
Put a volt meter on your battery and then turn the key to start. Just because you have the correct resting voltage doesn't mean the battery can handle the load put on it by the starter. I have had batteries the have a good resting voltage but when load tested they go to nothing.
 

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Richard,
This might not be you problem, but might my 318 had an intermittent start problem the solenoid would actuate it would clunk but no start, I supplied power to the starter motor stud on the solenoid but the motor did not spin, bad motor?, nope just dirty connection, cleaned it with emery cloth to shiny metal, back to life. You would be surprised how many electrical problems are the result of just dirty connections, sometimes just the removal to install a new part makes a good connection and you find the old part actually is good just dirty connections. Before replacing a electrical part clean the connections first and it might just come back to life
 

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Hello Richard
Mick makes a Good point here about checking the wiring harness connections and Grounds. Given the fact that most 318's are 30 Year's old now or close to being that, it is not uncommon for the wiring harness connector's to have either some slight corrosion on them or they may be Loose in their connection. I had a Weird issue of my Electric PTO being shut off while mowing with it. I would have to switch off the PTO and Place it back into the On Position to get my PTO to Operate. I checked the clutch air gap of the PTO and it was fine. I then Pulled my battery and Battery box bottom and placed some Di-Electric grease on all of the wiring harness connectors. You can get this Di-Electric grease at any auto Part's store's and it is usually found close to The Register's on a Tree of other products like Bulb grease and small packet's of silicone.



I buy it in small quantities as it does not take much to hit all of the wiring Harness connectors with it and it is less than $2.00 in small packet's. I Placed the Di-Electric grease on my Ignition switch connector, P.T.O. Connector, T.D.C.M. Connector's there are two there, all of my Neutral safety switches as well as my engine wiring harness connector's. I then put my Battery box bottom back in and hooked up it's battery and tested it. believe it or Not the Di-Electric Grease cured my Annoying Intermittent PTO Operation issue and the Tractor has run fine sine. I would suggest if you have not done it to your Tractor to hit all of the wiring Harness connector's with a Good coat of Di-Electric grease as it make's a Good connection and Possibly will Cure your electric issues. I hope this Helps, Kurt
 

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I have had the same issues earlier this summer with my 318 as well. Had me chasing my tail a few times. I think I had a couple separate issues with mine- I found my "cluster" of ground wires under the battery tray loose, a couple of bad fuse holders, and even replaced my coil with a new dual super coil from Dave Kirk, and have had no problems yet. Sounds to me though like you have an intermittent grounding issue. Keep us posted though. I love my 318 and they are great machines, but there seems to be a lot of these electrical issues and these tractors just need a little finesse.

-Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Update. Took battery to local auto parts store to have it load tested. Today bought new battery at Walmart unfortunately more than 24 dollars, but it has 540 CCA that should help. Started and let it ran for awhile battery light stays on. I shut it down and turned it on and off several times and it starts right away. Battery light still stays on. Any ideas? I need to clean deck and sharpen/balance blades then will mount deck and cut some grass to see how it runs.

Rick
 

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Richard,
I had the same problem on my 318 for years. Finally found solution, it was the 3 pin connector located near the voltage regulator. The connections sometimes melt and loose connection. I replaced mine and the light went off and battery stays charged.
Hope this helps, Good Luck.
 

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The voltage regulator on the Onan engines is mounted in the engine shroud on the oil filter side. It has 3 lugs with wires attached. Two of the wires go to the stator behind the flywheel and the center one goes to the coil i believe.
 

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On my 316, I know...different tractor, with Onan twin the center VR post goes to the ignition switch...feeds juice back to the battery through the switch. The Ignition wire in the switch goes to the coil. Maybe 318's are different?
You can check that your battery is getting a charge by starting it and running it and checking voltage on the battery posts with a meter...should be up around 13-14 volts if the VR is doing its job. It's a good thing to check ground connections and all wire connections and treat with Di-E grease during tractor maintenance inspections...if not then, when?
 

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Tmac,

You are correct -- all Onan regulators have a wire that goes back to the battery by some route...most through the circuit breaker or the place the circuit breaker connects to the ignition switch (depending on year and SN.) Here is the wiring excerpt showig that area of the schematic.

318 charging circuit.JPG

The voltage to the coil on the ONAN engine on these Deere tractors comes from the TDCM...it is the same terminal the powers the hour meter.

Chuck
 

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I've replaced several of the 'ganged' multi spade connectors in my tractor with indivdually crimped spade connectors now. The ganged connectors were probably fine 40 years ago but they are failing now. the single spades seem like a better idea to me as you can tell if one is loose or corroded whereas the multi conectors hide the issue
 

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In my opinion, what you're seeing is a lack of charge going to the battery. The battery charging light and the voltage at the battery of under 13 volts would have pointed me towards checking out the situation. A multimeter and test procedures for the regulator and alternator would be where I'd start to find where the problem really was. Connectors are good to check and maintain, but just cleaning them or replacing them won't solve many electrical problems and unless this one is really fixed, you're looking at the new battery depleting it's charge just like the old one did, especially when you're using the electric clutch. In the mean time, while you're checking out your charging components, I would recommend using a battery charger on your new battery after each use (a trickle charge overnight should be adequate).
 

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New to me 318 just went through the same issue. Checked power at all locations and it ended up being a dirty connection at the starter. pulled off wire cleaned put back on and works like a charm.
 

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Not sure if you have a B or P Onan, but if you have a B engine you can check/disconnect/clean/reinstall starter connection from the front of the tractor with the grille off...requires some creative stretching but can be done. Not sure where the starter connection is on the P Onan engines.
 

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Not sure if you have a B or P Onan, but if you have a B engine you can check/disconnect/clean/reinstall starter connection from the front of the tractor with the grille off...requires some creative stretching but can be done. Not sure where the starter connection is on the P Onan engines.
The general starter system circuit is pretty much the same, with the main difference being whether you have a solenoid that's separate or integral to the starter, and some of the P Onans came with the same configuration as the B engines. Both versions have a harness that's almost the same, and part of the starter/ignition system circuit contains a number of safety switches and interconnecting wires and to fault-find this (or any other system) is not difficult. There are quite a few really good color coded wiring diagrams that can be used in conjunction with a multi-meter to trace and understand the wiring and components in a system you're interested in. Once the circuit is understood, you can do a cleanup and coating of all the various connections - including grounds. Once this is done, you usually won't need to go back to the individual connectors and can focus on diagnosing the various items that are interconnected with the wires. Most of the items are mechanical, like a switch, or electro-mechanical, like a solenoid (an electro-mechanical switch), or starter motor. There are also a couple of items that are made up of various discrete electronic components and potted so you can only see the input/output pins. The mechanical and electro-mechanical items can be tested easily with jumpers or multi-meter (or both). The electronic units have associated test procedures that can be followed, using a multi-meter.

This approach even works for those tractors that have been "oddly" rewired by some PO - It can be a bunch more work, but it amounts to being the same thing, understanding what the circuit does. I still go back to the original wiring diagram and then use the multi-meter to "ring out" the "custom wiring" and see how that relates to the OEM layout. If I find things that don't make sense to me, I lean towards replacing it with some new wiring that does make sense and follows OEM logic.
 

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You can also check voltage to the starter from up front behind the grille. I've had several GTs with stuck starters due to lack of use and dirt/grime etc. Cleaned up and given 12 volts and they kicked right off.
 
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