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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, me again. I’ve been on here about my 1990 318 and once again having issues. Any help would help a ton.
so here it goes…
I’ve already had the engine out and replace the ignition module and other stuff and got it back together and was working great. People had mentioned that I should install an ignition improvement kit which I did. My clicks were gone and I was a happy camper with it firing up on first turn. So I decided to get it cleaned up and install a weather enclosure. After I washed it, and during for that matter, I had it running and parked it in quonset. It was running fine. Then I installed the cab and went to fire it up and click. This time it is coming from the ignition improvement block. You can hear and feel it clicking.
I have read threads about checking voltage and fuses and such and all seem to be fine. No drop at solenoid. Could my starter be stuck? And if so do I have to remove the engine again to get it unstuck? Could I jump the starter directly to give it a bit more jamb?
I just bought a front 54 two way blade that I’m dying to install but she’ll have to wait. Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
 

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You have to pull the engine to get to the starter. Was it starting fine after the wash? And just before the cab install? If so, I would revisit your install and see if you disturbed/moved something.
 

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No need to panic. It could be as simple as a weak battery, poor ground or corroded battery cable terminal. Your battery might have enough power or a clean enough connection to pass enough current to power the starter improvement relay but not enough to spin the starter.
Start by checking the battery, the cables and grounds.
If your starter is stuck, your cables and starter will likely get real warm when you turn the key to start. It’s likely not stuck but if it is, I’d disconnect one lead from the battery so you know it can’t start and I’d try to turn the driveshaft slightly forward and back. If the starter gear is stuck in the flywheel, that should loosen it.
If you cannot move the driveshaft and the starter is not the issue, check to make sure your PTO clutch isn’t keeping the engine from turning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You have to pull the engine to get to the starter. Was it starting fine after the wash? And just before the cab install? If so, I would revisit your install and see if you disturbed/moved something.
It did fire up no problem. I did only start it to move it from wash area and into the shop.
I did check where I drilled for the mounts and nothing that I could see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No need to panic. It could be as simple as a weak battery, poor ground or corroded battery cable terminal. Your battery might have enough power or a clean enough connection to pass enough current to power the starter improvement relay but not enough to spin the starter.
Start by checking the battery, the cables and grounds.
If your starter is stuck, your cables and starter will likely get real warm when you turn the key to start. It’s likely not stuck but if it is, I’d disconnect one lead from the battery so you know it can’t start and I’d try to turn the driveshaft slightly forward and back. If the starter gear is stuck in the flywheel, that should loosen it.
If you cannot move the driveshaft and the starter is not the issue, check to make sure your PTO clutch isn’t keeping the engine from turning.
I will try that for sure! My battery does have ~12.46 Volts so my thought is down the line but when discussing with JD tech he said sounds like starter is stuck.
 

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The battery can be fully charged but if the cables aren’t making a good connection, you won’t get enough current to flow to pull in the large starter solenoid ( depending on model) or spin the starter. That’s why sometimes when you jump start a vehicle, the jumper cables make a better connection to the vehicle cables than the vehicle’s own battery.
 

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I have no idea how you wired your starter improvement relay or if your tractor safeties are still intact or not- but does your tractor have a brake switch that needs to be depressed before the engine will crank? If so, was any of that wiring disturbed or was the brake pedal travel limited when you installed the cab?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have no idea how you wired your starter improvement relay or if your tractor safeties are still intact or not- but does your tractor have a brake switch that needs to be depressed before the engine will crank? If so, was any of that wiring disturbed or was the brake pedal travel limited when you installed the cab?
So I checked my mounting and hole locations when putting on the enclosure and no issues there.
I mounted the improvement kit just as the papers said. I hooked the starter back up as normal, without kit, and it will turn over. Still clicks like it did before but will catch. So…faulty kit? I will be honest, I put silicone on the ends of the leads so moisture doesn’t get in like it said but just used a household type. Would this be affecting the improvement kit and transfer of current? Not sure of correct terminology.
 

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It is good that your starter works when you remove the starter improvement relay and wiring. That indicates the problem is in the wiring, your connections or possibly the relay has failed. Check all three.
As for silicone, did you use silicone spray like oil, (that’s probably OK but dielectric grease is better) OR did you use silicone caulk like rubber( that’s not OK. Rubber is an insulator)
 
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