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Garden Tractors Discussion Forum

John Deere 318 Clicks but does not start right awa

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Jack in Michigan

08-20-2006 04:48:27

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I recently picked up a John Deere 318. Sometimes but not always, when you turn the key to start the engine you will here a single click as you turn the key but the starter will not turn. After a couple of times it will turn over like normal and start right up. The starter seem to act normal once it does start to turn. The guy who I bought it from said it has new kawasaki engine in it. Let me know if you can think of it may be. Thanks, Jack

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George Barboza

08-25-2006 19:40:58

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 Re: John Deere 318 Clicks but does not start right in reply to Jack in Michigan , 08-20-2006 04:48:27  
I assume that your problem is just like an automobile. The solinoid is the low current side of the starter circuit. It is essentially a switch that is used to control the high current path from the battery to the starter. Two or three things could cause the problem. First clean the cables at the battery between the cables and the battery terminals. If you don't have a battery brush, get one at the local auto store. If the engine cranks strong when it cranks then the battery and connections are likely to be good, The next two possibilties are the solinoid, the low current switch ot the starter itself or the starter itself. The solinoid switch has a copper disk and a magnet that pulls that copper disc against the two high current lugs that attach to the battery on one side and the starter on the other. If the copper disk is pitted bad the solinoid must be replaced assuming that you can find one without having to buy the starter with it. The other possibiltiy is the starter. Inside the starter is an armature that has copper bars located around the circumference of the communtator, If one of those bars is pited or burned and the starter stops at that point then you will get a click-click and then maybe a start. The final possibility is the connections between the ignition switch and the solinoid. Find these tighten and clean them. When all else fails replace the starter/solinoid assembly.

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Jack in Michigan

08-25-2006 15:37:43

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 Re: John Deere 318 Clicks but does not start right in reply to Jack in Michigan , 08-20-2006 04:48:27  
As it seems the person I bought the 318 from was not accurate in his description of the replacement engine. It is actually a 20 HP Onan engine. It is a sweet running little machine. Anyway I have the AM 107421 Kit and will be installing it tomorrow. Thanks again for all of your input. Jack

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08-20-2006 17:48:38

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 Re: John Deere 318 Clicks but does not start right in reply to Jack in Michigan , 08-20-2006 04:48:27  
A bad bearing in the starter motor will also cause this problem. I this is the problem it will soon surface and you won't be able to even get a click.

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08-20-2006 10:29:34

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 Re: John Deere 318 Clicks but does not start right in reply to Jack in Michigan , 08-20-2006 04:48:27  
Actually, a common problem with that model, and several other Deere models. Deere made a kit that corrects this.

318 should have an Onan engine, but previous owner could have replaced it with a Kawasaki, or anything for that matter. But if he used the existing wiring harness in the tractor, then this problem happens, regardless of the engine.

The power for the starter solenoid goes through all of the safety switches and interlocks before getting to the starter. This can result in a loss of available voltage and curent to properly activate the starter and starter solenoid.

The kit below uses a relay to stop this, by sending the power to activate the relay through those switches, and the relay then sends full battery voltage to the starter and starter solenoid.

Go to your local John Deere dealer, tell them you want a starter relay kit for a 318. Costs about $25, takes about 15 minutes to install, very easy. There are instructions in the kit, and as long as the previous owner didn't modify the wiring harness in your tractor, its all color coded and simple connections with a couple wrenches and screwdriver. a drill and drill bit might be needed if you can't find an existing bolt nearby to mount the relay.

Part # should be AM107421

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Jack in Michigan

08-20-2006 14:27:45

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 Re: Thank you both for your help! in reply to teej, 08-20-2006 10:29:34  
I will try your suggestions. Thanks again, Jack

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08-20-2006 05:28:31

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 Re: John Deere 318 Clicks but does not start right in reply to Jack in Michigan , 08-20-2006 04:48:27  
I know on the orgianl Onan engines we had to put a relay on the starter to solve this problem. I am not sure if this is rdequired now when you do a engine swap but from what you are describing sounds like it is. Hopefully some can confirm this on the board.

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08-21-2006 04:29:00

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 Re: John Deere 318 Clicks but does not start right in reply to kdagenais, 08-20-2006 05:28:31  

316 should have a onan engine
Never seen a kawasaki retro fit
Even though if units engine has a solenoid shift starter go to your local jd dealer an get starter reley kit part # AM 107421
This should cure it

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