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  • John Deere Clinic?

    I have a weird electrical issue on my John Deere 245 lawn tractor. I've been tempted to give up and take it to an "expert" as Chooch advised against on another thread, but I'd really like to figure it out. I bought another used JD as a backup so I have time to tinker with the 245 and not have to bale the yard. Can anybody recommend and provide a link to the equivalent of the RSC for JD where I can find troubleshooting help specific to my make/model? I'm sure I could find something via Google, but I'm guessing there is more than one JD forum out there and I'd like to go to a known good one with knowledgeable and helpful folks like the gang here. Thanks!

  • #2
    I know it's pretty off topic for this site, but there are some pretty sharp minds here. Maybe a brief synopsis of what it's doing and what you've tested/tried. At worst there won't be any answers but you can always copy and past your info into the next forum.....

    I don't personally have any "go-to" forums for small engine type info.

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    • #3
      Well, since you asked...

      Background: mower operated normally previously. When I attempted to start it for the next mowing days later, it cranked fine and then I backed off the starter after cranking a few seconds. When I did so, the electrical power was gone, i.e. wouldn't crank again and no dash light in run position. Checked the fuse and it was blown. Replaced it with switch off and it instantly blew when I put key in run position. I figured ignition switch was a good place to start, so I removed it and jumpered across connector terminals with a piece of wire. See photo. When I did that, the dash light came on indicating run position and it did not blow a fuse. That told me I was on the right track with the ignition switch. JD dealer was closed for the day and I really wanted to mow, so I got greedy. I've already beat myself up for what happened next, but feel free to pile on. Since I had good run position, I decided to go ahead and hot wire to start. I jumpered across the terminals indicated with red arrows and voila! - it cranked just fine. I backed off because I didn't have choke pulled. When I tried it again I lost power and detected a faint burnt electric smell. Not good.


      What I've tried: not much. Didn't really know where to start and want to be more methodical about it. I went ahead and replaced the ignition switch since I already decided it was bad anyway. When I did, I now get a dash light in run position (no blown fuse), but it does nothing in start position. My conclusion is that the ignition switch was originally bad, but then I smoked something else in the meantime trying to MacGyer it. That's the current status.

      Click image for larger version

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      • #4
        I have a JD GX345. I had issue's a few years ago I found this website, got the info I needed to fix problem.
        https://www.mytractorforum.com/forum...eere-forum.12/

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        • Ironman
          Ironman commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks!

      • #5
        If you could score a service manual that would help but just a wiring diagram would be helpful. Your John Deere dealer should be able to print a copy of the wiring diagram. Anyhow we can perform a few basic tests to start. I included a photo of a generic starting system just for clarity. Start by checking for resistance through the starter relay coil (from 1 to 2). Then check for continuity from 2 to ground (should read 0 or very close to 0). Then check resistance through the motor (from 5 to 6). If you don't find any issues you might try turning the key to the run position and use a large wire to jump from the positive battery post to the motor (number 5). I suspect you have a bad starter relay. These are not complicated issues until you get into the printed circuit boards but I'm not sure that your garden tractor will have any.

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        • #6
          Thanks, Chooch . Really appreciate the help. I did just download a pdf of the manual this week and it has good wiring diagrams, so I should be set there. Just got back from testing one thing - pulled the signal wire from the starter solenoid and did not have power with key in start position. So, looks like an upstream issue.

          Comment


          • Chooch
            Chooch commented
            Editing a comment
            What components are upstream that are necessary to complete the circuit? Can you post a copy of the schematic?

        • #7
          Glad to see you're getting some help. Just like a bike, it's a matter of running down what triggers what and testing. Hopefully you'll be back mowing with it soon.

          Comment


          • Chooch
            Chooch commented
            Editing a comment
            Exactly!

        • #8
          Click image for larger version

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          • #9
            Nice diagram. If you didn't have power to the solenoid with the key in the start position when you tested it the problem could still be the starter relay. The starter relay gets its signal from the key switch and the solenoid gets its signal from the starter relay. Let,s start by checking voltage at the key switch. Make sure we have 12 vdc to terminals B and S1 with the switch in the start position. There is a fusible link that could prevent power from reaching terminal B. A 20 amp. fuse, PTO switch, and transmission neutral switch could prevent power from reaching S1. Hopefully we have power to the purple. Let me know what you find.

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            • #10
              Roger! I can't get to it until tomorrow, but I'll report back after after that. Thanks!

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              • #11
                This is where I go to get help with my JD 170.

                Comment


                • Ironman
                  Ironman commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks! That's personal recommendations now from you and RRS_07RdStar for that forum. Good enough for me.

              • #12
                The first step is to get power to terminal B. The red wire goes from the positive side of the battery to the starter. Check for 12 vdc on the red wire at the starter. Don't worry about the key switch at this time. If you read 12 vdc, then disconnect the battery and check continuity from the red wire on the starter to terminal B. If it is open you have a faulty fusible link.

                Comment


                • #13
                  Chooch to the rescue...again! The short (get it? "short") version is that I had jumpered the seat safety switch years ago. Turns out that some bare metal on my jumper started making contact with the frame intermittently and blowing the fuse.

                  Long version: after Chooch offered help here, I sent him a PM with some additional info. Soon after, Chooch generously offered to speed things up by using text messages. I ended up sending him practically every electrical diagram from my service manual and over multiple text exchanges over multiple days, Chooch went waaaaay above and beyond by patiently walking me through the troubleshooting process. I've already apologized to Chooch because I know that if I had thought to share that little piece of info about the safety switch jumper, he would have gotten to the source of the problem much quicker. In the end, I know that I wouldn't have solved this without his huge help.
                  Chooch:



                  Project cost analysis:

                  Time spent on project: I lost track.

                  Time spent on actual repair: 30 seconds

                  That warm feeling of having equipment back up and running after resisting the temptation to take it to an "expert" and do the work myself with the HUGE help of a kind "stranger": Priceless

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    Awesome! Glad it worked out. Where does Cooch live? I have a bike to wire.
                    It's not that life is so short, it's just that you're dead for so long.---unknown.

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