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john deere 2355 clicks but will not trunover

Todd I spent last weekend reading comments in a dozen messages were folks were having problems getting their JD diesel tractors to start. For those that are getting the "click", but the starter will not turn-over, and they can't find a wiring diagram...here is what I found out and can share.

This is for the 2355, the 22XX and 23XX, series and maybe more. This details the workings of the Bosch (German made)starters, and is not usable on the Japanese made systems, though they are similar.

The starter is the big cylinder at the lower right-rear portion of the engine, the starter solenoid (AKA Relay, switch, etc.) is the small cylinder that sits directly on top of the starter. It has two larger lugs (10mm) and one small lug (5mm). The short lower 10mm lug is connected to the starter by a heavy braided wire. The longer 10mm lug is the top-most (as viewed in the tractor) and it has a very heavy wire (direct lead from the battery, a medium size white wire, and two medium sized red wires connected to it. The small 5mm side lug is the solenoid coil switch activator and it has a single small white wire attached to it.

This system uses a secondary "Hi-Low" contact switch, which is located on the engine side of the fire wall directly in front of the left-side battery on my 2355; it may be somewhere else on your model. This is usually what makes the "click".

Method of operation is as follows....12volt current flows to the top lug of the starter solenoid at all times, regardless of ignition switch position. Current flows from top lug of the solenoid to one of two large terminals on the secondary switch (red wire to one, white wire from other). When the ignition key is turned from [off] to [run] to [start] current flows through the two small terminals of the secondary start switch closing it's coil and allowing hi-amp 12volt to flow to the solenoid switch through the white wire. This closes the solenoid switch, pulling in the bendix gear and allowing current to flow to the starter motor turning over the deisel. When you release the ignition switch from [start] to [run] current is cut off from the solenoid and the bendix is retracted by spring tension in the solenoid and the starter motor stops.

If you are stuck of in a field, be sure that it's out of gear and the brake is on. Put the ignition in [run] and take a heavy section of insulated wire and jump the two large 10mm lugs on the solenoid. The starter will turnover and the engine should start unless you have a fuel problem. You'll get sparks and the wire may tack to the lugs, just pull it off once the engine is running. This "test" gets you back to the barn and proves that the starter is OK. If this does not turn over the engine then the starter is shot or you have no battery voltage and you'll be working in the field to fix that.

Here is what you want to check AFTER you have checked both batteries to be sure they have 12.5-13volts, clean terminals, and that all connections described above are, clean, tight and well-made. Dirty terminals or weak batteries can cause the "click-but-won't-turn" problem.

All tests are performed with a solid frame ground.
1) with a meter or test light confirm voltage at the upper 10mm lug on the starter solenoid.
2) with ignition switch [off], and in [run] positions confirm no voltage at 5mm terminal (start switch) on the solenoid. With ignition in [start] confirm 12 volts on the 5mm terminal as above.
3) if no volts on start terminal of solenoid in [start], then test the two larger lugs of the secondary switch, one should be hot all the time the other dead with the ignition switch in [off] and [run], hot in [start] only.
4) if you don't get 12 volts at both terminals of the secondary start switch in [start], check the small secondary terminals from the ignition switch, they should both have current in [start]. If they don't you have A BAD IGNITION SWITCH or BROKEN IGNITION WIRES. If the secondary switch "clicks" and you don't get current at both large terminals then the SECONDARY SWITCH is bad and should be replaced. If it clicks and does have current move on....
5)now check the solenoid switch connection in [start]. If it has 12volts and the starter does not turn then the SOLENOID IS BAD (causing the secondary start switch to "click"), if it does not have voltage in [start]then the wire from the secondary start switch to the solenoid is broken or shorted out. Check it with a continuity meter and/or replace it.

My baby eats up starter solenoids. Water gets into the solenoid and rusts up the piston so it sticks, eventually the thing will not release the bendix gear and you'll hear the starter motor being spun by the diesel when it first starts. It usually releases shortly after starting, but it sounds like hell! It also burns up the solienid switch (inside where you can't get at it).

You can replace the solenoid with the starter in the tractor; removing the starter is a pain, especially if you have a front end loader installed (actually impossible).

Disconnect the batteries, and the wires from the solenoid (noting what goes where). Have your replacement solenoid handy. Remove the three phillips head screws that hold the solenoid in it's mount. Slowly pull the solenoid away from the mount, allowing the piston to slide out of the bore (if it is rusted this is a chore). There is a spring in the center of the piston, be sure not to loose it. Set the solenoid body aside. Take a piece of soft iron wire about a foot long, a piece of a light coat hanger will do. Form a single bend so it looks like a big hairpin. Work the bend of the wire over the solenoid piston into the bendix lever chamber and over the top of the lever. You can now pull the bendix lever out far enough to see the attachment pin on the end of the solenoid piston. Look at your new solenoid and see how the bendix attachment spring/pin combination works. With the bendix lever pulled as far forward as possible with your wire, pull the ends of the wire down and wrap them around the bendix lever case to hold the lever in position. With a small pair of needle nose pliers disconnect the old solenoid piston from the bendix lever (be patient, you can do it!). Now is the time to squirt some good solvent/lubricant down into the bendix lever connections to be sure the bendix moves easily.

Remove the piston from your new solenoid, be sure not to loose the spring in the center. Hook it's attachment pin to the bendix lever, cycle the bendix a few times to make sure it's on right, then remove your wire. Put the spring in the piston, and slide the solenoid body onto the piston. Be sure the long 10mm lug is up. I usually replace the three phillips screws with small bolts with washers as they are easier to put on with a 1/4 inch drive ratchet...those phillips screws are hard to work in that tight space. Wire it all back up and start the tractor!

Mike Mann Just wanted to say thanks for the tip. I had gotten the solenoid off but didn't know how to remove the piston. Your wire tip did the trick. I was able to install the new one without needing the wire. Didn't need any needle nose pliers it was just held there with spring tension. I had to use phillips tip and a 1/4" ingnition wrench to get the 3 mounting screws off.


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