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L118 drains battery with key OFF

Ken D. Hi all,

My 4-yr-old L-118 drains the battery while parked with the key off (and removed). Problem started 3.5 years ago. Dealer "fixed" it 9 times during warranty, but only the last fix lasted more than a few weeks. Problem is back again (and no warranty now).

JD battery is in great shape (3rd replacement from dealer at time of last "fix"). If I disconnect ground wire on battery and leave it for months, I can start it right up after reconnecting the battery (PLENTY of cranking power).

When battery is left connected for just a few days, it is drained too low to crank engine (about 8 volts). I can then jump-start the engine from my car battery, mow 2 acres, and the battery will be fully charged (about 12.5 volts).

I measured the following at the battery:
* charged, DISconnected: 12.5v
* charged, connected, engine OFF: 11.8v
* charged, connected, engine ON (fast): 13.2v

Strangely, I measure no continuity between the battery leads with the battery removed. It seems like there must be a supply voltage connected for the drain to conduct (meter doesn't supply enough V for drain to appear?).

Some other tests I just tried after reading other posts here:
* Pulled 20A fuse: still drains (!?)
* Disconnected engine hour-meter: still drains
* Disconnected small red wire that goes from wiring harness into the engine near the oil dispstick: DRAIN GOES AWAY!

So what is that small red wire? It has a quick-connect on it, and there is a small black wire and a small gray wire that enter the engine near the same location (by the oil dip-stick).

I'm hoping this is something I can fix myself and no expensive parts. No money for that, so I'm about to install a battery cut-off switch to quickly disconnect the battery when I'm going to be parked for more than a day. $8 at the auto part store.

Thanks for any help!


Dale G. Basgall Ken : Disconnect the red wire at the connector you have described, set your dvom on the ohms reading. Connect the red lead going into the engine with one lead on the ohm meter, connect the other lead to battery ground. Measure the resistance and send back the reading on the forum.

Now while the meter is connected go ahead and unplug the voltage rectifier regulator and see if the resistance goes away, unplug what you can and see if anything works.

Write back on the forum and let me know what you found.

Dale G. Basgall

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