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What will cause both battery cables to melt on mower?

Happened after changing solenoid...also noticed heat damage to solenoid

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  • Mtd Master
  • 2,478 Answers

Sounds like you hook the new solenoid wrong. Like postive to ground.

Posted on Mar 17, 2014

  • 5 more comments 
  • Peggy McClean Mar 20, 2014

    How can I know for sure...can't find wiring diagram for solenoid?

  • Dennis Key
    Dennis Key Mar 20, 2014

    What model? Try to find a diagram I can post. Should marked on solenoid. From postive post on battery to one side of sol. Straight cross on sol. cable to big terimal on starter.

  • Dennis Key
    Dennis Key Mar 20, 2014

    I can't figune out to upload the picture. Goggle mtd riding mowers wiring diagram

  • Peggy McClean Mar 27, 2014

    got the diagram...but solenoid is not marked showing what side is +

  • Dennis Key
    Dennis Key Mar 28, 2014

    left hand side

  • Peggy McClean Mar 28, 2014

    thanks dennis found pic for wiring at

  • Dennis Key
    Dennis Key Mar 28, 2014

    You fixing up now?



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I have a 1947 ford 8n tractor. All I did was change the solenoid and now every time I connect my battery cables to the battery it trys starting automaticall. Do I have it hooked up wrong? .

cant tell from pic...but it sounds like the + and - secondary leads (the little ones) are switched

Are there any + - marks on the solenoid to help determine?

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If your starter solenoid is separate from the starter, then the following is to check the starter solenoid - (test bypasses solenoid)
1) take a battery jumper cable and connect one end to the positive post of the battery.
2) Turn the key to the ON position.
3) Then take the other end of the jumper cable used in step 1 and touch it to the connection on the starter (bolt) that has the cable coming from the starter solenoid You will see sparks when you touch this.

This should cause the starter and engine to crank over. If nothing happens, then it could be the starter is bad.
Starter test -
1) Try removing the starter from the engine.
2) Connect a jumper cable to the negative battery post and the other end to the starter housing, to make a good ground circuit.
3) connect a jumper cable to the positive side of the battery and then touch the bolt/post that usually connects to the starter solenoid.
The starter gear should spin when you touch this connection. If not , it's faulty.

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Check cables from the battery back as far as you can for damage. Sounds like there's resistance somewhere that the jumper cables can overcome but the battery can not.

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Sears model 91728700.won't start fuse melts and starter solenoid will not engage

I would say the solenoid or starter has short in it.

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Hi I need some help please my mower wont start I changed the solenoid and still wont start it just makes a clicking sound when I turn the key also the cables battery cables get hot any suggestions

Check to make sure the back of your key switch is clean and free of all dirt. DON'T clean with a wire brush with the battery connected. Either use a plastic bristled brush (stiff) or disconnect the battery. Also, I have seen the stator spike and melt wires together. Cut the zip-ties and pull the black wire isolation tubing off the wires to check for melted wires. Use your sense of smell to help you sniff along the wires and find tbe melt.

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When I turn the key to off the ride on mower keeps going, so I have to disconnect the battery so it would stop, what's causes this problem?

The melt piece made a connection to the switch, to keep on instead above off. Scrape off melted surfaces and tape plastic coat it back.

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1 Answer

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I know you had the starter tested but i still thing you have one of two things going on here, first acid damage to the Positive battery cable at the battery, if this is present you will notice the outside of the cable seems swelled yo under the red insulator, this causes low voltage, enough to click the starter solenoid but not enough to turn the starter motor. The other problem is burnt contact inside the starter solenoid itself, this problem will cause a clicking noise from the solenoid with no starter engagement, it very common. The starter solenoid is near the battery just follow the Positive cable from the battery to it, carefully jumper across it, does the starter engage? Here is a picture of the starter solenoid.


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1991 Ford F150 300 6 cylinder, The solenoid on the side wall near the battery is getting red hot and causing the wire to melt and smoke. What can be the cause? The solenoid was recently replaced and the...

Its likely your starter is bad and drawing too much power
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Have advance auto check the amperage draw of the
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