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Al
Hi, Received a call from a good friend of mine today. His question reminded me of a problem with our fork lift. One day I went out and jumped on it and hit the key. The starter solenoid went click, click, click, click, click, click. 1 Question 1? What is the most efficient way to troubleshoot this. 2 Question 2? What is the most likely cause of this? 3. Question 3? What is one simple test that could identify the problem with out tools or meters? I will continue to add clues until it is solved. When we are done I will post a picture to explain the solution. Al Eden

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slin
1. Voltmeter and or test light. 2.Bad cable connection at battery or any other connection point. 3.Turn on the largest lights on the unit, if they are bright before you try to start the unit and go out when you try to start it, you most likely have a bad connection somewhere. Feel the connections to see which one is hot.

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ehertzfeld
If the click was the solanoid, bad connection and or bad batt. If the clicking was the starter motor, turn the propaine on! lol Testing with out tool, I would say.....jump the solanoid with a scerw driver. Elon

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Al
The first answer is pretty correct on all three. The lights dimming verifies the poor connection or possible a poor connection inside the battery. The test light or voltmeter will isolate it. In my friends tractor the connection at the battery was the cause. On our fork lift the voltage at the starter went 12v, 1v, 12v, 1v, etc. The problem was not the connection at the battery. Both cables looked like new. For extra credit, identify the next logical step, and explain the events that lead to the click, click, click etc. Since we think that 75 percent of all solenoids sold are not replacing bad solenoids, I am trying to stimulate more thought here. I will explain my 75% number later. Al Eden

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slin
Solenoid closes placing load on the battery, cables,and all the connections in the circuit. Bad connection (high resistance) causes the voltage to drop. The resulting low voltage will not hold the solenoid closed. When the solenoid opens there is no longer a complete circuit, thus no load. The voltage comes back up and there is than enough to pull the solenoid closed putting a load back on the circuit and the cycle repets again and again. Click, click, click!

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slb04786
If the click,click,click is caused by just holding the keyswitch in the start position and the connections are tight I would suspect the starter is shorted. In that situation everytime the solenoid would switch on the voltage would drop to 1V the resulting loss in voltage would cause the solenoid to kick off. With the key switch still held on the solenoid would once again see 12V and engage again resulting in 1Volt because of the shorted starter. This would continue until either the starter, solenoid or battery burned up. Just my guess

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MrSteele
Your 75% of solenoids may be a small number. I would add batteries replaced to the list, as well, simply because the cable/post is dirty, or, that used to be the case in our shop on automobiles. Being honest, we would always try cleaning the cable/post when someone said they needed a new battery, or were TOLD they needed one at some gee whiz service station, complete with grade school dropout mechanincs! Your voltage drop. Check the ground on the solenoid, check the ground from engine to ground. Sounds like improper ground, to me, or, starting to find the problem, that's my first steps.

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firefoxz1
If it goes click click click with only one turn of the key I agree with SLIN. If your voltage test was at the battery and it wasn't a connection it is the battery; shorted, dry, or discharged. Maybe I should add a direct short on the starter or cable but have not seen 1 volt even with this but have seen smoking cables. Ok you said at the starter. Voltage drop test across all terminals and cables including the solenoid itself which should be .3 volts max. for the soleniod and .1 volt for each connection. I would also check voltage to soleniod from the starter switch, switch may not be supplying enough voltage to fully energize soleniod. I should add here that on some tractors there are a few safety switches that the soleniod energizing voltage must pass through and any or all could be "stealing" voltage from the circuit not allowing the soleniod to "snap" closed for a good connection. If voltage drops are minimal I'd start looking for bad grounds, Remember voltage can't leave the battery if it can't come back.

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slin
Sorry Al, I did not read your second post well. The next logical step is to check the voltage on the cable end at the starter, not the post on the starter. If the voltage stays at 12V the problem is the connection between the cable end and the starter stud. If not, the next logical step is to check the voltage readings at each connection back toward the positive battery post in order.

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Doll
In fluid, we would say this is a hi pressure, low volume problem. Like a water hose where the hose bib is only turned on to a trickle.. Leave it alone for a few minutes and the hose will swell until the pressure in the hose is equal to that in the hard line. But point the hose at your car to wash it and you only get one squirt then a trickle. Weak Battery ( often caused by bad connections ) has been the cause I have seen most often. Full voltage until flow is allowed then little if any...

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Al
Hi, The problem is a bad cable. I was going to post pics of it tonite, but can't find the files and the cable is over at the shop. Will try to post them in the next day or so. On the outside this cable could have almost been sold for new. Thanks, Al Eden

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Roy
Al, Our fork lift had the same problem a few years ago. Cable looked good but was open between the wire and the lead connection that goes on the battery. Took me a few minute of head scratching on that one but I finally figured it out. Sometimes you have to remember your electrical training and believe the voltmeters. My clue was that you have full voltage across an open. Interesting problem. Thanks,

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slin
Al; While I certainly agree with you that a percentage of replaced solenoids, and other components, are replaced when they are in fact not the cause of the problem at hand and are completely serviceable I wonder how you arrive at the 75% figure. I would not hazzard a guess as to what the percentage is, and have no good data to support a guess if I were to make one [img]/club2//attach/UCD/censored.gif[/img] Diagnosis results in ; 1. High cost of replacing un-needed parts. 2.Labor cost of working on parts or systems that do not need repair. Risk of damaging good parts while removing them to “have a look”. And the list goes on. Quality repair starts with quality diagnosis. To do quality diagnosis involves understanding how the system is designed to work. Gathering all the facts you can about how the system is working now, or not working. Using the proper testing equipment to determine what conditions exist in the system now. Compare the test results to your knowledge of how the system is supposed to function. Without the above mentioned knowledge and equipment, the best you can hope for is a good friend. Otherwise it is just a [img]/club2//attach/UCD/censored.gif[/img] diagnosis and it’s going to get expensive.

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