sears 12 hp garden tractor still won't start....

I have a 20 year old sears 12 hp garden tractor. lately, when I turn the key I get a few clicks before she starts to crank. Today I got a couple of clicks then nothing at all. I replaced the solonoid for 10 bucks and still not a sound. the ignition switch is new,too. Any ideas? I should junk it but ,until now it cuts fine. Larry
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I try not to change components until I 'confirm my suspicions' with troubleshooting.
In your case it sounds to me like the battery (or the associated wiring/connections) are defective. To test this theory, 'jump it' with a known good battery and see if it cranks fast and starts. Then look at the battery connections- check for corrosion and clean with a wire brush.
I strongly suspect the battery, but your T/S will confirm.
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If 1) you know the battery is good 2) the NEW solenoid clicks here is what you do. Check for loose or dirty battery cables. Begin where the ground strap is bolted to the chasis, then to the neg battery post.

proceed to the bat cable connetion on the starter its self. Since, because of the age, the starter is probably not of the permanent magnet type try giving it a light tap with a ball pein hammer. If a brush is stuck in its box this may jar it loose. If it does work, you still need to service the starter Your problem may be an open in the starter . . If you are in doubt about the new solenoid and it is the type that has both large lugs side by side, then take an old tablespoon and with the rounded outer surface jump the large lugs Don't do this with pliers as the heavy current will damage the plier hinge pin, or the hinge pin may not make good electrical continuity and give you a false test. I would appreciate knowing the results.
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If this is one of those old orange and white or blue and white 12 hp'ers that is closer to 30 years old than 20, it is worth $50 to me.
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If the battery tests ok, check the ground wire.
--
Mac Cool

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