Starting problems with John Deere 111 riding mower

My ex has a 1983 John Deere 111 riding mower. It worked fine last year, but wouldn't start this spring. The battery has been replaced. I checked the circuits, and found the problem to be the solenoid. But after replacing it, the mower turned over once only, then was again dead. I suspect something is burning out the solenoids, but that is where I need help. What would cause that?
TIA
Mike
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Mike wrote:

A solenoid is just a remote switch. It is made to handle the the full starting amperage. I doubt the new one burned out unless it was defective. There is nothing that I can think of that would cause a new/good solenoid to burn out.
Start by checking the battery to be sure it is good. New does not equal good. Compare the cca (cold cranking amps) of the new battery to the old to be sure it is sized properly. A quick easy test is to turn the headlights on and attempt to start the engine while someone is watching the headlights (or you can point them at the garage wall so you can see the brightness.) If the headlights dim down to just a dull orange glow then you are not getting enough juice from the battery to the mower. Suspect a bad battery or corroded/loose/bad connections. If the headlights stay at full brightness then you are getting no voltage to the starter and you should suspect a safety switch, bad starter switch, bad solenoid, bad connection or bad starter. On a good working system they should dim roughly 25-50% while the engine is turning over.
--
Art

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Sounds like it wasn't the solenoid. I'm guessing a safety switch.
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I would check/replace the battery cables. Cracked wiring and loose grounds can cause very weird issues
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Mike wrote:

O.K. Problem solved. It was wierd because I tested resistance on the whole ignition side of circuit with my VOM, and I could see it opening and closing as it should have, but the starter wouldn't kick in. That's why it looked like the solenoid to me.
Well, it turns out that the problem wasn't the solenoid, but a connection to it. Apparently it was good enough to pass my resistance test, but not good enough to get the voltage/amperage through that the solenoid needed to activate the starter. Fortunately I was able to slightly crimp the connector, and it kicked right over! I say fortunately because a more significant problem in the wiring harness would have required some hacking, as the JD people tell me it is an obsolete part that is not made anymore. :(
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