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Briggs starting circuit


LawnSite Member
I'm stumped and looking for any advice. I'm trying to get my 36" Bobcat fired up. It originally came with a Kohler with recoil start. I now have a 18hp Briggs V-twin with electric start on it.

I've got everything wired up. I'm running power from the battery to a two position toggle switch. From the toggle power goes to a push button switch. From the push button it goes to a starter solenoid off of a 79 Ford van. Then power from solenoid to starter. Also a lead off of solenoid for the coil.

Checked everything with a test light and I have power to the solenoid. Switch is working, when I switch the toggle off, it cuts power to the solenoid. Problem is, I'm not getting power from solenoid to starter. The solenoid from the van works, the van ran when I took it off. I also pulled a solenoid off of a JD110 rider, which worked fine on the John Deere, but won't work on the Bobcat. I also pulled the starter off of the Briggs and ground the case to the battery, and ran power to the terminal and she spun over nice.

I'm stumped, do I need to run a ground off of the starter case? I can't see why, as the starter is bolted to the engine, and the engine is bolted to the frame which should be grounded from the battery ground.

Please help!!! I'm about to tear out the little remaining hair I have left. thanks.

Eric ELM

Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
Chicago, IL USA
Try running a ground from the battery to a bolt on the engine. Where you have it grounded, there may be an area that isn't making good ground to the engine. If this works, you will know that you have to change possitions of the ground.


LawnSite Member
Thanks for the help guys. :)

Grounding the battery to the engine is good advice Eric. Guess in my haste I forgot the simple things. Thinking of the many grounding straps used on automotive engines, got to be there for a reason. Reminds me of a project car that we couldn't get started until we added a ground strap.

Richard, never knew that a solenoid had to be grounded, makes sense though, thanks. That could be part of my problem as I haven't mounted the solenoid yet, everything is just wired and loose. Trying to figure out where to mount everything. Not much room on that bobcat for a solenoid, least of all a battery with that big motor. I think I'm mounting the battery on the mower deck on the far left side. I'm using a old army ammo can for the battery box. Perfect size, plus after drilling holes in the lid and adding grommets to prevent shorting out the battery, it is weatherproof.

John, might have to start advertising bushhogging with it. :) Should have plenty of snort.