Help needed w/Cub Cadet 122- won't start. Please help.

Sat Jan 03, 2004 6:42 pm

I am trying to get an old 122 Cub Cadet up and running, but am having a problem finding where the issue lies..

When you turn the key, absolutely nothing happens- I removed the starter generator and took it to a shop, and they said it needed to be rebuilt. So, I got a starter/generator that was already rebuilt and put that on today- Upon turning the key, still nothing happens.

I have checked the battery and it is at 12.1 volts. I used a test light to check for power to the ignition switch, it is receiving power to all 3 wires (one constantly, one when the key is at "on", and one when the key is at "start") . I checked for power to the coil, it is receiving power when the key is turned to "on"- What I believe is the voltage regulator (black box at the front of the tractor just under the hood), it's receiving power constantly. I placed the test light on the neutral safety switch and turned the key to "start" and it's getting power so it's not the ignition switch. The tractor is in neutral, and the clutch/brake is in its locked position all the way down.

Does it sound like it could be the starter solenoid? How can I bypass this part to find out?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Sat Jan 03, 2004 8:02 pm

I would probably take a jumper cable. Hook one end to the the hot terminal of the battery. Take the other end and slam it onto the starter/generator terminal where the large cable connects. If it turns over, the starter is OK and the trouble is somewhere in the switches and wiring. If not, the trouble is in the starter.

You can use the jumper cable to bypass smaller sections of the system until you isolate the problem.


Sat Jan 03, 2004 8:54 pm

Hi Jim,

Thank you for the tip- I will try that tomorrow and see how it goes. It would be nice to hear the tractor run at least!


Jim (CHEV66JB)

Sun Jan 04, 2004 9:42 am


You said you were getting “B+” to the one side of the neutral safety switch. When you push the clutch in, the clutch linkage pushes the switch to the close position to complete the circuit to the starter. Did you get B+ on the starter side of the neutral safety switch when you pushed the clutch in?

:arrow: If so and you still have a no start issue get back to me and I’ll do a step by step with a 106 Cadet I have with the same starting system you have on yours.

Jack Fowler


Mon Jan 05, 2004 1:05 pm


Thanks for your help- I have the clutch/brake in the "locked" position, and when it is in that position my test light comes on upon checking one of the 2 tabs- I don't believe I got any light on the 2nd tab, but can't remember as I'm replying from work. I looked under the tractor where the neutral safety switch is, and there is nothing pushing the knob end in. Therefore, I figured it was working properly (correct me if I'm wrong, but should the knob be pushed in to connect the circuit or shut it off?). I also removed the original starter solenoid yesterday, and picked up a universal one today to try in the tractor. I was going to buy a factory replacement, but they wanted $50 for the factory replacement (which they'd have to order), or I could take the universal for $13 and it was in stock.

Please feel free to provide any feedback at all, as this is my first time troubleshooting a tractor. I usually just work on cars.



Mon Jan 05, 2004 5:34 pm


I don’t have my test light with me so, I made one to check voltage. As you can see the “A” (lower) terminal (the armature) of the starter /generator is “B+” for the starter. (Bulb lights up when you turn ignition switch to start). The starter solenoid middle terminal ( Ink pin is pointing to it) is “B+” from the neutral safety switch. It should have “B+” going to it when you depress the clutch, which pushes the plunger in on the neutral safety switch which completes the circuit to activate the solenoid. The circuit for the neutral safety switch starts at the ignition switch. The lower (big terminal) of the solenoid is the “B+” to the starter/generator.

Remember no more than .1 ohms resistance or .1 voltage drop between terminals.

Note; The second picture is the neutral safety switch and clutch linkage.

Hope this helps,

Jack Fowler




Mon Jan 05, 2004 5:56 pm


One other thing I was thinking about, if your tractor has an electric PTO make sure it’s off. If the switch is not off position the starter will not engage.

Jack Fowler

Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:02 pm

Jack, You're right. I don't know how many times my wife did that. Somehow, she would bump the pto switch to the on position while getting off the tractor. Then it wouldn't start. She'd call me at work or come and get me wherever I was. All I ever had to do was tell her to turn the pto off. She never did learn to check that.

Tue Jan 06, 2004 7:35 am

There was no safety switch on the PTO with the manual lever.
You said there was nothing pushing the plunger on the neuteral switch? They (the tab) have a tendancy to break off and dissappear, if there is nothing there, you need to jump that connection.
You say you bought a replacement starter, cub cadet starters turn CCW.