I called the John Deere dealer to see if they could tell me what was wrong with the tractor (the starter would keep cranking even when the key was out) and they said it sounded like a bad solenoid.
I’m not much of a motorhead, and only had a vague idea of what a solenoid did or where it was even located on the tractor engine, but I figured if I went in to buy the new solenoid, I would see what it looks like and then could find it on the engine. I did and found the solenoid on the right side of the tractor and only had to remove one panel – the solenoid is the thing attached with the red cable. There is much skepticism in the family that I can make the repair myself without damaging the tractor. My first step was to take a picture of the existing solenoid so I could see where the wiring goes on the new installation. It was too cold today to do the work.