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Old 05-31-2012, 10:59 AM   post #1 of 6
CaptainKarl
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Default JD 170, 14hp Kawa - no spark

I have John Deere 170 with a 14hp Kawasaki engine that has no spark. I bought the unit in 1989 and it has been pretty darn reliable until this problem. A little background first - About a month ago, the unit would run about 20 minutes then die. I'd let it sit overnight, clean the plug and then start it. It would run and die after 20 minutes. I read thru some threads and concluded it was not in the fuel line or carb by checking for spark right after it died. No spark while hot, sometimes a spark the next day.

Anyway a few days ago, I shut it off before 20 minutes just to see if I could restart it and nothing. No spark. I put in a new sparkplug and no spark. On a previous thread someone (airforce insignia) said that as electronics get old, they tend to fail at higher temps. Makes sense that this is the problem. My question is where is the best place to start step by step? I dont mind spending a little but dont want to throw a ton of $ into it. I know from previous experience that finding an electrical problem is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:09 PM   post #2 of 6
rhenning
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Default Re: JD 170, 14hp Kawa - no spark

My guess would be you have an ignitor going bad but and its a big but that is an expensive part to guess at. The dealers will not take it back. It might be cheaper to have a dealer do it. Roger
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:14 PM   post #3 of 6
deereboy55
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Default Re: JD 170, 14hp Kawa - no spark

I had the same problem with my 170 a couple of years back ,,, it had to be either the igniter, or the coil ,which is bolted next to the flywheel. I went to the deere dealer ,the parts man looked up the history of the 2 parts, and discovered ,he had sold 7 coils and no igniters in the last 3 years. Neither parts can be returned,,so I went with the best odds and bought the coil and it fixed the problem. if that had not worked I would have bought both parts. (Your results may vary) talk to your parts dealer.. best of luck to you.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:02 AM   post #4 of 6
CaptainKarl
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Default Re: JD 170, 14hp Kawa - no spark

Thanks for the 2 suggestions. I will order a new coil today (kawa# 21121-2008 to replace jd part#AM101065). It will cost me $40. If that doesnt work, I'll get the igniter. I'll report back in a week after I've gotten the part and installed it.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:04 AM   post #5 of 6
CaptainKarl
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Default Re: JD 170, 14hp Kawa - no spark

Installed the new coil and set the gap with a business card. Before putting it all back together, the flywheel fins and underneath were real dusty so I took my blower and cleaned it thoroughly. Held my breath while starting the unit. It started right up. Whew. I ran it for 50 minutes. I think the problem is solved.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:29 AM   post #6 of 6
JRJ
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Default Re: JD 170, 14hp Kawa - no spark

That's what we like-an quick and easy fix and the customer is happy.

Dick
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