Runs for Maybe 2 Seconds, then Dies. - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
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post #1 of 21 Old 05-06-2019, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Runs for Maybe 2 Seconds, then Dies.

Hello friends and neighbors:

Today we encounter our third issue in as many weeks. That's right: a trifecta!

First it was The Little 410S That Couldn't Make It Up The Hill Except in 1st Gear. Then, we had Yesterday I Started; Today I Do Not Start; Tomorrow I Start...Again. Now, we have I Run For 2 Seconds, Then Die.

Here are the details (for number 3, that is).

410S had been running (well, except for the aforementioned issue above). Starts up really quickly and runs smoothly. I ran it today a few times, but for no more than 5 minutes each time. (I turned it off; it didn't die.) Most recently it made a run up the steep hill (see The Little 410S.... from earlier). I continued the loop only to have it die as it went down the hill. I tried to start; would crank but not start. If I waited at least, say, 5 minutes, it'd start...then die immediately.

I have made no adjustment to the fuel system.

Fuel flow to filter = Good.
Fuel flow to carburetor = Good
Completely removed air cleaner = No Start
Double-checked that choke wasn't engaged wrongly = Good.

I have a 416S that I use for parts, so I took the fuel filter off it and put it on the 410S: no change.

So, yeah...not sure what else I could check. But I'd be grateful for thoughts and musing on this one. I'm hopeful that it's something easy.

Thank you.

P.S. As I recall, there are "safety" switches and whatnot that can prevent/stop an engine from running. Where are they?

Last edited by qbgLOVs7q; 05-06-2019 at 07:28 PM.
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post #2 of 21 Old 05-06-2019, 07:48 PM
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Re: Runs for Maybe 2 Seconds, then Dies.

-Check the oil level in the engine.

-Check the spark plug to see if there is a good strong steady blue/white spark..not a weak orange colored spark.

-Check the carburetor to make sure the float is functioning properly and the air/fuel mixture screws are set properly.

-Check the compression
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post #3 of 21 Old 05-06-2019, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Runs for Maybe 2 Seconds, then Dies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee_Veloper View Post
-Check the oil level in the engine.
Check. I'll do that in a bit now that I've gotten her onto relatively level ground.

Quote:
-Check the spark plug to see if there is a good strong steady blue/white spark..not a weak orange colored spark.
Probably tomorrow.

Quote:
-Check the carburetor to make sure the float is functioning properly and the air/fuel mixture screws are set properly.
Hopefully I won't have to go that far

Quote:
-Check the compression
If that becomes the only option left, I'll probably just scrap her.

Thanks.

P.S. I had changed the transmission oil, but not topped it off completely. I got to thinking that maybe that oil level was seen as low and so caused the engine not to stay running. I think that under-the-seat switch, mounted at the top of the transmission, is the transmission safety switch. So now I have almost a full quart of transmission oil in there. Maybe that's what's up???
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post #4 of 21 Old 05-07-2019, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Runs for Maybe 2 Seconds, then Dies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee_Veloper View Post
-Check the oil level in the engine.
Looks well into the "SAFE" range.

Quote:
-Check the spark plug to see if there is a good strong steady blue/white spark..not a weak orange colored spark.
I removed the spark plug and then connected the cable from whatever that thing is (coil?). I then cranked the engine but saw nothing. I heard, however, that "CLICK...CLICK...CLICK." But, yeah...saw nothing. I even took the plug from my 416S and did the same thing, and got the same thing.
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post #5 of 21 Old 05-07-2019, 10:35 PM
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Re: Runs for Maybe 2 Seconds, then Dies.

Quote:
transmission safety switch. So now I have almost a full quart of transmission oil in there. Maybe that's what's up???
On this vintage tractor the safety switch is a neutral gear switch. When the transmission is in neutral a button on the shift rod closes the contact, the starter circuit is closed and the starter will work. If not in neutral, nothing happens. (been there, done that - I pulled the battery and took it in for testing before going "doh"). Transmission oil has no relevance.

Obviously, once the engine is running, that safety switch has no purpose - it is not connected to the ignition circuit. So that means it's not your dying while already running problem

If you have mechanical PTO's they may also have a "disengaged" switch that functions the same as the neutral switch above. I think the 400 series has electric pto clutches so I don't know if those have any safety switch - likely not

On these engines, the "off" key position grounds the magneto. Check that wire to be sure it is not grounding on the metal parts - wear spots?

Regarding the transmission oil level - there should be a check plug on the right side of the transmission a few inches from the bottom. It might have an ell coming out of the gearbox. Oil should be up to that plug. See the pic
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post #6 of 21 Old 05-07-2019, 10:49 PM
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Re: Runs for Maybe 2 Seconds, then Dies.

Runs a few seconds then dies sounds like a fuel problem. might need a good carb cleaning if fuel is getting there.
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post #7 of 21 Old 05-08-2019, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Runs for Maybe 2 Seconds, then Dies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZTT42 View Post
On this vintage tractor the safety switch is a neutral gear switch. When the transmission is in neutral a button on the shift rod closes the contact, the starter circuit is closed and the starter will work. If not in neutral, nothing happens. (been there, done that - I pulled the battery and took it in for testing before going "doh"). Transmission oil has no relevance.
Was hoping that someone "in the know" would say as much. Thanks.

Quote:
Obviously, once the engine is running, that safety switch has no purpose - it is not connected to the ignition circuit. So that means it's not your dying while already running problem.
ibid.

Quote:
On these engines, the "off" key position grounds the magneto. Check that wire to be sure it is not grounding on the metal parts - wear spots?
Ok, so which is the "magneto"? (Sorry for all these "dumb questions," but I am coming from a completely different place and I'm trying to learn....)

Quote:
Regarding the transmission oil level - there should be a check plug on the right side of the transmission a few inches from the bottom. It might have an ell coming out of the gearbox. Oil should be up to that plug. See the pic
Yep...got that finished off so we should be good.
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post #8 of 21 Old 05-08-2019, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Runs for Maybe 2 Seconds, then Dies.

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Runs a few seconds then dies sounds like a fuel problem. might need a good carb cleaning if fuel is getting there.
I am confused as to whether or not the issue is fuel- or electrical-related. The engine just dies...it doesn't sputter and cough. It just...stops, which got me to thinking that it's electrical. But again, I'm absolutely clueless.

I did get some carburetor cleaner, spraying into it, but that hasn't helped.

I think I'll just have to get into the carburetor and poke around. Hopefully that's where the problem lies AND I can get it corrected.

Thanks.
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post #9 of 21 Old 05-08-2019, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Runs for Maybe 2 Seconds, then Dies.

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Originally Posted by ZTT42 View Post
Runs a few seconds then dies sounds like a fuel problem. might need a good carb cleaning if fuel is getting there.
This carburetor is different than the one on my 416S, inasmuch as I wasn't able to see any place to inspect or otherwise work on the jet and all of that. So I simply removed the carburetor and verified that the float is perpendicular to the body when inverted (it was). And it moved freely. Other than that I just gave it a look-over and, seeing nothing that appeared to me to be problematic, installed it. Still won't run.

I think I'm going to have to find someone locally who can do this work without me having to deliver the tractor to someone (and all that moving involves).

Thanks.
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post #10 of 21 Old 05-08-2019, 11:10 AM
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Re: Runs for Maybe 2 Seconds, then Dies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by qbgLOVs7q View Post
I am confused as to whether or not the issue is fuel- or electrical-related. The engine just dies...it doesn't sputter and cough. It just...stops, which got me to thinking that it's electrical.
After suggesting magneto wire problems, I thought "oops", AC has a Kohler engine, so I looked in the Kohler book and at my 710. Likely you have a battery ignition system with an alternator on the flywheel, not a magneto. How to tell? It will have an attached starter motor, not a starter/generator with a belt. There will be an electronic rectifier/regulator - the thing with fins in the pic, and a coil.

The thing to do first is check all the connections for loose nuts or slip-on connectors, and worn insulation grounding issues. I like to loosen and retighten them, especially if they look corroded. Same thing with the ignition switch and things under the dash

With your issue description you could have a weak coil that only puts out a weak or no spark - should test that.

The fuel thing - will it continue to run with the choke partially closed? That might indicate plugged jets. Usually these have an idle jet and a power jet that are adjustable. Either could be blocked with sediment or gelled gas. You can unscrew the jets and spray cleaner in them, then reset them to the correct number of turns. The only real way to fix it is to take the whole thing apart, thoroughly clean all the passages and install a new gasket and float valve kit.

It could also be a fuel pump problem if you have one. That would be located on the side of the engine below the carb and have the fuel line running in and out of it. If the fuel tank outlet is above the carburetor you can disconnect the fuel pump and not use it at all - I did. It's not needed. To test it, unhook the line from the carb below the pump. Unhook the spark plug and crank the engine to see if fuel flows out of the pump. be sure to have a container so you don't spill gas.
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post #11 of 21 Old 05-08-2019, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Runs for Maybe 2 Seconds, then Dies.

I'm online now with a mechanic...he helped me some time back when I was having (apparently) a similar issue with my other tractor. It appears to be a fuel issue, inasmuch as I added a bit of fuel directly down the spark plug hole and she started.

Now to remove the carburetor...again....
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post #12 of 21 Old 05-08-2019, 11:22 AM
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Re: Runs for Maybe 2 Seconds, then Dies.

Kohler engine manuals can be downloaded here:
You can get way more than you want from them including all the testing info. Enjoy

https://kohlerpower.com/en/engines/manuals
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post #13 of 21 Old 05-08-2019, 11:26 AM
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Re: Runs for Maybe 2 Seconds, then Dies.

the service manual has the overhaul and adjustment procedure for all the carburetors.
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post #14 of 21 Old 05-08-2019, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Runs for Maybe 2 Seconds, then Dies.

I have documentation he sent me from outdoorpowerinfo.com plus a Kohler-specific manual. Reading both...lol.
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post #15 of 21 Old 05-08-2019, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Runs for Maybe 2 Seconds, then Dies.

It now appears that we have a clogged/broken "center pedestal" through which fuel is drawn from the bowl. It would be a relatively easy process to remove that "center pedestal" if only I had a screwdriver that had a center notch.

Sheesh...more tools?

SIGH
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