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Discussion Starter #1
I have a JD 175 Hydro 38" mower and it's starting to have some engine problems. Since i got it a year and a half ago, it hasn't liked to start when it's warm, but once started it runs fine until I shut it off. I wired in my own momentary toggle to crank because the key switch was having problems, but that has worked perfectly since day one. The other day, however, it just stopped running. Now, I can crank until the battery is dead and it will just cough and sputter. It will fire intermittently when cranking, but when I stop cranking it won't stay running. I always just started with full choke and then pulled it back to full normal power and it ran fine.

Any thoughts on why this would be happening and what I might do to fix it?

I remember early on that I pulled the spark plug and it seemed like it was cross-threaded, but it has worked for the better part of a year perfectly since then. I probably have run it a total of 25 hours this year, so it's not a really high-use mower. The only thing I have changed recently is that I pulled off the mulching blades and put on some medium lift straight blades. I also pulled off what I think was the mulching attachment that was bolted inside the deck.
 

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Do the basics,check fire to the plug,compression and fuel delivery.If all of those seem to be in order,check valves and flywheel key.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Does anybody have any pictures or a scan of a manual page for doing some of the things mentioned? I assume I can pull the fuel line between the pump and the engine and verify that it's pumping fuel when I crank (or maybe just when the key is on). How do I check compression? I assume pulling the spark plug and looking for a spark will do the trick for spark, right?

Valves, flywheel key and stuff like that I don't even have a clue where to start.

Help?
 

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Easier to check spark if you have another plug lying around, just connect to plug wire and make sure to ground on the engine! Don't have to remove the one you have unless you think it's got some carbon or oil buildup on it! Then you aren't loosening and re-tightening all the time!
 

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Just went through a similar drill with a friend's 175. Read here: http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=142604

I'd guess you have some kind of fuel delivery problem. Your starter toggle is an uncommon fix for a common problem. You can also install a starter relay kit from the dealer but if your method is working you may want to just consider it for the future if the toggle switch stops working.
 

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My 165 hydro had similar issues, turned out to be a valve issue.

If your getting spark try to test the compression. you can get a compression tester pretty cheap. i got mine at advance auto for $25


to test spark take the spark plug out or use another spark plug if you have one laying around. hold it against the engine block and have someone turn the key. if you see a spark your golden, if no spark then you need to back track from there.


It sounds like your getting spark though it just wont stay running. Lapping the valves did wonders for my tractor and is alot easier than it sounds. this video is great to watch if you need step by step instructions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yr5a69TxNI

its a smaller engine than yours but still the same principle. its literally a 20 min job from tear down to start up.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I pulled the fuel line off and when I crank the fuel just squirts out. No problem there, although I realize that doesn't say if it's actually getting fuel to the engine. It was running (seemingly) fine just the other day, so I doubt it's the carb float getting stuck or something, but it could be the jet.

I'm gonna check out a new plug to see if I'm getting spark and then I will pull the carb to check that out. Will I need new gaskets after I pull the carb?

Does anybody have a link to an online service manual or pictures for reference? I have a hard time justifying $115 for a new service manual for a $350 mower.

Thanks to everybody for all of the replies so far. What a great group.
 

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No legal on line manuals that I know of for this vintage machine. And yes, Deere highly prizes their service manuals now-a-days. Gaskets after you pull the carb? Maybe, depends on what the old ones look like and what happens to them when you pull things apart.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have a friend who knows a little bit more about Carbs. We took it apart and sprayed some carb spray in the jets and it cleaned it all out. Now it runs like a top. Put a new spark plug in and it runs even better.

Thanks for all the input. I was really not looking forward to having to pull the head and work on the valves. Runs better now, I think, then when I first got it.

Thanks again!
 
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