Sounds like a cylinder quit, hopefully you didn't pop a rod or anything.
That's what it sounds like...how many ours on that engine...all the 318s have been around for a while and getting up there in hours of useSounds like a cylinder quit, hopefully you didn't pop a rod or anything.
Excellent logic and answer.The PTO engages via electricity. Spark needs electricity. Backfiring can occur when the spark is weak or intermittent.
Let's be hopeful.
Charge and test your battery. Check the output of your charging system. Check the gap of your PTO clutch.
So the dash light is triggered by system (alternator plus battery) voltage being below some threshold. I don't know off the top of my head what that is. The alternator could be fine, and trying like heck to charge a very low of failing battery, leaving few watts available for running the ECM, coil, and PTO.My 318 did about same thing. Spitting sputtering all at once and would not take throttle. The coil failed. It was a old points type coil. Ordered a points type coil from flea bay, received a electronic ignition coil and it would not fire correctly. Finally got a points type ignition coil from amazon and all ok.
But in reference to yours possibly being electrical issue. My 318 has a on dash lamp to indicate battery not charging. Few days ago the BAT lamp on the dash panel came on while mowing. I found the slip on wiring plug of the voltage regulator fell of the regulator. Re-connected and used a zip tie to hold it in place. all ok.
This is A okThe battery reads 12.6 volts with the engine off and 13.9 volts with the engine running. The battery is about 2 years old.