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The Admin from... Nowhere!
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Discussion Starter #1
So, Littletractor started acting up again over the past couple of weeks... popping and hunting and just generally not behaving... So tonight I started out with the easy stuff, I decided to change the fuel filter (I could see some grunge in it)... So, close the fuel shutoff, pull the filter, put the new one on... Start Littletractor, STILL not running good... So I do the Idle mixture adjust, and it seems to need to be set a LOT richer than what the tech manual says just to get idle set... So, I check the spark plug, I run some Seafoam through the carb and throw some into the gas... No change... What the #$%#$! Go in, 'cause I'm frustrated, and I start running through in my head what I did... Now, if you read the bit where I changed the fuel filter, you'll see where I may have forgotten something...

Dang fuel shutoff! So out I go at about 11 pm and check... I THINK I left it closed through all of the subsequent things I did... So I crank it counter-clockwise and fire up the tractor (I'm sure my neighbours love me....)... No difference! Run in to try to find my owners manual... Do you think I can find it! NO!

Okay, stupid question #1, is it counter-clockwise to OPEN the fuel shutoff and clockwise to close? I THINK so, but I just need confirmation, because

(here comes stupid question number two...)

The bloody tractor ran for probably 20-30 minutes while I futzed with the idle speed mix, ran the seafoam through, and just generally diddled with things... HOW LONG would it run if I HAD in fact closed the fuel shutoff?

Stupid question #3 - Could this be a sign that my fuel shut-off is in fact a fuel shut-off in NAME only and is otherwise completely non-functional? What the heck could go WRONG with it? Of course if its partially shutting off the fuel supply, would that explain why I had to set the Idle mixture so rich?

(okay, so more than a couple of stupid questions.. .NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!)
 

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Tractor newb
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259 Posts
I can answer the first one.

righty tighty

lefty loosey

if its anything like my 165 when you turn it to the left it should "extend out" and vise versa.
 

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Certified Master Tinkerer
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Did you check the fuel cap on the gas tank?
:ditto: Try running it with the gas cap off. As posted, clockwise closes and counterclockwise opens. Mine travel about 3 full turns from open to close. If yours is binding try some silicone lubricant arount the shaft of the knob.
 

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The Admin from... Nowhere!
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Discussion Starter #5
:ditto: Try running it with the gas cap off. As posted, clockwise closes and counterclockwise opens. Mine travel about 3 full turns from open to close. If yours is binding try some silicone lubricant arount the shaft of the knob.
yup, tried with the gas cap off, no difference... Of course that was when I had the shutoff closed... Doesn't seem to make any difference to have the thing open or closed tho... I think I'll pull the deck this weekend and do a full recc'y of the fuel system from back to front.... I DON'T see a vent hole in the cap tho, so hmmm... crudded up perhaps...

Could bad gas do this? It started misbehaving after the last time I filled from my dad's gas can (after mowing for him over the August long weekend)... Although it wasn't OLD gas, he blows through it regularly with his weedwackers...
 

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Jersey Mechanic
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You won't have a vent hole in your cap, that system is vented through a hose that exits the top of the gas tank. I would pull the bowl off of the carb. and clean all of the passages well. It sounds like you have a piece of dirt in the main or a little water in the bowl.
Dan
 

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You should not Sea Foam in your gas, i would drain it and put in fresh gas! :p
 

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Sure that the gas was not pre-mix for his weed wacker? Would think that it would run badly with lots of blue/white smoke if it was; might not even start though!

The Seafoam should be fine in the gas as long as you followed the directions. I put it in mine about once a month. Make sure to get the mix correct though!

Your tractor running on just the bowl and fuel filter would possibly idle for 10 minutes or so.

When did you change the lines out? Are these 30 yr old fuel lines or have you replaced them. If they are cracked and dry replace them, there might be a pinhole letting air in.
 

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The Admin from... Nowhere!
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Discussion Starter #10
Sure that the gas was not pre-mix for his weed wacker? Would think that it would run badly with lots of blue/white smoke if it was; might not even start though!

The Seafoam should be fine in the gas as long as you followed the directions. I put it in mine about once a month. Make sure to get the mix correct though!

Your tractor running on just the bowl and fuel filter would possibly idle for 10 minutes or so.

When did you change the lines out? Are these 30 yr old fuel lines or have you replaced them. If they are cracked and dry replace them, there might be a pinhole letting air in.
I don't THINK it was premixed for his weed wacker, as he said "Use THAT can" and he knows the difference between 4 and 2 cycle...if it was for his 2 cycle wackers it was 50-1. I've gotten no blue smoke, but I'll probably drop the gas anyway this weekend, just to be sure... I'm gonna change out my fuel shutoff anyway (part's still available from JD, and its not too pricey... If it saves my fingers in the icy cold when I need to shut the fuel off, its worth it...).

Okay, so its possible that it WAS just running on the bowl and filter then... I should have bought another clear filter I guess, 'cause I would have noticed that the new filter wasn't filling with as much gas... The OLD filter had a significant amount in it when I pulled it....

Fuel lines all the way to the pump were changed out this spring, the LAST time I had this problem....
 

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I was just out looking and working on the points on mine , It was doing the same thing as yours. I filed the points and it runs better , but I still need new points. It now just has a miss and no backfires or poping through the carb. They look like the original points. I do need to do the valve adustment , their kind of tapping louder than what I think as normal.
 

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Silly question but is it possible that the fuel filter is installed backwards. My 318 had an arrow showing the direction of the fuel flow.
 

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The Admin from... Nowhere!
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Discussion Starter #14
Silly question but is it possible that the fuel filter is installed backwards. My 318 had an arrow showing the direction of the fuel flow.
I'll double-check this weekend, but I'm pretty sure I oriented the arrow when I put it in (my old one had one, so I checked the new one, it had one too....).
 

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The Admin from... Nowhere!
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Discussion Starter #15
Some things I've learned...

So, long weekend Saturday is here, and despite having a racking cold, I've been out messing with Littletractor....

First of all, I've learned that adjusting my choke made my starting A LOT better.... When I was messing about last Tuesday, I looked down the throat of the carb and noticed with choke fully engaged, my butterfly valve was only partially closed... So a look through the engine tech manual told me that a) that's not right, it should be TOTALLY closed and b) how to adjust it with the choke adjustment screw... This morning I went out, choked it, turned the key, and it fired right up... Usually it used to take 15-20 seconds to do that, even in the warm... And I was all set to start looking for a new igniter... So, remember, check your choke adjustment!

My replacement fuel shutoff came, so I went out and pulled the deck...

and pulled the fuel shutoff...

I'll let you guess which is the old one and which is the new one.... However, it still hunts and sputters... So, I think this afternoon I'll pull the carb (AFTER carefully reading how to do it) and take a look inside it... Wonder if I will find rust particles... Still think it was worthwhile changing the shutoff, because my 22 month old kid can turn the NEW shutoff valve... The old one, I pulled out the valve assembly, and it was pretty rusted...
 

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Well if it ran good with the choke out a bit then likely you have an idle circuit partially clogged. I would bet when you clean the carb you'll solve your issue. It was a very good idea to change out your shutoff valve!
 

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The Admin from... Nowhere!
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Discussion Starter #18
Well, I found where the other two inches of the old shutoff valve were....


This was what was left in the bottom of my oil drain pan (which I used to dump my fuel tank out into)... The gas that was in there was so crudded up, I strained it through a coffee strainer into a coffee can before I threw it into the tank of my truck (not sure how else to dispose of a half-gallon of gas). I've washed out the gas tank and am letting it dry in the sun for a couple of hours before I pop it back on... now on to working on the carb.... I'm betting I find tiny stuff like that in my carb!
 

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What is it sand or filings ??
 
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