My Tractor Forum banner

Hard Starting D170

3303 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  TWIN86GNS
Hi All,

At the end of October last year I purchased a used John Deere D170 with ~ 140 hours and it seems to be quite cold blooded in that it is difficult to start. Shortly after purchasing it, I put a new battery in it so I have lots of power to turn the engine over but it just doesn't want to start. I put new plugs in it (gapped as per the owners manual) and that hasn't seemed to help.

This Spring, the machine just didn't want to start and I actually went and bought a small can of ether. I have never had to use ether for any of my small engines before, but with a very small shot of ether the tractor started up and ran fine. The engine runs well at idle, at mid throttle and at wide open throttle but it just doesn't like to start.

This tractor is for use at my cottage at a lake so it might be a touch damp up there and the can of ether said it is for damp situations. The tractor is stored in my garage and I don't think it is damp but this tractor doesn't want to start very easily. Even after running it for 15 minutes then shutting it off last weekend it wouldn't restart without the choke on last weekend.

The fuel is good ethanol free fuel that I run without issues in all of my small engines without any problems and I also put fuel stabilizer in it over the winter but this 26 hp Briggs just doesn't want to start.

Any thoughts???
1 - 1 of 8 Posts
I have the L120 which is an earlier version of your D170. It has the B&S twin. It was always a difficult engine to start until about mid-second season when I changed the air filter and used a dental mirror to look down the air horn and inspect the choke. When the lever was in the full choke position there was a significant gap between the choke plate and throttle bore. I adjusted it tobe FULLY closed when lever was in full choke, and it now starts much better.

The trick to starting on mine, when cold, is to have throttle in full slow idle position and choke fully closed. Crank, and within two or three spins it will fire off. Once running, advance throttle to 1/3 and retard choke to ~1/2. After about 30 seconds to a minute, place choke fully off and when the engine is ready, start mowing.

With a hot engine, it will usually fire without the choke, however, if it doesn't, just move the choke lever fully forward and then fully back while cranking and it will start right up. It's now at 587 hours and it keeps on going...

See less See more
1 - 1 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.