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Discussion Starter #1
First time homeowner, first time tractor owner, now first time tractor troubleshooter...

Problem: Got a good deal on a Deere 216 with K341 in what appeared decent shape. Got a season and half out of it running strong and smooth, then one day mysteriously stalled after an hour and would no restart until it cooled down. Now I get the same symptoms every time. First, a few minutes after starting there is a faint "missing" in the firing every few seconds and it gets worse at higher throttle. Second, the governor hunts noticeably for a few seconds every 20 seconds or so. Finally, an hour or so later, it surges hard and returns just as hard, does this 2 or 3 times, dies, and won't restart until it cools down.

I'm a fair-weather mechanic/DIYer and tried a few things before calling in a pro, but problem remains and he "doesn't believe me that it dies because he cut his lawn for an hour with no problem." Ok, so not going back to him. Some things needed done anyhow, so it wasn't a total witch hunt.

Tried so far:
-Fins cleared
-New ignitor
-New condenser
-New points
-New spark plug
-New battery
-New muffler (old one was completely rusted through)
-New fuel line
-New fuse
-Gas cap new when I got it
-Carb cleaned
-Tried adjusting air/fuel

Now for the pro:
He pulls the engine apart. Finds the governor gear is missing a tooth and camshaft is broken. Amazingly, the tractor still ran with this, and we assume this is the culprit. While pulled apart, it also needed a boring and new valves.
-New governor gear
-New camshaft
-New valves
-New piston
-New carb
This is now its third and final boring.

Returned to me. Fires up and sounds good. He claims he cut his lawn with no problems. But after all this, it still fails after an hour.

Now I take a look at the governor linkages. The lever is worn and sloppy. Ok, I'll replace that next, but in the meantime I held the throttle shaft steady and I still hear the missing and the RPM is steady, but the governor still feels like it is hunting.

At this point, I am open to anything. I can still cut for an hour before it turns into a temporary lawn ornament. And I finish the lawn with my wife's LX176 while the 216 cools down.

Thanks!
 

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Three of my friends
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Does it have a Kohler coil on it?
 

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Three of my friends
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I ask because people try using auto coils and that is the symtoms of a coil failing.Check the points, if the condensor fails it will burn the points.
 

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Certified Master Tinkerer
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Tried so far:
-Fins cleared
-New ignitor
-New condenser
-New points
-New spark plug
-New battery
-New muffler (old one was completely rusted through)
-New fuel line
-New fuse
-Gas cap new when I got it
-Carb cleaned
-Tried adjusting air/fuel

Now for the pro:
He pulls the engine apart. Finds the governor gear is missing a tooth and camshaft is broken. Amazingly, the tractor still ran with this, and we assume this is the culprit. While pulled apart, it also needed a boring and new valves.
-New governor gear
-New camshaft
-New valves
-New piston
-New carb
This is now its third and final boring.


Thanks!
In all that ^^^ I did not see "new coil." That was my bet from your first paragraph
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I used 'ignitor' but meant 'coil.' And that doesn't rule out that the new one isn't also bad, just unlikely.
 

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Three of my friends
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It could have failed but to replace it is pricy.Now you could spend 20 bucks and buy an automobile coil just to check it with but it wont run long but if that fixes it then you coould spring for a new "K" coil but replace the condenser also .but if the points are burned up then the condenser is the culprit.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Checked my records. The coil and condenser in there now are Oregon replacements for Kohler. That coil was ~$30. Poor quality with this brand versus genuine Kohler ~$75?
 

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Three of my friends
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Hard to say for sure but kohler coils are specific to kohler motors.they are designed to only fire once where other coils are designd to fire multiple times and heat up and fail.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hard to say for sure but kohler coils are specific to kohler motors.they are designed to only fire once where other coils are designd to fire multiple times and heat up and fail.
I can probably say with certainty now that it's not the coil or condenser. Replaced both with genuine Kohler today. Engine run stronger and steadier, but I still hear a misfire or "puff" every few seconds, but it isn't steady. And after 30 min or so, engine completely dies, kind of like it is starving. As it is dying, I played with throttle but that didn't do much, and I pulled choke out all the way, which kept it alive for ~30 more seconds before ultimately dying. The coil was cool as a cucumber. Tractor's out in the field now cooling. I'm sure it will fire up in an hour so I can get it back to the shed.

Any other thoughts?
 

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Three of my friends
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I looked but did not see a new plug wire?only other thing i could think of is a valve out of adjustment but that wouldnt make it quit but would make it pop.if you havent changed the plugwire try another one.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I looked but did not see a new plug wire?only other thing i could think of is a valve out of adjustment but that wouldnt make it quit but would make it pop.if you havent changed the plugwire try another one.
In the long list of repairs I was bound to forget something. Yes, it has a new plug wire and breather tube.
 

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Three of my friends
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I wonder if its vapor locking?do you have access to an electric fuel pump to check it with? I mowed with my .216 today for 2 hours, i love the torque the 341 has.Have you had the fuel pump off?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I wonder if its vapor locking?do you have access to an electric fuel pump to check it with? I mowed with my .216 today for 2 hours, i love the torque the 341 has.Have you had the fuel pump off?
That's good thinking. What is something that could cause the mixture to go slightly lean every few seconds (causing the puff) and then fail completely when warmed up? The fuel pump sounds like a strong possibility. It's one of the only things I haven't pulled off!

Also, what about bad reed valve in the breather? The manual says faulty breather could cause low crankcase vacuum and cause engine to run erratically or surge.

And I unfortunately don't have an electric fuel pump handy.
 

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Three of my friends
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I dont know if these motors have a reed in them? But its easy to check, just pull the valve cover off and see if anything is not right you can get tonthe fp at the same time, it has some internal parts that can go bad.kirk engines has elect pumps for these motors and I have their point saver on mine and like it a lot.They do have a reed valve of some sort,heres a picture and 17 is the valve.Is this motor hard starting at first start after sitting over night?
 

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