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VT Homesteader
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was out brush hogging a heavy stand of phragmites (common reed) yesterday and the 5665 was handling it really well.
I hit a dirt mound which caused the engine to dive and slowly die - similar to running out of gas
Now it turns over just as well as always but won't catch. Let it sit overnight and still won't go.

  • Topped up all oil
  • Yes there's gas
  • Cleaned and re-gapped spark plug - it was pretty sooty and smelled a bit of gas
  • Checked the fuse (even though it was turning over)
  • Changed and gapped points and changed condenser (more so because I neglected to this spring)
Here are a couple of clues
  • There is a very small amount of white smoke coming out of the exhaust - and the exhaust smells VERY gassy.
  • I just put on a new spline to couple the quick hitch and the 30" brush mower (see my other post)
  • I've never in the 4 year's I've owned the Gravely had the quick hitch off or adjusted the slip
  • Since a carb rebuild about a year ago, it's needed to have the high idle needle basically all the way down, and I still get a little pop now and then (may actually be detonation?) I think the carb runs rich after rebuilding it and adding the brass throttle bushing. Not sure why.
See video of me trying to start it:

Anyone got some advice on where to go next? Could this be severely damaged? I seem to recall some folks having trouble with worn valves or warping a piston or ring, could this have happened here? I've had a blown headgasket before and I don't see any damage there. Could it simply be flooded, even though I let it sit overnight? Smelling a lot of gas.

Any ideas very appreciated. Thanks!
 

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VT Homesteader
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply Ronin - I will take a look at my engine manual and figure out how to check for that. I do happen to have the heat shields off cleaning out debris and to get a closer look at the valve head.

Here's a video of me checking on compression. Seems to me like it's OK. Anyway, would the flywheel still be turning properly like this without the Woodruff key?



Did a quick check of the carb. Like I mentioned, just rebuilt it last year, looks clean as can be and nothing damaged.
2463849
 

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I edited my original post because iirc now on that engine the flywheel charges, but the timing is independent via the points and coil. So I believe it'd still be gtg even if the key shifted.

Do you have a timing light?
 

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VT Homesteader
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Discussion Starter #5
I do have a timing light and a multimeter, too. Here's how Norman @ iSaveTractors does timing. Let me know if you've got a better or alternative way, I'll try whatever!
 

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Hmm...

Someone else who knows those better will be along... been a while since I've fooled with one and my bag of tricks is now empty.

One final thought... you cleaned and gapped the plug but have you verified it is actually sparking?
 

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VT Homesteader
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Discussion Starter #8
I am NOT GETTING SPARK!

Im going to bring my battery in and test/charge it.

What are the next logical steps? Sorry I’m kinda green w some of this stuff.
 

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VT Homesteader
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Discussion Starter #10
Battery is fine.
Coil is only a year or two old, but I’ll test that tomorrow. Any other ideas?
 

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"Fine" is a relative term, which will only yield relative results.

Are you seeing at least 12.5V?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I don't recall exactly what the charger read for volts, but it's at "90% capacity" - I have it running a repair cycle now, so I can't take another reading on it again until tomorrow. Will post.
I suppose I should try a fresh spark plug as well.
 

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OK... agreed. 90% voltage on a '12v' battery equals about 12.5~6v. A better way to check is to use a specific gravity tester to determine if there's a dead cell.

However... given that I now don't think it's a battery problem.

How did you set the points? And... if you have no spark, was the timing light firing properly? If you're getting enough current to fire the light then the plug should spark.
 

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VT Homesteader
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Discussion Starter #14
The points are fine too.
Timing light isn’t really used for this engine (ACR camshaft). I set the points correctly using 0.020 feeler gauge and also double checked it using the timing mark and a multimeter as referenced above.
 

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The points are fine too.
Timing light isn’t really used for this engine (ACR camshaft). I set the points correctly using 0.020 feeler gauge and also double checked it using the timing mark and a multimeter as referenced above.
Try setting the points at ".016, I found that ".020 was too large on my 5240.
 
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