My Tractor Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

My namesake tractor is giving me trouble again. It will crank, but it won’t catch. The fly wheel turns one revolution slowly, and will continue until I let go of the key.

Here’s what I tried to fix it:
Replace the spark plug.
Check for spark with an inline tester (passed).
Take apart and clean the carburetor.
Inspect the fuel filter.
Charge the battery.
Visually inspect the wiring.
Replace the armature.
Unplug the seat switch from the armature.

After I did everything listed above, it started fantastically, and I ran it for about 60 seconds before shutting it down put the cover back on. Now I’m back at square one and very confused.

I’m going to drain the gas tank right now. Maybe it’s bad fuel. Any ideas?
 

·
We're all friends here
Joined
·
14,179 Posts
Sounds like a a problem with the seat switch. Can you check it with a voltmeter?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Update: New tank of gas and it’s running like a champ. I have no idea if bad gas was the problem. The previous tank was my first experience using the ethanol-FREE gas at my local Walmart. I’m back to using Texaco and my fuel cutoff switch.

Weird
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,858 Posts
Based on my understanding of how the seat switch works, unplugging the wire from the armature should have taken the seat switch out of the occasion.
Seat switch should not matter if the brake is on and it's dual switch is working right. also OP said that it had spark. Usually people check seat switch by disconnecting it at seat and that may ensure no spark as connector grounds internally when disconnected. Disconnecting at armature on a briggs would mean removing the shroud and then nothing stops the engine except getting something to ground the armature tab. Not real smart to do with uncovered flywheel spinning. If I were to try that test I would have a long lead connected to armature that I could ground at a same distance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Well, I’m back to square one. I use this mower once a week. Today, it is exhibiting the same problem I described in the very first post. It turns over, but it just won’t catch. I need some help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited by Moderator)
Oil changed. Removed new spark plug and cleaned it. Turned engine several times to eject fuel from cylinder. Cleaned carb again, including needle valve. Checked for spark using inline tester. Passed. Sprayed brake cleaner (all I had for a starter fluid substitute) into the intake.
Sucker still won’t catch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,858 Posts
I just worked on a friend's Kawasaki twin. It was running on right cylinder only. Left cylinder had spark with tester. Even shocked me when applying plastic coated alligator clip for balance test. But when I used clip to ground plug there was no spark. Same thing on right side showed spark. We even pulled valve cover to ensure valve action was ok. So then we swapped the coils. Guess what. Left side had spark. Right side did not. So coil is not strong enough to jump the gap. Bit puzzling since inline tester showed spark when attached to plug. An internally shorted plug would do that but our final testing was with new plugs on both sides.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
Do you have a known good battery to swap in? If not, I'd try having it tested at an auto parts store. A battery may seem good with a multimeter but the auto parts are testing something beyond voltage I believe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Do you have a known good battery to swap in? If not, I'd try having it tested at an auto parts store. A battery may seem good with a multimeter but the auto parts are testing something beyond voltage I believe.
What about this seems like a battery to you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Well, it just started and purred like a kitten. I have no clue what I did to fix it.
In between my last update and it starting, I:
  • Confirmed oil level good
  • Removed flywheel to see if key broken (had to make my own flywheel removal tool; kinda proud of that)
  • Confirmed flywheel NOT broken
  • Completely sanded/cleaned flywheel surfaces
  • Hooked battery charger up to battery
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
Well, it just started and purred like a kitten. I have no clue what I did to fix it.
In between my last update and it starting, I:
  • Confirmed oil level good
  • Removed flywheel to see if key broken (had to make my own flywheel removal tool; kinda proud of that)
  • Confirmed flywheel NOT broken
  • Completely sanded/cleaned flywheel surfaces
  • Hooked battery charger up to battery
You have a bad battery.
It will temporarily hold a charge and then drain.

The major clue is the slow turnover. Over the past 10 years that I've had mine, and I'm the second owner, mine has always done the same thing when the battery has gone bad. That is, it is a bad battery that can be recharged, and will start fine. But the next time it will have a slow turn over, too slow to catch.

Don't believe me? Next time you have a slow turn over with no catch, take some jumper cables and jump it from your car or truck. It will start every time

Just my2 cents
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
You have a bad battery.
It will temporarily hold a charge and then drain.

The major clue is the slow turnover. Over the past 10 years that I've had mine, and I'm the second owner, mine has always done the same thing when the battery has gone bad. That is, it is a bad battery that can be recharged, and will start fine. But the next time it will have a slow turn over, too slow to catch.

Don't believe me? Next time you have a slow turn over with no catch, take some jumper cables and jump it from your car or truck. It will start every time

Just my2 cents
I’d be both embarrassed and relieved to find the source of my problem to be that simple. Help me with your thought process a little bit: if I have enough power for the engine to turn over, and I have enough power for the spark plug tester to light up, shouldn’t I have enough power to get a spark? And if I have enough power to get a spark, shouldn’t the motor catch?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
It will crank, but it won’t catch. The fly wheel turns one revolution slowly, and will continue until I let go of the key.
I'm not a mechanical engineer.
But what have you got to lose by try jumping it off a vehicle? If it works, you know your problem.

Here's what I can tell you:
  • a weak battery on a small engine will turnover slowly and won't keep a charge. It won't ignite either.
  • jump it and it will run fine
  • get a new battery and it will run fine.
After a while of slow turnovers, you end up flooding the engine.

Think of it this way... If you pull the cord slowly on a gas push mower, it won't start. Pull it quickly and it will start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,858 Posts
The magnetron coil needs a minimum rpm to produce spark. Maybe a slow moving piston won't draw fuel ? Or too slow for it to vaporize?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I'm not a mechanical engineer.
But what have you got to lose by try jumping it off a vehicle? If it works, you know your problem.

Here's what I can tell you:
  • a weak battery on a small engine will turnover slowly and won't keep a charge. It won't ignite either.
  • jump it and it will run fine
  • get a new battery and it will run fine.
After a while of slow turnovers, you end up flooding the engine.

Think of it this way... If you pull the cord slowly on a gas push mower, it won't start. Pull it quickly and it will start.
This is consistent with every problem I’ve been having, including, if you read above, that it fired right up after I put the battery on a charger.
I’ll go buy a new battery stat.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top