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Discussion Starter #1
I have a mid 90's LX172 that I bought used a couple of years ago. It has been a great machine. However, as I was mowing the lawn tonight the engine suddenly sputtered and died. I immediately assumed I was out of gas and checked the fuel level...sure enough the tank was nearly empty. I re-fueled but then the engine would not fire back up. At first I thought that fuel was not reaching the carb but that was not the case. Then I checked to see if the plug was getting fire. I removed the plug, grounded it to the engine and then turned over the ignition...no spark. Then I check to make sure the ignition was sending current to the plug and it was. No problem...I will just change the plug. Installed a fresh (brand new) plug and the engine fired right up! Great now I'm back in business. So I turned off the ignition and started putting my tools away. I then went back over and to restart the engine...and...same problem...it would not turn over. I pulled the new plug out and check to see if it would spark...No Spark...The brand new plug is now bad. What would cause a brand new plug to fowl? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ok...a little update. I spoke with a service tech at the local JD dealership. He seemed to think it could be the coil or the ignition module. The coil will be a $115.00 gamble. I don't know the cost of the ignition module. I think at this point I will take it in for service so I don't get stuck with electrical parts I can't return. I am still open to any suggestions since the service dept has a 2 week wait.
 

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Jersey Mechanic
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Replace the coil AND ignitor, they almost indefinitely fail within 150 hours of each other anyway. You have already done the diagnosing, they are going to do the same thing but charge you labor on top of it. This is of course if the engine is running normally with a fresh plug and not loading up or smoking black.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You make a good point Dan...I think I will skip the 2 week wait for service, go ahead and purchase the parts and install them myself. Is the ignitor difficult to get to? I have already removed the coil.
 

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Jersey Mechanic
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The ignitor is the small sliver box on the side of the engine, has 1 screw holding it on and 1 wire run to it, let me post the diagram for you.

Dan
 

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The ignitor is the little silver box right behind the dipstick on my 185 (next bigger Kawasaki motor). Should be pretty close to the same place on yours. Was going to post a picture but my camera batteries went kaput.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Update - Mysterious Plug Fowl

I bought a new coil from my JD dealer today. I installed the new coil, attached the plug wire to the plug, grounded the plug to the engine block and hit the ignition...plug has fire and a good strong spark...Things are lookin good. I went ahead and put the engine cover back on. Then installed the plug and tried to start the engine. Well, it want start. Pull the plug and ground to frame...no fire! Place tester (just the type with a single bulb to indicate current) on the end of the plug wire. It has current flowing to it. Place plug wire on plug and ground plug to engine block...NO SPARK!!! I have not replace the ignitor YET. The coil was $74.00 and the ignitor is $80.00 does anyone have any suggestions. This could get expensive quick.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The plug is new...and no I don't have a inline tester. Basically all I have is a cheap tester that test for current only. It consist of an alligator clip on one end and a probe on the other with a light that indicates current.
 

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Jersey Mechanic
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We have to be missing something, can you remove the kill wire from the engine or from the coil and retest? Lets isolate the engine from the safety system and go from there. Report back.

Dan
 

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what about the plug wire? moving it around -you get spark & then you dont
 

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Jersey Mechanic
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Also disregard my previous post, the 170 is no crank with the safety system, so it would not cause intermittent spark. I haven't worked on the old 100 series for a few years so I miss some of the little details.

Dan
 

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I've found that NGK plugs seem to last longer than others in Kaw engines. Why, I don't know.

I also vote ignitor. Rarely does a coil fail.
 

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Also disregard my previous post, the 170 is no crank with the safety system, so it would not cause intermittent spark. I haven't worked on the old 100 series for a few years so I miss some of the little details.

Dan
100 series wil only go to no spark with the seat switch and PTO 'on' interlocks closed.
 
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