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MTD 990 Twactor Guy
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Hiya!

Just joined the forum a short time ago. Actually, just before I bought my "new to me" MTD 990. I've been on the hunt for a good garden tractor for a few months - watching eBay and scanning Craigslist. Seems as though all the good stuff was too far away from northern Wisconsin. Then I remembered this old guy that had a small engine shop about 3 miles from where I work, so I thought I'd stop in some night after work. Boy, am I glad I did!

Setting beside his shop was this old big wheel garden tractor. At first I thought it was a Case from the color, but when I got closer to it, I saw the MTD on the front grille. Turns out the hood and fenders were faded from a bright red to almost a whitish cream color. You can see it in the pics I've added. When I asked him what was wrong with it, he said nothing that he knew of - maybe needed front wheel bearings. What went with it, I asked, to which he replied a snowblower and a tiller. He said there was a mower deck with it, but I didn't need or want one anyway. Ok, it's looking like a fairly good deal to this point - how much do you want for it? Well, the old guy stroked his chin and said he needed to get what he gave for a trade in. Ok, how much was that? $150.00! Ok - deal - I'll pick it up tomorrow night.

That was 3 weeks ago, and I'm getting closer to a running MTD 990 - yippie! After I got it home, I was able to look it over better. The paint was faded on the hood and fenders, and the paint was flaking off the grille; one headlight was gone and the other was broken; the left front tire had been sitting flat for some time, but was holding enough air to get it rolling; the rear tires were holding air, but there's a lot of weather checking; the original sticker with the model number and a seperate sticker with the serial number are just below the dash, and they look like they were put on yesterday. Well, the seat was shot and the pan was rusty from setting upside down on the ground; the mower deck hanger is there, but no deck; there isn't any 3-point left, just the center connector. This tractor is interesting and puzzling - some of it is faded and rusty, and some of it is just like new - like the stickers and the painted on instructions - strange!

Okay, on with the fix up! New paint on the fenders and hood - rattle can. Amazingly, the pain on the hood was faded, but the decals on the sides were like new. Got a new seat cushion - it says Scott's on it, but who cares! Bought new wheels with bearings for the front - the original ones were shot and had shintered sleeves instead of bearings. Priced out new rear tires, and then had an epithiney - why not put on some used off-road tires! The tread pattern is good for turf, and the price is right - free! A buddy of mine had a pair of 235/70-15's with about half the tread left that he gave me. The size is close, so they'll go on next.

Now it's time to freshen up all the fluids. Checked the gas tank - empty and clean. Changed the engine oil and hydraulic fluid. Bought a new battery and spark plug. Checked all the wiring and connections, and put in new headlights (off the shelf item). Should be ready to go! Put in some gas, pulled out the choke, eased up on the throttle and turned the key. Rump, rump, rrrrrrrrrrrrr! No start! Checked the on-line manual for the 146-990, and it has that if you hear a high pitched sound, it's the starter belt that needs to be tightened. Okay, so I look for the tensioning bolts on the starter. There isn't any! Pulled the spark plug, left the wire on, turned out the lights, and hit the key again. No spark! Yikes - now what? Need some help with this - please! My 990 is a 142-990A, not the 146-990A that the manual is available for. Need to get this running before next weekend, so any help you can give will be appreciated. :thanku:

Check out my Before and after photos here: http://s239.photobucket.com/albums/ff275/BadgerBoater/MTD%20142-990A/?albumview=slideshow

Thanks - Rich
 

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Hi Rich Not much to a magneto points ignition. Start with the easy, make sure the points are opening/closing and clean them up. Check the wiring from the switch to the ignition. I've switched to stens megafire on my stihl chainsaw and my old pushmower with excellent results.
 
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