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A fully charged 12V battery should read 12.6V. If you've had a charger on the battery, it may briefly read more than that. 12.4V after trying to start it doesn't seem that bad.

Is the engine being spun over fast enough to start?
 

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Discussion Starter #123
I checked the negative attachment to the frame, and it appeared ok. However, it was in a spot that’s hard to access, so I relocated it and made sure the metal was bare.

I don’t think the engine is flooded. Even with the battery charged overnight, it didn’t sound strong when turning over. After that the battery doesn’t have enough juice to turn it over at all. That is, the engine doesnt spin at all. You here the thud when you turn the key, but there’s not enough power to turn it over.

If I try a new battery, what size should I replace it with? The current battery size—group 26—runs about $100. I’d rather not spend that if a smaller battery will suffice.
 

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Maybe try hooking your car battery up to the tractor with booster cables to see if it spins over faster?
 

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Discussion Starter #125 (Edited)
Wish I could, but the tractor is in a place where I can’t get to it with a vehicle very easily. I could pull the car battery out and give it a whirl. With the way it will start to turn over and then not have enough juice to do anything, wouldn’t that suggest the battery? If I try a new one, how many cranking amps are needed?
 

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No idea, 550CCA seems like a small car battery...I put one like that on my walkbehind hydro mower that I made a plow attachment for, to help with starting in the middle of winter. If you are only using it in the summer, then you can probably get by with a smaller one.
 

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Discussion Starter #127
Maybe it's flooded? And check the points.
Hopefully I’ll have a chance to check out the points in a couple days. It looks like rain right now, so I went ahead and covered the tractor and have it plugged in.

The tractor was running so well for the couple hours that was I using it yesterday. Would improper gapping in the points cause the tractor to try to start initially when the battery is plugged in overnight, but then get to where the motor doesn’t turn over at all?
 

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Yes. Dirty, pitted, and/or improperly gapped points will make starting the engine anywhere from more difficult to not at all. The possibility that your battery isn't able to take a full charge makes getting the tractor started quickly more important. The more you try starting the engine, the less starting power the battery will have left, especially a battery that may be past it's prime.
 

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Discussion Starter #129 (Edited)
I haven’t had enough daylight after work to take a look at the points, but I tried a couple things. First, I used a battery load tester and load tested the battery—it appears OK. Second, I pulled the plugs, which were black but not really oily. I then turned the key for a couple seconds and the motor turned. After putting the plugs back in I turned the key and it started and then stalled. I tried to start again, but this time nothing—just the loud click as before without the motor turning over. I pulled the plugs again, but no change—turned the key and just the loud click without the motor turning over.

I suspect that when I try tomorrow after work, that it will start up again. Before Tractortag mentioned that maybe it’s flooded. I’m starting to wonder if he’s right, but why would it have flooded so badly while I was using it and it had been running so well? And why would it be so difficult to get going again? That is, why would the starter just CLICK and not turn the engine over after the first attempt?
 

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Your cables could have corrosion internally and not be transferring the full charge to the starter. Maybe try a jumper cable from battery to starter lug to see if that spins the starter easier or at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #132
The starter sprocket is engaging the flywheel, but the flywheel won’t budge. I pulled the plugs and nothing. I removed the cover off the flywheel and I can’t turn it manually with the plugs removed. I suspect this is really bad news?
 

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Did you check to see if the starter gear lodged itself in the flywheel gear? The flywheel won't turn if I did. If it is, you will likely need to remove the starter to free the starter gear up. Tapping the gear to free it may damage the starter's Bendix.
 

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Discussion Starter #134
The starter gear springs back and is free of the flywheel. I wish this wasn’t the case. Open to any and all suggestions. Thanks.
 

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Well, seems it is locked up. Do you have a desire for a project, or an engine swap? I would start with a mix of atf and acetone in the cylinders to see if I could get them free by soaking. After a few days or a week Id be pulling the heads and using a block of wood and bfh(sledge probably) to pound on the top of the pistons to see if i could free them and get the engine to turn over. Then if successful, move forward with reinstalling the heads if it spun freely and get her sparking ans the carb fueling.
 

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Discussion Starter #136
I actually started a new thread on it here...


Going to dig into it a little more tomorrow.
 
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