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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Included in the deal of our home 3 years ago was a 1980's Turf Trac machine (same as MTD I think) which was supposedly in 'running' condition. Of course, the owner failed to mention it only ran 20 minutes at a time before overheating! The engine is a 12 hp B&S I/C.

So, I set out to see what I could do ....
1. I removed the front cover and chucked it - after all, it was only held together by mismatched screws and chicken wire at this point anyway, and I figured the engine could use the extra cooling.
2. I partially disassembled the engine and found a mouse nest by the fins. Not good for cooling purposes...
3. I noticed the engine bouncing when running and realized 3 of the 4 mounts were sheared. Bought new bolts and tightened her back down.
4. The screws holding the intake were stripped and when it loosened it sucked air and stalled the engine. Tried larger threading screws but they stripped out too. Used JB Weld as a permanent solution.
5. The deck was pretty beat up and required some pounding back to shape - in addition to a new wheel that I got off a parts mower.
6. After a few cuts, the belt blew - replaced it. Oh yeah, the blades are always engaged, I won't even try to fix this issue....
7. A bracket holding the carb broke in half - I found something in my electrical box (light bracket) that was the perfect size to replace - ta da!
8. The tractor turned right only partially - the bolt holding the pin on the left wheel was long gone - I eventually found another one and put it on.
9. The muffler is gone. I was able to find a pipe at a hardware store that fits, and a muffler at the local shop. Of course, the threading is stripped, so JB Weld will be used again...
10. The battery is getting old. Since the blades are always engaged, it takes extra power to start, so I need to boost it each time to get it going.

The thing sounds terrible, and I found out from a neighbour that it's the 2nd engine which was found in a barn and had to be freed with lots of oil and a hammer. It still overheats after 30-40 minutes of use - maybe the engine is just so worn that there's no way to get a permanent fix!

I've also got a '77 Jacobsen that's causing me grief right now too, but I'll save that for later.
 

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Thats a bummer , is it worth repowering ? or at what point do you call it quits and chalk it up to lesson learned ?
 

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I'd sure fix that Blade clutch if you plan on using it. Is it a electric clutch. Is the clutch froze up or is it getting power all the time? If it's getting power all the time I'd say it's the switch and should not be a hard fix
 

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"ran when parked!"
 

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Bikes/Tractors what else
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My son and I saw an ad in the Chicago Tribune for a vintage Lambretta. Most of them out there are pretty well trashed, so we called and asked how long ago did it run. We were told, it ran when it was parked in the fall.

OOPS. The spider webs were the carb used to be were pretty bad. We should have asked what year>

"ran when parked!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies. Yeah, quits should have been called on this cheapie machine long before I got it, but it's kind of fun to tinker with it when I'm in the mood, and it is just my back up machine which has come in handy as of late.

My '77 Jacobsen is my main tractor, but there is something wrong with the charging or electrical on it. When I start it, the meter indicates that it's charging the battery. When I engage the PTO, the meter does the normal drop but still indicates charge. After warming up though (5-10 mins), the meter either starts to bounce or it drops below 0 - this seems to happen like clockwork. This is especially true when engaging the PTO. The tractor runs for a bit and then starts to cut out, but will stay running provided I disengage the PTO. When I try to re-engage, it dies again. It usually requires a boost to start it the next time I use it and the cycle goes over again. I usually get about 30-40 minutes out of it before it starts to die, but the other day it only lasted about 10 minutes, so I'm guessing it may have blown a fuse.

A couple of in-line fuses have blown this season, so I'm wondering if there's a short somewhere, although I'm not sure that would explain the fact that it always starts off fine. I've checked the wiring and cleaned the connectors but no luck. I do have a diode meter, but only know the very basics of using it. Aside from this issue, it's a great tractor, and I wish I could fix this once and for all so that I can enjoy it for more years yet. Any input or suggestions would be hugely appreciated!

Thanks
 

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That sounds like your PTO clutch is heating up and shorting out internally. Out of curiosity, use the resistance setting on your meter to get a measure of the clutch coil's resistance. To do it, unplug the wires connected to the clutch, set your meter to the resistance setting (ohms) and touch the leads to the coil wires. I'd expect a fairly low reading, perhaps 4-20 ohms. Run it until its hot and draining again, then immediately re-check the clutch coil. I expect you'll have a LOWER reading than before. A lower reading would indicate that the coil inside is shorting across several windings and it will draw more current than it should, thus causing charging system issues and possibly blown fuses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi JRC,

Thanks for your response on this. I realize now that I should have clarified that the alt meter will start to bounce and then go to just under 0 even if I haven't engaged the PTO at all. However, when I do engage the PTO at this juncture, it usually cuts out immediately and then comes back to life once I disengage.

I looked at it again this morning and examined more of the electrical and it all appears to be fine everywhere I've checked and cleaned. I'm now convinced it's not electrical, since the problem always starts to happen at a certain point in time - it's not sporadic. I verified this again today by running it for a while, no issues, including using PTO, and then letting it idle for a while with PTO off. Sure enough, the alt meter indicated it was charging fine (about 10v), then started to bounce between 0 and 10 after about 10 minutes, then dipped below 0 for good. Engaging the PTO at this point kills the engine, disengaging it keeps it going for a little longer while the battery slowly drains.

I've wondered if it's the ignition coil faulting once it hits a certain temperature, but would a faulty coil cause charging issues as described? This is killing me...

:banghead3:banghead3
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi all,

Grey wolf, the machine does have a three-pronged voltage regulator and I did some readings. The bottom prong displayed no current, and the other two prongs could not get a reading as it was jumping all over the place (although I’m not certain if I had the tester on the right setting – I’m a rookie when it comes to the electrical stuff!). I’m not sure if this is the regulator itself or if it’s doing this in response to another issue. I ran over all of the electrical another time and noticed that the one in-line fuse component seemed a little on the loose side and the fuse had blown while I was tinkering so there was 0 charging on the next startup. I'm not convinced this is the issue, but I'll put another component in and run a few new wires to and from it to see if that helps. If the problem reoccurs, as I expect it will, I’ll proceed to the regulator and if that doesn’t help, maybe the ignition coil. I really hope it’s not the alternator itself, as it’s buried in the engine and I understand it’s a bit of a nightmare to get at and not cheap to buy. I’ll be working on it this weekend and will post back how it all goes. In the meantime, any other feedback would be great. Thanks!!
 

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For electrical tests I ve been told and found it to be true that an analog meter , that is a meter with a dial or pointer is more stable than a digital multimeter to get steady reading . If the regulator is the same as whats on my jd140 one lead is the dc volts out of the regulator the other two are ac volts from the stator to the regulator . I m sure one of the other more knowledgeable members will correct me .
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I bought a new inline fuse component and some new connectors and re-did some of the wiring. There was also one more connection that I somehow missed before and, wouldn’t you know it, I found some corrosion there that I tended to. I fired it up, ran it, and just like clockwork the charge meter fell back below zero after about 10 minutes. I was feeling discouraged until I noticed a few minutes later that it bounced back up again and continued the charge/no charge/charge cycle during the whole hour that I cut with it. It’s started a few times since then as well, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that I may have finally fixed it...

I’ll take some pics someday and post to the Jacobsen site – aside from a few quirks, it’s in pretty nice shape for an unmolested 33 year old survivor!

Thanks again for everyone's input.
 
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