Lawn Tractor Trouble Update


I promised when I got this fixed I would post the results.
Last fall, I was having trouble with my lawn tractor and posted about it. The tractor would run for about a half hour and then just stop. It would have to sit for two or three hours before it would start again. This machine has a 15 hp Kohler engine in it.
I got through the last few mowings last year without ever getting it fixed but when I went to mow for the first time this year it didn't want to start but finally did. It ran for about 20 minutes and quit. I let it sit all night and tried to start it the next day and it would not start at all.
But this year when I pulled the cover off of the engine I noticed the likely problem right away. It was the magneto or what we used to call the coil. I don't know how I over looked that last year. It has been a while since I have had to work on an engine. I replaced the spark plug but completely ignored the thing the spark plug wire ran to.
Oh well, it's fixed now at least.
David
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On Tue, 13 Apr 2010 08:00:02 -0700 (PDT), hibb

Ok how did you determine the mag was bad?
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Jeff The Drunk wrote:

because that's all it could have been if losing spark.
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On Apr 13, 11:23 am, Jeff The Drunk wrote:

The ignition on this thing is simple. Key switch, magneto and spark plug. There are some safety switches in the mix such as on the seat and the hydrostatic lever has to be in neutral but the thing won't even turn over if those aren't working.
Since I didn't have any tool with which to test the magneto and I already had replaced the spark plug, I figured the magneto was the next logical culprit and took a chance and replaced it and it worked.
David
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On Tue, 13 Apr 2010 11:43:33 -0700 (PDT), hibb

Oh ok sounds reasonable.
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That's how some car mechanics and doctors troubleshoot, too.
--
Christopher A. Young
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On Apr 14, 8:00 am, "Stormin Mormon"

I've seen it in both instances. Looks like I am in good company.
David

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Thanks. I have high regards for you, also.
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On Tue, 13 Apr 2010 11:23:52 -0400, Jeff The Drunk wrote:

That's easy..
Have the helper hold the metal wire terminal and then yank the cord.
What happens next <G>
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Oren wrote:

I thought that only worked for snakebites?
TDD
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Andy comments:
Actually, that's a good way to test the lmagneto. however, I remove the wire from the plug terminal and hold the wire, in case the plug is shorted. By pulling the cord slowly, I'll get a small ljolt. It isn't dangerious, or a big deal. Then I put the wire on the plug and touch the tip and pull the cord, slowly. I should get the same level of jolt if the plug isn't shorted of fouled. There's nothing dangerous about this, and it isn't very unpleasant, unless one has a phobia about small shocks. It's also very very quick, and can be done in full daylight. It's also good to make sure your hands aren't wet or sweaty :>))))
Andy in Eureka, Texas
PS Don't do this with an electric start machine unless you are well prepared to shout "Eureka "....
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hibb wrote:

So what was it? Loose, too far away from the fly wheel, full of crap, broken wire, replaced it or what?
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LSMFT

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I don't know for sure but the wire that goes to spark plug was a lot stiffer than on the new one so the insulation might have degraded. But I recon it was not able to stand the heat for more than a half hour for some reason.
David
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I've also seen cheap motor oil, that doesn't run properly in air cooled engines. Please also do an oil change, and put in name brand oil. Castrol is my favorite, because on my last truck, it was the only brand that quieted the rod knock.
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Most people usually replace the magneto after a process of elimination especially if it is an intermittent problem like yours, "Ive tried everything else that the only thing left". Unfortunately intermittent problem are a bear to find if it is not obvious whether its an air , fuel or spark problem.
When I was a kid I had a go-cart that I couldn't get going again after tearing it down and putting it back together. I had done this successfully a number of times. I finally gave up and took it to the local small engine repairman. He looked at it pulled the screw out that held the ground wire for the magneto and replaced it, pulled the cord twice and it fired up. I had put a painted screw there. I bought him a coke.
Jimmie
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The first thing I did last year was to mess around with the fuel system. I replaced the fuel filter and when that didn't help, I was suspicious that the fuel fill cap might be plugged up so the tank would not ventilate.

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hibb wrote:

So what was it? Loose, too far away from the fly wheel, full of crap, broken wire, replaced it or what?
--
LSMFT

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I replaced it.
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