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  1. #1

    Default expert help needed


    I have a garden tractor with a K532 engine. This tractor runs absolutely great---when it runs. I mow approx 20 acres with it, so need it running during the growing season.

    I restored this tractor from the ground up a couple years or so ago. A friend who used to work for a big small engine shop rebuilt the engine for me.

    I have worked on equipment for years. I'm a good mechanic, but not so good as a diagnostician.

    What my tractor does is:

    1. Sometimes start, sometimes not

    2. When it starts, it runs great, and has full power.

    3. Runs for a random interval, then dies suddenly.

    4. When it doesn't start, it simply won't fire, even with a whiff of ether.

    5. After sitting for awhile, it will normally restart just fine.

    6. Generally, the run time gets shorter, while time before it will restart gets longer.

    The situation is very frustrating.

    Here's what I've recently done to it:

    a. new factory coil
    b. new points
    c. new plugs
    d. new plug wires
    e. new air cleaner filter
    f. electric fuel pump checks OK; sounds normal, and pumps a good stream when hose slipped off carb and pump run.
    g. regulator/rect unit seems OK; battery is charging fine, with just over 12vdc going in.

    My impression is that the problem may be temperature related, but not sure on that (as it will sometimes restart when hot).

    What's left to replace? Ignition switch (easy and cheap), and electric fuel pump (easy and not too expensive). What else that might cause this?

    Sure would appreciate some thoughts on directions I can head out in getting a good fix on this thing.

    I don't know this specific engine. Are there known issues with it that relate to my problem?

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: expert help needed

    Here are a few basic observations.. and for the record.. I havn't a clue about the make of your engine.

    If it won't start on ether, then it has no spark, or woefully low compression.. or -0- air supply. Easy to check the spark right at the stall / no start time by pulling the plug.

    Quickie compression / vacume test can be done with your thumb over the empty spark plug hole.

    I'd look at the points / coil / pickup area.. especially if it has a grounding switch to ground the points to shut the engine down. The wire to the switch may be intermittantly grounding out..

    Soundguy

  3. #3
    Gold Member
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    Oct 2004
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    Fayetteville, Georgia now should be GATC45
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    New Holland TC-45D

    Default Re: expert help needed

    Make sure the fuel tank vent is not plugged. You maybe pulling a vaccum on the tank shutting off your fuel supply. Does it run if you remove the fuel cap ?

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Location
    SW Alabama
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    NH TC-33D

    Default Re: expert help needed

    Soundguy and Mark gave you good advice. In your list of things you don't specifically mention the condenser. If you didn't replace it then do. I've seen them give heat related problems and even just plain weird problems. I had a problem once that was identical sounding to yours. I had electronic ignition and it turned out to be the reluctor. It would get hot and not fire until it cooled which was a random amount of time.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    Jun 2003
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    Northern, New York
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    Kubota L3830 03: RTV 900

    Default Re: expert help needed

    Good thought DavidJ, I was was going to suggest that also.

  6. #6
    Silver Member Bluecheck546's Avatar
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    SE Georgia
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    04 2015 Mahindra

    Default Re: expert help needed

    It sounds like you got a electrical problem,.... overheating.
    Either or both, coil or capacitor should be checked and replaced. Good luck. My2

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    38
    Location
    Sanibel, FL
    Tractor
    YM2200

    Default Re: expert help needed

    I once had an 2 cycle outboard that had a good spark and would not start on ether, turned out to be a bad reed valve.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member GregJ's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
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    Washington
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    Kubota B7500/LA302FEL/4672BH ; John Deere LX277

    Default Re: expert help needed

    I had an engine recently that had exactly the same symptoms. I replaced the coil and that was it. I also have a friend that had an engine with the same symptoms. He replaced the coil and the symptoms continued. Just for grins, he replaced the new coil again and the problem disappeared. I guess the lesson here is when diagnosing, just because it is new doesn't neccessarily mean it works. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

    Greg

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Apr 2000
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    752
    Location
    Saline, Michigan
    Tractor
    L3700SU

    Default Re: expert help needed

    This sounds like a coil problem. I've seen coil problems like this when the coil gets too hot. Can you mount a heat shield near it. Or mount it in a cooler location?

  10. #10
    Silver Member
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    Oct 2004
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    Location
    Burks Falls, Ontario
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    yanmar 195D (for sale)

    Default Re: expert help needed

    Yup, a hot coil can do it, but the coil will heat up electrically, so isolating it won't make much difference.
    First check for spark when it won't start. If spark is okay, then do a compression test . First when cold, second when it quits. May not see much difference but compression should at least be over 90 PSI. If it appears to be low, Put a little oil in the cylinders and retest, if this makes a noticable difference then you have a ring problem if no change then it is valves. Most likely weak rings from what you describe.

    Take it from an old wrench!! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

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