Lawn Tractor Problem


Old 12-28-02, 11:05 PM
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Question JD170 Lawn Tractor

I have a 1990 JD170 w/ a 14hp model FC420v Kawasaki engine. I cannot get it started. A few weeks ago it had dead gas in it but I pumped it out and cleaned the spark plug and then got it started after 2mo of sitting. I let it run for 15 minutes medium to high throttle. I put it away for a few weeks and it won't start. Put new spark plug in and pumped gas again and put fresh in and no difference. It puffs plenty and runs for few seconds but dies. When it runs it those few seconds it is just chugging. Any suggestions?

Also when it was running. The shift lever has no detent that you feel so you don't know if you are in gear until letting out the clutch. When it goes some times it snaps you neck back because it then catches. Also when you getting in gear and you are mowing along it sometimes jerks somewhat as if it is jumping in and out of gear. Any suggestions on this one too?

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Old 12-29-02, 10:39 PM
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Hello Doug!

First, we need to determine if we have spark. Remove the spark plug, connect it to the wire, and let the plug touch metal on the engine. Crank the engine. If you see it sparking with a nice blue spark, then you probably have fuel problems. If you don't have spark, then try a new plug. If still no spark, we have to start tracking down that problem. So at this point, we need to know if it is firing or not, so we know what to start diagnosing.

The jerking feeling could be a couple of teeth missing on a gear, or a bad belt, burned thin in a spot. If it only jumps in one gear, then it is most likely a bad gear in the transaxle. If it does it in all gears, it could still be a bad gear, but it could also be a belt problem.

Is the gear selector indicator marked for neutral, or is the indicator happens on a lot of deeres? If it is missing, you may want to find neutral and mark it with a permanent marker or paint pen so that you don't start it in gear. It should have a neutral safety switch to prevent it from cranking at all if the tranny is in gear. Look for loose wires or a loose connector around the top of the tranny, probably behind and a little left of the tranny pulley. They may have gotten unplugged from the safety switch.

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