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John Deer 180 wont start


Azis's Avatar
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06-03-04, 10:26 AM   #1  
Azis
John Deer 180 wont start

Initially I looked at this mower for a problem with it going into reverse, at that time the engine ran fine, I scheduled it for the following week. Between that time something has happened and now the engine will not start. It spins and tries but pops/backfires through the carburetor. I also noticed the deck belt had been shredded, and I suspected timing or stuck valve....
I pulled the flywheel and found the key intact and in good shape with no signs of stress. The stator and coil are fixed with no adjustment. A spark testor inline with the high tension shows good spark. The resitance of the coil from high tension lead to the stack is 18K ohms, (seemed a bit high to me but maybe not for magnatron???)
I pulled the rocker cover and rotating the engine both valves open and close and seem to be in time. (Piston TDC, both valves closed, magnet on flywheel at the coil) Compresion test yeilds 80+ psi. I even went so far as to suspect exhaust obstruction so I removed the exhaust and found none but still has same result. Even a splash of fuel or starting fluid in the carb results in poping, backfire through the carb while trying to start.
I cant help but feel that this must be an easy and common problem with these engines but am at a loss now........
Any help here is greatly appreciated...

Az

 
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06-03-04, 11:44 AM   #2  
DanJV
For the guru's, the 180 had a Kawasaki 17hp engine.

Backfiring through the carb almost has to be a timing/ignition issue. The fact that it is backfiring says its getting fuel to burn and spark to ignite it...just not at the right time. And you've checked for a plugged exhaust. I don't work for a Deere dealer anymore....actually the 180 had just came out when I left and I don't remember any of the ignition information. Hopefully a Kawaski guru can help you out.

 
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06-03-04, 04:32 PM   #3  
Oh Deere

I'm not a Deere dealer but do indeed work on them. Sounds as though it is ignition related trouble you have. A common problem with Kawi's is the trigger module. This is a component in the ignition system. I must say I don't know if there is a test for these modules or not. I've always used the process of elimination theory to determine the problem. And most cases it has been the trigger. This unit is usually mounted outside the engine attached to the speed control bracket. It will have a single small-gauge wire (typically yellow in color) going to it and will be about 3/4" square in size. Check with a Deere dealer in your area for any possible tests that can be performed, otherwise, buyer beware with any electrical item purchase. The part number for this is M70114. Let us know of any tests for such as well as how you make out.

PS. Water in the fuel system tends to exhibit the same symptoms you're encountering.

 
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06-03-04, 05:09 PM   #4  
Azis
Ok I have located a silver box with a single spade terminal, (white wire) originates at the coil-to this box (my assumption is solid state points n condensor?) then back into the harness with the wires from the stator. Will check with a Deer dealer and see if test or part matches # posted here. Only # on the part is "BM11".
As for the water in the fuel, I have not but will check with new fuel, main reason I have not yet is feeding it at the carb with good fuel resulted in the same symptoms.

Thx for replies, will keep it updated as I need to get this bugga outa me shop

Az

 
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06-03-04, 05:13 PM   #5  
Azis
New I would forget something, dimensions on this little critter are 3/4"x1 1/4"x1/4", back is filled with epoxy resin,
Hoping this is the "trigger unit" that was refered too...?

Az

 
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06-03-04, 08:21 PM   #6  
DanJV
Yes, thats it. And yes, thats the solid state eqiv of points and cond.

 
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06-03-04, 11:12 PM   #7  
Hello Azis!

Puey beat me to it again, lol!

Yes, I agree that most likely your trigger module is bad. Your local john deere dealer should have one. They call it an igniter module I believe. One note: the original one made by Kawasaki runs about 80 bucks. Deere recently began getting an aftermarket one that was much cheaper (like $40). Don't buy the cheaper one. It will fail in less than 6mo most likely. Only buy the one that comes directly from kawasaki. The original will have an embossed emblem on the opposite corner of the terminal. The symbol looks like a circle with a design of some sort in the center.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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06-04-04, 12:20 AM   #8  
Azis
OK so far so good cept...local JD dealer is well nm, new one is about 60 bucks, and was told there is no test for it. Seems like an expensive trouble shooting measure should it fail. (Since no doubt there will be a no return on the part)
So I will chat with the owner and or look for a unit to use for a test.
Thx for the help will keep info posted as I find it.

Az

 
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06-04-04, 11:38 AM   #9  
Azis
Hmmmm?!?!? Well the Igniter module did not help. Exact same sypmtoms..fires back through the carb. I had another chat with the owner and if this helps any, the mower was running using it to move wagons what not, shut it off, came back an hour later and this is where it now sits.
I also went back to the fuel, completely drained the bowl let the pump go dry then pumped good fuel to the bowl, also set a sample overnight in a container and found no signs of water.
Any other ideas, contacts or ...?????


 
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06-04-04, 03:56 PM   #10  
Interesting problem. If I were working on the engine myself the next thing I would bring to bear is a timing light. My timing light is a stock unit, and the some one I use on my Chevy, but it will work fine on a single cylinder engine. I've used it on a B&S engine a few times and it will for sure confirm or deny an ignition problem. Just cut off the gas and give the engine a crank and see where you come out. You can always make a mark on the flywheel at TCD by physical examination if necessary.

 
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06-04-04, 10:51 PM   #11  
You're right, there's no test procedure for the igniter. Most of the time that is the cause of the symptoms you described on kawasakis. I keep one just for diagnosis. If the igniter doesn't do the trick, a coil usually does. I don't want to encourage throwing parts at it though. Check everything well. Two other things that I have found to cause this problem are: Low oil (many of these engines had low-oil shutdown switches and if the oil got just at the right level, the switch would cause intermittent spark, hence the backfire), and bad spark plug...especially the nippondenso plugs in that engine.


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06-05-04, 02:42 AM   #12  
Azis
Ok ponder this a bit (as I have ) while I was browsing the online owners manual for the mower, the troubleshooting guide, always a good read for a quick laugh, under "engine backfires" cause is "operator lifts off of the seat"

Now I know these deadmans have been bypassed but by who and how I know not. One for the seat, brake and blades...??? any others or am I chasin more ghosts I am leaning towards a cutout at this point. since the thing was turned off Running.

Az

 
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06-05-04, 10:44 AM   #13  
I have to admit, the problem does sound like it could be an intermittant open cutout but I would think you would see that by observing the spark with a testor like you explained in your first post.

Again, if you have a timing light, why not give it a shot? It's quick & easy and if you get satisfactory results with that test you can quit messing with the ignition system and start looking for the problem elsewhere. On the other hand, a wacko reading will give you the confidence to spend the bucks to buy those expensive ignition system components. For a quick & dirty test it's hard to beat.

Ignore everything I've said if you don't have a timing light. You'll be stuck "flying blind" and replacing stuff until you get lucky.

 
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06-05-04, 04:33 PM   #14  
Azis
Thx Jughead for replying, and by all means I am willing to try anything. I dont happen to own a timing light, however I think I can find one to borrow.
Assuming I can or buy one, how do you suggest setting it all up, and what sort of things should I look for.
I dont know if there is any mark on the flywheel for TDC. I am assuming this test can check valve timing?

Thx again for ya help

Az

 
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06-05-04, 05:21 PM   #15  
You'll have to make your own top dead center marking on the flywheel, but from your previous post I'd say you know how to find it. Just put the piston on TDC and make a reference mark on a fixed point and on the flywheel. Set up the timing light just like you'd do it with a car using the spark for a trigger. Then just crank the engine with the gas cut off briefly and the timing light will tell you just far off the spark is occuring from TDC.

Yes you can use the timing light for looking at the valves/rocker arms, but when you do that you spray oil all over so I don't usually like that test because it makes a big mess. The last time I tried it was on a 16HP Tecumseh with overhead valves.

On my little Honda motor bike they nicely provide timing marks right on the little single cylinder Honda engine. Too bad the American builders won't do the same.

I know that most of the small engine boys don't mess with a timing light because there's no variable spark advance on most small engines (except on my Honda) but it's a handy tool to have when you've tried all the other tricks in your bag and have come up empty. I know I was working on a two cylinder small outboard motor one time that another guy had been working on for many hours. Everything seemed to be right but the engine just wouldn't start. I put the timing light on it and within a short time determined that when the engine was put back together someone reversed the spark plug leads to the two cylinders.


Last edited by jughead; 06-05-04 at 05:31 PM.
 
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06-06-04, 06:50 PM   #16  
Azis
KISS
Of all the fixes well now I have been bitten twice. I did mention in my first post that a spark testor in line with the high tension lead showed good spark. And naturally in the course of my troubleshooting I did examine the spark plug. Now I used to always check for spark by removing the current plug, using an old jumper cable to connect it to ground, let it hang crank and look for fire. This practice became a bit lax as I kept a known good plug handy and used it without pulling the plug currently installed. This is still a good means for a cheap and quick spark testor. For whatever reason I did not check the current spark plug other than visual examination, (It appeared new and only fouled by fuel)
The previous posts in this thread reveal the time I have into it. While about ready to suffer my first lost, I was reading through the user manual and remedy for "engine backfires" is faulty spark plug. I robbed a plug from the pouch on my KDX 200 stuck in the deere cranked it and it belched out a cloud of what ever pollutants I had introduced in the last week then settled to a relieved prrrrr.
Thx to all for the replies and help, and this problem did lead me to find this forum, which I have enjoyed in my brief time here.
I plan to hang about to offer and more likely recieve advice.

Thx again

Az

 
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06-06-04, 07:52 PM   #17  
Thanks for sharing the ultimate solution to the problem even if it made you feel a little foolish. We can all learn a good lesson by the experience. I know I'll put the knowledge in my bag of tricks for the next time.

 
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06-07-04, 12:33 AM   #18  
Glad you got it going! In case you didn't see it previously, spark plug was mentioned in post#11. At least it was an easy fix!


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

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06-07-04, 05:27 AM   #19  
Azis
Sorry Cheese I did miss it , must have been overshadowed by the $$$ signs thinking of the igniter....

Thx gin

Az

 
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