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No Spark on Mower


John Dillon's Avatar
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07-12-04, 07:33 PM   #1  
John Dillon
No Spark on Mower

This is my first post...seems like a great site. Hope someone can help me figure out what's wrong with my riding mower. It's a Honda 3813 and it won't start. It will try to turn over, but won't start. I've found that there is no spark from either plug. I've had people tell me the problem could be the coil or safety switches. The dealer tells me it will be $100 for the coil and $150 to replace....they will have to take the engine out.

I would like to test the safety switches, but don't know how. I'm not electrically inclined, but is there a tool I can buy to check the safety switches. If there is, what kind/brand of tool should I buy? Any tips on how to check the switches? I know there is a "switch" under the seat, but don't know where else to check.

 
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07-12-04, 10:12 PM   #2  
Azis
Hey ya John,
If you can get some model #'s from the mower, not the engine it will help but I will take a stab.
I and Cheese have mentioned in other posts, if a suspect coil is bad, remove the ground lead from the coil, test for spark (remove the high tension leads from both spark plugs test one side at a time with both plugs disconnected) if the spark test is good, then you have electrical other than ignition. Most likely saftey switch but could be elsewhere in the key circuit.
As far as a tester, a continuity light or small volt meter is rather inexpensive and can aid in many simple tests for switches and voltage.

 
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07-13-04, 01:52 AM   #3  
Hello John!

I am familiar with that mower. (very very good mower) Yes, the coil is a possibility/probability. You can disconnect the kill wire from the coil to test for spark. If you have spark with it disconnected, then you have a wiring/safety switch problem. If no spark, then you need the coil. I found a way to do this without engine removal, but the price they gave you was good, even for doing it the way I do. If the mower is in good shape otherwise, then it's worth the repair cost. It costs a lot of money to get a mower that good.

Azis: That IS the model# from the mower, not the engine. 3813 means 38" cut, 13hp engine. It has a inline 2 cylinder water-cooled engine with a fan, radiator, the works.


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

God bless!

 
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07-13-04, 09:28 AM   #4  
Azis
Wowser...Thx cheese didnt know Honda did that.

 
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07-13-04, 02:54 PM   #5  
John,
The ignition system on your engine may also have another component to it not mentioned above. It is called an igniter module...this may be your trouble. I have seen this cause a lack of ignition more times than the coil. i am not well familiar with this unit, however. Cheese, since you're familiar with this unit, does this engine in fact have this module and what's your take on this being the suspect trouble?

 
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07-13-04, 06:20 PM   #6  
John Dillon
Thanks

Thanks alot guys for the info. A friend of mine offered to help me remove the engine....we may try to do it ourselves if it's the coil.

 
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07-15-04, 01:36 AM   #7  
Honestly, I can't recall if this has anything like an igniter. Seems like it has a CDI module, but not sure. I have one by the back fence by the shop that I can look at to see if it has a CDI or not.

John, if you get the radiator loose, but not disconnected (so you don't have to drain it), let the hood catch cables loose by removing one end, and remove the motor mount bolts from the engine, you can do this without removing the engine, but it is a tight job and a little tricky. You'll also have to remove the battery and battery tray. Then you can remove the timing belt cover and tilt the engine forward enough to get the driveshaft out of the way, and you're looking at the flywheel and coil. Check the timing belt...it's probably old enough to need replacing now, and it will save you from having to do all this again later. Another thing to look at while you're in there...the water pump. The water pump doesn't often go bad, but the timing cogs on the pulley often wear down badly, enough to let the timing belt get too loose. You can tighten the timing belt by loosening the water pump bolts and moving the pump out a bit, like you would tighten an alternator belt on a car by moving the alternator.


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

God bless!

 
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07-15-04, 04:38 PM   #8  
John Dillon
Thanks for the tips. I hope to get time to do this withing a couple weeks. I'll let you know how it goes.

 
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07-15-04, 09:39 PM   #9  
BTW: I looked today, and I did not see any sort of igniter or CDI module. Just a kill wire. I did notice that the kill wire is black with a red line, coming from the back side of the engine with a single connector on it. Unplug this and check for spark before you change the coil. If you have spark, then the coil is good and you have a different problem.


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

God bless!

 
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