Toro 20017 Recycler Lawnmower Won't Start

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  #1  
Old 09-21-11, 09:27 PM
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Toro 20017 Recycler Lawnmower Won't Start

My Toro has several issues: engine shuts down after approx. 5 minutes running and now it won't start. I checked for spark with original spark plug, no spark, tried new plug, had spark. I then took off carb, cleaned float bowl, jet holes on bolt, sprayed with carb cleaner, checked float needle, and changed air filter. I noted float bowl and gasket needed changing, but reassembled everything to see if it would start and run. Gas leaked from top of float bowl when priming and engine wouldn't start. Checked for spark by grounding plug to block, but had no spark. Disassembled upper half including flywheel, noted ignition coil and stopswitch terminal. My question is if there are any diagnostic checks for ignition coil (lamination) and stopswitch terminal to see if they are functioning prior to replacing? And are there any other components of ignition system that I should check that may cause lack of spark to plug? I already placed order for new float bowl and gasket as original was pitted, and ignition coil and stopswitch terminal. Any suggestions prior to assembly of new parts will be appreciated. Thank you!
 
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Old 09-22-11, 04:30 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Once you had the top of the engine off, you didn't mention that you cleaned the pick up magnet, nor the pick up. Get some emery cloth and polish both parts . Any rust present will cause problems, so they both need to be shiny. An old way of setting the gap on the pick up is to insert a matchbook between it and the flywheel magnet, then tightening the bolts. What shape is your crank keyway? It hasn't slipped or sheared off, has it?
 
  #3  
Old 09-22-11, 10:48 AM
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You mention ordering a new float bowl and gasket. Gas pouring from the carb. may be caused by a sunk (waterlogged) or mis-adjusted float or bad needle valve or seat.

The ignition system is very simple: magnet in the flywheel, coil up close to the flywheel, grounding wire to kill spark, spark plug wire and spark plug. Possible causes for no spark can be:
bad spark plug
bad coil
coil ground wire is grounded
broken spark plug wire
Also check to see if the metal clip that attaches to the tip of the spark plug is attached to the wire core of the spark plug wire.

The easiest way to check the coil is to do what you did by grounding the plug and pulling the cord and looking for spark. Make sure the grounding wire is not grounding on anything. I sometimes disconnect the kill/grounding wire and make sure it's not touching anything.

If the engine previously ran but cut off when it got up to temperature that could indicate a bad coil. Sometimes they will work when cold but die when hot. In this case testing while the coil and engine are cold will make the coil seem good, only to have it quit working when the mower gets hot. In that case I get a new coil.
 
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Old 09-22-11, 08:26 PM
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Thanks for the welcome and reply. I didn't realize I had to sign in to see responses to my inquiry, but now I know. At first I didn't check the magnetic surfaces of the flywheel or lamination (ignition coil), but after your inquisition, I checked and cleaned both surfaces. The flywheel magnet was mostly shinny, but lamination side had minor surface rust which I cleaned. I then checked for spark by rotating flywheel by hand, while grounding spark plug to block with no resulting spark. The crank key and pin was okay and not sheared off. Just to fill you in further, two days ago when I first troublehooted the no start problem, I got a spark from an alternate plug because original had no spark. I went to the part store, bought a new air filter and spark plug, and installed them after cleaning the carb. It was at this point that I could not get a spark from the new plug, nor the alternate one I tried earlier in the day. I ordered the new lamination (ignition coil) and stopswitch terminal online, which I should recieve in a week or two to Hawaii. I'll make a post/thread with the results, after installation.
 
  #5  
Old 09-22-11, 08:54 PM
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Thanks for the response. My original float bowl was corroded and the gasket hard,deformed, and pitted after trying to salvage them, I decided to order them with my other ignition parts online. I'm hoping that will solve the gas escaping from the top of the float bowl when priming, but I will keep in mind about the float and needle if leak continues after assembly. Thanks for educating me further for all the components of the ignition system. I did check and clean the magnetic contacts on the flywheel and lamination (ignition coil) and when I get the new coil installed that should remedy the possibility of a broken spark plug wire/clip. I need to doublecheck the ground wire which I believe is the green wire that goes from the coil to the stopswitch. I need to verify tomorrow after removing the flywheel again. Lastly the possibility of hot temp causing coil to malfunction may be indication of coil going bad especially when I got spark at early stage of troubleshoot and later same day no spark. Will keep you updated after I recieve and install new coil. Thank you for your help. Aloha-Kulika
 
  #6  
Old 09-23-11, 05:10 AM
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Generally you should not have to remove the flywheel to change the coil. If you do remove the flywheel make sure you inspect the key (little square bit of metal about 1/2" long between the flywheel and shaft). If the key is broken in two or if it appears to have "notches" in the sides of it, replace it. It is key to the timing of the engine.
 
  #7  
Old 09-24-11, 01:11 AM
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I removed the flywheel to see where the green wire that connects to the coil terminal went to. I found that it attaches to the stopswitch terminal (hidden by the flywheel) which opens during startup when operator collapses the bail brake to the upper handle, pulling the cable brake which rotates a bracket opening the stopswitch terminal, which then allows the coil to fire spark to the plug. When the bail brake is released to kill the engine, the cable rotates the bracket to close the stopswitch terminal, which then grounds the coil from sending spark to the plug, killing the engine. I had to find out if the stopswitch terminal was indeed doing its job in order to rule it out as causing the problem of no spark (used a continuity tester). As far as the flywheel key on the shaft, it is in excellent condition, not broken, not chaffed. Thank you for bring these items to attention, as it is helping me to rule them out as part of the starting problem. So far, everything points to the coil which I ordered online and awaiting its arrival. Aloha-Kulika
 
  #8  
Old 10-06-11, 03:12 AM
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I finally recieved my replacement parts this weekend and installed the new ignition coil for the starting problem as well as the new float bowl, rubber seal, and needle valve for the gas leak. After installing them, adding fuel, priming, and about eight pulls later, my Toro roared to a well familiar tune. While it used to start with only a few cranks, I think the fuel had to run its course resulting in the few extra pulls. Also the carb repair resulted in stopping the fuel leak. I would like to send a big MAHALO to "chandler", "Pilot Dane", and "Camino Kid" (on the private side) who helped me with expert advice and troubleshoot tips. Also kudos to the Do-It-Yourself website and forum. You have saved me $$ from the repair shop and I was able to get satisfaction for my self-repair. Until next time, stay safe and God Bless! Aloha-kulika
 
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