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White Outdoor GT not starting


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04-16-16, 07:15 PM   #1  
White Outdoor GT not starting

Yesterday I went to mow, while the engine would turn over it was refusing to start. The battery seemed weak while cranking so I put it on the charger for a few hours. Went to try again later only to find that now it won't even turn over, just makes a faint click sound when I turn the key.

I checked the battery voltage and its 12.8v, checked what I think is the solenoid and if I put a screwdriver across the 2 terminals that say AC and B+ nothing happens. The engine is a Tecumseh TVT691-600809B, when I look up the solenoid the part number shows 37395 but this looks nothing like the one I have (assuming I am looking at the right thing) . The part number on mine says Tecumseh 1A183-164, however I can't find anything matching that part online.

Additionally all the information I looked at to test a solenoid talks about 3 or 4 terminals, what I am looking at only has 2 (I removed it from the engine besides the started, no other terminals) so I don't even know I am testing it correctly. Do the symptoms sound like a bad solenoid or could the starter be bad since jumping the terminals does nothing. This of course assuming I am looking at the solenoid.

Thanks

 
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04-16-16, 10:33 PM   #2  
Sounds more like corroded battery clamps.

A solenoid must be a minimum of three wires and there are usually four on garden equipment.
Pictures of what you're testing would be helpful. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html


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04-17-16, 07:23 AM   #3  
Are you counting the terminals with the battery cables as well? There should be one or two small terminals besides the battery cables. If only one small terminal, the other wire may connect on one of the mounting bolts for the solenoid or ground.

While cranking on it with a low battery, the starter may well have lodged in the flywheel. Look to see if the starter is engaged. If so, you can usually disengage it by spinning the engine by hand back and forth a bit.


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04-17-16, 07:45 AM   #4  
Battery terminals look fine, but here are some pictures that may help:




Hopefully that helps, if I look at an engine diagram that piece shows as the solenoid, but again looks nothing like the picture above.

 
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04-17-16, 10:56 AM   #5  
That is not the starter solenoid. Follow the red cable from the starter back, or the positive cable from the battery, both will connect to the starter solenoid.

A model number for the tractor will be very helpful. That will have details, just the engine is no help.


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04-17-16, 11:00 AM   #6  
While cranking on it with a low battery, the starter may well have lodged in the flywheel. Look to see if the starter is engaged. If so, you can usually disengage it by spinning the engine by hand back and forth a bit.
This-----^ ?


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04-17-16, 12:51 PM   #7  
Will take a look later, it's a White Outdoor GT2150. Is it possible the solenoid is behind the gas tank somewhere? I can't see much underneath that area but at least know I am not looking at the solenoid!

I took the top cover off the engine and am able to turn it by hand back and forth. Still does nothing but a click when turning the key.


Last edited by naiku; 04-17-16 at 01:54 PM.
 
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04-17-16, 04:29 PM   #8  
Another thing you can do, if you have a battery charger with and OFF position, connect the ground to the battery ground, the positive to the terminal on the starter and briefly turn the charger ON. You can also do this with another battery and jumper cables, but beware of sparks.
If the engine even attempts to spin then I would suspect the solenoid, if you get the exact same results, then I still think you might have a stuck starter pinion.


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04-17-16, 05:15 PM   #9  
What does the battery voltage read while trying to start? What are you checking battery voltage with? It's only a u1-1 battery and looks like it's been around a couple of years, so that's why I'm asking. Undersized battery that usually only lasts a year or two.


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04-17-16, 05:20 PM   #10  
I half wonder if for the $100 or so I should just replace the starter and solenoid. The mower had been tough to start for a while, one warmed up it improved but cold starts were tough.

Will check using a battery charger first if I can to see how that goes though.

@Cheese checking with a DMM, have not checked it while trying to start it but can tomorrow.


Last edited by naiku; 04-17-16 at 06:21 PM.
 
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04-19-16, 11:17 AM   #11  
Posted By: BFHFixit Another thing you can do, if you have a battery charger with and OFF position, connect the ground to the battery ground, the positive to the terminal on the starter and briefly turn the charger ON. You can also do this with another battery and jumper cables, but beware of sparks.
If the engine even attempts to spin then I would suspect the solenoid, if you get the exact same results, then I still think you might have a stuck starter pinion.
Well, I think we have a winner. Hooked the battery charger up as suggested and the engine tried to spin. So, at this point decided it may well be the solenoid. Started hunting around, took the gas tank off, nothing there, looked underneath, nothing there. Took the battery out, nothing....... wait.... behind the battery mounted to the tractor itself....



Bit awkward to get out, but once removed I checked it with a DMM and it's dead. Headed to find a replacement now and hopefully be back up and running soon.

Another quick question, since I have the mower half torn apart I would like to replace the fuel lines (some are old, clearly getting brittle). What sizes and lengths should I pick up in order to replace them all?

Thanks for all the help!

 
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04-19-16, 12:21 PM   #12  
How did you check it? Just curious. The fuel line is 1/4" but you'll have to figure out the length.


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04-19-16, 12:29 PM   #13  
I checked it via this method:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GS4UUTZStIw

Essentially checking continuity of the solenoid.

Figured it would be 1/4" ID fuel line, for now I think I will pick up about 10' of line, cut what I need and pick up more if I need it.

 
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04-21-16, 12:46 PM   #14  
Quick update... new solenoid arrived today, connected it up and the engine started up almost right away. I suspect the solenoid was on it's way out for a while as it had been difficult to start the last few times I mowed.

Glad I held off on picking up a new mower I was looking at Monday evening!!

 
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04-21-16, 03:49 PM   #15  

While that is a quick easy check it is not always 100%. Some times they will pass this static test but the contact/relay will drop out when starter amperage is applied.

1/4" fuel line? Might check or take a chunk with you, most I see is 5/16".


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04-21-16, 09:05 PM   #16  
Most every riding and push mower with a small engine takes 1/4" fuel line. New engines even come with a length of it up to the fuel filter from the factory.


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04-22-16, 06:23 AM   #17  
@BFHFixit thanks for the additional info on the solenoid, I had seen a couple other methods for checking them, but since it failed on this one was fairly confident.

1/4" is correct on this engine, I replaced all of it yesterday apart from a single piece that is about 5" long that does in fact appear to be 5/8".

Funny the amount of joy that you get from turning the key and it starting right up!!

 
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04-25-16, 03:44 PM   #18  
Still not right!

OK, so the initial joy of the solenoid fixing the hard starting has worn off. Went to do some mowing Saturday and while it eventually started, it took several attempts before it got running. Once started it was fine. I went ahead and replaced the battery, but it made not a whole lot of difference. Going to clean all the terminals, but I already gave most of them a scrub with a wire brush when replacing the solenoid.

Could it be the valves need adjusting? I am not sure when it was last done, was reading another thread where someone suggested adjusting the valves and it cured the issue they were having. Hard to start, but once running the engine has no problems. Assuming the valves at least need checking, how the heck do I go about doing so? The engine is a Tecumseh TVT691 if that helps!!

Update: Odd it started fairly easily a short time ago, however I would still like to check and adjust the valves as I have no idea when they were last checked. I found a procedure and it looks fairly straight forward, I just need confirmation that the clearance should be .004in or .102mm

Thanks.


Last edited by naiku; 04-25-16 at 05:36 PM.
 
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04-25-16, 06:15 PM   #19  
I set them both around .005 inches. Most call for 004-006 thousands inches. This is for Overhead Valve Engines.
Best I can find on that engine is it is a V twin OHV, which I have not seen a tecumseh in this configuration, but I would imagine the clearances should still work.


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04-29-16, 06:07 PM   #20  


OK, so I checked the valves and they are all within specs. Still refusing to fire right up. Getting pretty fed up now. Along with checking the valves I cleaned battery terminals, where the power wire joins the starter etc.

No difference.

The spark plugs I did notice are somewhat black so I plan to replace those next.

What is weird is that a small green wire that was attached to the same point as the ground wire from the battery started to melt through the insulation while I was attempting to start it. So, now I am not sure where that small wire goes and would like to figure it out to potentially replace it.

Any other suggestions other than spark plugs? At this point it has a new battery, new solenoid, valves are good, terminals have been cleaned.

Thanks.

 
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04-29-16, 07:05 PM   #21  
I'd think about cleaning the ground cable connection at the frame and make sure the engine bolts are good and tight, providing a proper ground for the starter.


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04-30-16, 04:27 PM   #22  
So the small ground wire that started to melt appears very short and is attached besides what I believe to be the transmission. About 8"of wire so I can easily replace that.

I cleaned any terminal that I could find to no avail. Pulled the spark plugs, sanded the electrode, put them back and it still did not start right up. But, it did start sounding like it was close to starting. Tried again and it did start with a small puff of smoke.

Going to pick up new plugs tomorrow, will see what that does. I did notice the gaps looked different between the 2 plugs. Going to research what the gap should be, if anyone knows please let me know.

 
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05-02-16, 08:14 AM   #23  
New spark plugs appear to have made a difference, it's still not starting right up but does not take 10 minutes of cursing before it starts or I give up. The engine cranks strongly now, it's almost like that last little piece it needs to get it to start is not quite there.

When I get some more time I think I will hunt for any 12V/ground wire and make sure it is in good shape, that both ends are clean etc. When running the engine is great, gives me no issues at all, it's just getting that first start of the day sorted!

Outside of hunting down and cleaning any remaining wire terminals, the only other thing I could think of would be swapping the starter. But, I am assuming (maybe incorrectly) that since the engine cranks over strongly the starter is in good shape.

 
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05-02-16, 11:24 AM   #24  
Make sure your choke is closing completely.


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05-02-16, 02:07 PM   #25  
Posted By: BFHFixit Make sure your choke is closing completely.
Would the easiest way to check that to be removing the air filter and then simply looking at the front of the carburetor to make sure the disc is closing fully?

I know that the choke cable needs replacing, if I pull the lever the cable pulls the small piece (no idea what it is called, sorry) at the top of the carb to open the choke. But, when I push the lever back in the cable does not retract, I have to reach over to the carb and push the little piece back again to close the choke. Replacing the cable is on the list of things to do once it is starting smoothly!!

 
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