John Deere L120 Starting & Fuel problems

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Old 06-27-19, 01:03 PM
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John Deere L120 Starting & Fuel problems

Recently picked up a John Deere L120. I know very little about it's background. The fuel line was not hooked up. I went to Home Depot and bought the correct fuel filter for it and connected the 2 fuel lines together. 1 from tank and the other from carburetor. I then realized that it was still not getting fuel. I checked for fuel in tank which was bone dry and then added approx 1 gallon fresh fuel. Still sounded like it was not getting fuel, checked and changed spark plug and removed air filter and sprayed starting fluid in air box and tried to start again. Engine would crank, run off starting fluid, then die. Still no fuel. Since the only other lawn tractor I had was a Craftsman with a gravity feed tank, it did not dawn on me right away that there should be some kind of fuel pump since the John Deere's fuel tank is under the seat and the fuel lines run under the frame and then run uphill to the engine and into the carburetor, went online purchased replacement fuel pump and then when it arrived went to go install on tractor and I then realized I had no idea were it gets mounted to and where the third {pulse?} line gets hooked to since this was all missing/disconnected when I received the tractor. I don't even see a fuel pump bracket to mount pump on to anywhere. And the kicker is that when I was trying to start the tractor before I realized I needed a fuel pump the tractor was trying to start with the key, now after a few unsuccessful starts via the key the tractor will not do anything when I turn it to start position. I thought that maybe I had "fried" starter solenoid so I bought new one and replaced but same result. If I jump the lugs on solenoid, engine spins but will not fire which I assume is due to no fuel.....
 
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Old 06-27-19, 01:25 PM
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So first off, are you sure that you installed the fuel filter in the right two lines? Is the one on the inlet side coming from the tank and is the one from the outlet side going to the carburetor, and is neither going to the crankcase? There should be a third line there someplace that comes from the crankcase, which is the pulse line that runs the pump. I imagine that the fuel pump was mounted near the top of the engine, on the blower housing or something like that, pretty much in plain sight so you should be able to see a couple of holes where the mounting screws were, and I would guess that it's in the general vicinity of where the two fuel lines came together. As far as no longer cranking, only guessing, but assume that the battery is down and needs to be charged.
 
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Old 06-27-19, 01:34 PM
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Thanks for quick reply. I should have mentioned that the battery is fully charged and is putting out about 12.7 volts. Second the problem is that I have nothing to go by with fuel pump. There was not one on it when I got tractor and there was only 2 fuel lines, 1 from carb and other from tank. So I do not know where the 3rd line would connect to on engine and I have extra fuel line to make connection when I know where to attach it. No where do I see any fuel line nipple/bung to connect to get a vacuum, internet search says should go to oil dipstick tube but I do not see a connection spot and can't find a mounting spot on engine or engine cover where the holes would line up with holes on fuel pump. And yes, I installed fuel filter in right direction and also doubled checked it to make sure.
 
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Old 06-27-19, 02:01 PM
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When I googled an L120 engine, I could see the fuel pump mounted along the side of the upper shroud, so you might want to try doing the same and see if you find one that might be applicable to yours. But if not, any place you want to mount it in that general area should work as long as your screws don't interfere with anything. As far as exactly where the pulse line connects, I don't know, but quite likely one of the other guys will be able to point you in the right direction. Meanwhile though, you said that your battery is putting out about 12.7 volts, and I assume you mean that's what it shows on a voltmeter, so unless you used an actual load tester, and have only cranked with it so far, not run it at all, in the interest of time once you get the lines figured out, I would charge it again to be sure.
 
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Old 06-27-19, 02:15 PM
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Again thanks for quick reply. I know it's hard to diagnose and fix problems remotely without being hands on. I googled it my self (numerous) times. I see where it fuel pumps mounts on a Kohler Engine but On the 17.5 Briggs where it shows on a metal mount my does not have that or even the holes where the metal "mounting" tab should be. I guess I will wait for some one that has same tractor with same B&S engine to tell me or send a picture where exactly fuel pump mounts AND where vacuum line needs to connect.

And after I get done "fixing" the tractor I always put battery on a trickle charger so it's ready to go the next time I go to "fix" my tractor, thanks for the info & suggestions!
 
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Old 06-27-19, 07:23 PM
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On the single cylinder engine, there should be a fitting for a fuel line on the dipstick tube. That's where the pulse line connects to the fuel pump. On the 2 cylinder engine, there is a rubber hose coming up from one of the valve covers that is the pulse line.
 
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Old 06-27-19, 07:39 PM
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John Deere L120 Dipstick

The only holes a see are near the bottom of the dipstick tube and that is where I thought that the fuel pump connected to but the holes do not line up and none of the holes actually connect into the dipstick tube.......
 
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Old 06-27-19, 09:45 PM
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Wonder if someone has changed engines or something.
 
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Old 06-28-19, 06:24 AM
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From the information that I am gathering from internet searches looks like you might be right. And if that is the case and this engine is gravity feed I can either swap in correct engine, install gas tank where battery is now and move battery elsewhere for a gravity feed, or possibly rig up an electric fuel pump. None of which I have time, money and more importantly the knowledge for.....I know just enough to be dangerous, and sometimes very dangerous.....
 
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Old 06-28-19, 07:33 AM
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Someplace on the engine, likely on the side of the top shroud, there should be a tag with the model #, serial #, possibly a code # for that engine. With that information you should be able to go to the manufacturer's website and find a parts breakdown. On that breakdown you should be able to locate the line from the crankcase. Not saying it will be, but seems conceivable that it could be as simple as that engine having the option of a blank cover or one with a nipple for the line, in which case you might be able to just buy and install that and be good to go. Granted, the plastic pulse pumps today do not last as long as the metal ones they used to use, but even replacing it every three years or whatever would be less cost and effort than buying and installing an electric pump. As long as you have a few tools to do the job, I'm sure someone can help you through the rest of it once you see exactly what you have.
 
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Old 06-28-19, 09:54 AM
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John Deere L120 Pulse Line

I never thought that you might be able to adapt an engine to use a pulse line. I am a backyard mechanic {if that!] and learning as I go. I tried to do what you said and went to briggsandstratton.com and looked at the parts diagram but unless I missed it [which is a definite probability) I did not see a different cover that I could switch out and hook up the pulse line......if only it where that easy!

Thanks again for all of your help and if anyone does know that Briggs does sell what I am looking for could you send me a link or the part number so I can order and get back to mowing, Thanks!!!

Here's a picture of what I found kind of hard to see it says :

Model: 31C707
Type: 0230 E1
Code: 03 825Z
 
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Old 06-28-19, 03:03 PM
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Well shucks, I don't know, but there are plenty of others here, probably smarter than me, so hang in there. As far as the cover, yeah, probably not going to find anything. Guess I was thinking of some of the older engines where there was sometimes a plate over a mechanical pump opening when the pump was not needed, but that was mostly before pulse type pumps. Interestingly enough, as you discovered, you can find a pump for that engine, but I did not see one on the parts breakdown that I looked at. The only other thing I found was a halfhearted notation someplace that caused me to think that there may be a place to connect the line someplace on the dipstick tube on some of those engines. Whatever it was, didn't seem worth much, but figured I would mention it in case it might spur someone else's recollection.
 
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Old 06-28-19, 03:21 PM
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All you need to do is put a 1/4" hose barb tapped into the engine crankcase somewhere. It could go into the dipstick tube, the engine block, or the valve cover as long as it doesn't interfere with the rocker arm operation. Then use a piece of 1/4" fuel line to the pulse line of the pump and you already have the other two lines needed, then just strap the pump to a convenient location. No bracket necessary. Basically, you need the 1/4" hose barb, some 1/4" fuel line, and the pump.
 
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Old 07-08-19, 05:31 PM
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Hello, sorry for the long delay in betwen posts, had to go out of town for awhile and had terrible cell service.....

Anyways, thanks again for all the info! I purchased a new dipstick for my engine that has the 1/4" barb for pulse line......but the closer I get to getting this thing to run more problems surface. In preparation to connect the new fuel line, pump and dipstick to get the vacuum going I ran out to more fuel, before I left i poured what I had left into the tank on tractor and went and purchased fuel and returned to a garage wreaking of gasoline. Low and behold the gas tank has a crack in it and when I went online to look at replacements its $133.00 + plus shipping for a new 1 piece (evidently these 2 piece OEM gas tanks crack at the seam) or it's approx $60 for a used tank on Ebay. Does any one know a way to "mend" these tanks? Other suggestions I have had is JB Weld but I did not know how well that will withstand gasoline, or the other suggestion was "plastic welding" which did not seem to be all that hard but I know from experience that I am not the best "solder -er" and with my luck it will leak again....is there anyplace that sells used or aftermarket tanks that will at least semi fir under the seat for less $$$ ??? Thanks!
 
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Old 07-08-19, 06:27 PM
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I hate those tanks. You don't want to chance having a tank full of gas leak out and fill your garage with explosive fumes waiting for a spark from a light switch or appliance relay, do you? There are places to save money, but this isn't one. I remember back when Murray had a recall or something because of those type tanks but the other companies still make and use them.
 
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Old 07-08-19, 07:56 PM
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Yes I definitely want it and me to be safe, but at this point I still not sure how well or at all if tractor runs or how well it does what I bought it to do, Cut grass! I did not want to throw $133 plus tax and shipping at it just yet if there were cheaper and safer options like a new aftermarket John Deere tank or if some one else has the same tank that leaked and replaced it with a similar sized tank that fits well enough in the area under the seat.....If I knew this is all what is wrong I would buy replacement tank eat approx $150 and go mow my lawn, but if this tractor ends up being a dud then I will have a brand new gas tank in a 500lb paper weight/ship anchor if it does not run.
 
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Old 07-08-19, 09:26 PM
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If I'm not mistaken, the seam where this tank is made and is leaking from is near the middle or top of the tank, so just keep the fuel level below that for testing until you get the mower fit for use or condemn it.
 
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