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Simplicity314

No Spark

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Simplicity314
64 LL w/ 23D, battery ignition. Checked usu. suspects: Tried 2 different working coils and 2 different spark plugs. Polarity on coil is okay (Neg. going to condensor). Points cleaned good and gapped, set screw bolt tightened and gap rechecked. Coils, points, condensor all less than 1 year old. I should be good to go. Only thing I changed was moving the toggle switch and swapping wires so 'on' would be up. Before, the blades would hit the hood and short out if I just turned the switch 180-degrees for the switch position. Is it possible that the switch might have a one-way flow and polarity matters??? I know they are open/close circuit. Actually...didn't occur to me to do a continuity test on the thing until now. I am taking coil power from the push-button pole where the pos. bat. terminal attaches. Should I power it straight from the battery? Is it possible that the s/g might be drawing so much current that there's not enough for the coil? Any thoughts??? Thanks in advance. --Jim

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Simplicity314
Well, Maynard, I wired it all as to the wiring diagrams, except the coil, of course. The coil power either came off the lights or the VR...don't remember because I started taking it apart before I broke my arm. Both terminals on the coil/toggle wires were the smaller size of the posts on the coil so it couldn't go anywhere else..like I said the VR or the lights, but I remember thinking it was an odd place for it--never seeing it that way in diagrams-- but never had anything w/ bat. ignition before so what do I know. Where does everyone else take their coil power from? Thanks Maynard.

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HubbardRA
Jim, if you have a lead with clips on the ends (or make some type of temporary lead), connect between the battery + and the + side of the coil, then try starting. If it doesn't have clips, then hook the lead up in a manner that it can be easily removed to shut off the engine. If it starts and runs with this wire in place then you will know that it is an electrical problem between the battery and coil. That leaves only the switch, the wires, and the connections to check out. I have used this technique many times, especially when having starting problems. If the engine runs with the jumper, then move the connection to the point where you are picking up the power on the pushbutton. If it runs there, then move to the input side of the switch. If it runs there then go to the output side of the switch. This sequence will tell you where the power is not flowing. You can do the same thing with a voltmeter, if you have one, or even a 12V bulb with two leads on it. attach the ground lead to the chassis or battery - pole, then touch the other lead to the various connections to see where you actually have power. Once you determine where the power ceases to flow, then you know what part needs fixing. I have broken numerous toggle switches when disconnecting and reconnecting wires or when removing the switch for some reason. Most times it ends up being a lack of electrical connection between a wire and one of the terminal connectors.

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Simplicity314
Thanks Hubbard, Maynard...have spark now. Used heavier grit sandpaper and squared off the points. Now another problem--hope it's just a flywheel problem. Yikes. Started it and it stumbled ...better than I expected given the time it sat. Hit the starter again and the flywheel pulley spins but the front shaft doesn't :/ .Soooo...the rod spinning on the crank? Hoping it's a fywheel issue since one of my arms is weak from the break so maybe loose flywheel nut. Engine turns fine w/o spark plug in hole, only flywheel spins if spark plug is in/there's compression. Might be bringing my RBT to the show now LOL... Time to pulling the engine. Again.

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BrianP
Not to hijack the thread, but I've been having an irratic spark on my 3410 that sounds similar to this problem. Do keys ever just move instead of shearing off? I'm thinking that may be my problem. New coil, new battery ready to try new points/condenser next. BTW I get my power from where the positive cable of the battery attaches to the solenoid and from there to the dash toggle switch. Has worked fine for 15 years now. Brian

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Simplicity314
Thanks. My problem has since been solved. It was the points. Make sure they are filed or sanded well and gapped. If you have the original coil, it does matter if there is play in the flywheel key: Your timing will be off.

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BigSix
Brian: Yes, keys do "move," as in, get partially sheared. Twice, I have done this on a Crapsman walkbehind I abuse regularly, as a woods mower. When I've hit a largely imobile stump, and restart, I'll notice less than max RPM, or erratic running, difficult starting, backfiring upon cranking, and usually all of the above. This particular key is a three-sided affair (late model stuff) and seems more fragile than a traditional Woodruff or similar-styled key. The timing will change AS IT'S RUNNING, then it will stall, and be difficult to start. I've come to recognize the changing RPM (at max throttle and no load) or the fact that blipping the throttle causes misfiring (the now-slipping flywheel is advancing/retarding on the crank, thus changing the timing, and therefore the max RPM) as signs of a partially-sheared flywheel key. But I would think it would be harder to shear a key on a garden tractor than on a push mower, as the flywheel and blade are directly linked on the mower, and not on the tractor. But I suppose there's other ways to aburptly stall a tractor that could shear your key. Hope that helps. Peter

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