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heron

Deutz Allis 1918...No spark..low hours?

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heron

1992, 490 hours, Kohler Magnum 18. Picked up this tractor for my father in law a couple of years ago. I had convinced him to give up his big box MTD garbage. I told him he'd never have issues with a good machine like this..okay, I feel responsible for fixing it for him.

He has only put about 50 hours on it. Has run great up until lately and just this week it would not start. Nothing has been washed. This is a total original machine. Always stored in a dry garage. No spark on the plugs at all. A few weeks ago after sitting in the garage for 4 months it would not fire. I dropped some gas in each cylinder(drops) and it fired right up and ran like a top. This time it will not even begin to fire with a couple of drops of gas in each cylinder.

I'm thinking ignition module either bad or needs adjusting. I have no clue how to even get the shroud off as the way the motor is oriented the blower housing is right up against the cooler.

Anyone have a similar issue with this motor? Please tell me I don't have to pull the motor just to change/test the module...sm00

Is there an easier way to test it out? Thanks much fellas!

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BLT

On electronics, either they work or don't. That being said chase down the wire that grounds the module to stop the engine and disconnect it, then see if engine starts. If it starts the problem is not the module. You'll have to connect the wire to kill engine.

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heron
quote:Originally posted by BLT

On electronics, either they work or don't. That being said chase down the wire that grounds the module to stop the engine and disconnect it, then see if engine starts. If it starts the problem is not the module. You'll have to connect the wire to kill engine.


id="quote">
id="quote">Yes, I'm planning to trying to find it and do just that. The problem with this tractor is the normal diagnosing is harder because of the way it is oriented. I'm pretty sure I'll have to pull the motor if I want to check the air gap or change the module. I was wondering if it could be the diode also...supposedly there is a diode in the kill wire since this is a two cylinder. I'm hoping someone with this tractor has found a work around to do more diagnosing without pulling the motor..

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Brettw

Sunstar clone, correct?

The ignition module should be under the right (as you're seated) side panel of the dash. It is fairly easy to remove the side panel and access the module. Assuming it may be a module issue, I would start with checking all of the connections, cleaning them, etc. Including ground, power, etc.

But first consider: Is there an oil sentry on the engine? If so, try to bypass/disconnect that for testing. If it is failed and preventing spark, you could be chasing this all week and it isn't going to pop no matter what.

Also, because of the way it seemed to occur, any evidence of Mighty Mouse?

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heron
quote:Originally posted by Brettw

Sunstar clone, correct? The ignition module should be under the right (as you're seated) side panel of the dash. It is fairly easy to remove the side panel and access the module. Assuming it may be a module issue, I would start with checking all of the connections, cleaning them, etc. Including ground, power, etc. But first consider: Is there an oil sentry on the engine? If so, try to bypass/disconnect that for testing. If it is failed and preventing spark, you could be chasing this all week and it isn't going to pop no matter what.Also, because of the way it seemed to occur, any evidence of Mighty Mouse?


id="quote">
id="quote">Yes, it is a Sunstar Clone. Problem is the module is under the blower housing. I have to be able to lift the housing up...towards oil cooler but it is right up against it(horizontally). To get the housing off it looks like I will have to remove the oil cooler or remove the engine. The wiring all looks brand new on this machine, no mice, no butchering as it was bought from an original owner at just over 400 hours a couple of years ago. I will check all wiring, grounds etc..but there is no visible rust on this machine anywhere, except maybe some right under the deck pulleys. Wouldn't the Oil Sentry shut it down so it would not even turn over?Any ideas on how to bypass this to check it?Does anyone have a service manual on a Sunstar with the magnum?

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Brettw

I am not certain of the type (if any) oil sentry you may have, but usually it is a single wire that goes to a sending unit, mounted right near the oil filter (again, if so equipped). I believe this is a grounding wire, and if the sentry does not record pressure, it simply grounds the ignition circuit. So, (again, I am not 100% certain)I think if you simply disconnect it, that should eliminate it from working.

KEEP IN MIND, if bypassing/eliminating the oil sentry does allow the engine to start, I would still shut down and determine why. It may be the reason the engine won't fire, but it is also possible it is working correctly and you actually do have oil pressure issues (pump, low oil, etc.). You don't want to trash an engine by bypassing the part that is specifically designed to avoid that. The oil sentry sending units are reasonable, and easy to replace.

With the ignition module, unless I am not understanding the 18 HP vs a 20, there is no way you should have to remove trans coolers, engine, etc., to get at the module. The plastic cooling shroud/baffle (although I am not sure you should need to remove this) is fairly easily removed, as is the side panel. As I recall, once the side panel is pulled, you should have the multi pin plug that goes to the module right in front of you. On some of the modules, they even had a secondary plug to hook up a diagnostic reader. You shouldn't have to remove the module to clean connections, you should be able to pull the side panel and the connections should be right there?

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heron
quote:Originally posted by Brettw

I am not certain of the type (if any) oil sentry you may have, but usually it is a single wire that goes to a sending unit, mounted right near the oil filter (again, if so equipped). I believe this is a grounding wire, and if the sentry does not record pressure, it simply grounds the ignition circuit. So, (again, I am not 100% certain)I think if you simply disconnect it, that should eliminate it from working. KEEP IN MIND, if bypassing/eliminating the oil sentry does allow the engine to start, I would still shut down and determine why. It may be the reason the engine won't fire, but it is also possible it is working correctly and you actually do have oil pressure issues (pump, low oil, etc.). You don't want to trash an engine by bypassing the part that is specifically designed to avoid that. The oil sentry sending units are reasonable, and easy to replace.With the ignition module, unless I am not understanding the 18 HP vs a 20, there is no way you should have to remove trans coolers, engine, etc., to get at the module. The plastic cooling shroud/baffle (although I am not sure you should need to remove this) is fairly easily removed, as is the side panel. As I recall, once the side panel is pulled, you should have the multi pin plug that goes to the module right in front of you. On some of the modules, they even had a secondary plug to hook up a diagnostic reader. You shouldn't have to remove the module to clean connections, you should be able to pull the side panel and the connections should be right there?


id="quote">
id="quote">The blower cover on this motor is metal. Not sure if I am missing something but if I knew how to post pics I would. This blower cover is facing the back of the tractor, up against the oil cooler. There is only about 1" between the blower cooler housing and the blower cover so even if I remove the bolts the cover will not come off far enough for me to get my hand in there to mess with the ignition module. I'll try disconnecting the sentry first and see what happens. To check spark I'm just pulling plug, keeping it attached to wire and grounding it against block..no spark. Not sure if this is the best way to do it as I know the Kohler manual says something about using extra plugs, connecting them together etc...To the other poster; the motor turns over great and even when I put a few drops of gas in the cylinder it would not fire which reinforces my theory there is no spark. It would not even kick a tiny bit with the gas. The reason I'm having trouble believing it's the module is because the low hours but I know it's still 22 years old. The spark plug wires definitely looked dry rotted some but not big cracks etc...

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BLT

On your dash, do you have a oil light that goes off when engine starts? If you do that's the low oil pressure light and not oil sentry. Your ignition grounding wire should be white on the engine and on a 3- way plug. The other two wires are the charge wire and LOP light and it won' hurt to disconnect plug and spin engine over to check for spark. Make sure other plug wire is disconnected for your spark test.

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heron
quote:Originally posted by BLT

On your dash, do you have a oil light that goes off when engine starts? If you do that's the low oil pressure light and not oil sentry. Your ignition grounding wire should be white on the engine and on a 3- way plug. The other two wires are the charge wire and LOP light and it won' hurt to disconnect plug and spin engine over to check for spark. Make sure other plug wire is disconnected for your spark test.


id="quote">
id="quote">This motor definitely has the oil sentry as it says right on the blower cover and I unplugged it at the sending unit to try that, no success, still no spark. I do have a harness with a plug and one wire goes down with the spark plug wires to the module. I was not sure if I unplugged this if I'd hurt anything else. I did check the ignition switch, looks brand new, no corrosion or anything. All grounds etc..look fine, tight no rust, nothing. So, the other plug wire should be off to check spark test? Leave the other plug in, pull the wire off and then pull the other plug out and ground it to look for spark, right? I'll go try it. I'm still debating whether I should pull the motor or pull out the oil cooler and make room for the cover to slide towards the rear of the tractor? I cannot even see how to get in there to disconnect the driveshaft.Is there any way to post pics on this site?

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BLT

Just unplug the tractor from the engine. The reason you take off other spark plug wire insures that the engine will not start as you have no quick way to shut it down when the 3 way plug is disconnected.

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heron
quote:Originally posted by BLT

Just unplug the tractor from the engine. The reason you take off other spark plug wire insures that the engine will not start as you have no quick way to shut it down when the 3 way plug is disconnected.


id="quote">
id="quote">Sorry, yes,I unplugged it and still no spark at the plug...I guess I'm pulling the engine. Not sure on this model how to easily take off the drive shaft. Unbolt the flange at the motor first...? Hard to get up in there thru the oil cooler..yikes.

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Brettw

Let's start from scratch, and, assume there truly is no spark, therefore, we take compression, fuel, etc. out of the equation. Before you end up pulling the engine, have we exhausted all other possibilities? It's a twin, so I doubt it would be both plugs. However, I had issues with a Magnum, and as it turned out, it was bad plugs, one of which was brand new. So, maybe try new set of plugs.

Next. You say you have electronically disconnected the engine from the tractor (ignition, not starter). So, we can spin it over, and there should be nothing keeping the spark circuit from firing plugs, in regards to nanny's, oil sensor, etc. Again, assuming there is no spark, that would lead one to believe it is a "coil pack". This is under the fan shroud, and certainly would require removal of the engine to access it.

A few other questions: When pulling the plugs, after all of this spinning over, are they wet? Are we sure it is spark and not fuel?

When we speak of "ignition module". are we talking about the coil pack, under the fan shroud, or are we speaking about the aluminum box that is about twice the size of a pack of cigarettes that is under the dash?

I am just making a suggestion. I would hate to see all of the effort to pull the engine, only to find it was something else. Here is how I would approach this. I would install a new set of plugs. I would pour the equivalent of a shot glass of fuel into the throat plate of the air filter. I would then put the air filter back in place so as not to allow backfire into the open air. Spin it over with the tractor connected, and then disconnected from the engine electronics.

I'm not trying to be wise donkey, just asking questions and trying to help.

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heron
quote:Originally posted by Brettw

Let's start from scratch, and, assume there truly is no spark, therefore, we take compression, fuel, etc. out of the equation. Before you end up pulling the engine, have we exhausted all other possibilities? It's a twin, so I doubt it would be both plugs. However, I had issues with a Magnum, and as it turned out, it was bad plugs, one of which was brand new. So, maybe try new set of plugs. Next. You say you have electronically disconnected the engine from the tractor (ignition, not starter). So, we can spin it over, and there should be nothing keeping the spark circuit from firing plugs, in regards to nanny's, oil sensor, etc. Again, assuming there is no spark, that would lead one to believe it is a "coil pack". This is under the fan shroud, and certainly would require removal of the engine to access it.A few other questions: When pulling the plugs, after all of this spinning over, are they wet? Are we sure it is spark and not fuel?When we speak of "ignition module". are we talking about the coil pack, under the fan shroud, or are we speaking about the aluminum box that is about twice the size of a pack of cigarettes that is under the dash? I am just making a suggestion. I would hate to see all of the effort to pull the engine, only to find it was something else. Here is how I would approach this. I would install a new set of plugs. I would pour the equivalent of a shot glass of fuel into the throat plate of the air filter. I would then put the air filter back in place so as not to allow backfire into the open air. Spin it over with the tractor connected, and then disconnected from the engine electronics.I'm not trying to be wise donkey, just asking questions and trying to help.


id="quote">
id="quote">I appreciate your input and suggestions. The plugs are clean, not even a trace of anything that would indicate an issue. They were not really wet but this tractor, like my Sunstar seems to lose it's prime easily. If we keep the gas cap loose it helps. But even after pouring the gas in the carb and the actual cylinders it still will not ignite tells me there cannot be a spark. Interesting about the one plug being bad. I tried putting a couple of other plugs in, poured the gas in and still no fire what so ever. I read somewhere that someone had the exact same symptoms, even the "poofing" while it ran and the hot start issues. He replaced the armature/magneto and it took care of everything. I think with the plug wires being so dry rotted and all to replace this is something needed anyway so hopefully it solves it. I don't have much more to pull the engine at this point. Do most people remove the oil cooler as I can get to the bolts on the motor easier.? Just worried about getting a torque wrench on there well upon re-assembly.

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BLT

The engine is rubber mounted on a plate that is held with four bolts from the side. The drive shaft is two piece. You can download a parts book that will help you out.

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heron
quote:Originally posted by BLT

The engine is rubber mounted on a plate that is held with four bolts from the side. The drive shaft is two piece. You can download a parts book that will help you out.


id="quote">
id="quote">Not sure on the driveshaft. From what I can see the only way to remove it is to pull the engine away from the tractor thereby pulling the shaft from the transmission. Then I believe I would have to pull the four bolts off the motor where the flange meets the engine. I'll look into it further. Thanks for the help!

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huffy

Pulling the engine is easy. Just remove the two bolts on each side going into the plate, and slide it out. Drive shaft slides off of tranny. Once it's out you can take the bolts off to disconnect it from the motor. Whole removal takes about 15 mins once you've done it a few times.

One suggestion - check the condition of the wiring harness plug that goes into the back of the ignition switch. Mine lost spark a few months ago; turned out to be a problem with that plug.

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heron
quote:Originally posted by huffy

Pulling the engine is easy. Just remove the two bolts on each side going into the plate, and slide it out. Drive shaft slides off of tranny. Once it's out you can take the bolts off to disconnect it from the motor. Whole removal takes about 15 mins once you've done it a few times.One suggestion - check the condition of the wiring harness plug that goes into the back of the ignition switch. Mine lost spark a few months ago; turned out to be a problem with that plug.


id="quote">
id="quote">Does the plate slide out with it? The oil drain tube goes down thru the bottom. I was thinking I would have to lift it up and out so I can clear the oil drain tube. I don't have an engine lift. Are these engines easy to pick up or should I use the backhoe on my big tractor?I'll definitely check that connection to the module. There was lots of debris in behind the metal shield I took off. This is a low hour unit and I seriously doubt anyone has been into these areas ever. I pulled off nuts on the battery tray rack and cooler housing that I know have never been removed. I took off the hydro valve and the battery tray thinking I could slide the cooler rearward and pull the blower cover off that way. Unfortunately, I probably could have saved lots of work if I had a manual and just pulled the motor. Just hope I can get it all back in place correctly. ;)

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buckdan

I can relate to your problem with no spark.

I had to pull the engine in my 1920 Ultima to replace my ignition module. You cannot access it because of the rear shroud of the engine. I removed the 4 engine mount bolts and slid the engine out with drive shaft attached. Some degree of difficulty maneuvering it out as the weight is almost 100 Ib's, but it can be done.

It is just about impossible to remove the 4 bolts on the flange which is attached to the engine, you just can't get in there to do it.

Hope you succeeded in getting your spark back.

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heron
quote:Originally posted by buckdan

I can relate to your problem with no spark. I had to pull the engine in my 1920 Ultima to replace my ignition module. You cannot access it because of the rear shroud of the engine. I removed the 4 engine mount bolts and slid the engine out with drive shaft attached. Some degree of difficulty maneuvering it out as the weight is almost 100 Ib's, but it can be done.It is just about impossible to remove the 4 bolts on the flange which is attached to the engine, you just can't get in there to do it.Hope you succeeded in getting your spark back.


id="quote">
id="quote">Yes, pulled the motor, I took off the front pulley to make getting it up and out easier with my FEL. I don't have an engine hoist and needed someone to hold up the engine while I removed the 4 bolts. The FEL made it easy. Took it out and replaced the module and WOW that thing not only sparks but it runs like a raped ape now. When you take off you have to watch as you will spin the tires and tear up the lawn. I thought it was torquey before but it has much more snap than my 20 command in my Sunstar. Just to help anyone else it was having issues starting while hot, it made a poofing sound while it ran and I often wondered what was up with it as I listened while my father in law cut his yard(he is next door). No more weird noises, no more hot start problem and plenty of spark. Wohoo..Thanks for the help fellas!

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