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jmarkb

What did I do?

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jmarkb
I recently intalled a front light kit on my 7010. When re-installing the battery, I accidentally crossed the positve terminal on the battery with something that was connected to the negative ground. Sparks flew! Now my tractor will not start. Battery is good. Starter turns over. Engine acts like it wants to start, but will not fire. I checked the fuel line, and that is clear, and there is gas in the tank, so I am confident that it is getting fuel. Did I short out something in the ignition system? Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks! Mark Balding

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Jonjacobson
gap your spark plug wire about an eighth inch from tip on spark plug, and crank engine. if you don't see a bright blue spark then you fried something. I'm not extremely familiar with these machines yet, but can usually narrow it down. I've shorted batteries before without damaging anything, but you never know. Keep posting what you find and we'll keephelping.

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thedaddycat
Check all fuses for continuity. When working on any electric circuit where you're disconnecting wires and they may contact ground, it is always recommended that you disconnect the ground wire from the battery. It should be the first wire off and the last one to go back on.

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gretsch
I do not think the 7010 had an inline fuse. Maybe it shorted out the switch so that the ignition wire is not getting power. Check for spark at the plug and go from there. Do you have an ohm / volt meter?

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CaseyM
What I like to do to see if I have spark when an engine won't start is to get my wife to grab the spark plug and wire while I turn the engine over. You will know very soon if a lack of spark is your problem. It is also a great source of conversation for years to come. You can always say I had no idea that would happen the first time but you may need to be more creative on subsequent spark checks. My wife will now answer to the name sparkle. Gosh she is a good woman. Seriously though I grab it often when an engine won't start to get a quick check and easy check. (it only hurts for an instant) Not very scientific but you will know if gas, timing or another problem is more likely than a lack of spark. Casey

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thedaddycat
Casey, that reminds me of a friend's story about how he learned what electricity was. His grandfather was working on a mower, told him "Here, hold this", then cranked it. After the "aaaaaaaa" out of my friend, gramps said"Yep, she's got juice......"

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CaseyM
thedaddycat: The story makes sense. It was probably hard to get Grandmother to help check spark by the time she was a grandmother and grandfather understandably, out of necessity, would have to resort to using grandson as the most reliable spark checker. I may need more checkers someday myself and will keep this in mind. It is hard to keep a good spark checker. Casey

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PatRarick
You didn't state if your 7010 is equipped with a Briggs engine, or a Kohler engine. The Kohler is battery ignition and the Briggs is magneto ignition. If you happened to connect power to the Briggs ignition, even momentarily, you will burn out the magneto. Pat

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gretsch
If memory holds correct, the only 7000 series tractor with a Kohler was the 7012. That's good to know about the magneto, but wouldn't a bad magneto not send juice to the spark plug? I assume it did if his wife didn't like that. Doesn't that old trick only work on old spark plug wires where the insulation has weathered and cracked?

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roma3112
butch, i would also check into the armature if you have not already, some years back on my 3112 i was wireing somthing and i accidentally sent 12v+ through the ground for the armature, POOF killed it that quick. Although your scenario is a bit different the crossed wires in your case may have had the same effect john

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gretsch
Thanks for the response guys, but the problem was not mine. I was just adding input to the question "jmarkb" asked. However, since I am back into the discussion I will add that I would replace the the magneto if I was getting "shocked" by touching the plug wire on a cast-iron Briggs since the spark plug lead and the magneto are relatively "one piece". You have to pull the engine and take off the blower housing, but at least it gives you a chance to clean up the flywheel and magnet somewhat (dirt, rust,..). Some of the discussion reminds me of the "poor man's spark checker", that is holding onto a spark plug wire when it is dark and seeing if you have a "blue glow" around your hand. If electricity is leaking through the wire, your hand can become "statically charged". I just wouldn't advise it on a high-output electronic ignition system.

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BigSix
Mark: First, have you checked to make sure some random wire didn't melt through it's insulation and is somehow grounding against the block or tractor? Like the kill wire, perhaps? Rather than a specific solution, I'd like to suggest a general test METHOD I've found helpful. My multimeter (analogue, $40.00+ at Radioshack) has a "continuity checker" function that buzzes when there is continuity in a given circuit, i.e., when it passes current. Since I don't know a lot of electrical theory, I muddle through more problems than you might imagine just by verifying that the wires which look like they're okay actually are okay, i.e. passing current when they're supposed to, and not when they're not. I have used this function to test a riding mower's ignition switch--you might find this easier to do if you remove the switch, first. I think if you check the terminals that should complete the ground circuit when the key if "off," and you get a buzz, indicating the circuit is operating, i.e., grounding the plug, then you should get an "open," i.e., no "buzz," when the key is on. If the ground wire on the switch is forming a circuit, i.e., "buzzing," when you have the key ON, and are testing the "ON" position of the switch, then the switch is shorted, IMHO. Based on what Pat R. said, keep in mind that the continuity testing function does put current through the circuit being tested, so (I guess) don't try to test whether the ON position is making a circuit all the way to the plug lead, or magneto damage could result. Peter

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jmarkb
Thanks for all your help. My 7010 has been started. I kept trying all of the suggestions that were posted. Seems that the problem was in my voltage regulator. When I took the cover off there was a condenser and a set of contact points. It was the contact points that were giving me the problem. They were stuck shut. I pryed them open and removed the condenser and re-installed it, replace the voltage regulator cover, then it started right up. Does this make sense? Well, at least the tractor is running again. I cut the grass today after almost 2 weeks of down time. Thanks again for all your help. Mark Balding

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