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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

First post here. I just purchased my first JD, a 314 that had a rebuilt (original) engine. I have run it a number of times with no issues. This morning I was snowblowing (model 49) without issue. My neighbor came by to admire the machine, I turned the tractor off for 5, then I started it up again to complete the job of clearing 4 inches of fairly light powder. As I was making my way up the driveway the engine started to stall. More choke prevented it, but I was confused as to why with a warm engine I would have to give more choke. I checked the fuel level (2/3 full, but filled it up anyway) and started it up again. Still couldn't get it to run without choke full on. Tried decreasing engine speed, increasing it, various combinations of choke. If I started to hit snow, the engine stalls a little more to the point where it just wants to stop. Interestingly a couple of times when I was next to a curb, if I banged the side of the blower against it (not the auger, just the blower housing) the engine started to stall again.

Some notes / random thoughts:
- There's no smoke coming from the engine, no bad smells from anything burning like a clutch. Though I didn't go sniff around the PTO.
- Maybe the engine is overheating?
- Maybe whatever controls there are to set up timing got messed up somehow.
- I am running 89 octane fuel with some Stabil. Maybe plug is bunged up?
- The blower auger spins freely by hand without too much issue. I had just painted the chute and made sure there was some clearance for the paddle. NOTE: when I did start the blower this morning, I immediately broke a shear pin. That's really the only different thing I can think of. I installed a new one and ran fine after that. Maybe in the process of the shear pin breaking the PTO got damaged too?
- Did a quick bit of research and this one is close... maybe I will go sniff that PTO http://www.wfmachines.com/forums/sh...-engine-after-about-1-2min?highlight=stalling

I am not a mechanic or engineer, but very technical minded and don't mind getting my hands dirty to swap things out. Engine stuff though is a little beyond me. Trying to figure this out so the wife doesn't say 'you spent HOW MUCH on something that doesn't work'? Maybe I should just go out and get a B+S repower!

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Rob

(hope this is the right forum, please steer me elsewhere if not)
 

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Rob,
The PTO is electric. The clutch needs to have an airgap to engage correctly. I usually set mine to about .018-.020. If the gap is too large it will cause the engine to stumble and usually want to die but it will come back if you shut off the PTO. This is probably not your problem. Sounds more like a fuel delivery issue, plugged filter/line or float. How clean is the air filter?

Try adjusting the air, or high speed and see what happens.
Dom
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick response Dom. The symptoms of a poor clutch gap do seem to match my issue. Yes when the PTO stops the engine stops stalling, but since I cannot get the already warm engine to allow the choke to be pushed in more even after running for a while. I suspect it is something else. As you mention I will check the air filter and lines also. Thank you

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It is probably both problems robbing RPM's from the tractor. If you aren't getting proper fuel supply it will starve out like that. I usually have to take off the bowl on the carb. If there is crud in it I remove the needle valve too and clean that. Be careful to not lose any parts if you do it while on the tractor. Not easy to do for the first time.

If your wife gives you a hard time, well, that's why we are here as some type of a support group. Once she sees what it can do after it is dialed in you'll have to fight her for seat time!
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Dom

:) Support group, I like it!

Good point, it could be both issues. I found a couple of youtube videos about how to service the carb. Doesn't look too scary.

Also found a good video on adjusting the PTO gap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFgN7lNAV98

Since we are going down the road on fuel supply issues, the tractor also had an electric fuel pump installed, so if neither of the above work I will check that out too.

Thanks for the advice
 

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Hey, I think it is an electrical issue, and most likely to do with your seat safety switch. Do this test, get on your tractor, start it up, engage the PTO, with the PTO running, lift your butt off the seat. The engine will die just like it was dying with you before. If you bypassed the seat safety switch, then check your wiring at the bypass, it is probably intermittent. The seat safety switch only works while the PTO is engaged, and it does its thing by killing the 12v going to the ignition coil. I had this issue on my 212 couple of days ago. If your seat safety switch is completely bad as in "open", it will seem as if engaging the PTO will stall your engine. Let me tell you, the PTO belt will catch fire before it stalls your engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey, I think it is an electrical issue, and most likely to do with your seat safety switch. Do this test, get on your tractor, start it up, engage the PTO, with the PTO running, lift your butt off the seat. The engine will die just like it was dying with you before. If you bypassed the seat safety switch, then check your wiring at the bypass, it is probably intermittent. The seat safety switch only works while the PTO is engaged, and it does its thing by killing the 12v going to the ignition coil. I had this issue on my 212 couple of days ago. If your seat safety switch is completely bad as in "open", it will seem as if engaging the PTO will stall your engine. Let me tell you, the PTO belt will catch fire before it stalls your engine.
Hmm, interesting. Now that you tell me this my safety switch isn't isn't working right because when I get off the seat the PTO is still fully engaged, with no signs of the engine power being cut. The last owner had kindly provided a new seat. It sounds like the thing is just being bypassed, or it is a faulty switch. I was just thinking today too about how there should be some kind of safety cut off if I got off the seat!

I looked at the wiring guide and it looks pretty simple to trace. The first thing for me to check will be the connections to the switch itself. If there isn't one, or it is being bypassed I am going to put one in. Safety first.

Thanks for the tip!

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Discussion Starter #8
Tonight I took a flashlight and looked under the seat and under the fender deck but saw no wires, so I assume there's no seat safety switch.

I also removed the engine side panel and took the air filter apart... very dirty in there with a ton of old grass, crap and a nice dried up dead mouse between the air filter and the air filter cover. Dead for quite some time. I cleaned out the box very thoroughly, cleaned the filter. I keep the tractor in the garage (barn building) and there are definitely mice in there.

On the inside side of the air filter, it was quite dirty, including the choke plate outer edge. I cleaned all that up too then put it all back together.

I now can't start the tractor up for a few days but on Wednesday I should be able to play with it to see if the dead mouse and the dirt had something to do with it.

If that is all, then great and i will have learned a few things...

I am definitely going to put safety switch on the short list of items if this is the only issue... and figure out a way of keeping the mice away from the nice warm confines of the air box. I will post back in a few days with hopefully a success story.
 

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Tonight I took a flashlight and looked under the seat and under the fender deck but saw no wires, so I assume there's no seat safety switch.

I also removed the engine side panel and took the air filter apart... very dirty in there with a ton of old grass, crap and a nice dried up dead mouse between the air filter and the air filter cover. Dead for quite some time. I cleaned out the box very thoroughly, cleaned the filter. I keep the tractor in the garage (barn building) and there are definitely mice in there.

On the inside side of the air filter, it was quite dirty, including the choke plate outer edge. I cleaned all that up too then put it all back together.

I now can't start the tractor up for a few days but on Wednesday I should be able to play with it to see if the dead mouse and the dirt had something to do with it.

If that is all, then great and i will have learned a few things...

I am definitely going to put safety switch on the short list of items if this is the only issue... and figure out a way of keeping the mice away from the nice warm confines of the air box. I will post back in a few days with hopefully a success story.
I am making an assumption that your 314 has the seat safety switch, it is from the same era as my 212, has the same engine and ignition system. I don't have the 314 service manual in front of me but one quick look at the schematic will clearly show if it does.


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It uses the same seat switch as the 200 series, the 300's, 400, 420, 430 and a few others. I am guessing (I know that is dangerous) that someone has cut and wire nutted them together or somehow jumpered them together. I have a harness that it was done on. The wire for it probably run out of the pedestal and along one side of the frame if they were just jumpered and left laying out of the way. I applaud your desire to restore that function.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It uses the same seat switch as the 200 series, the 300's, 400, 420, 430 and a few others. I am guessing (I know that is dangerous) that someone has cut and wire nutted them together or somehow jumpered them together. I have a harness that it was done on. The wire for it probably run out of the pedestal and along one side of the frame if they were just jumpered and left laying out of the way. I applaud your desire to restore that function.
Thanks for the tip, will look for the wires; maybe the switch I actually there but just faulty or jumped. I suspect there may be a good reason if it was cut for doing that.

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Quick update: started it up for the first time since cleaning up the air filter area last week. It took a lot of time to turn over the engine and get it started. Eventually I managed with really low throttle and full choke. Once started it did exactly the same as last time. I got it up to full speed then tried pushing the choke in. Engine immediately started to stall. Pulled it out all the way again and after about 10 seconds it just stalled out. This all while being stationary. PTO was off.

I managed to get it started up again but it kept doing the same and stalling. This time it still struggled to start. So I just pushed it back into the garage.

Looking back at the comments I guess I should first check the fuel delivery and maybe the carb again. Assume the pipes are clear that I should be able to see? I assume the PTO is not to blame if it was off all the time? I would like to check the seat switch hunch too to see if maybe the hacked wiring is to blame. Still a little perplexed as to why when this first happened last weekend it ran fine then suddenly started doing this.

Hoping I didn't buy a very large paperweight. Thank god the winter up here in the Boston area is mild!

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Check fuel pump, check gas lines, check fuel pickup in tank for plugging or fallen off. check carb to make sure fuel bowl/shutoff valve are functioning correctly. What engine do you have? B or P Onan? if P I think that the electronic ignition behind flywheel is dying, check coil for damage (heat or age), condenser check for broken insulation on wire or bulging of the top.
 

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How old is the gas and I hope its not ethanol. Mice will chew wiring and make a mess. Might look for some chewed already but If I was guessing on mine I would suspect the gas first.

Mice. My son had his beautiful two year old Chevy pickup parked out away from the house when he was building it. Never used for about a week, went out to start and darn thing would not go. Raised the hood the field mice had been building a nest in his wiring. A month later and perhaps $3000 or so the insurance company paid for the new wiring harness to be installed.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Check fuel pump, check gas lines, check fuel pickup in tank for plugging or fallen off. check carb to make sure fuel bowl/shutoff valve are functioning correctly. What engine do you have? B or P Onan? if P I think that the electronic ignition behind flywheel is dying, check coil for damage (heat or age), condenser check for broken insulation on wire or bulging of the top.
Thanks for the comprehensive list. It is a Kohler K321AQS (14HP), rebuilt a year or so ago. Carb also rebuilt.

The last owner put a new electric fuel pump in too.

Will check all this stuff out. My time is limited but one night next week I should be able to at least do the carb. Ignition sounds like a good lead too.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
How old is the gas and I hope its not ethanol. Mice will chew wiring and make a mess. Might look for some chewed already but If I was guessing on mine I would suspect the gas first.

Mice. My son had his beautiful two year old Chevy pickup parked out away from the house when he was building it. Never used for about a week, went out to start and darn thing would not go. Raised the hood the field mice had been building a nest in his wiring. A month later and perhaps $3000 or so the insurance company paid for the new wiring harness to be installed.
Gas is 2-3 weeks old. I put some stabil in it.

Will check for the mice again too. Maybe between me cleaning out the air filter last week i have another little friend in there. The last owner did mention he kept the hood up to help stop them and also mentioned maybe using moth balls as a deterrent.
 

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This sounds like a fuel problem. runs 2 mins dies. like the fuel pump can't keep up, or the float in the carb is sticking (hanging up and not opening to accept more fuel.

Since this is a rebuild, check the fuel pump and fuel delivery system, A lot forget to look at that when doing a rebuild (if it ain't broke, don't look at it)

Make sure, that it is pulling a vacuum from the engine to pulse the pump, make sure it is delivering fuel to the carb (rate/time) into a container. The pump could be worn out or a bad vacuum line.

If this check out then it has to be spark (ignition electronics due to the engine warming up, and the components failing). does the engine quit quickly or stumble then die?
 

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I had a similar problem with the 314 I use to own and it ended up being the condenser. Bad points and condenser can drive a guy up the wall trying all sorts of other things. Previous owner told me he put new points in it. I assumed he also put a new condenser in as I was always taught to replace both at the same time but apparently he did not do this. Once I put the new condenser in it ran like a million bucks.
 

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Did you pull the spark plug and see if you are getting spark when it won't start? At least then you would know which to chase, electrical or fuel.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for all the tips everyone!

I have a big list of things to check out now. Will report back when as and when I make progress. This is a big learning experience in small engines for me, so it may take a while but I will get there eventually.

- Carb cleaning:
good example of similar symptoms on a snowblower https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83_HkPsX294
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xulQYf2HTf4&list=PLBfB3HhTZEmdU-9URJsgbPyTUIoHwP5DF
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7Mxp1X7BnU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNHFak0dl2c&index=13&list=LLBfWilouQwBPNbZRNYcI9Sg
- Points: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgmbcDUmIwU&index=1&list=LLBfWilouQwBPNbZRNYcI9Sg
- Fuel pump - mine is an electric replacement, so need to find out more on that because the manual won't help.
- Idle / needle settings
- Condenser.
Well it probably looks like this so should be a simple swap. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6XepxHrQZg
- Coil (I assume similar) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ul_4I5WNglY
- PTO gap https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFgN7lNAV98&index=19&list=LLBfWilouQwBPNbZRNYcI9Sg
- Seat safety switch
- etc etc... will try the above first
 
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