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Need JD 420 Garden tractor help:

4045 Views 44 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  billy_cravens
Has Onan 218 (instead of Onan 220) and was running great for several years until tractor just stopped one day a few weeks ago after 30 minutes cutting grass. Would only restart after sitting for a while. When restarted the tractor was running somewhat roughly and the RPMs were very low. Changed oil and filter, replaced spark plugs and wires, new air and fuel filters. Still runs as before with RPMs not near where they should be and are very low. And as before, I can run the tractor for a while, shut it down, but it will not start back up until it has cooled again. What approach should I take to troubleshooting? Should I be looking for vacuum leaks, carb problems or governor/throttle adjustments? I have a 420 service manual as well as the Onan engine manual, but I am looking for advice on the best area to start investigating. I've already had to have someone else cut grass for me once
and I've got some dirt to move!

...and thanks Dave T. for pointing me in the right place to post this!!
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Hi David,
Welcome to the group. Here are a few things to check first. Isolate the fuel or electrical system. Run the tractor until it quits. Immediately pull out a plug and check for spark. You can also pull a fuel line from the fuel pump to confirm that you are getting fuel to the Carb. These two things will help figure out if its the fuel or electrical system. If they are both good then we have other issues.

I've seen old fuel lines deteriorate in the inside and create a flipper like bit of hose that will stop flow. If you haven't changed lines you may want to do that too.
Check it out and let us know what you find. Does your 218 have points and condensor?

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