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  • Results 1 to 7 of 7
    1. #1
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      janedoe's Avatar
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      Lawn tractor question.

      We've had a guy maintaining our lawn tractor for a few years. I beat this thing up. Literally converted a 1/2 acre hay field into a giant garden. The first couple of years, we had annual maintenance done when I started having problems starting it. He cleaned the carburetor along with general maintenance and it was good to go. Then I started having regular problems starting it and he started replacing the battery. Last fall I had maintenance done because I couldn't start it and couldn't jump the battery and he spent a couple of days with it but it still wouldn't start even though he replaced the battery again. He just stared at us and said that he got it started once without any explanation as to what was wrong with it.

      It's supposed to function as a snow plow with the appropriate attachments so I didn't think it was the cold so we asked our snowplow who used to work for a mechanic to look at it but he hasn't yet. But today it was 85 degrees and it started right up.

      Does anyone have any ideas? I'm tired of paying for these things and frankly I could replace the battery myself. It does seem to be an electrical issue. Loose connection maybe?

    2. #2
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      What type of tractor is it and do you know what engine it is too that might help.
      Also I've heard this fuel with ethanol in it is bad for small engines too.
      Last edited by katALlabs; 04-11-2017 at 11:29 PM.
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    3. The Following User Says Thank You to katALlabs For This Useful Post:

      janedoe (04-13-2017)

    4. #3
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      It's a Cub Cadet LT50. I looked up the engine online. It looks like a 24 HP Kohler. It is not the newer model though. I think they came out with the XT1 last year.

    5. #4
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      Gas with Ethanol is bad for any engine with a carburetor, and the alcohol attracts water which then contaminates the gas. If the machine sits for any period of time, the gas will dry up in the carb and leave a hard varnish like film inside clogging all the jets, making it almost impossible to start the engine. I was the service manager at a multiline motorcycle dealer and the most common problem we faced was clogged carbs. Sometimes taking them apart and cleaning them isn't enough, as the small orifices can't actually be cleaned. We used an ultrasonic bath, putting the carbs in it for an hour or more to get them completely clean.

      1. Is the mechanic actually testing the batteries to see if they are actually bad?
      2. Have all the grounds been checked? This is a common cause of electrical problems.
      3. Have you drained the old gas and added fresh. We actually saw cases where algae was growing in gas tanks and carbs due to the amount of water.
      4. If the carb has been cleaned multiple times, and depending on how it was cleaned, you could still have clogged or even damaged jets.
      5. Once you get it fixed, start adding a gas treatment specifically design to prevent issues with gas with ethanol. I've been using Startron for over 10 years in my mower, generator, and snowblower. All start on the first or second pull, and I've never had an issue with them starting.

      If the engine is cranking properly, but still won't start, my opinion would be a fuel supply issue. If that's the case I'd buy a new carb and go from there.

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      janedoe (04-13-2017)

    7. #5
      Best Friend Retriever
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      Quote Originally Posted by barry581 View Post
      Gas with Ethanol is bad for any engine with a carburetor, and the alcohol attracts water which then contaminates the gas. If the machine sits for any period of time, the gas will dry up in the carb and leave a hard varnish like film inside clogging all the jets, making it almost impossible to start the engine. I was the service manager at a multiline motorcycle dealer and the most common problem we faced was clogged carbs. Sometimes taking them apart and cleaning them isn't enough, as the small orifices can't actually be cleaned. We used an ultrasonic bath, putting the carbs in it for an hour or more to get them completely clean.

      1. Is the mechanic actually testing the batteries to see if they are actually bad?
      2. Have all the grounds been checked? This is a common cause of electrical problems.
      3. Have you drained the old gas and added fresh. We actually saw cases where algae was growing in gas tanks and carbs due to the amount of water.
      4. If the carb has been cleaned multiple times, and depending on how it was cleaned, you could still have clogged or even damaged jets.
      5. Once you get it fixed, start adding a gas treatment specifically design to prevent issues with gas with ethanol. I've been using Startron for over 10 years in my mower, generator, and snowblower. All start on the first or second pull, and I've never had an issue with them starting.

      If the engine is cranking properly, but still won't start, my opinion would be a fuel supply issue. If that's the case I'd buy a new carb and go from there.
      Barry covered it! Ethanol has caused a ton of carburetor problems - its bad in tractors and lawn mowers but you should see the problems it causes for boats especially older ones. A lot of boats had fiberglass fuel tanks. The ethanol destroys the tank and fouls the engine something awful.

      I use Startron in my engines as well. I also started using only premium fuel in all the yard stuff. Seems to start easier but might just be in my head.

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      janedoe (04-13-2017)

    9. #6
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      To me is sounds more like a loose connection. Everything Barry said is correct about the ethanol. but starting sometime and sometimes not. Sounds more like a weird loose connection somewhere. I had the same thing on my truck this winter. 2 weeks every day in the garage, towed three times. This oddly started the day after the did an oil change as well. No problems before that. Everything was pointing to fuel problems it was flooded you could smell gas it would run rough but once it warmed up everything was fine. They would get it to that point tell me ok everything fine. I come pick it up it started right up, I get home later that evening it wouldn't start in the garage after driving it only two hours prior. I kept telling them to look at something they might have done when they did maintenance. They kept telling me oh no that's not the issue. Finally they found it, loose wires on the air flow sensors. Well the air flow sensor has to be unplugged to change the air filter. Which when they changed the oil they also checked and changed my air filter.

      Anyway this intermittent nature of this leads me to believe it is a loose wire somewhere. As Barry said bad ground, could be bad connection at the battery terminal.

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      janedoe (04-13-2017)

    11. #7
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      Barry has it covered. I also add that due to the nature of the tractor , snow blower etc where they go from periods of use to no use , i add gas stablizer on all fillups . This seem to have eliminated all my starting issues and my stuff says under a tarp in the snow and winter.
      Battery - I remove them from all the non using vehicles and keep them in the garage. i put a trickle charger on them once a few months when not used. I have an RV battery , motorcycle batter and lawn tractor battery in a nice row all winter. Make them last longer.
      Even in the summer i have a solar batter charger from harbor freight i got for 20 $ i put on the tractor a few hours before use if it has been standing for a long time outside.
      The tractor might also need fresh gas and plugs.

      I did have a old gunked up carb once and i just got a new one from ebay and replaced the entire thing and it ran good.

      Simple things like stablizer on every fillup
      Battery charger, If you cannot take it out. Get a solar batter charger with a over charge protection. hook it up. If the tractor is not stored in pitch black dark room it will keep the batter nicely charged. A pigtail for easy connect and disconnect

    12. The Following User Says Thank You to silverfz For This Useful Post:

      janedoe (04-13-2017)

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