Must be time for a tune-up

Wed May 15, 2013 1:42 pm

Since moving to Pittsburgh from Wisconsin, Merlin has been getting a much more regular workout than before. I use a 59 mower to mow my lawn with Merlin, and he plowed my driveway as well as the neighbors' driveways this Winter. Still runs really strong. Lately, however, it has been really stubborn starting. Once it starts, it runs great and never even hiccups. It has plenty of fuel, and the timing is right on. (triple checked that) I go by the manual and set the throttle lever at about 2/3 of the way...pull the starter rod and it spins and gives a pop, just enough to spin out the Bendix on the starter. Tried choking, and that way, don't even get a pop...then lots of gas coming out the weep hole. (normal).

So, something is causing it to kick, but not run... Usually after a while of doing this or switching to the hand crank, it will finally "catch" and will run really well after it catches. Has plenty of power with the 59 mower in my grass. Pulls up hills really well.

I think I should pull the mag and check the points, point gap, etc, but wanted to see what the opinions are of the "collective wisdom" before going forth...

Mike

Re: Must be time for a tune-up

Wed May 15, 2013 2:15 pm

Temperature has you out of sink. Wants to start differently in warm weather. Pull your throttle all the way back, no choke. give it a whirl, bet it fires off

Re: Must be time for a tune-up

Wed May 15, 2013 2:37 pm

Mag wants you use the hand crank, lol!

Re: Must be time for a tune-up

Wed May 15, 2013 2:42 pm

Yup, the instant flooding when you use the choke is indicative of it getting too much fuel.

Try idling it back some.

Re: Must be time for a tune-up

Wed May 15, 2013 2:55 pm

Yup, did that. In fact, I don't usually use the choke at all when I start warm or cold. After the first start, no problem starting again. No change with regard to throttle position either. When I hand crank it, I it will pop over and put through two strokes or so and then stop. Again, regardless of throttle position or choke. I am still thinking weak spark when cold.

Re: Must be time for a tune-up

Wed May 15, 2013 4:34 pm

Try a new set of plugs, if you haven't changed them recently. I had similar symptoms a few years back, and although the plugs looked to be in good shape, a new set solved the problem.

Re: Must be time for a tune-up

Wed May 15, 2013 5:40 pm

Mike,
I also had a problem recently with symptoms similar to yours. My points had glazed over a bit and after cleaning and re-setting the gap, it was back to starting normally.

Re: Must be time for a tune-up

Wed May 15, 2013 6:21 pm

I agree with trying a new set of plugs. When mine starts getting tough, usually a set of D 21s fixes it up.

Re: Must be time for a tune-up

Thu May 16, 2013 4:33 am

At the first sighn of distress the first thing I do with all my stuff is clean and set the points. Many a time I have taken the cover off and seen condensation or burned points and been in disbelief that it even worked at all.

Re: Must be time for a tune-up

Thu May 16, 2013 8:50 am

Thanks for the tips, all! I am going to take the mag off and look it over to make sure that the points are set correctly and I will also throw a new set of plugs in there. This tractor has always been a start on the second pull of the hand crank kind of tractor, so this change is odd to me. Unfortunately, I am out in Western Ohio at the company headquarters until later tomorrow evening, so I won't be able to post pics of the progress until this weekend...

Thanks again, all!

Mike