Diagnosis Help Needed

Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:25 pm

I need some thoughts for the experts here. I've got an MTD Cub Cadet that has got a problem. Problem is I don't know what the problem is. Here's the deal. The tractor is being used by a renter at my in-laws house. My father-in-law passed away and my mother-in-law is in an assisted living facility. We rented their home out to a nice retired couple and I, made the mistake of leaving them the rider there to mow the yard with. The CC is not a very good tractor and is not worth much so I figured we couldn't sell it for much so why not leave it for the renters to use?

Anyway, today he's mowing and everything is going good when all of a sudden it starts shaking real bad and sputters to a stop. He couldn't get it started and called me to let me know, hoping I could fix it. He cranked it over and it tried to fire but that was it. I pulled off the air filter and noticed the choke butterfly was stuck. I freed it up and tried it again. I got it to run but it would backfire, I mean rapid fire backfire then it would quit. I tried it several time with the same scenario. So scratching my head i tried to figure out what could cause that. My first thought was either a timing issue or a stuck intake valve leaning more towards the stuck valve.

A quick compression test dispelled that notion. I got 145# on one side and 125# on the other. I don't know how timing could change so quickly. So I'm stumped. Anyone here got any ideas??

Re: Diagnosis Help Needed

Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:25 pm

Model of tractor and make and model of engine is? Once identified, more questions follow.

Twin cylinder Kohler? Sheared flywheel key. Ignition module or modules.

Re: Diagnosis Help Needed

Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:54 am

It's a twin cylinder Kohler but the model and year I'll have to find out.

Re: Diagnosis Help Needed

Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:50 am

Agree with Eugene, maybe a sheered flywheel key but that's common usually on a Briggs engine.

Re: Diagnosis Help Needed

Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:53 pm

The 1000 series Cub Cadets with the Kohler "Courage" engine are REALLY bad about shearing off the flywheel key. However, if you got it running at all, I'd be surprised if that's the problem. Typically the flywheel just spins on the crank, so they will not start.

It could be that one of the coils has gone bad. Twin cylinder tractors have 2 coil packs, so one could be shot and not firing on that cylinder. May be worth checking for fire on both plugs. I think that's where I would start.

Re: Diagnosis Help Needed

Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:23 am

There is an old saying,"check the most obvious first" as an old friend use to say.

Re: Diagnosis Help Needed

Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:16 am

Ricky...This may or may not apply.
My folks 2185 started running rough. Thought it might be a fuel issue. I looked at everything, changed fuel filter, and was still stumped. Then for some reason I decided to take off the "clean" carb and spray it a bunch with the carb cleaner. Bingo - all is well. :big give up:

Re: Diagnosis Help Needed

Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:51 pm

:Dito: To Dave 's suggestion....My Gravely has a Kohler and it just quit...Set for awhile its fired and quit....Took "Clean" carb off sprayed it with air and carb cleaner...Bingo...No backfire though..Anytime I hear backfire I think coil but I'd do the carb thing first....Good luck :D