184 won't start

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Hipo giddyup
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184 won't start

Postby Hipo giddyup » Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:41 am

Hi everyone, new member here.. I am working on a 1980 IH 184 that was my fathers. Long story short,, about a year after my father's death, around 2013-2014, my father's neighbor was using this tractor to cut grass after the neighbots tractor died. One day while cutting grass it just stopped. My brother in law pulled the tractor back to the garage to work on, but because he was not in good health, (he later died a year later) the tractor sat. I now have all of my fathers tractors and need to get this one running.They were always well maintained by my father up until he passed so they were never abused, never left out in the elements, and he always used IH parts on them. At first I could not get spark from the coil to the cap, but with some helpful folks on the IH cub cadet site, I believe I had a poor ground issue. I have since gotten spark from the coil to the cap and to the new plugs. The tractor will turn over fine but not start. I recently had put new battery, coil, cap, points, condensor, wires and plugs in the tractor. It has a "few years old" new Zenith 68 carb on it, that I took off, clean-out,etc. I flushed the gas tank out and have good gas from the tank to the carb and in the carb. If I crank it over and spray some starting fliud , carb cleaner, and even gas from a spray bottle, she spins over a little faster like she is going to take off, but doesn't. I have checked the tinming several times and my understanding is that it cannot "jump" timing? I can see the valves opening and closing when a plug is removed, the distributor spins fine, etc.. I used the "second" timing mark on the crank to time as I was understanding that the first timing mark to come around is for advanced timing? When the pointer and the mark line up, the rotor is directly under the #1 tower/plug.
Any help here would be greatly appreciated. I'm trying my best to get her started without having to send it out for service. I will attach some pics of what I am dealing with seperately. This is a well maintained , mostly original tractor, and I would love to be able to mow with it again! Thanks for any replies!!

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MiCarl
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Re: 184 won't start

Postby MiCarl » Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:51 am

You don't time it by looking at the rotor position. You time it by checking that the points open as you turn the crank across the timing mark. I like to do that by disconnecting the (-) wire from the coil, connect a continuity meter between that wire and ground and watch for the circuit to open as I turn the crank across the timing mark. Most multi-meters will make a tone when there is continuity and get quiet when the points open.

Fuel fouled plugs won't start either. I'd be tempted to try a new set if you don't get any satisfaction after getting the timing dialed in.
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Hipo giddyup
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Re: 184 won't start

Postby Hipo giddyup » Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:52 pm

I think I understand what you mean? I’ve already found that cranking with the cap off provides a spark at the gap visible in the distributor. So what you mean is to make sure that the gap is open when it hits the timing mark on the crank correct? Which mark is TDC anyway? The first or second as it comes down to the pointer?
Thank you

Larry B
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Re: 184 won't start

Postby Larry B » Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:51 pm

Here is how i set static timing.
Rotate engine till engine is at TDC on compression stroke of no1 cylinder.
Turn key switch to on position and remove distributor cap
Loosen distributor hold down bolts turn distributor counter clockwise slightly till points close.
Then slowly turn distributor clockwise till points just open. You should see a small spark at the points.
Tighten distributor hold down bolts.
Install distributor cap checking rotor button is pointing at no1 plug wire and ciring order is correct. 1-3-4-2 in clockwise direction.

This static times the engine to fire at TDC this will start the engine. Final timing should be set with a timing light.

Jim Becker
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Re: 184 won't start

Postby Jim Becker » Mon Apr 20, 2020 5:51 pm

I think the clockwise/counterclockwise goes the opposite way (battery ignition only).

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gitractorman
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Re: 184 won't start

Postby gitractorman » Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:38 pm

I would double check your wiring order and firing sequence too while you're at it. You could have spark at the plugs, just at the wrong plug at a time. 1,3,4,2 from front of the tractor you have cylinders 1,2,3,4 to the rear. As you look at the distributor, the rotor should turn clockwise when running. The top right wire should be #1 plug, bottom right is #3, bottom left is #4, and top left is #2.

Also, I hate to say it, but the 184 had a few safety switches on it that most Cubs never had. It has an electric PTO switch, and a clutch safety switch (if I remember right) like a Cub Cadet of the day. Most folks have jumpered the clutch safety switch because they are a total pain. The PTO switch, however, if it is not disengaging, I don't think it will let the tractor continue to run. I would have to do some digging to tell you for certain, but I believe if the PTO switch is on, the tractor will still crank over like it's trying to start, but it will not let it start. If everything was working just fine, and the tractor suddenly quit and wouldn't start again, and you're certain it's timed right and firing in the right order, I'd look closely at the PTO switch.

Good luck,
Bill
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Larry B
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Re: 184 won't start

Postby Larry B » Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:06 pm

Jim Becker wrote:I think the clockwise/counterclockwise goes the opposite way (battery ignition only).


You may be right. Running off memory which is suffering from the CRS virus.
Bump the starter and see which way the rotor turns.
Thanks

Larry B
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Re: 184 won't start

Postby Larry B » Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:18 pm

gitractorman wrote:I would double check your wiring order and firing sequence too while you're at it. You could have spark at the plugs, just at the wrong plug at a time. 1,3,4,2 from front of the tractor you have cylinders 1,2,3,4 to the rear. As you look at the distributor, the rotor should turn clockwise when running. The top right wire should be #1 plug, bottom right is #3, bottom left is #4, and top left is #2.

Also, I hate to say it, but the 184 had a few safety switches on it that most Cubs never had. It has an electric PTO switch, and a clutch safety switch (if I remember right) like a Cub Cadet of the day. Most folks have jumpered the clutch safety switch because they are a total pain. The PTO switch, however, if it is not disengaging, I don't think it will let the tractor continue to run. I would have to do some digging to tell you for certain, but I believe if the PTO switch is on, the tractor will still crank over like it's trying to start, but it will not let it start. If everything was working just fine, and the tractor suddenly quit and wouldn't start again, and you're certain it's timed right and firing in the right order, I'd look closely at the PTO switch.

Good luck,
Bill


The PTO switch will inhibit the cranking circuit. It does not affect the ignition circuit.

Hipo giddyup
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Re: 184 won't start

Postby Hipo giddyup » Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:01 pm

Thanks everyone for your replies. I will follow Larry B’s description and set static timing. I am under the impression that if the pointer lines up with the notch on the pulley, and the rotor is at the 2 o’clock position do you facing towards the front of the tractor, that is the compression stroke? Otherwise my understanding is that if it is pointing to seven or 8 o’clock, that would be the exhaust stroke? I do have the wires in order and confirmed this. I’ve already bypassed the clutch safety switch, back when I was having initial spark problems, and thought about the PTO safety switch but when trying to start it if you wiggle the switch up or down it kills the starter and will not let it start. I think that it would allow for ignition in the off position? That I am in sure of but I do know I have spark to the plugs which if you have that, fuel, compression, then it should fire?
Just as an extra test does anyone know what the compression would be for this engine per cylinder?

Hipo giddyup
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Re: 184 won't start

Postby Hipo giddyup » Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:04 pm

One other question. I only assume I’m getting enough fuel but the plugs have never been saturated or really wet from me starting and starting. Would anything be lost by rebuilding the zenith carburetor? At this point I’m ready to do about anything before calling a service shop.

Eugene
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Re: 184 won't start

Postby Eugene » Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:36 pm

Back up a bit.

First thing is the compression tests, dry then wet. Tractor has been sitting for some time, probably years. One or more stuck valves will prevent the engine from starting - - - a common problem.

Forget the carburetor for the time being. Have decent compression, then full engine tune up starting with valve tappet clearance. Then move on to ignition timing. You will also figure out why the tractor died when the neighbor was mowing - - - along the way during the compression tests and the complete engine tune up.

Spark at the points and/or from a plug wire does not necessarily mean the tractor is in time or the points are good.
I have an excuse. CRS.

Larry B
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Re: 184 won't start

Postby Larry B » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:44 pm

If the distributor is installed according to the manual then "yes" if the rotor is at the 2 o'clock position when cylinder 1 iat TDC on compression but the distributor can be installed with the rotor in any position.
Remove the plugs. Crank the engine from the front pulley bolt and put your finger in cylinder 1 plug hole and crank engine around to the TDC mark. You can feel the compression coming up to TDC. Then check where the rotor is positioned. It should be the no 1 plug. Should be 2 o'clock but doesn't have to.

Hipo giddyup
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Re: 184 won't start

Postby Hipo giddyup » Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:27 am

I will check compression by turning the crank as you mentioned.

Good point on stuck valves. I am assuming I can find out how to check tappet clearance in the service manual? My dad had a service manual, operators manual, and a parts manual for this cub. I'll start there. I believe the access is behind the carb? Will I need to remove the intake/exhaust for this? I'll see if it explains how to adjust.
Thanks!

Hipo giddyup
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Re: 184 won't start

Postby Hipo giddyup » Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:31 am

Also, I believe the reason why the tractor died on the neighbor is because of a bad ground. Originally I never had spark from the coil until I replaced the coil, cleaned all the grounds including the ignition switch, battery leads, side cut-off switch next to the fender, and by taking the plate out of the distributor...For the little time my brother-in-law worked on it he could not get spark at the coil. I think the tractor not taking of could likely be from valves since that sounds like a common problem format sitting. Also could be why the plugs aren't really wet from cranking..

Eugene
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Re: 184 won't start

Postby Eugene » Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:37 am

This engine is almost identical to the standard Cub. You can use the search function, top right of this page to find out how to adjust tappets.

No need to remove the manifold or carburetor to adjust the valve tappet clearance.

Compression tests first. COMPRESSION TESTER, NOT YOUR THUMB. Record the compression tester's reading for each cylinder test.

Don't get ahead of yourself. Start at the beginning, solve one problem at a time. You can spend a month adjusting the ignition timing when you have other problems.

Edit after rereading above post. Remove the cutoff switch next to the fender. Move the ground cable from the battery box to the shift lever cover. The cutoff switch was probably added because there is an electrical malfunction draining the battery over night - - could be the alternator voltage regulator.
I have an excuse. CRS.


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