184 troubles

Tue May 15, 2007 12:19 pm

I need some suggestions on this one. A fellow stopped by yesterday that owns a red/white 184 Lo-Boy. The serial tag says 2000115U045691. My first question is the year. This cub is having starting/running problems. I really don't have alot of time to spend on this cub, so I went over and did some quick checking on some of the basics for him. Yesterday, I gave him a good Zenith carb to install to see if it made any difference and NO, it didn't. I pulled the plug out of the carb and it had a good steady flow of gas, for as long as I left the plug out. I cleaned the points and set them to .020, checked the timing mark and rotor that seemed right on, noticed it had NGK plugs, numbers A-6(carboned up some). It seemed to have good compression with just my finger over the plug holes, but a compression tester only shows 60psi on all 4 :shock: The owner said every once in a while he could get it to start and it wood run and mow fine, but once it starts acting up, he'd have to leave the choke on to keep it running. I thought for sure it was fuel related, but now with this 60psi reading, something else must be happening. I removed the carb and held my hand over the manifold flange and it sure has good suction. I thought maybe it wasn't drawing fuel up into the manifold, but it has me stumped now. Why would it run good when it runs from time to time. He said he mowed his grass last week for over an hour till it started acting up, then he had to pull it into the barn where it's sat til today.

Any of you have any ideas??

Stumped in Grand Rapids :shock: ,
Rick

Tue May 15, 2007 12:28 pm

I just answered my own question about the year. I went to TM's site, which led me to ATIS, which says it's a 77. It did have a prod code A on the engine, which matches with the Int Cub codes too for '77.

Also, he has to finish planting crops today and tomorrow. The only spray that he had was BP blaster. I sprayed some down into the pistons to soak till I go back over there Thursday for round 2 :D :D

Thanks,
Rick
Last edited by Rick Prentice on Tue May 15, 2007 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tue May 15, 2007 12:31 pm

It does sound like a fuel problem. Does it have a
good fuel cap I"m thinking it might be drawing a
vaccum in the gas tank after running a hour are so.

Tue May 15, 2007 12:36 pm

Hi le-lou, yep, this guy is pretty up to date on things too. Everytime I thought of something, he already tried it. He removed the cap to see about a vacuum problem there, and it still acted up. The tank, cap, sediment bowl all look spotless.

Rick

Tue May 15, 2007 12:41 pm

I would not consider the 60# in one cylinder as being the
problem. It would pop are start with just three good ones.
Unless the problem was the valve on the bad cylinder,and it was
expainden when hot blowing compression back into intake manfold

Tue May 15, 2007 1:26 pm

Unless I'm reading wrong, he said 60# in all four.

Wow, this is a bugger. Could it be overheating?

Tue May 15, 2007 1:45 pm

Yeh,I missed that, reading to fast I guess.

Tue May 15, 2007 1:46 pm

Make sure all the ground connections are clean. Poor grounding could cause the engine to crank but never "catch".

Just a thought.

Doug

Tue May 15, 2007 2:32 pm

Rick,
The only thing I can think of is are the valves adjusted properly, and/or has it overheated and burned the valves? I had a tractor once that would start and run like a scalded dog. But once it got hot it started running like crap and if you shut it off, you could not get it started until it sat overnight. Turns out the valves were burned bad.

Bill

Re: 184 troubles

Tue May 15, 2007 2:36 pm

Rick(billyandmillie) wrote:This cub is having starting/running problems.

Not the carb.

I cleaned the points and set them to .020, checked the timing mark and rotor that seemed right on, noticed it had NGK plugs, numbers A-6(carboned up some).

Compression tester only shows 60psi on all 4.

The owner said every once in a while he could get it to start and it wood run and mow fine, but once it starts acting up, he'd have to leave the choke on to keep it running.

He said he mowed his grass last week for over an hour till it started acting up, then he had to pull it into the barn where it's sat til today.


Replace the coil with a known good one. (#2 thought as to part of the problems.)

Double check the points and ignition timing.

Valve tappet clearance. (#1 thought as to part of the problems.)

New set of spark plugs.

Eugene

Wed May 16, 2007 6:18 am

My 154 did the samething it would stall out and then start up and stall when ever it wanted too, then all of a sudden it stalled for the last time. I was out in the middle of the yard "mowing" when we got into it. I knew it was a fuel problem right away because before when it was choked it would run. I took off the fuel bowel and checked that. I noticed after reassembly there was no gas comming down to the carb at the hose(inlet) when I opened the fuel bowel up.(shutoff) I blew into the hose(with my mouth) while the pedcock was open and heard something go pop in the tank then i heard air bubbles in the tank. Ever since its been running fine. I ran it out of gas to check it out anyway and its squeeky clean in the bottom of the tank. I guess from sitting for a longtime it had build up at the top of the fuel bowel in the tank. The power did increase too.

The owner before me knew something was wrong with it but he didn't tell me. He always idled with it when i looked at it. For $800 I made out ok. Its funny how one little thing can bring these awesome tractors to a hault?

These tractors are no different than the cars of the 50's, 60's and 70's and so easy to work on. I started out washing parts for my dad in the eary 50's when he fixed the family cars/trucks. Then i progressed to lawn mowers on my own. Remember check out the fuel first, ignition second and then go nuts over the compression/timing/valve adjustments. It can be the simplest thing. With bad compression it should run but have little power but it should run ok.

In the cars i have had some bad rotors too they would short out right under the tag that connects it to the distributor cap. We had great spark going into the cap but nothing comming out to the plugs. My point is it can happen with any cap and rotor. (food for thought or tip of the day you pick it)

Wed May 16, 2007 7:36 am

Stainful was the same way and is somewhat today. Turned out to be electrical. Replaced everything one at a time. eventually it stopped dying after an hours worth of work. Probably was a combination of coil getting hot, and bad connections due to corrision. When i get it ready for paint will replace the remaining wires that havent been replaced, even though the problem appears to be fixed for time being. :D

Wed May 16, 2007 7:36 am

Rick,

You might check for a vacuum leak as well. The compression is pretty even. Sounds like the rings might be a little worn but they are even and that's good. If you squirt a little oil in the cylinder before checking the compression and the pressure goes up, that would indicate worn rings.

When you said it would run with the choke out made me immediately think of a vacuum leak. Maybe check for a cracked or warped intake manifold? Or maybe just loose.

Good Luck!
Brian

Wed May 16, 2007 8:49 pm

Rick, NGK A-6 is right.

Just a thought... condenser.

When I first bought Rufus a friend that helps out at a nursery says the ignition parts don't hold up like they used to and they got tired of changing points and condensers and went to the Perco (sp) electronic ignitions on their 140's etc.

I always save the old ignition components, cause I figure they are 'known good'. Let me know if you need one.