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Wisconsin Tra-10D Troubles On Estate Keeper

tra-10d wisconsin ek-10 bolens

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#1 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted June 04, 2013 - 07:13 AM

So, I was using one of my EK-10's the other day after fixing it up (more on that later...) and I noticed that I was having some problems with the engine running.  It seems odd though since it initially started running fine when I first started it up to mow the lawn with.  It did seem odd though that it wouldn't start unless I choked it all the way, despite it being 90 degrees outside.  I figured it shouldn't need any choke at those temperatures and quite often my 850 would start with no choke needed when it was warm out.  But in any event, it started and I got it going.  It also seemed that I couldn't give it full throttle until it warmed up a bit or else it would start to cut out.  But once it warmed up a bit, I started mowing and everything was fine.

 

I finished up the front and part of the back when it ran out of gas, so I filled it up and went to start it again and it was giving me trouble starting back up again after having run it for over an hour with no problems.  I had to choke it again to get it to fire and it was puffing out black smoke.  Once I got it running and I shut the choke off, it smoothed out a bit and started idling fine, but once I started to try to rev it up to operating speed, it was breaking up and sounded like it was going to die on me.  So, I brought the throttle back down and it went back to idling fine again.  I let it idle for a bit and turned the main jet adjustment screw on the carburetor out about 1/2 turn.  I tried giving it some more throttle again slowly and eventually it seemed to get up to operating speed once again, so I closed the engine cover and hopped on it to continue mowing, but when I engaged the PTO, the engine bogged right down and stalled.  I'm like, WTF???  It was just running fine earlier!  So, I start it again, mess around with the main jet adjustment some more, rev it up and try mowing again, and the engine keeps cutting out on me under load.  I let it sit for a while to cool off some more and took the time to re-seat the main jet screw and then turn it out 1 and 1/2 turns to try to reset it, then started it up again.  I did finally manage to get it going again and I could engage the PTO even, but with the deck running and even in only 1st gear, the engine kept surging like it was reving up and down by about 500 RPMs or so.

 

So, what gives with this engine?  Was it just not happy with the heat?  I was using good 93 octane gas, so bad fuel shouldn't be an issue.  I did notice the PO put an in-line fuel filter in the fuel line before the carb, could it be plugged up and should I get rid of it and put a new fuel line on?  Could this be a spark issue and not fuel at all?  IDK if I need a new coil wire or not.  The end boot where it goes onto the coil looks pretty dried out, hard and brittle.  But it seems to spark enough at least to get it running and it always idles fine.  I just can't seem to get it to run at operating speed (like 3,800-4,200 RPM or so) under load (both the deck and the transaxle running).  I replaced the belts I was using before as well since they kept falling off the pulleys and binding up and causing problems, so I threw another new set of belts on it that I found in the boxes of parts and it seems to have resolved that problem at least.  The only issue I have now is that the drive belts seem to slip a bit on occasion, especially going uphill.  I can hear them squeal a bit when this happens.

 

Any help would be appreciated getting to the bottom of this issue so I can just use this EK-10 this summer without any more headaches!!



#2 OldBuzzard ONLINE  

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Posted June 04, 2013 - 07:43 AM

I'd change the fuel filter as the first step.  It sounds like it's plugged up so that it allows just fuel through it to idle and run, but not enough for when the engine is under load.

 

My theory on trouble shooting is to look for the simplest/cheapest fix first.


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#3 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 04, 2013 - 07:51 AM

What kind of fuel filter is on there?

There are gravity fed fuel filters and filters meant for use with fuel pumps, often times people use the wrong ones.

 

 

Have you had the carb off to inspect it? Generally any tractor that's been sitting any length of time the first thing you should do before starting it is to take the carb off and clean it...



#4 Bruce Dorsi OFFLINE  

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Posted June 04, 2013 - 08:28 AM

 

"I just can't seem to get it to run at operating speed (like 3,800-4,200 RPM or so) under load (both the deck and the transaxle running)."

 

I think that is too high an engine speed!  .....It really should be limited to 3600-3800rpm MAX.



#5 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 04, 2013 - 08:30 AM

 

"I just can't seem to get it to run at operating speed (like 3,800-4,200 RPM or so) under load (both the deck and the transaxle running)."

 

I think that is too high an engine speed!  .....It really should be limited to 3600-3800rpm MAX.

 

:ditto:



#6 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted June 04, 2013 - 10:48 PM

 

I think that is too high an engine speed!  .....It really should be limited to 3600-3800rpm MAX.

 

Well, IDK exactly what RPMs it is running as I don't have a tach on it.  I was just estimating what I thought it was at.  This engine does seem like it will rev up pretty high though if it doesn't start to break up, so I wouldn't doubt that it can reach 4,000 RPMs, although I have no proof of that...  IDK what these engines are rated for or what their normal operation speed is supposed to be.  I thought I recalled seeing somewhere that you can adjust them to run at full throttle anywhere between like 3,400 and 4,200 RPM...



#7 owen OFFLINE  

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Posted June 16, 2013 - 08:51 AM

I'm a mediocre mechanic at best...However, I've had the same symptom with this engine in my Husky 1050 that seemed to be caused by a flywheel that was first coming loose (the nut was backing off the crankshaft), and then gradually falling apart. I think the slop in the flywheel was causing the timing to be erratic which in turn reduced the ability of the engine to run under a load.



#8 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted June 16, 2013 - 10:53 PM

Well, the EK was at it again this weekend.  I started it up today after it sat all week and it took a while to start up at first, but it eventually got going with some choking.  I mowed my lawn with it fine and it ran great.  Then, I loaded it up into the truck to take it over to mow another lawn with it and it wouldn't run right.  It ran for about 3 laps mowing around the yard, and then it bogged down and stalled out.  I could get the engine running fine on its own, but as soon as I tried to engage the PTO or put it in gear (basically, any load on the engine), it died right out and wouldn't stay running!  WTF is wrong with this thing?  I'd like to get it resolved ASAP so I can actually use it without any troubles.  Any ideas why it keeps acting up like this?  Is it overheating or something?  Carb leaking air when it warms up?

 

The other thing I have noticed is something with the governor linkage and the throttle plate.  IDK if it is a problem with the governor being out of adjustment, a carb problem, or a fuel issue (or all three)?  I notice that when the throttle is at idle and I start the engine, it runs fine.  If I slowly increase the throttle, the engine accelerates fine.  But when I engage the PTO or put it in gear and put a load on the engine, I notice the governor moves all the way over to the right and it tries to fully open the throttle plate and that's when the engine starts to die.  But it only seems to do it when it is hot or it has been running for a while.  If I have the time (which I probably don't) I could try to take a quick video of it so you can see what it's doing, if that might help.  It seems like it's unnecessarily opening the throttle plate though under load and either flooding it with gas or it is sucking in too much air.  Either way, the combustion mixture is off and it won't continue running.  If I push back the throttle shaft by hand, it continues to run fine.  So, why is the governor giving it too much throttle and killing the engine then?



#9 chris m OFFLINE  

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Posted June 17, 2013 - 01:55 AM

One thing I have learned over the years is that it is rarely the governor that is causing the problems. Most of the time ( not all) it is a carb issue.

Have you gone through this engine yet? I am just wondering the condition of everything so I can narrow down the possibilities.

 

Have you had the head off? Does this have points, if so have you cleaned and or replaced them and the condenser?

Have you had the carb off, if so did you rebuild it?

 

I am leaning to a fuel (carb) issue but it could be a number of things. It could be a leaky carb base gasket even. Or head gasket is leaking by.

 

The reason I am asking these questions is because the last 5 engines I have worked on (even though some ran) all had not only blown head gaskets but the heads where warped. And 2 of the engines the carb mounting flanges were also warped. Now any time I get an old engine I check the head and carb surfaces to see if they are flat. And every carb gets a good soaking and cleaning before the rebuild. I haven't had one carb yet off an engine that has sat for some time that didn't have some type of crud or buildup inside of them.

 

So hopeful we can get this figured out for you.


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#10 Bruce Dorsi OFFLINE  

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Posted June 17, 2013 - 06:15 AM

 

"... when I engage the PTO or put it in gear and put a load on the engine, I notice the governor moves all the way over to the right and it tries to fully open the throttle plate and that's when the engine starts to die.  ...It seems like it's unnecessarily opening the throttle plate though under load and either flooding it with gas or it is sucking in too much air.  Either way, the combustion mixture is off and it won't continue running.  If I push back the throttle shaft by hand, it continues to run fine.  So, why is the governor giving it too much throttle and killing the engine then?"

 

The governor is acting as it should.  .....When the engine is under load, the rpm's drop, causing the governor to react.  ...The governor opens the throttle butterfly in an attempt to bring the rpm's back up.  ....If & when the rpm's increase too much, the governor closes the throttle butterfly slightly.

 

If all is right with the engine's condition and fuel mixtures, there is very little fluctuation in engine speed.

 

There can be several cause of the problems you are experiencing, and it is almost impossible to diagnose over the internet.  ....All we can do is make some educated guesses.



#11 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted June 17, 2013 - 09:20 AM

Have you gone through this engine yet? I am just wondering the condition of everything so I can narrow down the possibilities.

 

Have you had the head off? Does this have points, if so have you cleaned and or replaced them and the condenser?

Have you had the carb off, if so did you rebuild it?

 

I am leaning to a fuel (carb) issue but it could be a number of things. It could be a leaky carb base gasket even. Or head gasket is leaking by.

 

So hopeful we can get this figured out for you.

 

No, I haven't had the time to go through this engine yet.  I was hoping I could just run it for the time being either until I can get my other EK restoration done and then I can switch to working on this or at least until I have some time to try and take a look at this EK to get it running better.  I've been so busy with work lately that I haven't had time to even look at this thing before I needed to use it again this weekend to mow lawns with it, which I know sucks.

 

I haven't had the carb off of the engine, but I have sprayed it down with carb cleaner when it was on the engine.  I pulled the air filter elbow off of it and liberally sprayed it all down the carb intake, both with the engine off and running.  I also re-adjusted the main jet on the carb by turning it in to re-seat it and then backing it out one and a half turns to the "factory default" setting according to the service manual.  I've adjusted it a bit once the engine had warmed up and it was running for a while to smooth out the engine a bit, but no more than like a 1/4 or 1/8 of a turn counter-clockwise.

 

Haven't pulled the head at all.

 

Yes, it has points and no I haven't looked at them yet.  It is very difficult to check the points on a Wisconsin engine in an Estate Keeper as the transaxle pan is in the way.  You have to pull the engine out to take the cover off.  Plus, the P.O. used silicone caulk around the points cover to seal it up.  I'm guessing he thought he had a problem with water getting in there?  Basically, it looks like it would be a pain to get in there to check the points.  He said he put a new condenser and points in it not that long ago anyways, but I know they could be out of adjustment anyways or more worn than I might think.

 

Basically, I haven't done anything to this engine yet other than put new fuel in it.  I know it has a secondary in-line fuel filter before the carb that could be plugged and starving it for fuel.  My first step might be to either replace it or just by-pass it for now to see if that will help.  The tank already had a filter in it on the fuel shut-off valve, so I don't think it really needs another one, but I can tell he was trying to protect the carb from getting fouled up from bad gas or sediment in the tank.

 

Might try to get some video, if I can, of what it is doing.


Edited by MailmAn, June 17, 2013 - 09:24 AM.

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