A young friend of mine has an old Wards tractor, with 16 hp B&S, that he bought last spring at an auction. He wanted some moral support to plow his garden as he thought he had overheating problems so was a little afraid to get his garden going this year. I went over today and saw the beauty for the first time. Nice big ag tires, sleeve hitch with plow and cultivators and also a snowblower that is in great shape. He hadn't run it since he started it once last fall, but with a little gas in the carb, about 5 times, it finally stayed running. He pulled it out if the garage and drove it around to the garden and it was smoking a little. He wanted to shut it off to cool down and I told him to let it run. Sure enough, it cleared up and ran pretty nice. He plowed 3 rows and then I got on and it stopped running. I was getting no fire. We checked both plugs and neither would fire. After multiple tries, the key wouldn't turn it over, but jumping across the solenoid terminals would spin the starter.
I thought, fuse. I couldn't spot one so he finally went inside and found a manual, and that showed where the fuse was. The orange wire was just hanging, the terminal on the fuse holder had broken. We ran out and bought a nice inline weather resistant fuse holder and put it in. Now you can start it using a wrench across the solenoid terminals but the key won't turn the starter. We found a wire going to the switch that had about an inch of the insulation missing/burned off.
I think with a test light or multimeter, I can trace it but what do you think? Wire? Ignition switch? Solenoid? I had no tools except a ratchet, plug socket wrench and luckily, his dad had a wire stripper tool/crimper, or I would have kept at it.