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Nothing wants to start for me anymore...


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#1 Enginerd OFFLINE  

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Posted December 19, 2010 - 09:15 PM

I finally got the Bolens running, and then I pick up a Ariens that will not start.

The details:
It's a GT17 with a loader that was fabbed by an engineer/machinist years ago. It ran when parked 6 months ago, but will not start now. I attributed it to the cold, so I threw two tarps over it, stuck a space heater under the frame, hooked up the charger, and let it sit overnight. In the morning it was nice and toasty under the tarp, and the battery was fully charged. It cranks over easy and fast, but will not catch. It has brand new NGK plugs (installed by PO) that spark, so I know it's not a bad kill switch somewhere. With a shot of ether, it coughed once, but it was weak.
Any suggestions on where to start? Does anyone know how to test a coil? Should I rebuild the carb?
I really wish I had a heated garage...

#2 awol OFFLINE  

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Posted December 19, 2010 - 09:32 PM

Hi Enginerd, I had the same problem with my bolens it was a tough one to start when I got it. I took the carb off and cleaned it with carb cleaner and put it back together and noticed the choke cable when open full it was not closing at the carb all the way. Once I ajusted it so it would close it starts right up, not sure if this helps but give it a try.:beerchug:

#3 mikebramel OFFLINE  

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Posted December 19, 2010 - 09:39 PM

i had a similar problem with my case. starts fine around 30 after 5 sec or so but the other day it was 0-10f. was cranking for 10 sec didnt hear a pop. lifted the hood and realized the choke cable jacket wasnt held down. the cable was just wiggling around the whole time. starts immediately now

#4 Enginerd OFFLINE  

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Posted December 19, 2010 - 11:52 PM

Hi Enginerd, I had the same problem with my bolens it was a tough one to start when I got it. I took the carb off and cleaned it with carb cleaner and put it back together and noticed the choke cable when open full it was not closing at the carb all the way. Once I ajusted it so it would close it starts right up, not sure if this helps but give it a try.:beerchug:


I'll try that first. I checked the operation of both cables, but I don't know where the fully closed position is. I'll try that. Also, may try new gas, since the stuff in the tank could be old.

Adding to the difficulty is the fact that the hood only opens a few inches when the bucket is down. But I can't lift the bucket unless I get it started. I think the hinges will be removed and replaced with pins pretty soon.

#5 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2010 - 07:54 AM

I'll try that first. I checked the operation of both cables, but I don't know where the fully closed position is...


If you pull the air cleaner off, the choke butterfly should be right inside the mouth of the carb. Just look in and make sure that it seals off the passage all the way.

I'll try that. Also, may try new gas, since the stuff in the tank could be old...


You should be able to smell the old stuff if its bad, especially if it's making it to the carb and not firing!

Adding to the difficulty is the fact that the hood only opens a few inches when the bucket is down. But I can't lift the bucket unless I get it started. I think the hinges will be removed and replaced with pins pretty soon.


That sounds like a good idea. It's nice to be able to open the hood. It can really help with troubleshooting LOL! Best of luck and keep us posted on the progress!

#6 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2010 - 08:08 AM

I know you said the plugs were new, but what do they look like? Nice and clean?
Ether should do more than just get a cough.

#7 Enginerd OFFLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2010 - 01:10 PM

I know you said the plugs were new, but what do they look like? Nice and clean?
Ether should do more than just get a cough.


The plugs are still shiny (never seen combustion). They are brand new and the tractor has not run since they were installed. I should probably check to make sure they are the correct ones, huh?

I'll also try to remove the plugs and put a drop of ether directly into the cylinders to confirm it is a fuel issue.

#8 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2010 - 04:15 PM

I have had the same problem with the choke cable housing not staying in place when pulling choke on.

#9 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2010 - 07:19 PM

The plugs are still shiny (never seen combustion). They are brand new and the tractor has not run since they were installed. I should probably check to make sure they are the correct ones, huh?

I'll also try to remove the plugs and put a drop of ether directly into the cylinders to confirm it is a fuel issue.


Did he just change the plugs and then it would not run or was it not running so he changed the plugs? Give it a shot of ether in the cylinder and see what happens.

#10 ariensguy OFFLINE  

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Posted March 05, 2011 - 12:57 AM

I'd love to see pics of the Ariens GT17. I have a GT18 that I'm looking for some attachments for. I have the tiller, snoblower and 54" deck. I need a plow, culti, loader and blade. Try some Conklin 4 Power inthe carb if you can find it. Best carb cleaner/stabilizer I ever used.

Edited by ariensguy, March 05, 2011 - 01:19 AM.
more info


#11 Enginerd OFFLINE  

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Posted March 20, 2011 - 10:52 PM

This week I dragged the Ariens out of the back yard and got it into the garage to begin digging into why it will not start. Just getting it into the garage was a project all by itself. Having a bucket on the front makes moving without power a challenge.

I checked the spark again, and confirmed it was there. It looked a bit weak, so I dripped a little starter fluid directly into the cylinders. It didn't even cough, so I figured it's got to be electrical. But before I started down the path of testing the coil, etc, I pulled the gas line off the carb and found it was bone dry. I rigged up a temporary fuel tank using an old seltzer bottle, turned the key, and it started without hesitation! The bucket tilts and lifts easily, the tractor moves forward and backward, and the hydraulic steering works. The whole time it was running not a drop of fuel came out of the fuel pump, which was a good thing because I forgot to cap it off as a precaution.

Unfortunately, after running and getting up to temperature, the headlight wires which were accidentally resting on the muffler must have melted and shorted together, because it died and now I've got nothing (no starter, no indicator lights, zip). So in the end I'll get to chase down an electrical problem anyway.

Once I've got it all screwed back together, fix the slow leak in the rear tire, and change all the fluids, I'll get it out for some testing and take some video. Stay tuned.

#12 Enginerd OFFLINE  

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Posted March 20, 2011 - 11:36 PM

Right after I posted this, I started to go through the manual. In the troubleshooting section (which is usually not very helpful), it listed "Tractor not in park" as a reason for not starting. My GT20, does not have "Park"; only "Neutral". Apparently the GT17 will not start in neutral. So I ran out to the basement, and sure enough, tractor in neutral. :yelclap:Pulled the lever into "Park", and she fired right up. :dancingbanana:Whew. I guess I shouldn't knock the troubleshooting section anymore.

Since I was back in the garage, I took a picture of the temporary gas tank. It's amazing what you can do with a 1/4" hose barb, some JB weld, a bungee cord, and a soda bottle.

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#13 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted March 21, 2011 - 04:20 AM

OSHA probably wouldn't approve, but they aren't around. Neat idea for a temporary situation.
KennyP

#14 Enginerd OFFLINE  

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Posted March 21, 2011 - 09:50 AM

A thin plastic bottle vibrating against a sharp battery bracket positioned directly above the cylinder head? What could go wrong?
:firejumper:

#15 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted March 21, 2011 - 10:36 AM

It's funny seeing gas in a clear container,..... kinda looks like something else LOL :poke:

Glad you got it figured out. The troubleshooting sections usually are of no help but once in a while you do get a good one that has some helpful advice. :D




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