Jump to content

Garden Tractors and Parts on eBay

- - - - -

What Was Your "AHA!" Moment

  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 jimbobbillyray OFFLINE  

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 5039
  • 2,824 Thanks
  • 2,782 posts
  • Location: raytown missouri

Posted July 31, 2016 - 09:34 PM

I have had many, but the one today was special.  And I knew about this one, but I forgot that it could happen. 

  I have been working on the Onan on the M F 1855.  It has been hard to start and has low power.  It doesn't smoke at all and has good compression on both sides.  The po said that sometimes it only ran on one cylinder.  I took time to work on it again today.  I have good 12 volts to the coil, the spark plug wires look to be in good shape.  The p o had the wrong plugs in it (too short), so I decided to change them, as it was only firing on one cylinder.  I had to wire brush the sparkplug threads in the heads (a good round wire brush that is used for cleaning 1/2 inch copper water line fittings prior to sweating them works great for this) to get the right plugs to thread all the way in.  All I had were used plugs, but they are good, or so I thought.  Anyway, I got the new plugs in and still it would only fire on one cylinder.  Changed the wires around, changed the one plug with another one I had,  it still wasn't firing, etc.  It was getting towards dark, but I was determined to fix this problem.  Then came the AHA! moment.  By this time it was almost dark outside, and I tried to start it one more time....then I saw it.  One of the spark plug wires was grounding out on the intake manifold bolt!  I couldn't see it in the daylight!  I cut a slit in a two inch  piece of fuel line and put it on the sparkplug wire where it was shorting out to insulate it from that bolt.  she runs great now and fires up easily!

Edited by Delmar, August 01, 2016 - 10:06 AM.

  • Gtractor, MH81, wvbuzzmaster and 9 others have said thanks

#2 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  


    Squeaky Wheel

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1792
  • 4,716 Thanks
  • 7,423 posts
  • Location: West Virginia

Posted July 31, 2016 - 09:45 PM

I had a similar issue on my Farmall 140. It would either start perfect or fight me. One day I could tell it was going to fight me because I got shocked as if I was holding a spark plug, and I was no where near the ignition system. Finally got it to start and checked by yanking plug wires and number 1 was not firing. Now keep in mind when it would start it would lack power, until it warmed up a while. So I took the number one plug and put in another used plug (another Champion, but had it on hand). Anyway, problem solved, for now. Imagine, a plug grounding thru itself... Enough to shock the guy at the other end thru the chassis of the tractor.
  • Gtractor, jimbobbillyray and MolonLabe have said thanks

#3 ol' stonebreaker OFFLINE  

ol' stonebreaker
  • Validating
  • Member No: 12515
  • 1,690 Thanks
  • 1,148 posts
  • Location: idaho

Posted July 31, 2016 - 10:20 PM

  My aha moment was recently w/ the Wisconsin on the Hobart welder. Ever since I got it running it had an intermittent misfire on #1 and sounded like the #1 intake was kicking back thru the carb. After having the mag off several times changing points and condenser, then installing new cap and rotor(they weren't cheap!!) and a new head gasket(it also wasn't cheap), I finally decided it is what it is. A few weeks ago I had built and installed a work lite for it and was checking AC volts at low idle and noticed the exhaust smelled awfully rich. Checked the idle mixture screw and it was still bottomed out from when I cleaned the carb. Turned it out 1 1/2 turns and everything sounds and runs fine now. Understand low idle RPM is 1900. I still can't believe idle mixture could have that kind of effect at that speed and also at 2300 RPM welding speed. It also speeded up at both speeds so then had to get the phototach out and reset both. You're never to old to learn something new!!


  • jimbobbillyray and oldedeeres have said thanks

#4 stiemmy OFFLINE  

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 53712
  • 2,537 Thanks
  • 1,830 posts
  • Location: Freekin cold central WI

Posted July 31, 2016 - 10:35 PM

I once learned from an old-skool mechanic, to check anything with a mis that you cant find in the dark. Cars and trucks were notorious for having longer wires than needed back in the day. The extra length of wire would almost always end up on the exhaust manifolds.

As mentioned above as well with Champion brand spark plugs, they can give fits too. I wont use them anymore, I have run into bad plugs that were new. Believe me, when you think you have a new plug, you would think it should be good. Not always the case, and it can really tick a guy off, thats why I quit buying those.
  • MH81, wvbuzzmaster, jimbobbillyray and 1 other said thanks

#5 jayreynolds13 OFFLINE  

  • Member
  • GTt Junior
  • Member No: 84072
  • 3 Thanks
  • 5 posts
  • Location: ny

Posted July 31, 2016 - 10:40 PM

I picked up a Jacobson chief that would only work in neutral 1st and reverse, and it wouldn't roll in mitral, anyway to lift it into the truck we unbolted the seat pan to get acces to lift, and I noticed it then rolled find, got it ho,e and got it out, still no seat pan, I then notice there was 2 shift gates which there hadn't been before, and I clicked down to the left and was quicker then first, then down to the right and the thing took off, so I thought that the previous kid just didn't know the shift pattern, so I bolt the seat on put it in first and now it won't move at all, I loosen the bolt and it worked again. This kid ended up having a bolt that was just way to long and rubbing inside, nuts part it seems like no damage don to the tranny
  • MH81, Alc and jimbobbillyray have said thanks

#6 EricFromPa ONLINE  



  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2135
  • 3,672 Thanks
  • 3,118 posts
  • Location: Bedford County Pa.

Posted July 31, 2016 - 11:29 PM

Had the same problem on a 18hp onan.Rear plug wire was shorting.I found that it was shorting by grabbing the darn thing and my hair instantly turned into a Don King dew lol.



Was mowing today with a tractor I'm "Fixing" Had to give it a good tune up.Plug points condensor,carb cleaning oil and filter change and PTO belt replacement.I heard what sounded like a dry spindle bearing.Went and got the greese gun and took the cover off and pumped it full but it was still making noise.Then I took the cover back off and turned the deck on and immediately saw that 2 of the 4 bolts that hold the spindle to the deck were missing and the other 2 were loose.Got to looking at the blades and 2 of the 3 blades were about to fall off.All the bolts were loose.Tightened everything up and replaced the 2 missing bolts and the deck runs smooth as silk.


Ariens S12H with 48" Fab deck.Real nice tractor very good mowing machine.

Edited by EricFromPa, July 31, 2016 - 11:30 PM.

  • MH81, wvbuzzmaster and jimbobbillyray have said thanks

#7 John Arsenault OFFLINE  

John Arsenault
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 76279
  • 2,608 Thanks
  • 1,221 posts
  • Location: Maine

Posted August 01, 2016 - 08:45 AM

One time I walked into a transmission repair shop and was applying for a job. As I was there waiting to get interviewed I was looking around the shop and saw 3 guys working on one car. One guy in the in ground pit and one in the car trying to start it and the last guy under the hood. Just at that moment the boss came out and said You John? come on with me. I said give me a second. walked over to the car they were working on (older Camaro) and re positioned the distributor cap and said give it a shot and it fired right up. Went back to the boss for my interview and said to myself AHA I got this job. 


BTW anyone that has done a tranny in an older v8 chevy knows to remove the distributor cap and perch the engine before pulling the trans. The shop manager did call me but went of a few interviews that day and took a more organized better paying mechanic job instead. Found out  , heckle jeckle and earl were trying to get that car started for 3 hours that morning and 2 the night before that and put in a few new parts as well. That was my AHA as well to keep looking.....lol


Remember guys for those of you that don't work on your own car or tractor etc.that ....there are those mechanics still out here and they are still waiting for their AHA moment

  • MH81, HowardsMF155, jimbobbillyray and 2 others have said thanks

#8 James Bosma OFFLINE  

James Bosma
  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 76126
  • 1,337 Thanks
  • 657 posts
  • Location: Belleville Ontario Canada

Posted August 01, 2016 - 08:59 PM

Had mine today  Was setting tire location on my truck and seen a wire sticking inbetween 2 treads  AHA thats why this tire is going flat. thats the reason I was setting tire postion because truck said left front needs air but the right rear was the one needing air before i put around 600 km's on the truck this weekend. Found the wire after i got home   opps

Going to tire shop tomorrow

  • jimbobbillyray said thank you

#9 LilysDad ONLINE  


    Millennium Falcon

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 10443
  • 13,348 Thanks
  • 9,802 posts
  • Location: N. Illinois, DeKalb County

Posted August 02, 2016 - 12:47 PM

You probably aren't talking about religion, are you?

  • jimbobbillyray said thank you

#10 Greasy6020 ONLINE  

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 78477
  • 1,485 Thanks
  • 1,404 posts
  • Location: supposedly frozen wastelands of ontario

Posted August 03, 2016 - 10:16 AM

My aha moment was when I stepped on a Lego brick, in the dark, so I decided I should clean them up.

My real aha moment was trying to start a tractor, not realizing it has a fuel shut off position on the throttle (international 86 series tractor)... Finally I figured it out after I went to my dad and asked him why.
  • jimbobbillyray said thank you