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John Deere LT166 cannot get it started.


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#1 Afrowookie OFFLINE  

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Posted August 15, 2016 - 06:19 PM

Hey all,

 

I was given a John Deere LT166 with a B & S 303777.  He said it was running last year and it won't start for him, he ended up giving it to me after getting another lawn tractor, and because he didn't want to deal with this one.

 

The engine turns over but does not start.  So far here is what I've done to it.

 

I got a brand new battery.

 

Flushed engine with new oil and installed a new oil filter.

 

I got changed spark plugs.

 

Adjusted valves.

 

Checked for spark and was only getting it on one side, so I changed the coil where there was no spark.  Now there is spark.

 

Dumped old fuel, put in new fuel, checked for fuel flow.  Fuel is getting to the carb bowl.

 

Also have cleaned the carb as best I could, spraying with Carb Cleaner, and removed the float and main jet and soaked them in carb cleaner over night.

 

So the engine turns but does not start.  I did notice that comparing to videos I've seen on other lawn tractor not starting videos that my engine only turns about 250 rpm and after a few cranks the battery is drained to the point of not being able to turn the engine over anymore, thus having to recharge the battery.  Compared to other videos, their engines seem to turn at twice the speed, and they crank it over and over again without draining the battery like mine does.

 

I had at one point almost had the engine firing, it seemed as if it was starting but then stops right away as soon as I let go of the ignition key.  After messing with the carb to clean, it seems to have made it worse,

 

I am stuck as to where to go from here.  Please help! 

 

 



#2 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted August 15, 2016 - 06:45 PM

What is the CCA rating of the battery you got?  Lot of the less expensive batteries have low CCA and little hang power.  Sounds like this is part of the problem.  Sometimes when an engine has sat for a time like through a season or winter they have to be cranked a lot to get them going again.  Your battery is not letting you do this.  If your charger has a start mode on it, try turning the engine over and as soon as the battery starts to draw down the least, turn on the start boost.  Should keep the engine spinning  and might get it started for you.  Good luck.



#3 stiemmy ONLINE  

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Posted August 15, 2016 - 07:27 PM

First, check all the battery connections!!!!

I would also check to make sure the float bowl doesn't have a electrical shutoff valve, they stick. Next, try a little gas directly into the carb. Now be careful here, too much she'll flood, too little, and she wont pop...

A compression test certainly will not hurt, but my guess is fuel here.

Report back your results;)

Edited by stiemmy, August 15, 2016 - 07:31 PM.


#4 jms180 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 15, 2016 - 08:06 PM

good battery ? have it checked at auto parts store

compression ?

fuel solenoid working ? if equipped with one

check spark with inline spark tester

if no spark remove kill wire from coil only for spark test



#5 glgrumpy ONLINE  

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Posted August 15, 2016 - 09:23 PM

Vacumn fuel pump on side of housing? Maybe near where fuel filter is? Either of those can leak or go bad. Try a fuel line bypassing all this if you have another tank for gas and can hold above engine for gravity flow. Just remove gas cap on tank? Mine had vent clog, no flow.

#6 JBRamsey OFFLINE  

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Posted August 15, 2016 - 10:12 PM

check each end of the battery cables. Clean and reinstall. Take the mower battery out of the loop. Jumper your pickup to it. Shoot some starter fluid in it and hit the switch.

#7 JBRamsey OFFLINE  

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Posted August 15, 2016 - 10:14 PM

If it fires off on the starting fluid, you have a fueling problem somewhere. Work backwards and troubleshoot before spending money buying and just doing parts R&R. Good luck.

#8 secondtry ONLINE  

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Posted August 15, 2016 - 11:57 PM

What is the CCA rating of the battery you got?  Lot of the less expensive batteries have low CCA and little hang power.  Sounds like this is part of the problem.  Sometimes when an engine has sat for a time like through a season or winter they have to be cranked a lot to get them going again.  Your battery is not letting you do this.  If your charger has a start mode on it, try turning the engine over and as soon as the battery starts to draw down the least, turn on the start boost.  Should keep the engine spinning  and might get it started for you.  Good luck.

Seen a lot of starters toasted like that.   Don



#9 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted August 16, 2016 - 06:42 AM

Seen a lot of starters toasted like that.   Don

Starters were bad to start with then.  Starter does the amp draw, boost only provides it.



#10 Afrowookie OFFLINE  

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Posted August 16, 2016 - 09:08 AM

Hi, thanks for the replies. I am on vacation right now and unable to check, but I believe my battery is an Everstart from Walmart, CCA of 230-300.  Requirement for my B & S engine is 160 CCA, should be more than sufficient right?  As for the battery charger, I have a smart charger for car batteries, but no start mode on it.

 

As mentioned about the fuel shutoff solenoid, I did order a new one haven't had time to install yet and try it.  My old one, the needle did not come out at all, tried cleaning it and testing it over and over again, it would move a little and you can hear the clicking when power applied to it but will not come out,  so I figured it was pooched and ordered a new one.  I hope this is the problem.

 

I tried spraying some carb cleaner into the carb intake and still the same engine turning but not starting.  Like you said it could be just the solenoid.

 

Since I am on vacation in a bigger city and easier access to parts, trying to narrow this down and get parts if I have to.

 

Haven't done the compression check yet, no compression checker.  I have checked for spark at the beginning and the right side had none, so I replaced the ignition coil and checked again with and without the wire connected to it, I get spark at start and then no spark again on second start.  What gives?  Is it because he engine isn't turning fast enough, I have them both gapped to engine specs.

 

Also could the starter be getting weak, I have new brush kit for it.


Edited by Afrowookie, August 16, 2016 - 09:20 AM.


#11 Rustysteele OFFLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2016 - 06:37 PM

If it`s turning over fine, it`s not the battery. Take the air filter off and spray a little gas into the carb and crank it over, if it fires, it`s a fuel problem, most likely the fuel solenoid on the carb, fuel pump, bad gas, or plugged fuel line. If you can hear a click from the fuel solenoid when you turn the key on, it`s working. If you don`t get it to fire with the gas, it`s an ignition problem or compression. it`s a good way to narrow the problem down.



#12 rippinryno ONLINE  

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Posted August 24, 2016 - 09:01 AM

Vacumn fuel pump on side of housing? Maybe near where fuel filter is? Either of those can leak or go bad. Try a fuel line bypassing all this if you have another tank for gas and can hold above engine for gravity flow. Just remove gas cap on tank? Mine had vent clog, no flow.

I'm gonna say this is what it is.  My old lt166 had the same issue, i troubleshooted for days then bought a new fuel pump and everything was peachy!



#13 Afrowookie OFFLINE  

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Posted August 29, 2016 - 10:16 AM

I'm back from vacation and fiddled with the mower yesterday.  I installed the new fuel shut off solenoid I ordered and tested it.  It was the same as my old one which was clicking when ignition was turned on, so now I am thinking I wasted my money in buying a new solenoid, this new one does the exact same thing.  My question is, is the needle in the solenoid supposed to come out at all, both my old and new solenoid, the needle are recessed into the solenoid, and while grounded to engine housing and ignition turned on, the needle goes further in about 1mm or so.  You can hear the clicking and see it moving.  According to John Deere LT166 Service Manual the picture below shows the needle as out when the power is not supplied to the solenoid.  What gives?

 

450f5a14f5.jpg



#14 Afrowookie OFFLINE  

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Posted August 30, 2016 - 02:46 PM

bump



#15 Afrowookie OFFLINE  

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Posted August 31, 2016 - 01:23 PM

Anyone?  Help.

 

I have pretty much diagnosed it to the carb.  Fuel is getting to the carb bowl and starting to come out the air filter in front.  I'm thinking I need a carb rebuild kit or a new carb altogether.  The problem is the two part numbers I have for a carb 807639 and 808728, I cannot find anyone who carries it.  Every site I go to either says "Discontinued" or "No Longer Available".  Does this mean anyone else including myself are screwed in the future if they need a new carb for this engine B&S 303777?  Is there an alternative carb I can get to fit this engine?  BTW repairclinic did show for around close to $200 and the overhaul kit is $125 for a bunch of washers, screws, gaskets and a few pieces of hardware. That's crazy!

 

I see a lot of other carbs on ebay and other sites for around 25-50 bucks.  Will any of these be ok for my engine.  If so which one will I need?

 

Thanks.






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