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Curtis B.
Curtis B., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 17597
Experience:  have worked on and around most engine models for 35 yrs./Polaris ATV expert
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Have a Tecumseh LEV120 6.5 Hp mower engine and had to replace

Customer Question

Have a Tecumseh LEV120 6.5 Hp mower engine and had to replace the connecting rod and flywheel key. I can not get the engine to start. The engine has a new spark plug (checked gap) and a full tank of gas. I just does not seem to fire, dose not even sound close to starting. Any help is appreciated. Thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
curtis b :

Are you getting spark to the plug? Remove it and be sure it is grounded and see if you have spark. If you have spark, try a teaspoon of fuel in the cylinder to see if it will try to start.

curtis b :

Did you get the timing marks on the crank and cam right when the engine was apart?

Customer:

I double checked the marks because I did not know about the small dimple and punch on the crankshaft and cam shaft the first time I reassembled the engine. I also put a screw driver in the spark plug wire and had my son pull the cord wanting to see if spark jumped to plug - that was exciting, I did not expect the jolt I received.

curtis b :

If marks are correct interanly, and it has the new flywhell key. The timing should be correct. With you having spark, that only leaves the carburetor. Did you try the fuel in the spark plug hole?

Customer:

Getting ready to do that now it will be a few minutes.

Customer:

Tried the fuel in the spark plug hole - nothing. How do I check the spark without getting shocked, I don' think it is getting any spark this time.

curtis b :

Just remove the plug, leave it hooked to the plug wire, be sure the base of plug is against metal surface, pull rope and watch for spark at the plug tip. If no spark, check the kill wire from the coil, to be sure it is not grounding out , killing the spark.

Customer:

where is the kill wire, what color?

curtis b :

It should be the only wire, ususally black, coming from under the cowling of the engine. It is hooked to the coil , next to the flywheel. Did you set the gap on the coil when you changed the flywheel key? Gap should be set at .010in. between coil and flywheel.

Customer:

the kill wire is connected to a connector on the bottom of the ?magneto?. On top of this object (magneto) are two connectors (side by side) that are resting on the magneto - should there be a gap between these or should they be in contact with the magneto

curtis b :

The coil and magneto is the same. The connectors should be attached to the magneto, he gap is between the magneto and the flywheel.

curtis b :

I wasn't thru.! I'm not sure what kind of connector these would be?? Are they wires attached? Can't figure out why they would be there.

Customer:

Okay - the gap is .010 and the green wire (kill wire) appears intact with out any breaks in the insulation. There

curtis b :

remove the kill wire and see if you have spark.

Customer:

The connectors look like you could attach wire connectors to them, but they do not have anything attached nothing has been removed from them. With spark plug grounded to frame and kill wire off I see a small spark in the spark plug gap. Should I try to start it without a kill wire?

Customer:

Do you think there is a problem with the engine brake cable on the handle?

curtis b :

I would try to start it with out the kill wire attached. Its easy enough to reattach it and kill the engine. The handle brake can certainly kill the engine, that is why you test without the kill attached.

Customer:

Okay, tried to start - gave it a good shot of Thrust Quick Start Spray, re-inserted spark plug and with kill wire detached - did not start.

curtis b :

Sometimes they won't fire on starting fluid, have you had the carburator bowl off and checked the float and needle valve to be sure you have fuel to the engine?

Customer:

No. What should I do here.

Customer:

Removed the bowl and it is full of fuel, how do I make sure it is getting to the combustion chamber?

curtis b :

be sure that with the float hanging down, that fuel enters the carburetor via the needle valve passage. If so, it will enter the cylinder.

curtis b :

Did you check the valve clearance when you had engine apart?

Customer:

No, did not. Relied on it be correct, although the lifters slipped out during the job, just slipped them back - could the be in the wrong positions? How do I adjust the valve clearance?

curtis b :

The valves are under the crankcase vent, check the clearance, The only way to adjust is remove the valves and grind the tips off to obtain the correct clearance. If you have clearance, any amount, it will work and you won't have to mess with them.

Customer:

Are the valves are under the cylinder head - gasket is in place, how do you check clearance? With the cylinder head in place I can not get to them.

curtis b :

You have to get to the stem, it is under the crankcase vent , find the vent line that goes into the aitintake and follow it back to the vent cover, it is behind the carburator elbow.

Customer:

I am correct, you are not talking about the intake and exhaust valve within the cylinder.

Customer:

Excuse me, am I correct?

curtis b :

Yes, but the clearance is checked on the opposite end.

Customer:

I am looking at an online manual, I cannot find a crankcase vent, however there is mention of a crankcase breather, Are there valves in there that control fuel flow?

curtis b :

Crankcase breather is the same, remove it and the valve ends with the springs will be visable, the valves are the same as what is under the cylinder head, just the bottom end of them.

Customer:

Okay, opened the breather and can see the valve stems and they seem to pen and closed respectively with a smooth tug on the starter cord, but they are within a spring so I do not know how to check clearance.

Customer:

anyone out there to answer?

curtis b :

The clearance is checked between the end of the valve stem and the lifter tip. Turn engine till one valve spring is collasped, and measure the clearance on the opposite valve. It should be at it widest point and we would like to have .006in. clearance, but even .002 would let engine run. Then turn the engine till the other spring is collasped and check the second one.

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