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Curtis B.
Curtis B., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 26033
Experience:  have worked on and around most engine models for 35 yrs./Polaris ATV expert
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I have a 2010 52" hydronic walk behind with an eighteen

Customer Question

Hi, I have a 2010 52" scag hydronic walk behind with an eighteen horse Honda engine. It ran great until the end of last season when I noticed the elbow between the exhaust and the muffler glowing red. I shut down and couldn't get it to start for the remainder of the season. About a month ago I got it to start but could only get about half the power and it was useless in taller grass. I have pulled the plugs and noticed some oil on the electrode of the plug, and once again I cannot get it running. Am I screwed? Thanks for the time.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Small Engine
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Meant to say hydraulic, sorry typing from my phone in a barn here.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 6 months ago.
What is the engine model number? Twin engine I assume? If you remove spark plug and ground it ti the metal of the engine, do you have spark at the plug when cranking? While plug is out, do a compression test, use finger with rag, if no gage, see if it has enough compression to move your finger. If it has spark and compression, put a teaspoon of fuel into the spark plug hole, re-install the spark plug and see if it will fire for a few seconds.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks for the response. I have it running now, but when I turn the blades on I lose a considerable amount of power, I can still cut slowly if I avoid heavy grass when I hit heavy grass it bogs out, if I remain stationary it will regain just enough power to get through. Also, this mower is a pull start, I should have included that earlier and you were correct on the engine type. It also seems the muffler is making a baffling noise with an occasional small backfire.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 6 months ago.
Run a cylinder balance test. Loosen the spark plug wires, and with engine idling, remove one wire at a time. Engine should continue to run, but if engine dies when one wire is removed, the opposite cylinder is not firing. Check it for spark and compression. I think you have twin engine only running on one cylinder!
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Damn, I was hoping it wasn't that, that was my thought as well as a friend of mines' ( who owns a lawn service). I don't have time tonight to run the test, but if it is the cylinder, does that mean a rebuild? If so can you give me a ballpark of what something like that would cost? I know that's probably not a fair question, but I'm curious. Would this be something that could be done in my barn?Thanks again for your help.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 6 months ago.
I'm thinking you need a new coil. $100.00.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
A new cool? That would fix my cylinder issue?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 6 months ago.
It will , if the cylinder has no spark!
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Huh, that makes sense. Thank-you sir, I'll give it a whirl!
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 6 months ago.
run te cylinder test and if not firing on one cylinder, see if it has spark, no spark, new coil needed. Be careful, most Honda engines have left hand and right hand coils and are different.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Sounds good, thanks for your help, especially with the differing coils I wasn't aware of that. I hope this works, won't be able to get back at it for a couple of days but I will run the test and hopefully discover and fix the issue. Thanks again.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 6 months ago.
Thank you!