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Curtis B.
Curtis B., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 26038
Experience:  have worked on and around most engine models for 35 yrs./Polaris ATV expert
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I have a cub cadet 2140 with an Onan 140 engine. I have the

Customer Question

I have a cub cadet 2140 with an Onan 140 engine. I have the low oil pressure shut off disconnected and the wire to my ignition coil disconnected. I just installed a new ignition coil. The spark plug is also newer. I have a half tank of gas. But I'm still not sparking. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

Here is the service manual for the engine, link above. But if you have the kill wires unplugged from the coil and no spark, it states replace the coil. The coil and the magnet in the flywheel are all that makes the spark. With your new coil, did you gap the coil at .020 per the manual, which is greater than most.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you for the response. I do believe that the gap is extremely tight. I honestly had a hard time even fitting a business card in between the coil and the magnet. I will attempt to distance the gap this morning. Is there an easy way to accomplish this? I feel like there wasn't much room to move the coil, when installing. Also, there were 2 metal spacers that were in place under or behind the old coil when I removed it. I assumed that they were the spacers on the rear of the coil, where the bolts go into the mounting holes, but do they go below or anything? I can't see the file you sent me (the owners manual) on my phone. Is it only viewable on a computer?Thank you,
Pat
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

i work only from laptop, not familiar with the new phone tech. But it is on the computer. I will link it just below this again

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok, any advice on properly gapping the magnet and coil? I was always under the impression that a business card was to be used. Although, I had a hard time gapping it yesterday, to be honest
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

Business card is too thin for this one. I use a feeler gage, but maybe two business cards. I would assume there is enough slot in the coil holes to give the needed clearance.? I turn flywheel away from the magnet and then adjust, so magnet does not grasp coil.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Perfect. Thank you, ***** *****'ll let you know how it goes
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

OK> Thanks

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I was sure to gap the coil with 2 business cards. I even tried opening it a little further, then a little tighter. I have the shut-off wires (both the one on the coil and the low oil pressure) disconnected, but I'm still not getting a spark. Is there a way to bypass the ignition so that I can clear that possibility as well? Any other tests I can run?
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I also disconnected the sensor under the seat, since the seat mounting brackets are damaged. I connected both yellow wires, assuming that's what is necessary to complete the circuit. Is this correct?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

All that matters is the coil and the magnet in the flywheel. I assume the magnet is capable of holding a screwdriver , I don't think I have ever seen a bad magnet. So it comes back to the coil. I assume you have tried the old coil again? Was there any voltage going to either of the coil kill wires, which may have damaged the coils?

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

All that matters is the coil and the magnet in the flywheel. I assume the magnet is capable of holding a screwdriver , I don't think I have ever seen a bad magnet. So it comes back to the coil. I assume you have tried the old coil again? Was there any voltage going to either of the coil kill wires, which may have damaged the coils?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I have yet to try the old coil. To the best of my knowledge, there is only 1 coil kill wire. Am I missing something? Would I test it with a volt meter? If so, what voltage should I see?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

Yes, only one wire, I was thinking that oil pressure wire goes on the coil, but it is connected further up. There should be NO voltage to the coil. Test the kill wire with voltmeter.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok, so I purchased another cub cadet 2000 series mower for parts for $150. It too wasn't firing. I took the new coil and installed it into my "parts" mower and low and behold, it fired-up! Needless to say, I would like to get mine running again too. I ordered another coil, but we can nix the idea that the coil is bad. I am guessing that our issue is possibly elsewhere. My question is, where? I had the oil cut-off disconnected (and connected). I had the coil cut-off disconnected and reconnected. I just can't figure out what may be causing the engine not to fire
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

Did you try a another spark plug?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I have yet to try another plug. I will grab another plug when I put in the new coil. Hopefully that will do it!
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

OK>

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Curtis, I'm sorry for the delay in completing the survey. I am going to give you 5 stars, as you have been extremely helpful. I just hadn't done it, since I was waiting for the new coil that's arriving tomorrow. Is there a way for me to rate you and still get a response If I'm unable to get it started?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

Leave the question open until you get the coil, we can go from there. There should be a link in your email to get back here.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Again, thank you so much
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

No problem.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I put in the new coil. I properly gapped it. I tested the oil shut off. It had a charge when I turn over the key. I unplugged it and tried to start again, nothing. I added a picture of my spark plug, it's rather new. I checked both fuses. I am not getting a reading on my seat shut off sensor, but I'm guessing the engine wouldn't even turn over without that. If I'm incorrect in that assumption, please let me know! Is there a way to test to see if there is a spark at the plug? I'm going to replace the plug anyhow, but if that doesn't do it, can I check to see if I have a spark? Maybe then I can point the fingers to the fuel delivery?? I'm at a loss!
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I sprayed carb cleaner into the carburetor and it fired up for a second. I did this 3 times and am now thinking that it's just not getting fuel. Is there a way to rest that?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

You have spark if it fires with carb cleaner. Check the fuel flow to the carburetor , remove the line from carb, and see if you have fuel when cranking. If you do, the fuel is not getting through the carburetor.

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

Carburetor is covered in the service manual link, I sent earlier in the question. It would need to be cleaned , if you have fuel to it.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I just removed the fuel line going into the filter. (Picture attached) and I turned it over, but no fuel came out. Is the pump possibly shot? If so, where is it located? I would assume it is beneath the fender in the back by the tank?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

Fuel pump is in the line from the tank to the carburetor, and it has to have a pulse line from the crankcase to power the pump. Check the line from the tank, to the pump, as the line from tank may be plugged with debris. see fuel pump above.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok, I removed the line from the pump to the carb and cranked the engine, yet nothing came out. No gas. So you think my line may be clogged between the tank and the filter? Is there a way to clean the line? Should I remove the fender to get at the tank?
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
This is the spot that I just removed to test the pull from the tank to the carb
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

What is the part above that you removed the hose from? Is that the carburetor? The center hose in picture is the pulse hose, is it going to the engine crankcase or rocker cover to power the pump. The line on the far right , is it the tank outlet line?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Here is a better picture of the setup. The carb is to the right, the pump is to the left. The line going down is the one going back to the tank. The short one goes to the carb. Is it possible that the guy that installed the pump, installed it incorrectly??? It was installed prior to me purchasing the mower. I lowered the fuel line coming from the tank and fuel came out, so I'm assuming that there is no plug in the line?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

The line on the front cover, with the breather is the pulse line. It has to go to crankcase. The line going down, to tank, needs to be on the right connection side of the picture. Looks like it is plumbed wrong.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I re-plumbed and she started up!! She smoked quite a bit, as that was likely the first time in a few years. But after running for about a minute, it shut down and now it won't start again! Uggggg!
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

!! Go back and do the spark, and fuel test again, Maybe the spark plug is just fouled!

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Just did it again. Started, ran for a few seconds and shut down. Wouldn't start back up
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

OK> See my last response!

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Here is a pic of the spark plug now. It appears to be black?? Should I replace it? Will this keep happening?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

No, that is not bad, and it is dry, making me think that it does not have fuel to cylinder. You may have to go through the carburetor.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
You think there is an issue with the carb or you think I can clean it?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

Do you have spark at the plug? If you do, the problem is the carburetor and usually it can be cleaned to repair.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
How do I test to see if there is a spark?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

you can do the carb spray, if it fires, you have spark.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
It did fire. So I should take apart the carb and clean it?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

You may want to check that the fuel pump is now supplying fuel at the line you removed earlier! Then if you do have fuel flowing to the carburetor, then it needs to be cleaned.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
What should the fuel flow look like? It's coming out of the line that goes into the carb, but it's not a very heavy flow
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

1/4 cup in 15 seconds. It does not need much.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok, I'll attempt to clean the carb. Any specific way to do it?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

No just clean the ports and parts with the spray carb cleaner, and be sure and blow out the needle valve passage back to the inlet connection, to clear any debris from an old fuel line flaking off.

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

And make you a diagram or picture of the linkage!

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I cleaned, reinstalled and had the same problem. When sprayed with carb cleaner, it fired for a second, then nothing. Now the battery (new battery) is sounding drained, so I have it on the charger. I guess I'll tackle this again in the morning. Any other ideas?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

Check the passage from the hose connection t the needle valve, if the hose flakes off, the old hose particles block the needle valve and no fuel gets into the bowl in quantity to keep engine running.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok, the hose going from the pump to the carb seemed a little small, so I replaced it and lengthened it. Once installed, I turned it over and it fired right up. This time it stayed running a bit longer and there appeared to be something burning near the exhaust and toward the front. I assumed it was dust and such, since it had been sitting for so long. It shut down and now won't turn over. I get nothing when I turn the key. The battery is fully charged and on the charger
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

It has an ignition fuse, could it have blown the fuse?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
It just tried turning over again, but it just won't fire. Both fuses seem good
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

it turns over, will not start. Back to the old spark, fuel routine. Which is it loosing?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Should I try changing the plug? The fuel pump looks brand new. I wonder if it's an incorrect pump. Would that cause an issue? It's different than the one on my other cub cadet that has the same engine as this one
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

As long as the fuel pump is supplying fuel to the carburetor, it can look different and still be ok. Spark plug is something simple enough to try. I have seen plugs that do strange things!

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Here is the plug now
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

plug looks to be fouling from too much fuel. Is the choke opening fully ?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
It may not be. I'm at Home Depot getting a plug. Not having much luck! I'll check the choke when I get home. It should be a 90 degree angle on the carb when fully opened?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

Yes, it would be wide open!

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Changed the plug, but not firing again
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Fired up, ran for a minute and then shut off and had smoke coming from front of engine (picture attached denotes where the smoke originated)
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

That is the exhaust pipe, it will get red hot in just a few seconds, so if it has oil on it, it will smoke and if the muffler is plugged with debris, the gasket at the head could be leaking and blowing out exhaust.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I seem to be back to square 1. It's firing up when I shoot some carb cleaner into the carburetor, but that's it. I'm guessing that you're equally bothered by this! I must say that you've been an incredible help. If I could pay you triple, I would! Thank you so much for sticking in there with me
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

Has to be fuel problem. If you remove the float bowl, do you get good fuel flow from the needle valve , when the float is down, and float should be down when bow is removed!

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I disconnected the bowl and you were correct, no fuel entering the carb. I disconnected the line from the needle valve, nothing coming from the pump. I checked for suction on the opposite end and didn't feel anything. Possibly a bad pump? It looks rather new!
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

Do you feel a pulse on the line on the front of the pump? If so, is the suction line to the tank vacuum tight and open into the fuel?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I was trying and I don't seem to feel anything on the pump
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

Is the hose open to the crankcase or could it be plugged or off the connection, it basically has to be vacuum tight.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I just removed the hose and inspected it. Fully clear. I also checked the fitting at both ends. Both seem clear. Is there a way to test the crankcase (for auction) or the pump (to ensure its working)?
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Suction not auction!!
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

Pressure form the hose will be less than 2 lbs of pressure. Just a slight pressure. the crankcase has to be sealed, oil cap on. You can hold the hose in a glass of water to see if it is moving air when you are cranking.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
It sucked the water in! Not sure if that's good or bad!
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

It should be an in and out pulse!

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

I would say it will pump. Are you sure the suction line from tank is open and is in the fuel and not plugged? If you blow in tank, does fuel come out the hose at fuel pump inlet?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
It's def pulsing in and out. I'm unsure about the suction line. Should I remove the panel on the back near the tank to locate it?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

Line is on the fuel pump. You know the pulse line, you know which goes to the carburetor, so the third one is the the tank line, remove it and blow into the tank. Likely there is a filter in this hose, filter may be plugged!

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I actually just put a new filter on yesterday. Is it possible that I put it on backwards?!!
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

It has a right and wrong arrow on it, but I doubt it makes any difference!

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hahahahah! I flipped it and it didn't do anything different. I did blow into the line and gas did go back into the tank. Would you like any pictures??
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

No, I have seen it all! pump can be bad,

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok, I'll replace the pump and see if that helps. I found a guy getting rid of the same tractor on Craigslist for parts. I'll prob just go grab his for the parts. Do you have a part number for the fuel pump by chance?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

They are many , all work the same. Any auto supply or lawn mower shoe keeps the pulse pumps. Or Ebay or Amazon!

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

You can test it by making up a test line and see if it will suck from a container when cranking.

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

If it does, there i sa leak in the suction from the tank.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Oh, that's a great idea! I'll try that when I get back home. So if that works, I should replace the line to the tank?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

Or check it, do you have a vacuum pump?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I actually have a spare sump pump. Do you think I could make that work?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

No, it needs to be a small hand pump, I use a brake vacuum pump used to bleed brakes at the wheels Harbor Freight!

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
How about a siphon pump?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

Might work.

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

You could just hold finger over one end while you suck on the other!

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Good call! I'll do that!
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

OK>Good night.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** again, thank you so much for everything.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 months ago.

I will be gone until Wednesday night on road trip. Sorry.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I hope you have a nice, safe trip. And I hope to have some good news that this thing is running when you return!!
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok, I tested the line, I filled her with gas and after blowing out the line, the gas came flying through! I started it up and she fired right away! So she runs when it's just idling with the park brake engaged. As soon as I turn the blades on or put it into gear and release the brake, the engine stalls out. Do I have to make some sort of an adjustment?
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok, so here is the update (i know you're traveling until Wednesday). I reattached the seat sensor and was able to put it into gear and engage the mower. It drove incredibly well and made quick work of my lawn. However, as u was coming back up the driveway, I noticed a trail of oil...not good! I attached a photo of what I believe to be the source. Any thoughts??
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
The leak is bad. Dripping all over
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Here is an even better picture