How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Curtis B. Your Own Question
Curtis B.
Curtis B., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 28628
Experience:  have worked on and around most engine models for 35 yrs./Polaris ATV expert
30244710
Type Your Small Engine Question Here...
Curtis B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My gravely lawn tractor won't start. It quit one day while I

Customer Question

My gravely lawn tractor won't start. It quit one day while I was cutting grass. It just quit. Gas was full. Battery cables tight. No lose wires that I can see. In the past, it did take an effort to start it. Had to bang the brake pedal or jiggle the shifter.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.
Welcome to JUST ANSWER small engines, let me try to help you !! Model number of tractor and model number of engine? If you follow the battery cable to the starter solenoid and jump across it, does the engine spin? This is quick test of battery, cables and starter. Did you find fuse or circuit breaker in the ignition circuit and verify it is good, and have battery voltage to the keyswitch. You say battery s good? What does battery voltage show? Fully charged would be over 13 volts.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the model is 16G --the engine is a kohler magnum 16. the SN on the tractor is 00630803
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have the battery on a trickle charge right now just to be sure. where is the fuse/circuit breaker in the ignition circuit?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK, put the meter on the battery and jumped the solenoid--plenty of power in both cases. found the 30 amp fuse which was indeed blown. replaced it and it blew immediately--twice. what to do now?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.
Did fuse blow when key was turn on, or when key was turned to start? Is there a solenoid in the carburetor? If there is, unplug it and see if fuse blows. Next would be the voltage regulator, unplug it and see if fuse blows. Both of these come on when key is turned on. If it blows when key is turned to start, then the starter solenoid and starter need to be checked for shorts.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
hi -- it blew when the key was turned on. didn't try to start it yet. in any case, it didn't start. what does the voltage regulator look like? do you recommend I simply replace the solenoid? in the past would a faulty solenoid have caused difficult starting? causing me to bang the thing a few times until it turned over?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
also, where is the starter located on this model?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

Model does not show engine. But parts book shows electrical diagrams.

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

http://gravelymanuals.com/pdf/Pro_G_Part_Man_0501.pdf

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
this manual does not reflect the kohler engine
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok, so, what next?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

Need the full model number of the tractor.

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

Or full engine model number.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
hi--the tractor is a 16 G Professional the number is *****
the engine just says kohler Magnum 16
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

https://www.partstree.com/parts/gravely/mowers-lawn-garden-tractor/47578-gravely-8000-series-lawn-tractor-16hp-with-hydraulic-lift/electrical-system/

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

http://www.kohlerengines.com/onlinecatalog/pdf/tp_2203_a.pdf

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK, am I to buy these parts listed? I don't understand the parts tree link. Please advise. I appreciate the manuals, but I could have googled these links and downloaded them just as easily -- I was looking for a solution to the problem, not a search.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.
Don't buy anything, until you find problem. I was looking to see what you have! You wanted to know where starter is , so I linked the manual. I asked you to do solenoid check , you seem to have pasted that step.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok, what next?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

We don't seem to be on the same page. I'm trying to get engine cranking. Once cranking, then we can see if you have spark or fuel loss.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
what next. the plugs were replace earlier this year. filter too. it's fairly clean. plug wires seem sound.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the fuse keeps frying when I turn it on -- went through 4. need to go buy more. what could be causing that?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

there is a direct short. I would try unplugging wires to the voltage regulator. See engine manual for loaction.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will try tomorrow
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
just went through the parts schematic for the gravely tractor electrical system from the manual link you posted--nothing is listed or identified as a voltage regulator
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

Voltage regulator is part of the engine package.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm not the tech, which is why you were hired. where is it therefore in the engine package?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.
the regulator is shown in the Kohler link I sent on page 8.11. it is mounted on the engine sheet metal, looks to be just to the right of the carburetor. It will have a three wire harness in most cases.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
should I just replace it ?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

Unplug it and then check to see if the fuse blows. If fuse does not blow, replace it!

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
replace the fuse, unhook the regulator and turn it on. if the fuse does not blow, replace the voltage regulator. got it
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

If fuse still blows, start looking for bare wires!

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
if no bare wires are found?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

Has to be major short for it to blow fuse. Start unplugging wires and keep checking!

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
on the hill all day, will check tomorrow
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

oK Thanks.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
no, the tractor is still kaput. the voltage regulator is sound and so is the solonoid, per the test. I can't get it to blow the fuse any longer though. it was suggested to me that it may be one of the many safety measures on the tractor that is faulty. the battery is good, all the wires so far as I can tell are not frayed or disconnected. I don't know what else to do. any suggestions?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.
What is battery voltage now? Is starter not engaging? If you jump the solenoid, does the engine spin? If it spins, do you have spark? Safety switch are the ground side of the circuit, not hot wire, so they should not short out system.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
starter isn't engaging. when I jumped the solenoid, the engine did nothing. battery power is at 13 -- it's on a trickle charge all the time.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

if solenoid does not spin engine, you have battery or cable problem.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
since the battery is good, the battery cable is bad? but, there is plenty of power getting to the solenoid?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.
I guess I didn't finish that statement, it can also be starter . Are you getting the battery voltage to the starter when you jump the solenoid?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the odd thing is when the dtractor originally quit. it was while I was happily cutting grass. it just cut off. can a starter just die while operating/cutting?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

No, more like a loss of voltage.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
exactly. so, a bad wire, lose wire or bad solenoid? all of the above? seems to me voltage regulators don't exactly quit.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

Exactly. It lost voltage a died.

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

Tell me more about the battery! Is this old battery or new? why do you have to keep it on charger?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I think I will replace the solenoid and the battery cable. seems to me most roads lead to these two things. agreed? in any case, for an older tractor like this, can't hurt.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

Can't hurt!

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

Have battery tested!

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
battery seems to be older (it was with the tractor when my friend gave it to me a couple years ago). I had it on the trickle because it's sort of the back up tractor. It then became the primary because my JT 855 cutting bed (272) barings were cooked.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
you're not convinced it's the solenoid or the cable?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

No I'm not.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK, I'll have the batteryt tested today
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 years ago.

OK