No spark to JD Gator 6 x 4 - help?
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    Lauraleigh's Avatar
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    No spark to JD Gator 6 x 4 - help?

    Hi friends - once again I need to ask you for help. While driving the gator to the neighbors yesterday the engine stalled and wouldn't start again. Had to tow it in. Here's what little info I can provide: Engine cranks strong but it won't fire. Fuel pump is engaging, filter seems fine. Tested at plugs and problem seems to be no spark at EITHER cylinder. We put a tester on the plug end and cranked engine and nothing. Pulled leads off what we think is the primary coil (not sure) and used volt meter. Resulted in 12v coming through line when engine was turned over. Checked all fuses under dash.

    1) Does this then point to the ignition module? if so how do you test it?

    2)Is there a way to test primary coil? And would you test this while trying to start or unbolt from housing and remove to test?

    3)Could there be an issue with the pulse coils?

    The fact that there isn't a spark at either cylinder seems suspicious? Its been running great so its not like only one has been firing. Any suggestions on where to test next is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks in advance!
    Laura
    JD Gator 6x4 (gas), JD 1070 with 80 front end loader and 72 mower, JD F-911, JD RX-73, (2)JD RX-75, JD Brushhog, Woods landscape rake, Woods back blade

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    Kbar's Avatar
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    Did you replace the plugs?

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    Lauraleigh(08-17-2019)

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    Lauraleigh's Avatar
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    Hi Kbar - Thanks, but there is nothing registering at the end of the plug wire that would create a spark. We did check plugs and they look ok, but again nothing is reaching them to tell them to fire.
    JD Gator 6x4 (gas), JD 1070 with 80 front end loader and 72 mower, JD F-911, JD RX-73, (2)JD RX-75, JD Brushhog, Woods landscape rake, Woods back blade

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    I know NOTHING specific about Gator engines, but I used to work on mowers, lawn tractors, etc. so I'll make a couple of suggestions.

    It sounds like the engine just quit with no warning, no noise, no nothing. To me, that seems like it's a good chance it's the coil. I've seen them break down when they get warm, but sometimes after the engine cools back off, they'd work again.

    Another possibility is that there's something grounding out the coil. Did you check for any bare wires that might be grounding to the frame?

    One long shot could be that your ignition switch somehow went bad and it's grounding out the ignition wire inside the switch. I just had to replace a switch on my Gravely for something similar.

    How are you testing the plugs? Harbor Freight has a decent one for not much money. I know that you can hold the plug against the engine block and look for the spark, but I've found that these work better, at least for me.

    Good luck on this! I really admire your tenacity in tracking down your problems with the Gator!!
    '05 JD 3520 Open Station w/ 300CX FEL
    Grandpa's '52 Farmall Cub
    A couple of old Gravelys
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    Lauraleigh(08-17-2019)

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    Lauraleigh's Avatar
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    Thanks Mark02tj! I can go over the wires again and see by chance if there is a bare spot. All good suggestions! We're using a tester that hooks into the plug end and onto the plug with a light in the center that illuminates if there's pwr going to the spark plug, nothing registers.

    Does anyone have any ideas how I could test the ignition coils? In a way, it seems unlikely that they BOTH went bad at the same time. Which points more to the Igniter. Talked with the dealership this morning and they were very generous with their advice, but ultimately (and understandably) recommend I bring it in. I'd like to tinker a bit more but will schedule an apt it if need be. A new Igniter runs $225.00, which is fine if that's it, but too expensive to randomly throw parts at this machine. Would love it if anyone out there had an idea as to how to test the igniter?

    Thanks!
    Laura


    Interestingly, this machine starts in reverse, drive or neutral so while the neutral switch out is something to consider, I'm inclined to rule that out.
    JD Gator 6x4 (gas), JD 1070 with 80 front end loader and 72 mower, JD F-911, JD RX-73, (2)JD RX-75, JD Brushhog, Woods landscape rake, Woods back blade

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    Is there a way to bypass the neutral switch?

    Unfortunately, I don't know of a way to check the coil. You might be able to call Autozone or some place like that to see if they can check it.

    Best of luck on this! I'll be curious to see what you figure out.
    '05 JD 3520 Open Station w/ 300CX FEL
    Grandpa's '52 Farmall Cub
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    Lauraleigh,

    Attached is an excerpt from the TM 1518 on the electrical system of the earlier 6x4 units -- not sure what year your Gator is... Maybe this will be of some help. There are some diagnostic tests on page 299.

    6x4 electrical from TM1518.pdf


    Once you review the document, post back here with any questions you have.

    Chuck
    mark02tj and kylew like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuckv View Post
    Lauraleigh,

    Attached is an excerpt from the TM 1518 on the electrical system of the earlier 6x4 units -- not sure what year your Gator is... Maybe this will be of some help. There are some diagnostic tests on page 299.

    6x4 electrical from TM1518.pdf


    Once you review the document, post back here with any questions you have.

    Chuck
    The PDF link isn't working
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    Chuckv's Avatar
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    Kyle,

    I was able to open it even from your quotation window... It is not a link but an embedded document. Try left-clicking on it and following the dialog box instructions to either open or save the PDF document...

    Chuck
    Last edited by Chuckv; 08-18-2019 at 10:02 AM.

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    Zebrafive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuckv View Post
    Lauraleigh,

    Attached is an excerpt from the TM 1518 on the electrical system of the earlier 6x4 units -- not sure what year your Gator is... Maybe this will be of some help. There are some diagnostic tests on page 299.

    6x4 electrical from TM1518.pdf


    Once you review the document, post back here with any questions you have.

    Chuck
    Very helpful, thanks for posting!
    They should start with page 298. Test for power to each coil and the ignition module as directed.
    mark02tj likes this.
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