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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

This is my first post after my I purchased my first tractor yesterday. Picked up an 1988, 318. The previous owner was using ether to start the tractor which I've read is not a good idea. Once the tractor is running it's fine. A little smokey but fine. The carburetor seems to have some oil in it. Not sure if it's just a little dirty or a clue to the starting issue. Previous owner has the engine rebuild by the local JD dealer in 2010. Spent a heft $3200 to have it done.

Since the tractor runs once it's started with ether but won't start on it's own any ideas what the problem could be? I wonder if the choke has some kind of issue.

Any tips or suggestions are welcome!

Jeff :greentractorride:
 

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I use full choke when mine is cold but once warmed up I don't need to use it. I would start with the fuel system. Check the fuel lines. If the are the original then should probably be replaced, they rot from the inside out. I would also replace the fuel filter as well. It may be time for a good carb cleaning and rebuild.

The intake manifold may also be leaking. The manifold is made from two pieces. To test for a leak spray some carb cleaner along the seam while the engine is running if the rpm change you have a leak.

What do the plugs look like?
 

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Jeff,

It sure sounds like a fuel delivery issue at cranking speeds. Does the engine re-start when the engine is warmed up? As mentioned the intake manifold is two pieces and can have seal issues over age/time -- but a $3200 rebuild should have addressed that if it was quality work.

Have you tried a spoonful of raw gas down the carburetor when trying to start it from cold? That should be easier on the engine than the ether... If that helps, look to blockages in the low speed jets in the carburetor or a weak fuel pump.

When you replace the fuel lines, be sure to replace the 'signal'' line from the crankcase to the back side of the fuel pump...air/vacuum leaks in that short piece of tubing will substantially reduce the fuel pump delivery, particularly at the low speed at which the starter turns the engine.

This has some information on the fuel pump, choke and carburetor in general...
View attachment Onan Performer Engine Service Manual 965-0762.pdf

Chuck
 

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Hi Guys …. Thanks for the suggestions.

I used a spray bottle instead of ether and it started fine. I changed the fuel filter and it started up first try. Not sure if that's because it was just running or not. I'll try it again tomorrow after sitting overnight and see what happens. Fingers crossed it was just as simple as a $5 fuel filter :)

Jeff
 

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Hi Guys …. Thanks for the suggestions.

I used a spray bottle instead of ether and it started fine. I changed the fuel filter and it started up first try. Not sure if that's because it was just running or not. I'll try it again tomorrow after sitting overnight and see what happens. Fingers crossed it was just as simple as a $5 fuel filter :)

Jeff
Thanks for the update.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Guys

UPDATE!

Turns out it was a simple carb setup issue. The butterfly valve wasn't closing all the way when the choke was pulled. With a few minor modifications it starts up first time. Runs much better with fresh gas in it now too.

I did notice that since I ran the old gas dry the fuel filter doesn't have nearly as much fuel in at any any given time. It's barely visible but the tractor does start and seem to run fine. Is this something I should concern myself with?

Jeff
 

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Over time the fuel filter will show less air, but it's nothing to worry about. As long as it's running, you know you're getting fuel.:good2:
 
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