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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Looking for Deere part AM109209 or equivalent. According to JD's parts page online, that's what fits the Kawa FC420V-AS10 regardless of serial number.

[Edit: clarified the part]

Presumably this mower uses an external igniter, somewhere. Later FC420V engines use an internal-to-the-coil igniter, I think.

Ideally, I'd like to find one with the damn spark plug boot on the end, but that too ain't easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I'm also interested to learn where the igniter is on this mower. Built into the key switch circuit board or a separate module?

What took me down this road is the mower not seeming to get any spark except to backfire every once in a while. The spark plug is now fouled, so there's that. But I also noticed the plug wire comes off the plug "too easily" for comfort. As in, can be slid back off the plug's tip.

At first I got out the pliers and gently squeezed where the metal tip would be located on the plug wire. Never seemed to really contract or become squeezed. Upon further inspection I saw it's a damn spring that connects to the spark plug, not a standard "cap style" thin metal part.

I suppose I could cut off the tip and buy a new plug end that will properly snap into the spark plug.

And then I got to thinking how the mower died when hot, the ONE time we were able to use this new-to-us-lemon. Still interested in a new coil, maybe a new igniter. And definitely a new spark plug boot ....

Long story short, if nothing else I need to figure out what tool I need to set the air gap on the igniter. Took mine off.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
spark plug boot ...

According to J-D's parts site, engines, er, tractors? with serials up to 160000 show the spark plug cap and connector spring separately.

Spring: J-D part PT10069
Cap: J-D part M97213

Engines, er, tractors? with serials starting 160001 show a combined spark plug boot part, M88905

Given that either setup works with the same AM109209 coil, why wouldn't I get the later part, the M88905?
 

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Deckeda,

The ignitor is a small unit with only one wire going to it -- it is held to the engine with a single screw that provides the second connection which is ground. Here is an excerpt from the service manual that shows detail in the ignition system. On the lower right corner of the last page of the attachment below you will find a line drawing of the ignitor:

View attachment TM1492 LX series service manual - LX172, 176 & 178 ignition.pdf


The ignitor is most likely your failed part since it happened at elevated temperature. Have you had the engine tins off to verify that the cooling fins are not caked with grass and other debris which would make the engine run very hot? From your posts above it seems that this is a new-to-you mower, so I presume that you did all the things that adding a machine to your herd would normally get -- like changing the oil and air filters, new plug, changing the oil, etc.

The TM1492 service manual has a component locator illustration showing the ignition module is on the block near the mount bracket for the dipstick tube.
ignition module location.jpg

You can test the coil and module with a meter per this procedure from the same manual:
ignitor module test.jpg

Note that the data shows ENGINE serial number ranges -- if your engine is not in this group, let us know and other information on the later combined magneto coil/ignitor can be provided.

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks very much. This is the head start I needed. :) I will read through the info tonite!

... Have you had the engine tins off to verify that the cooling fins are not caked with grass and other debris which would make the engine run very hot? From your posts above it seems that this is a new-to-you mower, so I presume that you did all the things that adding a machine to your herd would normally get -- like changing the oil and air filters, new plug, changing the oil, etc.
Cooling fins are completely clear. Yes, it's new-to-me and I have no prior experience with riding mowers to speak of. Oil has not been changed by me but is clean (not black). Previous owner professed to being a synthetic user from Day 1. I am not, but whatever. Air filter needs replacing. It's been run without the foam piece, and now the paper element is getting dirty.

...
Note that the data shows ENGINE serial number ranges -- if your engine is not in this group, let us know and other information on the later combined magneto coil/ignitor can be provided.
It's an AS10, so I don't know if the one image you shared (that references DS or ES) applies? I also think this is an early mower, from 1992 according to another sticker.

I think this is the engine serial? E/NO FC420VA48156 << That's on the same sticker as the engine model number. But if the serial is stamped on the engine block I haven't yet run across it.
 

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By the way -- elsewhere in the CTM5 manual is the below illustration of the serial number label location for the engine...note that it is also a very clear view of the ignitor module location...
SN tag location for FC420V engines.jpg

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The model year maps to the tractor serial number per this chart for the LX176 mowers...
Yep, I'm in that second group, at XO53519

Just came back from a recon mission to find my multimeter and also give a quick look at the tractor. Sure enough, the igniter location is obvious once you know what to look for. Tomorrow I'll see about testing what needs testing.

Thanks also for the additional literature. I may just mow an entire lawn before Fall at this rate!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OK

Coil resistance (all the way through to the spark plug connector) is within spec: 10.38/10.39 kOhms. Had my meter on the nearest, "20k" setting, so that should be correct.

I don't see how the spark plug wire can safely be removed from the coil, so don't know that I could check the other spec (coil-to-coil terminal, without spark plug wire on it.)

Dunno why it'd be on the lower end of acceptability, but I suppose it'll do.

That being said, if the spark plug wire CAN be safely removed from the coil, I'd be interested in replacing the spark plug wire with an "automotive" type, i.e. with standard clip on the end ... not a spring. Something that securely attaches to the spark plug! Any ideas there?

I hate when I get in "engineer" mode and start second-guessing the experts, but hey, a flaw is a flaw and I really am not convinced the plug wire is really staying too secure on the spark plug ... pulls off WAY too easily in my opinion.

... meanwhile the instructions don't have a test for the igniter, only replace and "see if it works." Seriously? What is so magical that a simple multimeter can't test for? No one in this small town has anything like that igniter. Well, one place had some sorta generic one for $20. Mighta been aluminum (and slightly finned, which seemed smart ...) with two taps (separate ground connection.)

That being said, if I bought it and the thing still didn't run I'd forever question it. I'm off to see if I can find the original part for something LESS than the one I found on Amazon for $68!

*********
Side note, the spark plug I pulled out is a NGK BPR5ES 11 (the "11" is written underneath the BPR5ES). My Honda 215's (push mowers) take a BPR5ES. Well, ain't that handy. Would be great (meaning, simpler) if "all" my mowers took the same plug. Dunno what that "11" means tho.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sweet Jeebus! You gotta be kidding me.

Deere part # AM131398 (the igniter ...) is like $60. Saw a USED on on eBay for $40. FORTY.

W.T.F.

Why won't a generic $15/$20 one work?

*********

Am I better off figuring out how to convert this machine to the later 176's that don't use a separate igniter? And if so, how??
 

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OK

Coil resistance (all the way through to the spark plug connector) is within spec: 10.38/10.39 kOhms. Had my meter on the nearest, "20k" setting, so that should be correct.

I don't see how the spark plug wire can safely be removed from the coil, so don't know that I could check the other spec (coil-to-coil terminal, without spark plug wire on it.)

Dunno why it'd be on the lower end of acceptability, but I suppose it'll do.

That being said, if the spark plug wire CAN be safely removed from the coil, I'd be interested in replacing the spark plug wire with an "automotive" type, i.e. with standard clip on the end ... not a spring. Something that securely attaches to the spark plug! Any ideas there?

I hate when I get in "engineer" mode and start second-guessing the experts, but hey, a flaw is a flaw and I really am not convinced the plug wire is really staying too secure on the spark plug ... pulls off WAY too easily in my opinion.

... meanwhile the instructions don't have a test for the igniter, only replace and "see if it works." Seriously? What is so magical that a simple multimeter can't test for? No one in this small town has anything like that igniter. Well, one place had some sorta generic one for $20. Mighta been aluminum (and slightly finned, which seemed smart ...) with two taps (separate ground connection.)

That being said, if I bought it and the thing still didn't run I'd forever question it. I'm off to see if I can find the original part for something LESS than the one I found on Amazon for $68!

*********
Side note, the spark plug I pulled out is a NGK BPR5ES 11 (the "11" is written underneath the BPR5ES). My Honda 215's (push mowers) take a BPR5ES. Well, ain't that handy. Would be great (meaning, simpler) if "all" my mowers took the same plug. Dunno what that "11" means tho.
I know that you can buy the plug wire ends separately. Any auto parts store should handle them. They usually come in a set of custom fit plug wires for a car or truck. Someone should have them separately. They will come in straight or 90 degrees styles where they attach to the plug.

I'm not sure what you mean by spring end. If it is what I'm thinking about this style of end normally attaches to the threaded end of a spark plug. Most plugs come 2 ways depending on the maker. The difference is on one style the metal end that the wire hooks to can be removed like a nut off of a bolt. Leaving a threaded end behind. Your wire would just attach to this threaded end. (Not using the little nut/end) On the other style of plug this end is permanently attached at the factory.
Every NGK spark plug I ever seen has the removable end. Domestic plugs usually do not. (Except maybe Autolight)

A loose fitting plug wire will definitely give you a running problem. I have even seen the threaded end being loose (on the plug) and causing problems (when used) even though the wire is tightly attached to it. For this reason I only like using spark plugs with the removable ends when the ends are not needed. Otherwise I buy the plugs with the permanently attached ends.

Hope this makes sense. lol

The igniter is probably like a voltage regulator. No way of testing it without frying it. So you are stuck with what I call try me buy me. Put the new part on and see if it works. This is the reason no store wants to return electrical parts.
I'd recommend spending for the factory parts. The cheep aftermarket parts are junk. Especially if you plan on keeping the tractor a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I only tried O'Reilly here. They only carry full plug wires, not the ends. And I see no way to remove the wire from the coil. They looked at me as if I had 3 eyeballs when I told them what I was interested in.

Even so, when looking at the spark plug wire ends on Amazon I got the impression it's common for them to have resistance added to them. That would explain why there's a separate resistance spec for checking the coil with and without the plug wire/cap.

[So, what resistance needed? No stated spec for that as far as I'm aware. Not sure i want to go down that rabbit trail.]

I visually inspected my spark plug end. It's a spring inside there. And the spark plug has the normal nut/end on it. The spring would NEVER engage the spark plug without it. I looked at J-D's diagram and parts list. It clearly shows a spring inside the plug boot; it's listed as a separate part.
 

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The issue is almost assuredly the ignitor module...here is a way to test it if you have not done so already...

testing ignitor on Kawasaki small engines.jpg

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The issue is almost assuredly the ignitor module...here is a way to test it if you have not done so already...
Saw that chart earlier today but do not understand it, for a couple reasons.

1) It wants you to identify the igniter by appearance but the OEM style looks like neither. Has aspects of both, visually.

2) There are only two places to put probes (one test to perform), and yet two sets of number ranges.
 

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Perhaps the table format is a bit confusing -- basically it comes down to reading the meter with the leads connected one way and then the other. Because the meter is providing a small voltage to measure the resistance, the polarity of the voltage supplied will determine how much current flows throuogh the semiconductors internal to the module and hence the resistance read. This documentation from the Kawasaki single used on the RX95 rear engine riding mower may be a little easier to comprehend:
testing ignitor module.JPG

This information is more recent than the drawings above that presume the use of an analog rather than a digital meter -- those old meters generally give lower readings on semiconductors since it is not truly a purely resistance measurement.

...and yes, any ignitor module that would work with a single cylinder Kawasaki engine should interchange...

Chuck
 

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I only tried O'Reilly here. They only carry full plug wires, not the ends. And I see no way to remove the wire from the coil. They looked at me as if I had 3 eyeballs when I told them what I was interested in.

Even so, when looking at the spark plug wire ends on Amazon I got the impression it's common for them to have resistance added to them. That would explain why there's a separate resistance spec for checking the coil with and without the plug wire/cap.

[So, what resistance needed? No stated spec for that as far as I'm aware. Not sure i want to go down that rabbit trail.]

I visually inspected my spark plug end. It's a spring inside there. And the spark plug has the normal nut/end on it. The spring would NEVER engage the spark plug without it. I looked at J-D's diagram and parts list. It clearly shows a spring inside the plug boot; it's listed as a separate part.

I have reused the metal end off of an old spark plug wire before. If you are careful you can pry open the crimp and re crimp it on the new wire. I had more than one of them ends stay on the plug while trying to remove the plug wire. Having the crimping tool also helps.

Can you please post a picture of the plug wire connector you are talking about?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have reused the metal end off of an old spark plug wire before. If you are careful you can pry open the crimp and re crimp it on the new wire. I had more than one of them ends stay on the plug while trying to remove the plug wire. Having the crimping tool also helps.

Can you please post a picture of the plug wire connector you are talking about?
Yeah it's not a crimp. It's a spring that wraps around the nut/end of the spark plug. You'd have to peer into the boot with really good light to notice the difference. I presume that using a spring helps secure it to the spark plug when there's excessive vibration/bumps/jumps, but being a spring, it cannot be crimped down with pliers to make it attach firmly once the spring ages. << That's my theory. I have no good picture of mine, sorry.

from page 1, I said:

spark plug boot ...

According to J-D's parts site, engines, er, tractors? with serials up to 160000 show the spark plug cap and connector spring separately.

Spring: J-D part PT10069
Cap: J-D part M97213

Engines, er, tractors? with serials starting 160001 show a combined spark plug boot part, M88905

Given that either setup works with the same AM109209 coil, why wouldn't I get the later part, the M88905?
If my attachment worked, it's an image from the online J-D parts catalog, illustrating both the older setup with separate listed parts for the spring and boot (i.e. cap) 14 and 15A, as well as the later tractors' combined (one part #) solution 15B. I have no idea how either attaches to the plug wire and connects to the plug wire's carbon wire inside.

I'd still like to address this aspect of my post here, because it may in fact be my entire problem: a boot that won't stay very well on the spark plug. I want it to gently click when the boot goes on, like we all expect, right? I want that little "snap." When you pull the boot off now, it just oozes away, like there was never any metal-to-metal contact between the cap and spark plug.
 

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... basically it comes down to reading the meter with the leads connected one way and then the other. Because the meter is providing a small voltage to measure the resistance, the polarity of the voltage supplied will determine how much current flows throuogh the semiconductors internal to the module and hence the resistance read. ...
Makes sense, thanks!

Incidentally, my attached picture is the universal one at the local shop. Presumably it's aluminum and so that's why it has a separate tap for ground.

Sidenote: seems to be all sorts of general and interesting info here: Ignition Solutions for Small Engines and Garden Pulling Tractors
 

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