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Any GRAVELY guys/experts out there: starting help !

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  • Any GRAVELY guys/experts out there: starting help !

    I have a 71' Gravely walk behind. I rebuilt the engine 14 years ago and have had flawless service since that time with brush cutting, snow plowing and blowing. Back in July a friend painted my 53' 2R truck in my garage. Aside from the inside GARAGE showing a lot of Cherokee Red after the painting and several "lazy" weeks of re-assembly....the Gravely sat outside in the elements for over a month. I have a witness here on the forum that saw me start it up and run it for several minutes, then it died. We both surmised a low on gas issue and I didn't try to start it again for several weeks. Now it won't start or "puff" at all. Not that I'm prone to simply replacing things ad hoc.....I did decide after no replacement x 14 years to install new points, condenser, air filter, clean gas (window) filter.... and get a no start condition. Drained the gas and refreshed with new. Performed a compression test and got 75 lbs + (quality tester). If I crank the starter, I get a good shock in my hand with a bolt in the plug wire (new wire). I have both squirted a small amount of starter fluid and/or gas into the intake manifold and also in the cylinder itself ... still not a puff of ignition.

    The only thing I have yet to test is the timing, which I can do but think its something simple.....Ideas ??

  • #2
    A sheered aluminum key in the flywheel will throw-off the ignition timing.
    In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.


    • #3
      Not an expert by any means but I do have some experience with them. I am guessing you have the kohler engine. You need to do a more reliable test of the ignition than just holding the wire, take a spark plug and open the gap up to 70 or 80 thou and see if it will jump that, if not then close the gap until it sparks or you get to the suggested plug gap, if still no spark you have an ignition problem if it will jump the gap at around .050 or larger you can pretty much rule out ignition except for the spark plug.
      If that checks ok move to the fuel system, probably stopped up jet in the carb.


      • #4
        I have the older Gravely model with their own engine. I'm just going out now to check the kill switch & wires . If not, I'll floow the advise...


        • #5
          If it has to older one it should have a magneto on it with an impluse coupling drive, they can get worn enough to cause starting problems. Also the magnets in the magneto itself can get weak but that is rare. The mag should easily jump an .080 gap in the plug. If the points are clean and set correctly I would be looking at the condenser if the spark is weak. I have had several new ones be bad out of the box in the last few years.


          • #6
            If it has an impulse mag, then make sure the spring is good that makes it trip and spin fast. I have an IH LB stationary engine with an impulse mag, but one morning it wouldn't start. I finally realized I wasn't hearing the snapping of the impulse mag. The spring had broke, so I had to buy a new one at the IH dealer.

            The impulse mag stops while hand cranking the engine, then the spring winds up and hits a spot where it trips and the spring unwinds, spinning the mag at a fast speed. When my spring broke, the mag simply turned at hand cranking speed.


            • #7
              I have a gravely walk behind with a blade which I use when we have less than 6" of snow. It has an electric start which won't stay engaged. Sometimes it will engage for 1 revolution. Have torn it apart and everything appears to be OK. Everything is dry as I would think it should be or should there be any lubricant. Any suggestions would be appreciated as it has become almost imposable to start. I believe it has a Kohler engine.
              Jerry Kurtz