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Garden Tractors Discussion Forum

John Deere 240 turns over hard and will not start

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Jack in Michigan

09-19-2012 04:34:42

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I am helping a person with their John Deere 240 Garden Tractor. It has the 14 hp Kawasaki engine. It turns over very hard and will not start. The battery checks out ok, but it needs to be jumped for it to turn over at all. The owners had it in shop a few years back and were told it was out of timing, and I am not sure what that means. I am not familiar with these engines at all, so I need to seek some advise. Thanks for any help. Jack

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David G

09-20-2012 07:23:33

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 Re: John Deere 240 turns over hard and will not start in reply to Jack in Michigan, 09-19-2012 04:34:42  
El Toro is correct, the only way to get out of time is to have a key sheared.

You can check to see if it is a timing issue by cranking with the spark plug wires unhooked. If it cranks the same, it is not a timing issue. I would suspect you have a cable or connection issue somewhere, feel for a warm connection while cranking.

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09-19-2012 08:32:38

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 Re: John Deere 240 turns over hard and will not start in reply to Jack in Michigan, 09-19-2012 04:34:42  
Try to confirm if it will start with starting fluid sprayed into the carburetor while you are cranking the engine. If it runs on the starting fluid then the problem is in the carburetor and not getting gasoline into the engine. If still it does not run pull one of the plugs, reattach the plug wire and ground the body of the plug to the engine and check for spark while you are cranking. DO NOT hold the plug in your hand. My last resort would be to tear down an engine. These engines are timed by gears and to get one to jump timing would require a rebuild to fix it.

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joe csuti

09-19-2012 05:36:05

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 Re: John Deere 240 turns over hard and will not start in reply to Jack in Michigan, 09-19-2012 04:34:42  
Check valve clearance settings,same may be excessive & acr not working,you may need service manual for specs or someone may reply with specs,also check with local jd dealer for settings.

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El Toro

09-19-2012 05:02:27

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 Re: John Deere 240 turns over hard and will not start in reply to Jack in Michigan, 09-19-2012 04:34:42  
If it's out of time the cam gear or the crankshaft gear has probably sheared a woodruff key. The engine would have to be torn down to find the problem. It may cost more to fix the engine than it's worth. You may be able to get a short block, but they're not cheap. Hal

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