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Garden Tractors Discussion Forum

214 firing problem

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07-15-2014 08:26:19

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I was given a nice JD 214 garden tractor that has been sitting up about three years.. Everything is good except I am not getting fire to the spark plug. Looking at the parts manual, I see the "stator". Is it possible that this has rust on it and is not allowing it to fire when the engine turns over? I assume I will need to remove the flywheel to clean the stator? Any help is appreciated.

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El Toro

07-15-2014 14:05:39

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 Re: 214 firing problem in reply to mb58, 07-15-2014 08:26:19  
Rub the points with a point file until shiny. Use 320 wet or dry if there's no point file. Then see if the engine will start using fresh gas. Hal

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Hec In Omaha

07-15-2014 11:42:25

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 Re: 214 firing problem in reply to mb58, 07-15-2014 08:26:19  
I would do everything Tom has already mentioned plus I would check the Manual PTO safety switch (If so equipped)and seat safety switch. Either one not closing will not allow the engine to start. It will crank but not allow the ignition to function. Take a multimeter and set it to continuity. Place one test lead on each terminal of the safety switch. You should have continuity when the PTO is Off and when you have pressure on the seat. If no continuity, you will either need to adjust the switch until you have continuity or replace. I guess you could bypass the switches too, but its not advisable.


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Tom Arnold

07-15-2014 13:03:04

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 Re: 214 firing problem in reply to Hec In Omaha, 07-15-2014 11:42:25  
Hec, I am not a Deere guy so I do not know how their safety switches are wired.

Are you telling us that the power going from the key switch to the coil is interrupted by the safety switches?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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Hec In Omaha

07-15-2014 13:33:49

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 Re: 214 firing problem in reply to Tom Arnold, 07-15-2014 13:03:04  

Yes they do. I just went through this exercise on my 1978 JD 210. The seat switch and PTO Switch are wired in Parallel between the key switch and coil.

This is from the manual.

All 200 Series Tractors have a battery coil ignition system. When the points are opened, the primary circuit is broken and the magnetic field within the coil collapses.

When the ignition switch is closed, current will flow

from the battery (E) to the coil (F)only if (either or both)

the PTO safety switch (B) is closed (closed with PTO

disengaged) or the seat switch (C) (70,001- ) is

closed (closed when seated on tractor). Current flows

through the primary windings of the coil (F) through the

breaker points (H) when closed, then to ground.

I hope this helps

This post was edited by Hec In Omaha at 14:24:34 07/15/14.

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Tom Arnold

07-15-2014 20:03:49

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 Re: 214 firing problem in reply to Hec In Omaha, 07-15-2014 13:33:49  
Hec, Thanks for the explanation.

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Tom Arnold

07-15-2014 08:46:27

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 Re: 214 firing problem in reply to mb58, 07-15-2014 08:26:19  
Your tractor was originally equipped with a Kohler K-321 AQS engine. Those use a points, condenser and coil ignition system. The stator coil is there for one reason and that is to provide power to recharge the battery and run the rest of the tractor.

If you have no spark, then you need to diagnose why in a logical fashion.

You need a multimeter to make your life simpler.

Set the meter to the DC volts scale. Open the hood, turn the ignition key to ON. Put the black probe to the negative post of the battery and the red probe to the coil terminal that is marked +. You should read 12 volts. If you do not, then perhaps a blown fuse or worn out ignition switch is at fault.

Turn the key to OFF. Remove the wire from the coil terminal marked (-) . Take a jumper lead and connect one end to the negative post of the battery. Remove the spark plug and put the plug wire back onto it. Lay the plug against bare metal of the engine head and place something heavy on it to hold it down tightly. Turn the key to ON. While watching the gap of the spark plug, touch and remove the other end of the jumper wire to the (-) terminal of the coil several times.

If you get a spark, then the coil would appear to be OK and also the spark plug. The problem is most likely the points. Remove them from the engine. Use one of your wife's emery boards that she has for manicuring her nails. Insert that emery board between the points and file both points completely flat.

Make sure that you do not get any oil on the points. Install them and set the gap to 21 thou. Try starting the engine once you install the spark plug after re-gapping it.

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07-15-2014 08:45:18

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 Re: 214 firing problem in reply to mb58, 07-15-2014 08:26:19  
Your 214 uses conventional "Kettering" ignition... breaker points and an automotive-style coil powered by battery voltage through the ignition switch.

The stator under the flywheel has NOTHING to do with the ignition system except to keep the battery charged once the engine starts.

Check to see that power is getting to the (+) terminal on the coil with the ignition switch on (sometimes the switch or the terminal connections there fail or get corroded).

If there's power to the coil, the most likely problem is the breaker points. Be aware the point gap sets the spark timing. Timing procedure is detailed in the service manual.

There's magneto and electronic ignition info in the manual, ignore those, because that info does NOT apply to the system you have.

Here's a tutorial on how ignition systems work:

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07-15-2014 08:35:20

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 Re: 214 firing problem in reply to mb58, 07-15-2014 08:26:19  
The original engine should be a K321 Kohler.
The stator is what charges the battery.
If there is no fire to plug, points probably need to be cleaned and connections from the ignition switch cleaned and checked.
Points might need to be replaced as well the condenser.

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