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Discussion Forum

Gravely L Model walk behind tractor

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Airmanrich85

09-24-2010 06:27:13
132.3.45.68



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Hi All, Im new to the forum and apologive if im in the wrong place. But I have a Gravely L model tractor that my Grandpa gave to me. But..it doesnt run and wont start. I have changed the spark plug, spark plug wire, cleaned the points and have a spark. Have cleaned the carburateor and its getting fuel, perhaps too much. But I have also taken the plug out and sprayed starter fluid directly into the head and cant even get a sputter out of it. Im not sure what else to do to get this thing to start. It did set for about 4 years since the last time that it was started.

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Bret4207

09-25-2010 16:15:54
64.19.90.196



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 Re: Gravely L Model walk behind tractor in reply to Airmanrich85, 09-24-2010 06:27:13  
Could be out of time too. The piston wants to be 3/8" from TDC on the compression stroke. Thats where you align the mag marks with the adjustable fiber drive block on the mag coupler.

IME Gravelys are good starters given good spark and fuel. I had 13 running at one time, down to 3 now. Stuck valves are common, always roll the engine over by hand one to make sure you don't have a hard stuck valve. If you do and pull with the strap or starter you can/will bust the valve.

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PJH

09-24-2010 22:50:37
72.69.100.81



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 From the Gravely Condensed Service Data manual - May 1963 in reply to Airmanrich85, 09-24-2010 06:27:13  

Here's a scanned page of troubleshooting info for the Gravely tractor. One page at a time - three pages total.

IF I can get it to work. . .

Paul



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PJH

09-24-2010 22:53:28
72.69.100.81



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 Re: From the Gravely Condensed Service Data manual - May ... in reply to PJH, 09-24-2010 22:50:37  

Second page



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PJH

09-24-2010 23:00:22
72.69.100.81



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 Re: From the Gravely Condensed Service Data manual - May ... in reply to PJH, 09-24-2010 22:53:28  

Third page.

Hope you have good eyes. . .



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msb

09-24-2010 18:49:41
67.236.250.122



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 Re: Gravely L Model walk behind tractor in reply to Airmanrich85, 09-24-2010 06:27:13  
If its not an electric blue spark then do the following:There is a magnet imbedded in the flywheel. Remove the flywheel and sand both the flywheel magnet and the metal tips on the coil where the magnet passes on each revolution.Also check the flywheel key to see that it isn't damaged and if it is,its causing the timing to be off(too late).



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msb

09-24-2010 19:15:17
67.236.250.122



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 Whoops--with red face in reply to msb, 09-24-2010 18:49:41  
Saw El Toro's post with the B&S engine and gave advice for it. Is this a Gravely that used a leather strap to start it with?



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El Toro

09-24-2010 16:22:27
108.3.200.96



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 Re: Gravely L Model walk behind tractor in reply to Airmanrich85, 09-24-2010 06:27:13  

If it won't fire on starting fluid your plug isn't firing when there's compression or your mag has weak fire to your plug. Make sure the impulse coupling is snapping as this creates a hotter spark when trying to start it by hand. Do as one someone suggested by using another engine to crank it. I use my garden tractor to start my old Toro GrassKing. Here's a pic of that hookup. Hal

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downsouth

09-24-2010 19:13:53
64.12.116.74



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 Re: Gravely L Model walk behind tractor in reply to El Toro, 09-24-2010 16:22:27  
Hey Hal, that is a pretty slick set up. But I have to know, how the heck do you get the belt off (safely) after you have it running?



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El Toro

09-25-2010 03:46:04
108.3.200.96



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 Re: Gravely L Model walk behind tractor in reply to downsouth, 09-24-2010 19:13:53  
It usually does what PJH said about the belt jumping off. I always stopped the pto pulley on the tractor too. Hal



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PJH

09-24-2010 20:24:35
72.69.100.81



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 Re: Gravely L Model walk behind tractor in reply to downsouth, 09-24-2010 19:13:53  
There's a real good chance it'll jump off as soon as the dead engine starts. If it doesn't, twist the handlebars to the left and it will.

BTDT
Paul



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John S-B

09-24-2010 09:44:23
64.12.116.74



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 Re: Gravely L Model walk behind tractor in reply to Airmanrich85, 09-24-2010 06:27:13  
It's possible that after sitting that long the carb needs rebuilt. Your float may not be any good or you have some bad seals, especially if you think it may be getting too much fuel.



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Russ from MN

09-24-2010 08:15:19
68.235.68.3



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 Re: Gravely L Model walk behind tractor in reply to Airmanrich85, 09-24-2010 06:27:13  
I would put some oil in the cylinder too, I had a Wisconsin that had the same problem and I gave it a good drink of oil and it started right up!



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PJH

09-24-2010 07:51:40
71.171.215.46



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 Re: Gravely L Model walk behind tractor in reply to Airmanrich85, 09-24-2010 06:27:13  
They have an impulse magneto. When you turn the engine over real slow (by hand), you should hear the magneto snap. When it snaps, you should get a healthy bright blue spark from the plug wire to ground. If that mag is working right, and you have fuel, it should start. They are neat machines.

Another poster mentioned a stuck valve. They were common on the old Gravelys, so common that the valve head has a screwdriver slot cut in the top, but if you are feeling hard compression as you crank it, it's probably not stuck. It takes a lot of oomph to spin one over.

If you have access to an old tractor with a belt pulley, you can belt up to it and let the tractor spin it over. I remember the Gravely shop in Harrisburg, Illinois having a big electric motor to spin them. And I knew a fellow who used a big right angle grinder to start a Wisconsin engine on a self propelled concrete saw.

Once you get it started and the bugs worked out, it will usually start the first pull.

Have fun
Paul

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gtractorfan

09-24-2010 07:45:47
71.66.228.242



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 Re: Gravely L Model walk behind tractor in reply to Airmanrich85, 09-24-2010 06:27:13  
One thing I try in a circumstance like yours is take the spark plug out, pour a dribble of gas in the hole, replace the plug and try it. That will tell you if it's not getting gas. Or otherwise check the plug to see if it's wet or dry. Also helps if you can use another motor (usually takes two people) with a long belt with one twist (to get the right rotation) and use it to spin the engine so you don't wear yourself out pulling the rope.

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El Toro

09-24-2010 07:11:06
108.3.200.96



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 Re: Gravely L Model walk behind tractor in reply to Airmanrich85, 09-24-2010 06:27:13  
I would try another plug. It may not be firing under compression. Hal



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36 coupe

09-25-2010 03:25:02
216.220.250.204



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 Re: Gravely L Model walk behind tractor in reply to El Toro, 09-24-2010 07:11:06  
A gas fouled plug will let the spark stream up the nose of the plug insulator.Fuel will not ignite on these spark streamers.A good small engine mechanic will squirt a little gas in the cylinder and put a NEW spark plug in an engine that wont start.Six month old gas wont start a small engine...



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El Toro

09-25-2010 03:50:58
108.3.200.96



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 Re: Gravely L Model walk behind tractor in reply to 36 coupe, 09-25-2010 03:25:02  
It should at least fire when using starter fluid. Hal



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36 coupe

09-25-2010 14:08:31
216.220.250.252



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 Re: Gravely L Model walk behind tractor in reply to El Toro, 09-25-2010 03:50:58  
It wont fire .Ive gone thru this with the JD H tractor last spring.



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Lamar Fudd

09-24-2010 06:32:57
173.25.121.214



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 Re: Gravely L Model walk behind tractor in reply to Airmanrich85, 09-24-2010 06:27:13  
Sounds like a stuck valve. Does it have compression? Pull the spark plug and turn it over with your thumb over spark plug hole to check it.



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big hunter

09-24-2010 08:32:16
209.150.116.67



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 Re: Gravely L Model walk behind tractor in reply to Lamar Fudd, 09-24-2010 06:32:57  
thumb over the spark plug hole and cranking it takes 2 people if it's a crank start/rope/strap whatever. Those suckers are a beast to spin over.



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Andrew Richmond

09-24-2010 07:02:27
132.3.45.68



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 Re: Gravely L Model walk behind tractor in reply to Lamar Fudd, 09-24-2010 06:32:57  
I havent stuck my thumb over the whole yet. But it does seem to have good compression when turning the crank by hand. Its really hard to turn when its coming up on the compression stroke



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greenbeanman in Kansas

09-24-2010 21:28:04
99.117.180.194



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 Re: Gravely L Model walk behind tractor in reply to Andrew Richmond, 09-24-2010 07:02:27  
Also make sure the exhaust is clear, i.e. muffler, straight pipe or whatever.

You should get a good puff of air on the exhaust cycle stroke.

Remember the 4 cycles.

Piston going down--intake.
Piston going up----compression.
Piston going down upon combustion---power stroke.
Piston going up----exhaust stroke.
==========
The tough pull on compression may also be some light surface rust on the cylinder walls in addition to good compression.

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