Anyone who has ever owned a machine with a small engine mounted on it knows that they can become tenacious if not downright cantankerous.
A friend of mine made the 75 mile trip to my place Friday to see if I could help him get his 1990 Toro Proline 48" walk behind mower running.
He had replaced the spark plug, the air filter flushed out the fuel tank put on a new fuel filter changed the oil, and greased it where needed but the thing simply would not start no matter what he tried.
So first things first I pulled the plug and checked the compression this was fine next I put a screwdriver in the plug wire and held it the stem of the blade very near the engine. NOTHING, so I grabbed the blade to see how big of a shock I would get. Not even enough to make me twitch.
Time to pull the cowl and check the IGN. module and flywheel.
Just as I figured there was a heavy coating of rust on the magnets and the laminates of the module. A few minutes of cleaning with emory cloth had these shinning. Checked the spark again without replacing the cowl the battery was low but still turned the engine without the plug installed. This time I felt what I figured should be a powerful enough shock to make a spark I put the plug on the wire and held it to the side of the engine.
NOPE! so I used the screwdriver again. YEP plenty of spark must be a bad plug even though new. 45 minute to town and back with a new plug, checked it and had a spark. Installed it used jumper cables and a jumper battery the thing started right up but the electric blade clutch would not engage
Since it is supposed to receive it's power from the engine this meant a problem with the under the flywheel generator
I pulled the flywheel and found all 6 magnets stuck to the stator and not on the flywheel. Luckily the bond holding them to the flywheel had failed on all of them and none were broken just some small chips out of a couple of them.
So by now it is Saturday afternoon and the True value in the nearest town has already closed so this meant an hours drive one way to TSC because I didn't have any 2 part epoxy on hand.
I made these spacers out of an old mud flap to equally space the magnets inside of the flywheel.
I used the end of 1 magnet to check the other five to make sure I had then all arranged in a north south configuration then epoxied each of them to the inside of the flywheel after a couple hours cure time we re installed everything and started the 14 HP Kohler again this time I just used the pull rope and only had to pull it twice. The blade clutch engaged when he turned on the switch just like it should. Ready for 0ne more year's worth of mowing 20 lawns a week. Next weekend he will probably haul his 56" mower over because the blade clutch has stopped working on it as well
I told him to please not tell anyone who got his mower running because when it comes to small engines I try to not know anything about them.