briggs driving me crazy

bobandlynnOctober 31, 2013

we have a ride on with a 20hp v twin intek engine,it starts and runs spot on and then the battery light blinks a few times and the engine cutsout,it starts again straight away and then the same thing happens again,this happens over and over again,the record is 15 times then for no apparent reason it starts and runs perfect,i have gone down the usual obvious routes,i have checked the fuel pump/lines,changed the fuel filter,cleaned the magneto magnets and flywheel magnet,reset the valves,checked and cleaned the battery terminals and checked the seat brake and grass catcher safety/operator precence interlocks,i have taken off the carb and checked the fuel solenoid cut out and it works as it should,so the only thing left is to put a match to it,it is so frustrating,some of the remedies tried take ages and when put back together the let down is crushing when the same thing happens again,starts sweetly,then battey light blinks and engine stops,help help please,thanks in advice for any advice/offers of a box of matches,kind regards,Bob

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I would check your electrical connectors.
Key switch connector and connector down by the alternator/carb fuel solenoid. first.

Typically, I'd ask that you post the brand/model of the machine so one could look at a schematic, but I have a hunch it's one sold in the UK only and that info isn't available to us.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 9:08AM
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My best guess is that there is a component in the voltage regulator that is overheating. If you are able to locate the voltage regulator, it might be caked with grass and cleaning off the residuals might solve the problem. Another possibility is a diode in the charging circuit that overheats and stops working. Also, modern magnetos have semiconductor components that can overheat and fail. Older magneto designs do not have semiconductor components. Somewhere there is a semiconductor that is getting hot. One way of locating the culprit would be to start the tractor, and use a hair dryer to apply heat to various parts of the system, until you are able to cause it to fail. That might not be practical since some components are not easily accessible.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 9:39AM
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many thanks ericwi and bill.these welcome suggestions give me more opportunities to have another look at the beast,the weird thing is if i start it on full throttle it stops as soon as it starts,if i start it on minimum throttle it runs much longer before stopping,every time i walk past it now i swear it sneers but thank you very much,Bob

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 10:10AM
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Well, nothing in the magneto, electronic or not, is going to be related to this issue because the magneto is a completely separate and independent electrical system in its own right.
I am inclined to attribute this issue to a faulty key switch, but like Bill, I would wonder about circuitry exclusive to UK.
I surmise that if it was being caused by a genuine SHORT in the wiring, there would also be a blown fuse to report.
If a valid wiring schematic could be found (and posted here) covering this specific rider, perhaps we could gain more insight into possibilities.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 11:37AM
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Does the battery light blink when the engine is still up to speed, or does the battery light blink after the engine has slowed down considerably? Also, are you certain that your fuel tank cap is vented? If the cap is not venting, you can develop a vacuum in the fuel tank, and the engine will quit due to fuel starvation.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 9:49PM
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I agree, not mag nor charging circuit problem. I would locate and disconnect the "Kill" wire to the engine then start it and see what happens. IF the engine runs OK now, you know the problem is NOT the engine but the wiring, safety switch, safety switch circuit, etc. IF the engine acts the same, problem could be a shorting Kill Wire Lead under the cooling shroud but that is a long shot OR carb solenoid could be operating intermittently, perhaps due to faulty wiring. To check, remove, depress plunger, stick a tooth pick beside it to hold retracted, break off tooth pick and re-install.

IF you do this, you have to have an alternate means of stopping the engine IF it runs, shut off gass, short plug, whatever.

Walt Conner

This post was edited by walt2002 on Thu, Oct 31, 13 at 22:08

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 9:58PM
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took the 5 pole ignition switch off this morning and cleaned the terminals,no luck though,i have ordered a new ignition switch,if that fails to sort it i shall fit a new voltage regulator,i don't understand the techno bits but i am mustard with a few spanners,shall update you all as i go along but it might go quiet as i approach insanity,Bob

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 8:36AM
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IF the connector to the carb solenoid & Voltage Regulator isn't making good contact, what symptoms would you expect?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 9:23AM
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The engine has a solenoid fuel valve on the carburetor main jet, which is normally held closed with an internal spring, so there is normally no fuel flow to the carburetor jet. When the ignition is turned on, the solenoid is energized with 12 volts DC, and the valve opens, allowing fuel to the carburetor. The solenoid probably needs 10 or 11 volts to work properly. When the tractor was new, and the switches and wiring were new, the voltage losses were small, less than one volt, so the system worked OK. But now, there is resistance somewhere in the system, likely caused by oxidation at a connector. Also, there is a possibility that the charging system is no longer delivering 14 volts when the engine in operating, due to a bad diode. Walt Connor's test procedure will likely help to pinpoint the fault, and avoid spending money needlessly.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 9:49AM
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