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Oliver138

C-160 Auto Dies When Mowing, Then Won't Start without Jumping Solenoid

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Posted (edited)

Hey everyone,

 

I have been reading many posts on here and they have helped with many issues, but this one has me confused.

 

I have a C-160 Automatic that I got in November for clearing the driveway in the winter and cutting grass now. The other day, after mowing grass for about 10 minutes, the engine died without much warning. When I tried to fire it back up, I got nothing at all (the solenoid would not engage). I ended up pushing it back to the garage, checking all my electrical connections and found nothing. I eventually jumped the solenoid and the tractor started up and I was able to cut the rest of the grass (about 1.5 hours of cutting) and it ran like it always has during this time. I went to cut another area of grass the next day and again, it died after about 10 minutes. I jumped the solenoid and this time it again died about 10 minutes later.

 

I have verified the oil level, changed the spark plug, checked the battery, and checked most of the electrical connections. Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas of what may be causing the engine to die?

 

Thanks,

Kody

Edited by Oliver138
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4 minutes ago, Oliver138 said:

and checked MOST of the electrical connections.

 

Thanks,

Kody

 

 

You definitely headed the right direction with your diagnosis and attempted repairs.

 

You do really need to change that above highlighted word and situation too... ALL.

 

 

I'm going to follow along on this one to see what everybody else says because I'm curious of ideas and how you solve  it.

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Especially check the ammeter connections. Bad wires there will shut it down.

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18 minutes ago, oldredrider said:

Especially check the ammeter connections. Bad wires there will shut it down.

 

:text-yeahthat:

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I will definitely check ALL the electrical connections, but I'll start with the ammeter connections now. I did not look into those connections too much. I assumed bad connections there would not shut it down - I assumed wrong.

 

I am also concerned with a possible faulty low oil pressure switch. I am by-passing all the switches when I jump the solenoid, so the switches were my first concern. The PTO and brake switches seem to be doing their job (and should also not shut down the engine while operating)but I am unaware of any other switches that my ground if tripped. It sounds like the low oil pressure switch may do that. Did the C-160 series Kohler engines have this switch?

 

Thanks for chiming in, guys!

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Single cylinder K series did not have a pressurized oil system, so no low oil pressure switch. There is a low oil switch on the later model single cylinder engines.

You should have  K341S engine, unless it has been replaced. Do a quick search for the C-160 wiring diagram and everything is laid out for you to trace and track down possible problems.

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The low oil level switch was introduced in 1986 for the single cylinder models.

C-160 Automatic built 1974-1977.

 

Garry

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I don't know if this will help but, I had a bad key switch give me a lot of problems already on another model WH.

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@oldredrider, I just confirmed the engine model number. It matches what you provided so it must be the original engine - no low oil pressure switch. 

 

I will pull a wiring diagram and get to work. Is a coil a possible culprit? How can I check that? 

 

Thanks for the welcome guys. This forum is a great help. A real wealth of wheel horse knowledge here.

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Since you said it won't even turn over, it's not the coil. It is in your "start" circuit. Coil isn't directly involved in that. My best guess is wiring to/from the ammeter, or ignition switch. Make sure you have power from the battery to the ignition switch. 

Again, you'll need to check ALL electrical connections.

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Welcome to Redsqure 

I also have a C160 and I like it the most of all my tractors. Here is a diagram I doctored to help me with mine. This is a basic wiring diagram. The colors may be different from yours but it makes it a lot easer to trace a problem. 

 

 

BASIC WIRING B80 - C160.jpg

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@BOB ELLISON, thanks for the wiring diagram. I appreciate that it has been color coded! That will be a huge help and saved me from searching for it.

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1 minute ago, Oliver138 said:

@BOB ELLISON, thanks for the wiring diagram. I appreciate that it has been color coded! That will be a huge help and saved me from searching for it.

This diagram is a huge huge help. I followed it very closely when I wired my b80. When I did my C - 160, I made a few changes and adopted the diagram to the changes. Great thing to hang on your Workshop wall.

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5 hours ago, Oliver138 said:

@BOB ELLISON, thanks for the wiring diagram. I appreciate that it has been color coded! That will be a huge help and saved me from searching for it.

No problem glad I could help you. I actually wired my C160 with these colors and it is so easy to trace a wire by the color.

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Just an update for anyone interested....

 

I went to cut grass on Thursday and Friday and had no issues - the tractor ran as it always has. I did not address the issue before hand, so I am sure the problem will return. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to troubleshoot the electrical system until it shuts down on me again. When this happens, I will be able to take a closer look at the circuits. I will post another update when something changes.

 

Thanks

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Posted (edited)

I would still check your ammeter connections. 

Edited by 608KEB
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It's going to quit on you again in the middle of your yard with a storm minutes away. Check your ammeter connections now. Takes 10 minutes.

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Hey everyone,

 

A new problem arose yesterday. After checking the ammeter connections as several of you pointed out, the tractor has been running great. Then yesterday I went to cut grass so I fired it up and was on my way. It was running like normal when suddenly it shut off on me. I tried to fire it back up, and it cranks as it always does, but will not run.

 

First, I checked all my electrical connections again but to no avail. Then I pulled the plug, laid it on the engine and cranked the engine - I appear to be getting spark. I have a full tank of gas (but maybe I am not getting fuel to the carb?). My only other thoughts are that the regulator may be bad (but that's a shot in the dark for me as I am not sure how to test that) or I have a fuel problem.

 

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

 

Thanks!

Kody

 

PS. I am assuming this is an un-related problem to the initial post here, but wanted to keep them together since there is always that chance of it still being related.

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Take off air cleaner and squirt some gas or carb cleaner into the carb  then crank does it sputter or pop, try to run?  if so you have a fuel problem.  No noise a spark issue.  Plugs may show a spark lying on the head but not fire under compression they are cheap replace it,

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2 hours ago, pfrederi said:

Take off air cleaner and squirt some gas or carb cleaner into the carb  then crank does it sputter or pop, try to run?  if so you have a fuel problem.  No noise a spark issue.  Plugs may show a spark lying on the head but not fire under compression they are cheap replace it,

 

Totally agree with this. If you follow those instructions you should find the problem.

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If it just quit without sputtering, I'd think electrical but the old addage is to always start with electrical. Jump a wire from battery to coil (+) and try to start it. If it starts, it's in the wiring before the jump - the ignition switch likely. The wiring on these old machines is the weak point and just hunkering down and replacing it saves years of headaches. If it still doesn't run, your coil can't take the heat. Maybe the wrong coil or just tired. My old Honda 550 would run in the summer for about 30 minutes and then only on 2/4 cylinders. Let her rest for an hour and you're going again - 30 year old coil. That said, watch the replacement. My first NAPA replacement gave me 10 minutes before it quit.

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I finally had a chance to take another look at the horse. The compression must have been too much for what spark was left on the plug. I swapped out the spark plug and it fired right up. What is concerning is that the spark plug was replaced in June when I first started having ignition problems (the original content of this post).

 

I learned something though, so I really appreciate the input!

 

I was intending to re-wire the whole tractor this Fall (trying to catch the time between cutting grass and blowing snow). Do you have any suggestions or cautions about taking on that task? Most of it seems pretty straight forward, but until I start diving in I really do not know what I am getting myself into.

 

Thanks!

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