Question about Craftsman 42 in. Deck 19.5hp Lawn Tractor

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Deere 318 with Onan B43G won't start w/ starter engaged, but if the engine "catches" when I turn off igniton, it runs fine. I can only get it to start by pulsing the starter on and off--only starts when starter is not engaged. Apparently, it runs off of the magneto, but not off the battery circuit. What's wrong?

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318's are known to have flywheel problems and poor engagement of the starter due to incorrect alignment of the starter to the ring gear.To check either of these things you need to take the motor out of the tractor to look at the ring gear,starter drive and starter aliggnment.Before you go through this pain replace the ignition switch or have it tested.p.s deere only supplies a replacement flywheel but a ring gear can be ordered through a case dealer if you get it for a stinner with the onan engine.

Posted on Nov 14, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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ok, since you have the points, I assume you have the B43g Onan
engine. Was it running before the new parts were installed?
Check your point gap and make sure it is .016, plugs ahould be gapped at .025 Make sure your plug wires are good too. Should be somewhere between 0 and 10,000 ohms per foot, when measured with an ohmmeter. Once everything is rechecked for gap distance, make sure there is no spark by pulling plug out, leaving wire on and ground the outside of plug to the chassis of the tractor.
Crank over and look for the spark. Coils are about $100, so you want to eliminate everything else first.
Diagnosing a points ignition for no spark is really simple. Do you have 12V at the coil? Do you get a spark when you connect and disconnect the negative terminal of the coil to ground? If not you have a bad coil.

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