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JD LA140 quit running all of a sudden. It was directly after I added older gas to it as the tank was almost empty. It won't even almost crank as if it isn't getting fire. However, the plugs are firing and the gas is getting pumped to the carb (checked by removing fuel line and turning motor over). I was thinking electrical since the motor does not seem to attempt to crank, it just turns over good. I can I determine whether: 1. it's electrical, 2. jet stuck in carb, 3. bad gas (wouldn't it almost crank off and on with bad gas?)

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First thing. Dump the fuel! Pull the fuel line ahead of the fuel filter and drain it all off! Old fuel is sometimes accompanied by a lot of water. Especially if stored without proper container closure.

Next, drain the carb bowl. The carb bowl should have either a drain screw in it or the bottom of the bowl has a hex head fitting to allow the entire bowl to be removed. Take off the bowl and get rid all the fuel inside it. Look for water droplets that sit under the fuel on the the metal surface after the fuel has been poured off. If you have the bottom hex fitting type carb look at the barrel of this fitting. That is where you main jet is! You can use a fine piece of metal wire strand and clean out this jet. The holes are generally on the side *(if the jet has a bottom adjustment screw built in than it also has a hole in the center. Run the piece of wire through where you see dark spots and see if they clear out. Look through the jet and see if your handywork is allowing light through. *(yes? than you found a blocked jet and just cleaned it!

Now, put the bowl back on. reconnect the fuel line and put some fresh fuel in it. You might want to recharge the starter battery since you have probably cranked the battery down from all of this.

You can check for spark by getting another spark plug and using it as a tester. Leave the engine plug in place and just lay the tip of the plug on something meta/grounded and see if there is spark while cranking.
If you find spark this rules out a bad ignition system. Put the spark plug boot back on the plug on the motor and start it up!

If you can take off the air filter and look into the carb you might want to try putting a little bit of clean gas right into the carb opening. This will help prime the motor and perhaps get it running enough to eject the remaining water inside the intricate spaces in the carb.

Be careful and good luck.

Posted on May 25, 2010

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