• FIRST AND LAST NAMES ARE REQUIRED WHEN REGISTERING

New member, 184 starting issues :-(

Help Support IH Cub Cadet Forum:

HIPO Giddyup

Active member
Joined
Apr 9, 2020
Messages
37
Location
Maryland
Hi everyone!! , new to this site.. Here is some background history: I have been around tractors all of my life. My father was a farmer when he was younger and always had a knack for fixing things , thus a lot of running tractors instead of projects, lol. He had many tractors over his 74 years. Everything from Farmalls, John Deeres, Wheel Horse, Cub cadets, etc. and he worked on everyone one of them. He was quite the mechanic! When my father passed away in 2012, I enherited his collection. Currently I have a restored 1954 John Deere 60, a nice 1968 Charger 12 Wheel Horse, a 1974 1650 Cadet, a 1969 JD 140 with loader and hydraulics, and last but not least a IH 184.
The story goes... back in 2013 my parent's neighbor's Ford riding mower died (one that my father used to work on). Since my dad had recently passed, my brother -in -law let the neighbor borrow and use the 184 since my brother -in -law was mowing my mother's property with his zero-turn. The neighbor took care of the 184, but all the sudden it stopped one day while he was cutting grass. My brother-in-law , who was a gas/diesel mechanic, pulled the 184 into the garge but never was able to figure it out as he passed from heart issues, only a year and 1/2 after my Dad.

I am decent with car repairs as I have several restored cars but not so much knowledge with tractors. I want to get the 184 running so I can use it and instead of it just sitting. My father kept all of the tractors in tip-top shape so none were ever abused or neglected. I know the tractor is well worth getting it to run so that is my job this spring. Here is what I have found, my brother -in-law replaced the points, condensor, rotor,cap, and wires with new IH extras that my Dad had in stock (he always bought IH parts and extras just to have). He replaced the plugs with Autolites (not what my Dad would have used), but either way, the tractor would not start. So I am starting where he left off but, I have changed the ignition pieces with a pertronix kit since I have had great luck with pertronix on my classic cars. Even with the points and condensor pieces in place, I had voltage on both sides of the coil with the key on and while starting but no spark coming from the coil to the cap.
I have since installed the pertronix, installed a new rotor, new Champion D21 plugs, new Pertronix 3 ohm coil, flushed the gas tank, and checked the timing (when the crank mark is under the pointer the rotor is under the #1 wire tower), still no spark from the coil to cap. I bypassed the foot safety switch just in case, no difference. I am at a loss at what to check next? This one really has me stumped. Oh, and a few other checks I forgot to mention: The carb is sucking if you put your hand over it, and the exhaust is puffing out, while trying to start.. I have a new Zenith 68 carb and the carb is getting gas (starting fliud makes no difference ). I checked the distributor and the rotor cap and shaft are spinning when the starter is engaged. I am hoping some knowledge here might help me find the culprit. I noticed a resitor on the alternator but not sure if that would affect spark at the coil? I unplugged the wires but no difference. I think it only affects the alternator charging, not the system starting? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!
Thank you, Bill
 

kmcconaughey

Keeper of the Photos
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
18,119
Location
Wisconsin
displayname
Kraig McConaughey
Bill, WELCOME!

I would round up an electrical schematic and check all the wires in the electrical system with a volt/ohm meter. Sounds like you could have a bad ground or even a bad ignition switch. What is the serial number of the tractor, I might be able to find the schematic for it.
 

HIPO Giddyup

Active member
Joined
Apr 9, 2020
Messages
37
Location
Maryland
Thanks for a reply Kraig! I will get the seriel number for you later today. I do have the operator's manual, parts manual, and 2 service manuals, GS1408 and 1411. I found one schematic quickly looking through those but I am horrible at wiring and testing. I would just need to be guided as to what to do. I have a multimeter, test light, etc.. I just remembered that the ignition switch was replaced because the neighbor accidentily broke the key off in it. My brother-in-law replaced it with another but it does not look the same. Is there something that feeds back to the coil to allow the tractor to start? Should I get a new IH ignition switch just to play it safe? The one he used doesn't look anywhere near what I remember, I believe they had a special looking key for the 184s?
 

kmcconaughey

Keeper of the Photos
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
18,119
Location
Wisconsin
displayname
Kraig McConaughey
I found this Shop Manual online, it might be helpful:

IH Lo-Boy

Edit: I linked the schematic from the Shop Manual that I linked above.

Page%2010.jpg


Page 10, image posted above, has two schematics, one for tractors equipped with a starter generator (upper schematic) and one for those equipped with an alternator (lower schematic), I believe you mention that your 184 has an alternator, so the bottom schematic would be the one to use. In your first post you mention that with the key switched on, you had voltage (12v ?) on both sides of the coil. From the schematic, with the key on, the key side should be ground. In my mind this indicates that the switch might be bad, or the switch has a bad connection to ground. I would start there and check for connections to ground.
 

HIPO Giddyup

Active member
Joined
Apr 9, 2020
Messages
37
Location
Maryland
Thanks for the schematics! I will take the switch out and try to troubleshoot. I think I had 9volts on the coil connections? I'll check again.
 

HIPO Giddyup

Active member
Joined
Apr 9, 2020
Messages
37
Location
Maryland
Hey Kraig. I took the switch out and it seems to be in good working order? I cleaned the area where it would mount to make sure it is grounded to the dash and hookEd up the wires back up. I have good continuity from the wire at the switch to the wire on the coil. I turned the key on and have 12.1+ V on the negative side and the positive side of the coil. Not sure if this is correct or not? If there is a ground wire in place where else would that be? It looks as if the wiring runs straight from the ignition switch to the coil via the harness? The original coil had the ignition wire attached to the negative side and the positive side had the small black wire going from the coil down into the points. I assume this was set up correctly to begin with?
Attached is a picture of the serial number tag as well as an overview of what I’m dealing with. The tractor has been well-maintained most of its life and has all of its original paint and decals. While I have the hood off I will be replacing the radiator hoses since they feel very spongy.
 

Attachments

  • F25D5DEA-FBC2-4D74-9F91-8677F3A60D7C.jpeg
    F25D5DEA-FBC2-4D74-9F91-8677F3A60D7C.jpeg
    112 KB · Views: 299
  • 8598F7BF-DFEB-4E21-A7F8-7050B03D93CC.jpeg
    8598F7BF-DFEB-4E21-A7F8-7050B03D93CC.jpeg
    127.6 KB · Views: 305

kmcconaughey

Keeper of the Photos
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
18,119
Location
Wisconsin
displayname
Kraig McConaughey
Nice looking tractor! Boy am I rusty at electrical schematics (which is especially bad as I works in the electronics industry...) and was never very good at engine ignition stuff. After a closer look at the schematics, what I thought was a section of the key switch, because it and the key switch are both labeled as "ignition switch" is actually the points. Note red circled part in lower right. If you can round up a helper, have them carefully hold the meter probes between ground and the - side of the coil as you crank the engine over. It should alternate between around 12v and 0v as the points open and close. If it never drops to 0v the points are not making contact or there's a bad connection from the points to the coil or from the points to ground.

Page 10b.jpg
 

kmcconaughey

Keeper of the Photos
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
18,119
Location
Wisconsin
displayname
Kraig McConaughey
Oh, and I believe that the resistor is part of the ignition circuit. Here's an excerpt from an IH Electrical Manual:

IH_Electrical_034a.jpg



Here's a link to the manual that the above excerpt is from:

IH Electrical
 

HIPO Giddyup

Active member
Joined
Apr 9, 2020
Messages
37
Location
Maryland
Nice looking tractor! Boy am I rusty at electrical schematics (which is especially bad as I works in the electronics industry...) and was never very good at engine ignition stuff. After a closer look at the schematics, what I thought was a section of the key switch, because it and the key switch are both labeled as "ignition switch" is actually the points. Note red circled part in lower right. If you can round up a helper, have them carefully hold the meter probes between ground and the - side of the coil as you crank the engine over. It should alternate between around 12v and 0v as the points open and close. If it never drops to 0v the points are not making contact or there's a bad connection from the points to the coil or from the points to ground.

View attachment 137489
Oh, and I believe that the resistor is part of the ignition circuit. Here's an excerpt from an IH Electrical Manual:

View attachment 137490


Here's a link to the manual that the above excerpt is from:

IH Electrical
Thanks for all this info. A couple of things I have found, this tractor didn’t have a resistor and I am told that went away with the alternator models?. Also , since I have converted to pertronix the points are gone and even pertronix says to remove the resistor is any are attached. I believe the pertronix needs 12v to work correctly. I will try and see if the colts drop any when the tractor is started and reply back. Thanks again for helping me out, I really appreciate it!
 

HIPO Giddyup

Active member
Joined
Apr 9, 2020
Messages
37
Location
Maryland
Thanks for all this info. A couple of things I have found, this tractor didn’t have a resistor and I am told that went away with the alternator models?. Also , since I have converted to pertronix the points are gone and even pertronix says to remove the resistor is any are attached. I believe the pertronix needs 12v to work correctly. I will try and see if the volts drop any when the tractor is started and reply back. Thanks again for helping me out, I really appreciate it!
oh, one other thing.. the pto switch on the dash works but if you mess with it it will not allow the starter to come on. Either just old or kind-of sensitive . When it is in the off position and the starter can work, would there be any chance a faulty switch would still mess with the ignition? I wouldn’t think so but I have to ask? I am not sure if I can even bypass that switch to test .
 

kmcconaughey

Keeper of the Photos
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
18,119
Location
Wisconsin
displayname
Kraig McConaughey
I believe that if the PTO switch is bad it just wont turn over, don't believe that will affect spark. If the - side of the coil never goes to 0v you will never get spark.
 

wh cc guy

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 9, 2019
Messages
438
Location
Madison TN
Hey Kraig. I took the switch out and it seems to be in good working order? I cleaned the area where it would mount to make sure it is grounded to the dash and hookEd up the wires back up. I have good continuity from the wire at the switch to the wire on the coil. I turned the key on and have 12.1+ V on the negative side and the positive side of the coil. Not sure if this is correct or not? If there is a ground wire in place where else would that be? It looks as if the wiring runs straight from the ignition switch to the coil via the harness? The original coil had the ignition wire attached to the negative side and the positive side had the small black wire going from the coil down into the points. I assume this was set up correctly to begin with?
Attached is a picture of the serial number tag as well as an overview of what I’m dealing with. The tractor has been well-maintained most of its life and has all of its original paint and decals. While I have the hood off I will be replacing the radiator hoses since they feel very spongy.

If my memory is correct the coil is wired backward. The ignition wire goes to the + side and the - side goes to the points,
 

dray

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 20, 2018
Messages
117
Location
Resaca, Ga.
displayname
Donny Ray
Simple test is a test wire from the battery straight to the ignition of the coil. Or a test light from the ignition side of the coil to ground to see if your coil is getting power when you are turning the engine over. That will tell you if the switch is bad or wired wrong.
 

HIPO Giddyup

Active member
Joined
Apr 9, 2020
Messages
37
Location
Maryland
Thanks again.. I have 12.1v with the key on, and while the engine is turing over, on both sides, - and + sides of the coil.

So run a wire directly from the + side of the battery to which side of the coil?? Using the pertronix, it states that the red wire goes to the + and the black wire goes to the - side of the coil coming off of the pertronix. Can anyone with a 184 confirm the "-" side of the coil is getting fed from the harness hook-up/ignition? I would have to spin the coil around if the + side gets the harness/ignition feed. I'm not saying this is wrong but the original coil has remninants of dirt,overspray, etc. that it was not moved or disturbed for many years. It was hooked up with the - side of the coil to the wiring harness/ignition. The small black wire ran from the + side of the coil down to the points. I can post pics if you need them..
 

wh cc guy

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 9, 2019
Messages
438
Location
Madison TN
My memory is still good. These are pictures of my 184 running and mowing engine. If look close you can see the - side of the coil goes to the distributor.
 

Attachments

  • CIMG4521.JPG
    CIMG4521.JPG
    85.6 KB · Views: 324
  • CIMG4523.JPG
    CIMG4523.JPG
    100.8 KB · Views: 311
  • CIMG4527.JPG
    CIMG4527.JPG
    87.6 KB · Views: 292

HIPO Giddyup

Active member
Joined
Apr 9, 2020
Messages
37
Location
Maryland
Ugh, so I now have the harness ignition connection to the + along with the red + wire from the pertronix as specified. THis leaves the black wire from the pertronix to the - side of the coil by itself. Still no spark from the coil. I verified I still have 12v on both sides with the key on. While trying to start, the voltage goes down from 12.1 to around 8-9 volts. Anything else I am missing?? Any other suggestions? Thanks again for your input on helping to figure out this issue.
Bill
 

kmcconaughey

Keeper of the Photos
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
18,119
Location
Wisconsin
displayname
Kraig McConaughey
The pertronix "thingy" must have a ground connection somewhere. Not being familiar with pertronix I had a look at their website. Sounds like it fits inside the rotor. Seeing as the points setup quit sparking as well, there almost has to be a bad connection to ground somewhere. I think I would remove the battery and using the ohm setting on your meter check every wire end to end that you can find and check every switch to be sure that everything is OK. If it was me, I'd also go back to the points setup as I believe that would be easier to test when it makes and breaks connection to ground. Actually I might do that first, being a simple mechanical connection if it does not ground when closed it would have to be a bad ground connection.
 

HIPO Giddyup

Active member
Joined
Apr 9, 2020
Messages
37
Location
Maryland
Sounds reasonable and I can put the points back to retest. I have read on other sites that 154/184s are notorious for bad battery grounds?? Where folks moved the grounds to the transmission or frame? I'll have to look up that info again but maybe that could help as well?

Thanks Kraig for the time you're taking to help me on this! And thx to wh cc guy for his help and pics as well.
 
Top