I’ve been working on this article for a couple years and have yet to complete it. So, I decided to just go ahead and publish what I have and add to it as I get time and inspiration. Please check back occasionally for any updates. I hope you find what I’ve done useful.
This section discusses debugging a starting problem on a narrow frame Cub Cadet. While some of the ideas and procedures in the article might hold true for a wide frame Cub Cadet, the narrow frame Cub Cadet has a starter/generator system which makes it different from the wide frames.
Most common starting problems are a result of either an electrical problem or a fuel problem. More complicated problems are beyond the scope of this article. Since the problem is generally a fuel or electrical problem, the first thing to do is determine which it is. I determine this by squirting fuel directly into the carburetor while cranking over the engine. (If the engine won’t crank over, you obviously have an electrical problem!!) But, be warned, squirting fuel (gasoline) directly into the carburetor is not a safe thing to do. If you spray onto a hot exhaust or the engine backfires, you can have a real dangerous fire on your hands. I have three fire extinguishers on hand in case of such an emergency. But, even with this precaution, you can get burnt if you’re not really careful. I should also mention here that the gasoline I use is a gas/oil mixture like used in my chainsaw. I don’t know that it helps, but I’ve read that squirting just gasoline or starting fluid into the carburetor washes all the oil off the cylinder walls and results in a lot of unnecessary wear.
If the engine runs momentarily and then quits, you have a fuel problem—the engine isn’t getting fuel. If the engine doesn’t react at all, you at least have an electrical problem, and, maybe a fuel problem as well.
Repeating, I spray gasoline into the carb while cranking the engine. If the engine runs momentarily and then quits, you have a fuel problem—the engine isn’t getting a continuous supply of fuel. If the engine doesn’t react at all, you at least have an electrical problem and, maybe a fuel problem as well.
The following articles discuss the various situations you might encounter.