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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi All!
I just picked up a 1978 John Deere Spitfire for $250. The seller claimed it runs, but cold start is rough. When I went to pick it up, we couldn't get it to start. The ceramic material in spark plug caps is broken and electric tape was wrapped around it so the cap would stay on the plug. I felt one of the spark plug wire caps while he yanked the pull cord, and i was shocked. It was drizzling/sleeting outside, so I think the water/ice shorted it. Given the facts, I'm fairly certain the problem is simply bad spark plug wires/caps. I found a Kimpex replacement online, but it is out of stock. Does anyone know of a compatible spark plug wire/cap that I can purchase? Any other tips to get her fired up?

Edit: I just pulled the plugs (they're pretty new) and they were wet, so it's definitely getting fuel.
 

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Welcome
Congrats Yes any of the NGK rubber plug boots will work

One thing you wont have is a chain case, direct drive
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome
Congrats Yes any of the NGK rubber plug boots will work

One thing you wont have is a chain case, direct drive
Awesome, thanks! Got her fired up after some fresh gas and pouring a tiny amount of gas in the spark plug holes. Now That it’s warm it starts up first pull every time. Think it needs a carb clean/tune? Has a fresh fuel filter. Otherwise I’m not sure what causes it to not start when cold (unless fuel is poured into the spark plug holes).
 

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The spitfire used the plastic NGK spark plug cap. Look on the side of the old one and double check that the numbers are correct.


Great little sled. Riding a friends is what got me into the sport. Ran Deere sleds for years.
Pull the carb and give it a good cleaning. Hard starting is a plugged pilot jet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
The spitfire used the plastic NGK spark plug cap. Look on the side of the old one and double check that the numbers are correct.


Great little sled. Riding a friends is what got me into the sport. Ran Deere sleds for years.
Pull the carb and give it a good cleaning. Hard starting is a plugged pilot jet.
Well I pulled the carb apart and everything was pretty clean. However, part of the gasket around the choke was missing, so I think the carb was flooding whenever I was choking it. Makes sense because the plugs were wet. Basically that made it impossible to cold start. I ordered a carb rebuild kit and spark plug wire splicers to fix it up.

I removed the heads and found some concerning scoring on the cylinder walls. A picture is below. Should I be concerned? Are these engines sleeved and this issue isn’t hard to fix? First time dealing with scored walls, so I have no clue what to do. For about $60 I can hone them and get 1/2mm larger rings, or for $120 I can get 2 new cylinders and pistons with rings.
64641
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yep there is your compression problem
Bore and replace the pistons rings and seals!
Came across another ‘78 spitfire today for only $100. It has perfect cylinders, just needs a carb clean and fuel filter and she should run good. It’s in much better shape than the one I paid $250 for!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I would not run those cyl at all
If nothing else swap motors and plan on going threw it
Well the manual for the K340-2FA says the cylinders are chrome-plated and can’t be bored. Can I still bore them and then replate? Or is there no hope?

64649
 
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