Nearly a decade ago (yikes) when my grandfather passed away, amongst other things, I inherited one of his tractors. I would shortly find out that wasn’t meant seriously, as it ended up at my uncle’s under the guise of “what would you do with it?” - I recently was informed it quit running, and was mine if I wanted it.

This past weekend, rented trailer in tow, my dad and I went to get it from my uncle’s and take it to my dad’s place (only a few miles; it’s another 100-ish to make it to my house) as a stepping-stone for me to get it home. This was a success, and while it’s as far as every from my house, it’s somewhere I know that A) I can go get it when I have the chance and B) it won’t ‘disappear’ again.

This is a Speedex 1622, which features a 16HP single-cylinder briggs engine, a large (I think 60 inch?) mowing deck, and a hydraulic system with both controls deck height as well as a ball hitch on the rear (and hydraulic drive!). Back in the day, I used this on occasion to mow my grandfather’s field, and he used it for various lawn-and-garden tasks. It has one flat tire (front left, audibly hisses air back out) and doesn’t run.


Initial diagnostic was an empty fuel tank that smells like varnish (easily remedied with some fresh gas) and no spark. After some poking around, I discovered no power going to the ignition. Thinking the ignition switch has just failed, I jumpered power to it and was greeted with fireworks, so something is shorted (and burnt up the switch, because who needs fuses?). The problem is that, for whatever reason, the ignition system is hidden behind the engine cowling, which would require removal of the engine to remove.


I have an old/good ignition coil from the Chevelle sitting around, next time I’m in town I intend to wire it up and verify that’s all it needs, then bring it to my place to either rig it together or decide to pull the engine out to try and fix it properly.

Bonus news: Put 300 miles on the RX-7 this weekend with all the running around + family picnic-going, which was swell. No (new) issues to report.