Mower turns over, No Spark and Fuel Solenoid isn't engaging.


Old 10-19-18, 10:07 AM
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Mower turns over, No Spark and Fuel Solenoid isn't engaging.

Hello, I am hoping someone might be able to point me in the right direction. I am definitely a novice when it comes to small engines so donít laugh to hard at my questions

I was given an old Craftsman Riding Mower. Model 917.271110 with a Kohler Engine CV16S. The reason they didnít want it anymore is it wouldnít start, but when you put some starting fluid in the carburetor it would fire up for a second. So after doing some research I checked the fuel solenoid and it was so full of gunk it would barely move. So I just went ahead and picked up a new one and while I was at it, grabbed a new carb as it was so cheap. After I cleaned up the engine, put a new spark plug in it, installed the new carb it fired up and while the governor was a little touchy making it surge a little here and there at higher RPMs it was working fine. So I started doing a test cut around the yard and when I hit the thicker grass it bogged down and stalled out on me. So I raised the deck and disengaged the blades and went to start it back up, and it turned over and over but never would start. So I assumed I flooded the engine and let it sit for a while and came back to try it again about an hour later and still, turns over but doesnít even attempt to start, which by then it was getting late so I pushed in the garage for the night.

Today I went back out and checked it again, and still it wouldnít start. So I tried shooting some starting fluid in, and it still didnít try and fire. So I pulled the Spark plug and put my finger over the hole and spun the motor and felt the compression push the air out and try and suck it back in just fine. Next I grounded the plug on the engine and turned the key and there was no spark at all. Thinking maybe it was a bad plug (even though it was brand new) I put another plug on and grounded it, still no spark. Lastly I pulled the fuel solenoid off the carb and turned the key to see if it retracted as it should when the key is turned and it didnít move.

So I am stuck now on what to do nextÖ. I was thinking of trying to figure out if this was a kill wire sort of thing, but since it turns over I wasnít sure if a kill wire would still let the start crank on the thing. I know if the clutch isnít pressed and the seat one it wonít even turn over when those kill switches are stopping things. Also I am uncertain if it would be the coil or what else would cause the fuel solenoid not to even engage when the key is turned to onÖ.

Any thoughts? I greatly appreciate any next steps anyone might have for me. Thanks!!
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Old 10-20-18, 03:38 AM
Join Date: Aug 2015
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probably should post this in the outdoor power equipment forum for starters maybe a mod will move it over there.

quick look at a wiring diagram shows the ignition switch witch should supply power to the ignition and fuel solenoid also goes through the seat switch witch could ground out the ignition through the operator presence relay so would probably check the seat switch.
Old 10-20-18, 04:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
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The first place I start, particularly with intermittent problems, is remove and clean the battery cable ends, including the battery terminals and the ground connection. I don't know the exact odds, but many times it can be that simple. After that, I would pick up a spark tester at the local auto parts or lawn equipment dealer because sometimes it can be hard to see for sure whether there is good spark. Then I would check the ignition switch. If you don't have one, you can buy an inexpensive volt ohmmeter at your local hardware store or big box, and they're something that every homeowner should have anyway. With that you can check that you have continuity across the switch to the starter and ignition circuit with the key in the start position and to the ignition circuit with the key in the run position. Backing up to the beginning, I would have also removed, cleaned, and checked the fuse with the ohmmeter, then plugged it back in to make sure that it is firmly in place. And you could check your safety switches with the meter, but they don't sound like likely culprits to me since it's cranking.

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