Lawn tractor

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  #1  
Old 08-16-03, 05:13 PM
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Lawn tractor

I have a mtd 14.5hp ohv lawn tractor and a craftsman 4hp 4cycle mulching mower. They both picked the same day to stop working.

1) mtd 14.5hp ohv with a briggs and stratton eng. model 287707 type 0224-01 code 9609242d. last time i used the tractor was around three weeks ago and it worked perfect. today when I first fired it up it ran great for one pass around the yard then it cutout. I waited a few seconds and fired it back up, it ran for around 30 seconds then died. It sounds great then starts to sputter. I checked the airfilter and its clean. The oil level is fine. when I went to take the plug wire off It was very hot( not sure if this is normal since its close to the exhaust. Around 2 months ago I replace a push rod and adjusted the valves(could they have jumped out of the proper clearance?) Any troubleshooting suggestions would be greatly appreaciated. Thanks, and please let me know if anyone needs any more info. Tractor is about 4 years old

2)Craftsman 4hp 4cycle mulching mower with a eager 1 engine thats around 13 years old. Like the tractor I used the mower around 3 weeks ago without a problem. When I went to fire it up today it fired right up then died out. It did the same thing around three times. I checked the oil and it was a little low. I added the oil and it fired up and ran for a half a lap aroun the yard then died out again. It starts up but will not continue to run. any suggestions?

Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 08-17-03, 12:07 AM
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Hello ThomasB!

By your description, I am going to hazard the suggestion that the same thing is wrong with both mowers. It sounds like you have water in the carbs on both of them. Maybe you have some water in the gas tank you filled them with? Remove the bowls from both carbs and check for water in the bottom of them. Make sure there is no water in the bottom of the mower tanks, fuel lines, and filters too. Let us know what you find!
 
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Old 08-17-03, 09:42 AM
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Lawn tractor

Cheese

Thanks that did the trick. I have a few questions.

1) When I took off the carb bowl i really couldn't find any evidence of water but decided to drain all the gas and put in new gas. Should I have been able to see the water?

2) Do you thind I just got bad gas or can moisture somehow get into my gas can? If this is the case what can I do to prevent this in the future?

Thanks again for your help, now I can cut the grass and not have the neibors call the cops on me!!!!
 
  #4  
Old 08-17-03, 10:55 AM
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I spoke too soon. The craftsman push mower works fine. The tractor ran great for around five minutes then cut out again. It restarted again then immediately died out. Tried to start again and the engine won't even turn over. after a few more try's it was completely dead no clicking from the starter no nothing. I drifted it down back and let it sit while I cut the rest of the lawn with the push mower. When finished cutting the lawn I tried the tractor again and it fired right up. I drove it for a few minutes then put it in the garage. Any suggestions ? do you have any idea if they have had trouble with this model of tractor? Or do you know How i can find out if they have had trouble with this model. Thanks again for the help.
 
  #5  
Old 08-17-03, 06:33 PM
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I have one possibility for you. If you can run a engine for 2 minutes or more without shutting down, than its obviously not a carb problem, because if it was it would shutdown right away or not start at all. That goes for a few other things as well like air cleaner or gasline, fuel filter that type of thing. What I think is going on here is your engine is overheating. I had a trimmer once that did the same thing, it ran for about 10 minutes or something like that, and than it started acting funny and than shutdown, and you could really feel the heat coming off of it! It got so hot that just being next to my neck, burned me! So, basically that could be your problem here.

Check your oil level, make sure it full enough to the reccomended limit. Second make sure there is no grass clogging the blower cover, air cleaner, heat sink fins.

Also just another piece of advice. If I was mowing my lawn in 90 or higher degree weather, I would not run the engine all the way up to top speed , only half way to provent over heating the engine. I live where it does not get that hot so I do not have to worry about it. Run your engine at high speed for as long as it will go, when it shuts down, open the hood, and place your hand over the engine, NOT ON IT!!! and see if the heat coming off the engine feels hotter than it would normaly be.
 
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Old 08-17-03, 08:05 PM
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I don't think it would overheat in 5 minutes. One other thing...the hotter it is, the more reason to run at full throttle. Running it at less than full throttle makes the engine work even harder, with less cooling. The faster the engine runs, the more air the cooling fan moves. Running it at less than full throttle is going to make it hotter.

The water is normally visible, but sometimes it runs out the hole in the bottom of the bowl before you get a chance to see it (when taking the bowl off). If there is water in the mower tank or in the fuel lines and filter, it could have gotten more in the carb. Sometimes an engine will run fine indefinitely with water in the carb, until you move the mower just enough to allow the water in the bowl to slosh around the jets in the carb. (water is heavier than gas, so if there is just a little bit of water in the carb, it will stay on the bottom of the bowl until it sloshes around). However, I don't think water is the problem on the riding mower now...it wouldn't cause it to not even turn over.

When you tried to restart after it shut down, did it try to turn over at all, or just click a few times, and then nothing?

Many, if not most, of these 14.5 engines have a fuel shutoff solenoid that will kill the engine if power to the mower is lost. The problems you describe are consistent with a loose battery cable bolt, or corroded battery terminals. Check those. If no problems are found there, do this:

Next time it decides to "not turn over", pull the small wire that is plugged onto the solenoid and check it for power when turning the key to start. If no power...bad switch. If power, then reconnect the wire and test the red cable going to the starter for power while turning the key to start. If no power, bad solenoid. If power, bad starter (which it does not sound like a bad starter from your description).
 
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