Craftsman Riding Mower weird run/start issue

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  #1  
Old 08-04-04, 06:14 PM
lexdave1
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Craftsman Riding Mower weird run/start issue

I have recently aquired a Craftsman Riding mower model - 917270512. It has a Briggs and Stratton 14.5 HP IC Gold engine. When I first tried to start it, it ran but belched a lot of smoke. I found a lot of gas in the oil. I removed the carb and found that the float needle and the inlet needle (which is activated electricaly) were both frozen solid in the open position of course. I cleaned and rebuilt the carb and all should be well. The inlet valve opens with the key turned to on, and the float now moves freely. I replaced the oil and let is sit for two days to see if any more fuel would leak into the oil. None did. When I turn the key, the engine instantly fires and runs strong for about two seconds then it dies as if the key were removed. This is all that it will do. Start, run for 2 seconds, die...

I noticed that if the choke is open (off) the engine will just crank but no start. With the choke on, it will start, then die, even if I continue to hold the key on. The starter will continue to spin so I dont think that the switch is the issue.

I have checked the two safety switches that I know of. The pressure switch under the seat, and the blade engage switch are both working flawlessly.

The battery is new, and the entire mower is in excellent condition (no rust or rot). What could I be missing? It started and ran with the gas in the oil, but won't run now?

There is no more gas in the oil even after all the cranking, I do however smell gas at the exhaust when cranking, and the exhaust manifold gets warm after trying to start a few times.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-04-04, 06:54 PM
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Hello lexdave1!

Pull the fuel line off the carburetor end. Check for sufficient flow at that end. It could be that the fuel filter is clogged, or the fuel line is internally collapsed. Also check operation of the anti-backfire solenoid you cleaned. Make sure it opens and holds the open position when you turn the key on.
 
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Old 08-05-04, 07:14 PM
lexdave1
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Thank you for the good idea.

I checked the supply line, it seems to be flowing pretty freely, in fact, there seems to be only the little plastic fuel filter between it and the fuel tank. The fuel filter is new and the lines are also. I replaced them along with the air filter when I got the unit. The filter does not seem to have a specific flow direction, and passes the fuel fine.

I removed the solenoid again and watched the open action when the key is turned on, it appears to be opening and holding untill the key is turned full off. I also checked the voltage at the connector. It reads 12 volts when the key is turned to on, and drops to about 7 volts when the starter is cranking. The solenoid stays open even with the lower voltage. The battery is new and freshly charged. The fuel bowl was full when I disassembled it, and luckily there is still no oil in the gas. Even after I put it all back together, it still has the same symptoms. The linkages look good ( I took photos of them before disassembly ) and the ignition switch seem to work properly...I am at a loss...It is such a simple system what could I be missing?!? Thank you again for the advice!
 
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Old 08-06-04, 01:56 AM
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Does it start back up immediately after it dies, or do you have to wait a little? Is the choke on the entire time? When it dies, try wiggling the key up and down/around in the switch to see if it will try to continue running.

Although it could be other problems, with the history on it I would still lean to a fuel related problem...probably in the carb.
 
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Old 08-06-04, 09:19 PM
lexdave1
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If I try to start it right after it dies, it will restart in exactly the same manner. I can do it over and over again with the same result. The choke is full on when I am doing this. If I move the the throttle to normal run position when starting, the engine will only crank, but no hint of starting. In order for it to fire, the choke must be engaged. I have repeated this startup proceedure at least 20 times in a row, with the same result every time. (this was before and after the second carb dissasembly) I will atempt to mess with the ignition switch some more, I would like to find a pin out diagram for the back of it so I could jumper the connections for "run" position. That would eliminate or indicate if the switch was faulty.
 
  #6  
Old 08-10-04, 02:59 PM
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Forget messing with the ignition, you have a carburetor related issue. I know you said you cleaned and rebuilt the carb but did you give it a bath in a good quality cleaner? I have yet to see a spray cleaner that is very effective. NAPA 6401 Carburetor Cleaner is the solution to use. Be sure to use protective handwear and eyewear when handling this stuff...it's powerful.
 
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