Craftsman 5.3hp starts but won't stay running...

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  #1  
Old 06-10-05, 11:38 AM
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Craftsman 5.3hp starts but won't stay running...

Hello, I got a perfectly good looking Craftsman II 5.3 HP Eager 1, model # 917373680 out of the trash someone was tossing.
It starts right up but immediately dies and when I say immediately I mean just that. It runs for a literal second.
I'm having a bit of trouble being able to afford a new one right now so this one is/could be just what the DOCTOR ordered.
Can anyone give me any clues as to what could be wrong? I'm very mechanically inclined when it comes to cars but I'm terrible when it comes to lawn mowers.
Thanks so much and may God bless!
Peter
 
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  #2  
Old 06-10-05, 05:39 PM
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Hi Alamal, I just had the same experience with my Craftsman 6hp mower. Most important are spark, fuel, compression. When mine only ran for a couple of seconds, I learned here that I needed clean fuel, a good spark, and good compression. Well, my mower was so low on oil that it had hardly no compression at all. After many days of playing with it. I added the full 20 oz of #30 oil and it started right up and has done a few hours of cutting since with no problems. I checked for good spark by removing the plug and using vice grips, I held it against the housing and tightened the vice grips to hold it. I putt the plug boot back on the plug. I waited for dark, and pulled the cord to see a nice fast blue spark, so I knew that I had spark. Then purchased new fuel again, and FINALLY checked my oil, which was quite LOW and added the oil. Varoom////it runs great now. good Luck and post back.
 
  #3  
Old 06-12-05, 02:45 AM
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Hello Peter!

On the bottom of the carb is a screw/bolt that holds the bowl on. There are 4 small holes in it. The one that is probably giving trouble is a tiny hole in an unthreaded section of the screw near the end. Make sure all these holes are clean and clear.
 
  #4  
Old 06-14-05, 02:50 AM
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Hey Bob53. I've got fresh oil, new gas and new plug but to no avail. Cheese I'll give her a shot and post back.
Thanks so much for your replys and may God bless,
Peter
 
  #5  
Old 06-19-05, 02:40 PM
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Whoo, hooo! Hey Cheese, that was it! It fired right up and stayed running.
Thanks so much! I am very grateful for your expertise.
May God richly bless you!
Peter
 
  #6  
Old 06-21-05, 12:34 AM
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Good Job! I'm glad we could help, and thanks for letting us know how it went!
 
  #7  
Old 07-01-07, 05:55 AM
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I have the same problem with Craftsman 5.3

I am not mechanically inclined and I am not wuite sure what a bowl is.
 
  #8  
Old 07-01-07, 09:16 PM
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It's the small "cup" on the bottom of the carburetor.
 
  #9  
Old 07-07-07, 12:38 PM
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Thank You!

Started the first pull!!!!!
 
  #10  
Old 07-07-07, 02:25 PM
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Unhappy

Hi all,
I am in a similar situation but the suggestions posted here so far have not resolve my problem.
I have 6.5 hp (Briggs & Stratton) 21 in. Craftsman. It was working fine until ... I changed the blade.
What I did was to lift the mover from the front and lean it on the handle and then changed the blade. I started the mower right away and worked fine... for about 15 minutes. When I shut it off and did some other work and attempted to start it again, it would start but then would die in a few seconds.
I started reading the manual and found out that I should have titled the mower with carburator on top and should have also unplugged the spark plug; which I did neither...
I have checked the fule (it is full), spark plug (it is clean), there don't seem to be any cloggs in the fule line...
Every time I pump the primer 3 time and pull the starter handle, it starts up but dies after a few seconds...
Any idea what my problem is?
Thanks a lot.
 
  #11  
Old 07-07-07, 04:49 PM
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I know it seems related but it should be just coincidental that your trouble surfaced because even though you tipped it incorrectly, you did tip it in the best, incorrect, way. The oil will only have moved to the sump (a good thing) and the fuel would have run away from the carburetor and not flooded (hydro-locked) the engine (another good thing). The running for only a few seconds indicates a fuel starvation issue within the carburetor and perhaps, as Cheese noted in the third post of this thread, you could simply clean out the main jet (bowl nut) and be back up and running smoothly. If you've done this properly already then it's time to remove and recondition the carburetor using the proper Briggs rebuild kit and necessary procedures based on the condition of the carburetor internals, when disassembled.
 
  #12  
Old 07-07-07, 09:24 PM
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Tarawa1, glad it worked!

FromLongIsland, along with Puey61's suggestions, you might also check the air filter. It could be soaked with oil and/or gas from the carburetor and/or breather tube and it may be choking the engine.
 
  #13  
Old 07-08-07, 11:58 AM
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Smile

Puey61 & Cheese,
Thanks for your on the mark suggestions…
It was the nut in the carb bowl. I took the bowl apart and cleaned the nut (all its holes) very well and put the whole thing back together very carefully. It started right up.
First time I opened the air filter compartment to gain access to card, there was a little bit of oil at the bottom of the compartment which I cleaned with the carb cleaner. It was not much to be the real cause of my problem.

Thanks a lot for your direction.
 
  #14  
Old 07-08-07, 12:13 PM
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Good news! Glad you got it going!
 
  #15  
Old 07-14-07, 05:46 PM
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Same Story - Thx Cheese

Yeah, same problems as described above. Bought the mower from a garage sale for pretty cheap. Got home fired it up......died.......fired it up.....died.....fired it up - you get the point.

Google led me here.

As a very lazy person, my first bet was riding on the spark plug, gas, oil issue. After a brief inspection, I noted a brand new spark plug, what appeared to be new/clean gas, and fresh crankcase oil.....no wonder the mower was cheap! Luckily my urge to get a good deal instead of a lemon-mower overcame my laziness and I followed Cheese's instructions.

Worked right away. Mower runs "strong like bull".

Thanks.
 
  #16  
Old 07-16-07, 02:41 AM
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Another success story, glad we could be here to help you out, bjafeman.
 
  #17  
Old 09-28-08, 08:12 PM
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Question Craftsman Eager-1 5.3HP Mower

Ok, you guys are really good so here is a possible stumpper. I also have the Craftsman Eager-1 5.3HP Mower and it will not start at all. It sat for at least 3 years with some gas in it. The primer rotted off and I already replaced that but I'm kinda stumpped as to what to do from here. My dad said that I should remove the carb and clean it with carb cleaner. I don't know what to unscrew 1st and I don't want to do more damage. H E L P ! ! ! ! ! My family has a very meager budget and we can not afford another mower. Thanks for your time.
God Bless! :-)
 
  #18  
Old 09-28-08, 10:15 PM
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Just below the primer is a metal cup held on by a bolt. Use a 1/2" wrench to remove this bolt. This is the bolt that I mentioned cleaning the holes in earlier on in this thread. If there is a lot of gummy junk in the bowl, you might just be time ahead to go buy a new carb and be done with it.
 
  #19  
Old 10-09-08, 01:30 PM
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917.377130 6HP Craftsman selfpropelled wont stay running

thanks your suggestion got mine running. Mine was working fine until last week, went to start it, primed it, and ram for 3-5 seconds and died. Found your instruction to clean the screw with the airholes in it and mine is running again. Mine is running slower than usual. It used to run much faster and now just barely crawls along. Should I try cleaning those areas again>? thanks.
 
  #20  
Old 10-09-08, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mark1997abs View Post
Mine is running slower than usual. It used to run much faster and now just barely crawls along. Should I try cleaning those areas again>? thanks.
If you removed your carburetor to clean out the jet, you may not have the throttle linkages connected correctly or perhaps the governor spring is not hooked up.
 
  #21  
Old 05-28-09, 07:59 PM
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Craftsman Eager-1 5.0hp

I had the same problem. Mower would start, but wouldn't stay running. Checked the gas, checked the oil, spark plug looked fine.

Thank you guys. Followed your advice about taking the "cup" off from below the primer. Needed a 7/16" wrench for the bolt on the 5.0 hp instead of the 1/2" as listed for a bigger engine in an earlier post, but same result. Cleaned out the cup, (hands got drenched in gasoline), but reapplied cup, tightened the bolt, and away she goes!
 
  #22  
Old 05-31-09, 04:06 PM
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Tecumseh 4hp--running rough and stops when stressed

Hi Guys and Gals,

Could you help please.

My lawnmower starts ok but by half way thru cutting the lawn it starts to run rough and stops, sounds like it's misfiring then shuts down runs but doesn't run under the stress of cutting the lawn.

spark plug looks good, new gas! just started doing this after 4 years ?

Thanks
 
  #23  
Old 06-01-09, 10:35 PM
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Just for goofs,, Try to run it with the gas cap loose... It starts & runs fine for a while,, Right???? Also check for spark as soon as the engine quits,, My bet is on a gas cap,,, Roger
 
  #24  
Old 06-05-09, 11:19 AM
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Angry

Originally Posted by RandyAsselstine View Post
Hi Guys and Gals,
My lawnmower starts ok but by half way thru cutting the lawn it starts to run rough
Thanks
That describes my mower issue perfectly - it runs okay when I cut the backyard, but by the time I'm on the front yard is starts sputtering like mad - it never cuts off, but sounds terrible. It runs slow too. I've tried the following to no avail:

replaced oil
replaced spark plug
replaced with fresh gas
replaced filter
cleaned out gunk from around engine that looked like it was clogging things up
Used some gum-out before starting (multiple times)

I'm about to toss this thing in the trash unless someone has another suggestion.
 
  #25  
Old 06-05-09, 11:39 AM
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Hello adam,
You did not mention what mower you have but if it is similar to the one discussed here then try what cheese recommended for Peter

Originally Posted by cheese View Post
Hello Peter!

On the bottom of the carb is a screw/bolt that holds the bowl on. There are 4 small holes in it. The one that is probably giving trouble is a tiny hole in an unthreaded section of the screw near the end. Make sure all these holes are clean and clear.
 
  #26  
Old 06-05-09, 11:57 AM
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I'll try that

I'm a little hesitant to mess with anything near the carburetor, but at this point, I don't think I can make it any worse. I'll let you know how it turns out.

The mower is a 21" Bolens that I bought a few years ago at Lowe's. It has a Briggs & Stratton (not sure of the specs right off hand).
 
  #27  
Old 06-05-09, 06:24 PM
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Did you try it with the gas cap loose??? Roger
 
  #28  
Old 06-15-09, 09:21 AM
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Ok, you guys seem very smart on this site....

I've got a murray 21 inch push mower with a b&s 4.0 hp on it. I have a new spark plug, good gas, oil level is good, cleaned the air filter. Now, I can prime the gas and it will start, but then dies within a couple seconds. If I remove the air filter and put my hand almost all the way over the intake, it will stay running. So, I'm guessing its getting air in from a leaky gasket, perhaps the carb to tank gasket, but not 100% sure. Can anyone validate this before I take the carb off to soak/clean?

This mower was running last week, although it would sound like it would die, then it'd pick up, sound like it'd die, then pick up, over and over again while I mowed the lawn.

Thanks for the great site and advice....!

-Ian
 
  #29  
Old 06-15-09, 02:56 PM
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Sounds like you have a fuel restriction likely in the carb that needs cleaned. What you describe would be called "surging" and is caused by a lean(too much air, not enough fuel) mixture.
As you restrict the air with your hand, the fuel/air mixture has less air to mix with the restricted fuel flow and balances out.
 
  #30  
Old 06-15-09, 04:04 PM
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First, welcome to the forum, Now,
You need to install a new diaphram kit, it is Briggs part # 795083 or old # 495770 also Lowe's has a kit #5083 which has the same parts.

Here we go;
Remove air cleaner, there are 2 bolts that hold things together, one on the front of the tank 3/8" and one into the block 1/2", remove these bolts, now "slowly" slide the carb/tank off the intake tube and breather tube, now tilt the tank in to release the throttle linkage and waalaa the carb/tank is removed. Check the intake tube to see if the “O” ring seal and plastic retainer are still on the intake tube, if so remove them and re-install them into the carb. Remove the 5 screws from the carb/tank remove carb(don't loose the spring) now spray all holes, cracks and crevases in both the carb and tank surface with brake parts cleaner, remove the main screen(looks like a thimble) with a small screwdriver pry out the main jet(carefully) and clean it, reinstall the jet, it can be difficult some times to get it to snap back in place(I use the rounded end of a screwdriver handle). Remove and clean the fuel pickup stem. Clean any junk/rust from the tank. Install the diaphram on the tank then the gasket(no goo or sealer) now carefully replace the carb(the spring will try to misalign the diaphram), tighten all screws a little at a time so as not to crimp the diaphram until they are all tight. Install the carb/tank in reverse order and you are done. If I missed something one of the real mechanics will correct me. Have a good one. Geo
 
  #31  
Old 07-07-10, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mark1997abs View Post
Mine was working fine until last week, went to start it, primed it, and ran for 3-5 seconds and died.
I just got done sorting out the carb on the old Eager-1 my dad bought in 1978 when we first moved to Texas. Fired up on the first pull! Mowed about 30 seconds, and it died.

After that, sounded just like mark1997abs, it would start and run for only a few seconds or less before dying.

Took it apart again and found that the primer hose I installed was too long and got all chewed up by the flywheel. To test the theory, I cut it short and plugged it with a screw. Ran perfectly after that, cut the whole yard.

Tomorrow I'll get another hose and the fuel inlet fitting that's cracked, and a socket (anyone know what size?) to pull the blade for sharpening, and it'll work as good as new!

One interesting thing about the carb: the carb nut has only one set of threads, and only one tiny hole.

Can't believe these things can still be fixed and run so many years later, and can't believe the parts are so plentiful and CHEAP! Just got done doing the headgasket on my Toyota truck, and those parts made my wallet sob and weep from the pain.
 
  #32  
Old 07-10-10, 05:45 PM
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Similar Problem

Hi everyone. I am irritated with my 6hp Crafsman. It also runs for only a second or two then dies. I already checked the plug and filter. It can't be the gas as I just used it last week. The oil is clean and full. I also read this post earlier today and checked the bolt on the bottom of the fuel bowl. It was perfectly clean. The only way it runs is with the primer. The handle clasp won't let it start. What do I need to do? It's only 4 years old. Thanks
 
  #33  
Old 07-11-10, 09:18 PM
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How many holes do you see in the bolt in the bottom of the carb?
 
  #34  
Old 07-13-10, 03:32 PM
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There is one hole that goes all the way through? ( I think) Should there be more?
 
  #35  
Old 07-16-10, 01:13 AM
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There should be one going down the center from the end also.
 
  #36  
Old 07-17-10, 07:08 AM
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Yep that was it. I didn't see that hole the first time. It didn't look dirty but i cleaned it out anyway. It was the hole that is in the center of the bolt. I used an old toothbrush and a can of compressed air used on computers to blow through to check flow. After I put it back in it started right up. Thanks a lot. You're a genius.
 
  #37  
Old 07-17-10, 11:46 AM
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Ok, so I have the same issue with a 4.5hp B&S on a 22" Craftsman. I have tried all but the pulling the carb on this. I will try that, but any suggestions if this fails? This started after I hit a rock while mowing along my alley.
 
  #38  
Old 07-17-10, 07:01 PM
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You may have a partially sheared flywheel key from hitting the rock.
 
  #39  
Old 08-02-10, 05:07 PM
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Have a Craftsman 917.387620 22" mulcher with a Briggs and Stratton 12H802-2684-B1 6HP that is 7 - 8 years old and has been running flawlessly.

I left it in a leaky roof part of my garage and it got some water on it which I dumped off. Took it outside to run it and it barely ran, choking and sputtering, but continued to run. I noticed when I tilted it forward on the front wheels, it ran normally. Then when I lowered it, it sputtered again. Thought maybe water was shorting out the magneto.

Thought I maybe had water in the gas so I dumped it out. Put in new gas and it ran better, but still bad. As it ran longer, it got increasingly better until it was back to normal. That was a week ago. Put it away in a dry place this time.

My wife used it yesterday and it ran fine for awhile and then the rpms took a dive to something lower than the right speed and got some roughness in it and loss of power. No black smoke, just roughness Sounds like it's muted when it runs.

Changed the plug...took off the bowl and cleaned it. Checked the float for cracks and shook it. No rattle. Checked the float valve pin was OK and clean. Checked the main jet (bottom bolt). The through hole and the one down the middle seem to be clear. Took a small sewing needle and cleaned what I could but didn't see any appreciable dirt. Bowl gasket is OK and the valve needle travels freely. Can feel it seat on the rubber seal when holding the float up. Oil level is OK. Put in new air filter. I was ready to buy a new float and a new main jet, but the ones in there really seem to be OK. No leaks in the float and no dirt I can see in the main jet.

I seem to have OK spark, but I'm wondering if I have a bad magneto issue or some dirt lodged in the carb. I put in some STP fuel system cleaner and ran it, but still runnng lower power than full, lesser rpms than normal and with a tad of roughness.

Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
  #40  
Old 08-02-10, 07:21 PM
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Is it possible it was ran under a bush or something than bent the tab the throttle spring hooks into, it happens a lot, if so just bend the tab forward again until it reaches the normal sounding rpm. Have a good one, Geo
 
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