mower died and won't restart


Old 07-06-05, 09:03 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 89
mower died and won't restart


After searching through a zillion postings and hunting around the Briggs and Stratton site, I have a question.

I have a 4.5HP Briggs and Stratton Quattro engine on my mower. It's always started easily and run fine.

Today, it started fine, ran for a few minutes, and shut down abruptly (as if I had released the bailing hoop/safety bar thing). I added more gas without thinking too much and restarted easily. A couple of minutes later, I got the same abrupt shutdown. I couldn't get it to restart.

I was about 1/2 full on the oil dipstick, pretty dirty oil. Topped it up. Couldn't restart. Removed, cleaned, examined and replaced the plug. Made sure the ignition wire was properly attached to the plug. Added a shot of carb cleaner to the combustion chamber. Cleaned the filter sponge. Cleaned the under-deck. No dice

I pull the rip cord, the engine turns over (offering appropriate resistance) and I get no ignition whatsoever. Removed the plug and left it dangle on the ignition wire; pulled the start cord to check for spark, but didn't see any. I expect that I should, but I'm not sure on this.

Lots of postings have mentioned the coil, although I didn't find mention of this on the Briggs and Stratton site. They do talk about replacing the ignition. Is the coil the same as the ignition, and is this the part that I'm probably having a problem with?

Thanks for any information!
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Old 07-07-05, 05:20 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 6

make sure that the saftey switch is working properly first before you change the ignition. i just had one i changed the ignition on (which it needed) the safety bar wasn't pulling the cord enough. even if you have to hold the bar down and push the lever by hand. then if that doesn't work make sure the wire connection is clean.
Old 07-07-05, 09:14 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 89

Thanks for responding. The safety bar does indeed pull a cable, which in turns extends some spring loaded switch on the rear of the engine. I believe this has the proper range of motion.

I haven't removed any of the engine's cowling, so I don't really know where things go from here.

Where is the wire that you recommend being clean relative to the ignition unit or the safety switch?


Last edited by rviger; 07-07-05 at 09:27 AM.
Old 07-07-05, 10:10 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 255

You will need to have your plug grounded to the frame before you can impose failure to your ignition coil. Secure the tip of your "PLUG WIRE" (pull back the hood) very close to the engine block (1/32 of an inch or closer) but not touching. Pull the rewind?

God Bless,

Old 08-08-05, 11:24 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 89

Hi folks,

just a summary. I replaced the ignition unit for about $35 ($25 + $10 shipping) and the thing works fine. Had to find three different types of numbers (model, serial, etc) that were stamped into the engine cowling in a hard to read spot at the fore of the engine. These were needed to order the appropriate replacement part. Removal/installation was a snap. Reused the old stop/cut-off wire (attaches to the ignition unit), saving a bit of labor.

Thanks to all for their help.

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