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Lawn tractor won't crank without starter fluid

vmixon's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2

08-05-05, 02:50 PM   #1  
Lawn tractor won't crank without starter fluid

I've got a Troy-Built lawn tractor that needs some help. It has a Briggs & Stratton 22hp Intek V-Twin engine, model # 407777. I've had it for about four years and have never had a problem until last week. It turns over, but will not crank unless I spray a little carb cleaner (Gumout) down into the air intake behind the air filter before I turn the key. It then cranks every time, but dies after it burns the carb spray. If I keep adding spray every time it tries to die, it eventually starts burning gas and runs just fine, but if I turn it off for even a second or two, it will not crank again without the spray. I drained the gas from the tank and replaced with new gas. I also removed the valve covers and visually inspected the springs and rods. There was a little oil in each of the valve covers, but I guess this is OK(??) By the way, why is there a rubber tube connecting the left valve cover to the fuel pump? I was able to get all my mowing done (about an hour) after I got it running. So... I know I'm getting a spark, I know the fuel pump is working and the fuel line is clear. I have also verified the choke plate does move when I pull the choke, although I don't have a very good view of it. The oil level is fine and there doesn't seem to be any gas getting into the oil. I have not disassembled the carb except to remove the top plate and spray Gumout and compressed air into the two little holes on top. Why won't it start without the spray? Another side question: why is there an electrical connection at the bottom of what I'm guessing is the float bowl? I can provide pictures of anything if needed for anyone who might can help me out here. Thanks in advance.

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cheese's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 16,574

08-06-05, 12:21 AM   #2  
Hello vmixon!

The oil in the valve covers is fine.

The tube from the pump to the valve cover is where the fuel pump gets its power to pump the fuel. It has a diaphragm in it that operates off of pressure fluctuations in the engine to pump the fuel.

The carb bowl needs to be removed and cleaned out, along with spraying carb cleaner through the passages exposed when you remove the fuel bowl.

The electrical connection on the bowl is a fuel shutoff solenoid. It shuts the fuel flow off through the carb when you turn the key off to keep the engine from backfiring. This should be removed and inspected. If the plunger on it doesn't move freely, it needs to be cleaned. If it sticks, it will not run well, if at all (depending on haw badly it sticks and what position it sticks in). If it has 2 wires, you can remove it and turn on the key and see if the plunger pulls in quickly. If it has one wire, turn on the key and touch the case of it to metal on the engine block to complete the circuit for it to pull the plunger. Don't do this with gas nearby because it may make a tiny spark.

"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

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