Welcome to the DoItYourself Forums!

To post questions, help other DIYers and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our DIY community. It's free!

Craftsman 18hp twin v won't


kvos1's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

09-02-05, 05:29 PM   #1  
kvos1
Craftsman 18hp twin v won't

My 2004 lawn tractor won't start. Started a few months ago with what I thought was a battery problem , had to recharge each time I used, until finally wouldn't start and assumed battery wasn't accepting charge. Bought new battery , engine turns very slowly but not enough to start. Take out new plug, turn key and flywheel spins very fast. Put plug back in and again turns very slowly and erraticaly, not enough to start. Any thoughts?

 
Sponsored Links
dave237's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 255
NC

09-02-05, 09:34 PM   #2  
kvos1,

Welcome. By removing the spark plugs you would have no compression and the engine would turn freely. This is no indicator of an engine fault.

Inspect all the connections from the batt to the starter. Loosen, clean and retighten all. Try Again!

If after the above, no luck,,,,!Try using jumper cables, black to black and red to red momentarily, from the batt directly to the starter lugs. If it starts winding around at full speed your starter is good and compression release is most likely at fault.

Is this mower still under warranty? If so, demand a warranty repair. Post back of your results.

God Bless,
Dave237

 
cheese's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 16,574
GA

09-03-05, 01:46 AM   #3  
Single cylinder? If so, it could just be valves in need of adjustment. It's part of a reccomended yearly maintainence routine.


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

God bless!

 
kvos1's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

09-03-05, 02:16 PM   #4  
kvos1
Unfortunately out of waranty for about 45 days. Cleaned all electrical connections , no luck. Just for fun tried it to start an hour later and it started but slowly. I mowed for about an hour , everything seemed fine. Turned off , machine back fired. Now, samething , fly wheel turns very slowly/erratically , won't start.

 
kvos1's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

09-03-05, 02:18 PM   #5  
kvos1
p.s. tried the jumpers to the starter posts and it did the same thing as when I turned the key , slow turn not enough to start.

 
dave237's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 255
NC

09-03-05, 06:22 PM   #6  
kvos1,

Now we know it's not an electrical or starter problem. The advice Cheese gave will most likely relieve the problem if this is indeed an over head valve single cylinder engine. You will need to adjust your rocker arm to valve clearance.

Remove your plug. Rotate your crank shaft until piston (use a screw driver through the spark plug hole) is at top dead center on the compression stroke. Both valves should be closed. Remove the valve cover and with a (.005) feeler gauge inserted between rocker arm and valve stem, loosen the jam nut and rocker nut. Retighten until you feel a dragging resistance on the feeler gauge when it is moved back and forth. Do this for both valves. Retighten jam nuts and replace valve cover. This should do it...! Post back if you need help.

God Bless,
Dave237

 
kvos1's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

09-08-05, 09:14 AM   #7  
kvos1
Fixed

thanks for help . It was the valves. They were very loose and it was an easy fix. Starts and runs like new.

 
dave237's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 255
NC

09-08-05, 09:54 AM   #8  
kvos1,

Great! Glad we could be of help.

God Bless,
Dave237

 
crom60's Avatar
Member

Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 47

09-08-05, 11:25 AM   #9  
valve adjustment

is there a url showing how to do this ? How hard is it to do ? I have 2 18 hp engines I would like to try this in 1 is a standard v twin the other is a v-2 ohc
,should I buy new gaskets

Crom

 
dave237's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 255
NC

09-08-05, 04:57 PM   #10  
crom60,

There is no site that I know of that shows a step by step of the process however, I have detailed the process above. It is very simple and straight forward. I would recommend new gaskets for the valve cover. Make sure that the piston you're working on is at top dead center on the compression stroke with both valves closed.

God Bless,
Dave237

 
bontai Joe's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 592
PA

09-09-05, 05:56 AM   #11  
Many local school systems offer low cost evening classes in small engine repair, geared to adults wanting to broaden their skill levels. If you have a interest in tackling some of the more complex repairs and save the $40 to $75 some shops charge in labor, it's a great way to pick up some knowledge.

 
jnpjwatts's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

09-10-05, 08:35 PM   #12  
jnpjwatts
battery

Posted By: kvos1 My 2004 lawn tractor won't start. Started a few months ago with what I thought was a battery problem , had to recharge each time I used, until finally wouldn't start and assumed battery wasn't accepting charge. Bought new battery , engine turns very slowly but not enough to start. Take out new plug, turn key and flywheel spins very fast. Put plug back in and again turns very slowly and erraticaly, not enough to start. Any thoughts?
when you replaced the battery did you replace it with the same cranking amps because at your local home improvement stores they will usally have three or four diffrent cranking amps

 
kvos1's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

09-11-05, 09:54 AM   #13  
kvos1
gaskets, battery

There wasn't a gasket under my valve cover and it's nto leaking so I assume there isn't one. Also there was only one screw on top of the valve that I needed to loosen and then tighten when the valve was at .005. As for the battery my manual called for 230 cold crank amps and that is what I replaced it with. When it still wouldn't crank I assumed it needed more juice and went back and exchanged it for a 275 cc amps. I'm told this is a common mistake when the valves need adjusting as it seems as if the engine is needs more amps to crank.

 
DavieYo's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

09-11-05, 06:43 PM   #14  
DavieYo
Craftsman tractor, related question

My Craftsman 16.5HP tractor (Kohler engine), model 917.271131, backfired very loudly while I was mowing the lawn. I opened the hood and the spark plug was dangling by the wire. I attempted to reinstall it and the threads on the head were stripped.

I ordered a new head from Sears ($181), and spent about 6 hours installing it. When I tried to restart the mower, it cranked and cranked but would not turn over.

The only possible thing I might have done wrong is with the valve adjustments. The instructions say to rotate the crankshaft to TDC on the compression stroke, so I pressed the clutch in and turned the pulley underneath the mower until both valve springs were fully extended. Perhaps this was wrong somehow?

At any rate, I called Sears and they want $96 just to walk in the door, so I could really use some help, especially after paying over $200 already (after buying a spring compressor, thread cement, etc.).

I read the advice about the valve adjustment given earlier and it doesn't make 100% sense (probably because I am dense). What do I do with the screwdriver in the spark plug hole? Also, is there some other way to turn the crankshaft other than the pulley? And finally, how do I know which is the compression stroke, and how do I know the crankshaft is at TDC?

 
cheese's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 16,574
GA

09-11-05, 11:43 PM   #15  
If this is a Kohler Command, then you don't have any valve adjustments to worry with. It has hydraulic lifters, and you just tighten the rocker arm bolt to the reccomended torque. If yours are not tightened all the way, don't let it start or you may wind up with broken parts.


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

God bless!

 
DavieYo's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

09-12-05, 08:48 AM   #16  
DavieYo
Hi cheese

Yep, I very carefully tightened the rocker arms to the recommended torque.

I wonder if there could be a spark plug problem. How do I ground the wire to the chassis of the mower? Do i just hold it next to the metal, tape it, etc?

Also there are two valve-type devices on the carb, one on the front, one on the back. The one on the front opens and closes with the choke lever. The back one is very difficult to move. I am wondering if that could be part of the problem. I didn't have carb problems before , but I did have a hard time getting it back on when I replaced the head, and maybe I bent a guide wire or something?

 
cheese's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 16,574
GA

09-12-05, 11:57 PM   #17  
To check for spark, just put the spark plug in the wire and lay it so that the metal of the spark plug is touching metal on the engine. Spin the engine and look for spark at the plug tip.

The choke plate seems to be fine by your description, but the throttle plate in the carb should not be hard to move at all. If it is, either the carb is stuck from sitting up with old gas in it, or the linkage is binding or installed incorrectly.


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

God bless!

 
DavieYo's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

09-13-05, 07:32 AM   #18  
DavieYo
Maybe we are on to something

This morning I sprayed some carb cleaner into the carburetor throat, and cranked the engine, and sure enough, the tractor fired right up! Of course it died immediately, but at least I now know what the issue is.

What do you recommend as a next step? Should I take the carb off and clean it, lube it, adjust screws, etc.?

 
dave237's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 255
NC

09-13-05, 11:57 AM   #19  
DavieYo,

Yep, this will be the next best thing to do however, make sure your fuel filter is not pluged and the carb bowl is filling with gas.

God Bless,
Dave237

 
DavieYo's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

09-14-05, 09:11 AM   #20  
DavieYo
Daily update

Took the carb off and reinstalled it, and the throttle plate moves fine now. I sprayed some carb cleaner in the carb and started the tractor, and it actually ran for 60 seconds or so before stalling out. The idle was very rough and there was tons of blue smoke everywhere. I am thinking I need to adjust the fuel mixture screw?

 
cheese's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 16,574
GA

09-14-05, 11:30 PM   #21  
Tons of blue smoke, huh? That's oil burning. You said you removed the head, right? Sounds like the head gasket could be blown. Did you install a new gasket? Torque the head bolts to proper torque? Check the oil...is it too full, or does it smell like gas?

What was the original problem with this engine? We're jumping on board with this mower midstride. If we have a little history on it, we may be able to help figure out exactly what's going on.


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

God bless!

 
DavieYo's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

09-15-05, 07:59 AM   #22  
DavieYo
recap

(from my earlier post)
My Craftsman 16.5HP tractor (Kohler engine), model 917.271131, backfired very loudly while I was mowing the lawn. I opened the hood and the spark plug was dangling by the wire. I attempted to reinstall it and the threads on the head were stripped.

I ordered a new head from Sears ($181), and spent about 6 hours installing it.


I believe I reused the old gasket because it looked intact. I torqued the bolts down, first to 15 lb/ft and then to 30 lb/ft, as instructed, in the sequence prescribed. Now the tractor will start, but only if i use starting fluid. Then it will run, but it surges (berrrrr-RUMMM! berrrr-RUMMM!) and blue smoke comes from the exhaust and from the flywheel vent. The oil was a little low, so I added a bit yesterday.

I believe it is a carburetor problem, because if the carburetor was perfect, why would I need starter fluid to get it going??

Also, I played with the mixture screw somewhat, to no avail.

 
dave237's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 255
NC

09-15-05, 12:00 PM   #23  
DavieYo,

I would suggest a total full cleaning of the carb. Replace all gaskets and o-rings while you’re at it. Pay special attention to all metering holes especially the main jet. Clean with carb cleaner, fishing line and compressed air.

Cheese is correct about the smoke unless you have a flooding condition and if this be the case you would have black smoke with a very rich smell.

If this engine back fired hard enough to damage the head then I would entertain the idea of piston or ring damage as well. This would indeed cause your oil burning problem. A new head gasket should be used.

Did you see any cylinder scoring when you removed the head? You may want to remove the head again, clean and inspect the piston and rings for damage.

God Bless,
Dave237

 
DavieYo's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

09-17-05, 03:31 PM   #24  
DavieYo
update

Hi Dave and Cheese -

Thanks for all your great info and help! Together we'll get to the bottom of this...

Ok, so I managed to get the carb off the machine, and I will try to get it all cleaned out. Is there a good post somewhere to tell me how to do this, including dissembly / reassembly?

Also, where do I look for piston scoring on the head? I will check out the old one and see if anything looks strange.

Also, how do I get to the pistons and rings to see if there is any damage?

 
dave237's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 255
NC

09-18-05, 07:24 AM   #25  
DavieYo,

You can find a detailed parts break down of your carb at" http://www.briggsandstratton.com/dis...sp?docid=78484

Just plug in your engine model and type numbers. Make sure to Disassemble and clean thoroughly all tiny holes in the main jet and bleeder holes with carb cleaner and compressed air. Do not use any metal wire in the holes...!!!

There will be no signs of piston wear on the head. You will need to remove your head and back the piston down to the bottom of the stroke. Look for any scoring (deep scratches) on the cylinder walls. Also, check the head of the piston for any cracks no matter how small. Check both valves. There should be no burning, or pitting on their sealing surfaces and they should seal all the way around the seat. Let us know how it goes..

God Bless,
Dave237

 
DavieYo's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

09-18-05, 02:51 PM   #26  
DavieYo
update

One small problem - I have a Kohler, not a B & S.

How do I confirm that the piston is at the bottom of the stroke? I don't remember it being very visible when the head was off. There is just one piston, right?

 
cheese's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 16,574
GA

09-18-05, 10:49 PM   #27  
The piston is just about all you see when you remove the head. It's the big round thing. Just turn the engine until the piston is all the way down in the cylinder and look at the cylinder walls for scratches. This has a cast iron cylinder engine, so you probably won't have scratches. To view the rings, you'll have to remove the piston (engine removal required).

Since the problem you had with the plug, it may have punched a small hole in the top of the piston. Check the face of the piston for damage. If none, I wouldn't worry about the rings just yet and try a new head gasket. This may be the problem.

Sorry I missed the story about the plug blowing out the first time. There have been so many replies in this thread that I missed it.


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

God bless!

 
Search this Thread