Craftsman Lawn Tractor Load Problem


Old 10-04-06, 02:51 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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Craftsman Lawn Tractor Load Problem

I have a Craftsman Model 917.270940 Lawn Tractor with a 20 HP Briggs & Stratton Engine Model 461707 Type 0145-E3.

The tractor/engine run great when not under a load. Under a load (mowing in thick heavy grass) the engine RPM's slow and it will bearly cut even at a slow speed.

I recently had it to a small engine repair service where they cleaned the carb and replaced the fuel filter and spark plugs. Although the engine runs much better than before this service, it still has little power under a heavy load. I'm thinking now it may be a governor problem, but I really don't know. The repair service doesn't seem to know what the problem is since it runs fine at their shop.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 10-05-06, 05:54 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Upstate New York
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Just how heavy a load are we talking? Something beyond what would be considered reasonable? It is highly unlikely, but remotely possible, that you have a governor issue, unless you or someone else has needlessly attempted to adjust it. You mentioned not that the air filter was replaced and although it may appear clean and for what little cost it is, go ahead and replace it along with the pre-filter. If this yields no favorable results then you need to test the ignition strength with inline spark testers on each cylinder. If this is OK then a leak-down test is in order on each cylinder or at least a compression test.
Old 10-05-06, 07:19 AM
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Another quick check, while it is running use an insulated pair of pliers or like tool to remove one spark plug wire at a time and note any change in rpm. I have had some twins that are only running on one cylinder but not audibly noticeable. The latest actually being a new John Deere (2 years old) that the customer only wanted serviced and had no complaint about performance. I personally felt the mower should not fall on its face the way it did when the blades were engaged, and after a leakdown test, discovered the pushrod for the intake on one cylinder was simply floating in place. Luckily no damage had been done. This was missed by the Deere shop who not only sold the mower but also serviced it a year later.
Old 10-06-06, 12:10 AM
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I agree. I worked on one today that was running on one cylinder. The customer had no idea. He thought both cylinders were hitting fine, but it had low power and what he thought was an occasional miss. It was an intek, and the carb was restricted, apparently on one side moreso than the other, and the one side wasn't producing power.

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