18HP Craftsman Garden Tractor dies after 20 minutes

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  #1  
Old 06-29-07, 08:23 AM
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18HP Craftsman Garden Tractor dies after 20 minutes

My Craftsman 18HP B&S (917-255-917) dies after 20 mintes of uses, like its running out of gas. It will the start up, run smoothly for a couple of minutes, and die again. I have changed the fuel filter (which only appears to have about 1/4 inch of fuel in it at any time), cleaned the impulse pump, changed the vacuum line to the pump, cleaned the throttle body with cleaner, and popped the top on the carb, inspected for dirt (very clean), and inspected the gas cap for venting (vent is open).

Any suggestions?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-29-07, 08:34 AM
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Did you clean the fuel pump? Perhaps when you put it back together you put a spring in the wrong place. I would install the Briggs fuel pump kit. (wait for moderator on part number)

Also, does choking it keep it running a little longer?

Even though it may not seem like it, the timing key could also be sheared. Had this happen to me once and it was the last thing I checked.
 
  #3  
Old 06-29-07, 09:10 AM
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You may also have an ignition coil going bad. If you are unable to get it to NOT START, its very difficult to perform an accurate test for spark. You may try bottle feeding fuel into the carb when it wants to start and die soon, see if it will continue to run if you bottle feed it fuel. (Few drops at a time is all that is needed)
If it will not continue to run, then you may likely have a spark related problem rather than fuel.
 
  #4  
Old 06-29-07, 09:17 AM
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Pump Ceaned and assembled Properly

I cleaned the pump and re-assembled very carefully, and the fact that it had no effect on the problem, makes me discount it as the problem.

Could it be crap in the gas tank that is getting agitated as I cut grass, and it starts plugging the fuel inlet?

How much fuel should be visible in the fuel filter?
 
  #5  
Old 06-30-07, 01:26 AM
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Will it start back up immediately after it dies? If it does, are you having to choke it to get it to restart?

At the moment, I'm thinking bad coil...but it could be a fuel problem. Have you checked flow from the tank to the carb? Could be a fuel line collapsing internally. Usually you can't tell anything about fuel flow by looking at the filter. It's not uncommon to see filters at 1/4 full.
 
  #6  
Old 07-25-07, 07:51 AM
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18hp Craftsman Tractor dies

FYI: I finally fixed it. I replaced the main fuel line, which seemed to be very flexible and looked to be in excellent condition. However, it was 18 years old, and my next option was to drop the fuel tank and clean it.

Anyway, replaced the line and ran for almost two hours without a so much as a mis-fire. It must have been collapsing or something as it warmed up.

thanks for the input.

Mark
 
  #7  
Old 07-25-07, 10:23 AM
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Glad you fixed it and thanks for letting us know how it turned out! We'll always be here for you.
 
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