Craftsman mower cord locking up


Old 06-30-07, 11:44 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4
Craftsman mower cord locking up

I have a 1998 craftsman 6 HP 2.4 Bu dustbin 3 mulch bag special edition model code 944-368450. I have tipped it a few times as things get jammed under it once in while. Almost seems like that was when I started having these lock up problems when I think of it.

About a month ago I was mowing and I got to an area of deep grass. I tipped the front end up to get it going good and then back down and kept mowing. Then it got to a real deep area and it died with some white smoke puffing from it. I went to start it again and the chord wouldnt pull back. It seemed locked. I left it and went back a little while later and it started fine. THis happened a few times. THen one time after it died in deep grass (with the white smoke) I tried starting it when It was cold and it remained locked. I got fed up and someone told me to take it to a repair shop. They replaced the top which included a new chord. I went home and used it the same day. Got into some deep grass and ONCE AGAIN it died and there was a puff of white smoke. Went to start it and its locked up when I tried to pull the cord.

I went back later and pulled on the chord and though it seems stiff, I think it will start. BUT im worried its just going to do the same thing again, and the cord will lock up again permanently. The engine is strong. It backfires once in a while but other than that its been fine. Im a female and like to mow the lawn and I dont mind tinkering with it this time so any help on this would be great.
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Old 07-01-07, 12:25 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 335
Originally Posted by rena View Post
I went to start it again and the chord wouldnt pull back. It seemed locked. I left it and went back a little while later and it started fine.
Went to start it and its locked up when I tried to pull the cord.
Do you mean the cord would not pull out of the machine?

I interpreted "I went to start it again and the chord wouldnt pull back" as you pulled the cord out to start it, and the cord wouldnt retract. But later on it sounds like your saying it won't pull out. Could you please clarify?

If it was that the cord would not pull out of the machine, as you would do to start it, do you know if the engine was locking up? If you can't pull the cord out, try disconnecting the spark plug and turning the blade by hand to see if the engine is locked up. !!!CAUTION ONLY TURN BLADE AFTER SPARK PLUG HAS BEEN DISCONNECTED!!!
Old 07-01-07, 05:27 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,268
Sometimes it's the simple things.... You said deep grass.... If it was deep enough, and of the right variety, the tall grass can get wound tightly around the blade shaft - and will prevent the motor from turning. After it's had a chance to dry out a bit (the natural moisture in the grass) it loosens from the shaft, allowing you to turn the engine....

Worth a check before you start pullin nuts n bolts apart...
Old 07-01-07, 09:49 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 2,365
4-cycle mower engines do not like to be run at extreme angles because of the lube system. If your mower is low on oil and it is ran at an extreme angle it will eventually seize for lack of lube, it sound as though yours is very close. It is seizing when hot as it cools the metal contracts and allows lube to seep into the journal bearings and wrist pin letting the motor turn. Many owners manuals show the angle limits in the beginning of the manuals. The white smoke would be oil that the crankcase vent is picking up while at an angle and blowing through to the carb. Have a good one. Geo
Old 07-02-07, 02:18 AM
puey61's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 3,224
Are you sure the smoking is white smoke and not blue? If it is indeed white this indicates you have a carburetor-dumping-fuel into the crankcase (oil revervoir) situation which would require you to recondition the carburetor. Perhaps, though, it is simply you are tipping the unit up at too extreme of an angle and allowing fuel to dump, as geogrubb indicated. By the way, recheck your model number, I could find no such record of the model you posted. It would help us to know what, exactly, you have.

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