Craftsman Lawn Tractor hard to start

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  #1  
Old 10-10-07, 12:20 PM
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Unhappy Craftsman Lawn Tractor hard to start

New to the forum. Glade found this site.

I have a 2004 Craftsman Lawn Tractor LT100 (917.273370) with 17.5 HP B&S I/C OHV engine (model: 31C707). Recently I am having hard time to start it. Between weekly mowing my lawn, at first the engine make one or two turns at the key switch and then stuck there. I need to manually turn the flywheel by hand for many times then the engine may come up upon the ignition turn. Once it started, it will restart at ease second time the same day or even the day after. I thought it might be a weak battery. I tried a new one (230CC as with the original one) without luck. Could it be the starter or the engine itself? Any help is greatly appreciated.
BTW, I am fairly handy with mechanic stuff although not that familiar with small engines.

Min
 
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Old 10-10-07, 04:18 PM
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Could be ether....First of all thow is to Check and see if all of the wire ends coming from the battary and the Solenoid
are clean,including the battary posts,Then take the gaurd off of the shroud (engine cover) above the starter,crank the engine over, check to see if the pinon gear sticks to the flywheel gear when you cut the ignition key off.If it does then all that needs doing is to clean the starter drive and pinon gear.

If this isn't the problm,we'll look else where.
 
  #3  
Old 10-11-07, 05:34 AM
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Thanks repair-guy for the advice!
I checked the connections. All are in good conditions (no corrosion and loose end). Tested the starter pinion gear and it works fine. It goes up to engage with flywheel gear and drop off once the key is turned off. Any other place should I look into? Thanks again!

Min
 
  #4  
Old 10-11-07, 10:40 AM
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Yeah,there is a couple more places to look....that I know of.Check the valve clearances,They might be too much or too little clareance between the valve and the push rods causing your engine to be just enough out of time to do this.The clearence is (I think) 0.04 on both intake & exhaust.If not this, it also could be the compression relese,on the inside of the engine on the cam gear not working properly.And you'll have to replace the cam.

reply back with model & type #'s and we can give you correct part numbers to get. IE.cam gear & sump plate gasket.
 
  #5  
Old 10-11-07, 05:30 PM
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Thanks for the reply! The engine is B&S model: 31C707 Type: 0230-E1.

One thing puzzles me is that I just need to manually turn the flywheel to solve the problem. Every weekend I was afraid that I will not be able to use the tractor, yet it started up every time as long as I hand turn it first. It looks as if the starter is weak but it will turn at ease as long as it started once and this will last for at least couple of days. Does that tells anything?

Min
 
  #6  
Old 10-11-07, 07:58 PM
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It could still be a battery or a starter problem. Have you load tested the battery? What was the voltage at the end of the load test? Also put a voltmeter across the battery terminals while cranking the engine (kinda hard, you'll need some test leads) & tell us what the battery test voltage is & also what the voltage is when the key is in the start position. This will test the starter draw & go from there Good luck, Roger
 
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Old 10-12-07, 12:51 AM
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I would suspect the valve clearances if the battery is new and the cable connections are clean and tight.

The valves should be adjusted every year.
 
  #8  
Old 10-12-07, 02:22 AM
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This is the model series Briggs engine that has had a high incidence rate of a failed MCR (mechanical compression release) mechanism on the camshaft. I'll bet this is your trouble. To know if this is the case, you'll need to be certain the valve clearances are on the money and then visually inspect for the bottom most valve to lift slightly on the compression stroke while spinning the engine over by hand. If no lift then you will have a failed MCR.
 
  #9  
Old 10-12-07, 06:06 AM
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I tested new battery and got same thing. So the battery is ruled out. The fact that one start with facilitate the follow up start will rule out the starter. I guess that does left valve clearances and MCR.

Cheese and Puey 61, thank you for the advice! I will get on to that two things. It will take me a while to work on it as I am extremely busy these couple weeks. I will report back to let you know of my findings once I done. Thanks again!

Min
 
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