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Craftsman riding mower won't start


twild's Avatar
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02-29-08, 11:51 AM   #1  
Craftsman riding mower won't start

I have a Craftsman model 917.257644 mower and I am having problems getting it started.

When I turn the key, the engine starts to turn over, but seems very sluggish like it is struggling. It never turns over consistantly - like if the battery is dead. I bought a replacement battery last night and it still has the same problem. When I take out the spark plug, it turns over easily. Could this be a starter problem?

 
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02-29-08, 04:40 PM   #2  
Sounds like you need to check/adjust the valves, The adjustment is loose causing the compression release not to function properly.


Remove the valve cover then rotate the engine over by hand until you reach top dead center compression stroke, Then remove the spark plug. Once at TDC insert a small screw driver in the plug hole touching the piston and rotate clockwise past TDC until you see the screw driver move down inside the hole 1/4". Now loosen the jam screw in the center of the adjustment nut and adjust to .005-.007" both intake and exhaust. Hold the adjuster nut with your wrench while tightening the jam screw. It may take a couple times to get it right because when tightening the jam screw it could throw the adjustment out so check after tightening.

 
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02-29-08, 06:15 PM   #3  
Right on advice from 31YTech.

I wanted to add that you should also be careful that you don't turn the entire rocker arm stud when you adjust these valves. Make sure it is tight. I just had an engine in here that came from a different shop and had the valves adjusted. It already was back to not cranking. I checked, and the entire rocker arm stud was loose, throwing it out of adjustment quickly.


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

God bless!

 
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02-29-08, 06:24 PM   #4  
Posted By: cheese I checked, and the entire rocker arm stud was loose, throwing it out of adjustment quickly.

That's good advise as well cheese, It's not a bad idea to check the stud while adjusting.

Guess I need to add that to my saved adjustment procedure.

 
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02-29-08, 06:46 PM   #5  
Thanks for the replies! I will give it a try tomorrow

 
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03-16-08, 12:07 PM   #6  
Success! I made the adjustments and it starts and runs perfectly. Thanks to all of you for the tips.

 
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03-16-08, 12:30 PM   #7  
Great! Glad you got it fixed!


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God bless!

 
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03-16-08, 02:26 PM   #8  
Goood Deal.....

 
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03-17-08, 06:48 AM   #9  
Out of curiosity, what could have caused this to happen?

 
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03-17-08, 03:35 PM   #10  
Normal wear that's all, Most all OHV engines with adjustable valves need checking/adjustment after so many hours. Kawasaki (example) states every 300 but very few do it.

 
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