Craftsman Eager-1 3.5hp Starts But Wont Run

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  #1  
Old 05-28-08, 07:59 PM
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Craftsman Eager-1 3.5hp Starts But Wont Run

Craftsman Eager-1, 3.5hp, 20"-model# 917.383223

Someone gave it to me spring 2005, who had kept it in top condition. I bought the owners manual (cant find it) and and a new blade (still in pkg). Other than that, never did anything for it. Every spring, including this one, Its starts with just one pull. But this time, it runs fine for a few minutes and dies. A few minutes later, it starts with one pull again and dies-it takes a long time to cut the lawn now. I got the Craftsman Tune Up Kit (7133012), changed the oil, spark plug and air filter and added the fuel stabilizer to the gas can. No change, still dying. I even grabbed a fuel filter #07157024000, but I cant see where that could possibly go, looks like just hose from gas tank to carb. I was going to attempt to clean the carb but I didnt get past removing the six screws for the housing (where the gas and oil fill caps are). Any help getting this soldier back in the game would be greatly appreciated
 
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Old 05-28-08, 09:38 PM
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Try loosening the gas cap and see if it will run longer.
 
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Old 05-29-08, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by cheese View Post
Try loosening the gas cap and see if it will run longer.
Holy @*^# cheese, it runs. And runs. As a matter of fact, its still running out in
the yard! (wth the handle tied down) What does that mean?
 
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Old 05-29-08, 07:51 AM
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see Super...the Pro's know.

It means the vent in the gas cap was bad. The engine would suck out some gas, which caused a partial vacuum in the tank. Then the motor stopped. Probably need a new cap, unless you can partially disassemble and clean the old one so it works.
 
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Old 05-29-08, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
see Super...the Pro's know
You aint lyin! Now let me see about that cap...
 
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Old 05-29-08, 08:43 AM
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Since it's a Tec engine I think the cap has a little bell shaped device in the cap and may have become disconnected and is in the tank and needs to be fished out so it doesn't block future fuel flow. Have a good one. Geo
 
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Old 05-29-08, 08:55 AM
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Oh joy, I knew it sounded too easy Come to think of it, I think I have a spring loaded claw gripper and a fiber optic camera somewhere...
 
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Old 05-29-08, 09:04 AM
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You should be able to tilt the fuel tank back slightly and slide it straight up, remove fuel line, drain the gas, shake out the old parts if there are any in there, then, do everything in reverse, it ain't no big deal, no claws or camera necessary. Have a good one. Geo
 
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Old 05-29-08, 09:50 PM
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Heh...that reply made me laugh. Yup, you need a new gas cap. It's not hard to get the old one out, and lik eGeo mentioned, just take the screws out of the tank at the top (if it even has them...some don't and are just pushed down into the housing) and lift up on the tank. It will slip up and you can dump it and the extra parts out easily.
 
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Old 05-30-08, 01:23 AM
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Its still attached. Under it, the back of the surface of the cap is slightly domed. There are two holes in it and I can make out what looks like filter material through them. The outer edge of the dome is flat and has a few notches in it. At first I thought they were meant for a spanner so it could be removed but the whole thing spins freely. Doesnt appear it can be disassembled. I grabbed some canned air, put the tip of the nozzle tube in each of the holes and blew em out. Ran great for about 20 minutes, then a few sputter & recoveries and then died. Guess a new cap is the definitive fix, none of the Sears I called have it in stock, but I can order it. I tried a local lawn n garden place, they want the ID# off the engine itself, not the Craftsman part#. He didnt tell me where to look for it.
 
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Old 05-30-08, 11:45 AM
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It should be located near the spark plug
 
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Old 05-30-08, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by timinator View Post
It should be located near the spark plug
Or it just might be on the 4-cycle engine parts page of the owner's manual I downloaded. You know the saying - when in doubt, RTFM. Got the cap and just as a test put the old one back on first. It died. Put the new one on, running great.
 
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Old 05-30-08, 08:29 PM
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I can't speak for anyone other than myself, however, to hear that a suggestion made on the forum solved a problem for someone or kept a workable product out of a landfill is why we are all here. OH, have a good one. Geo
 
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Old 05-30-08, 09:22 PM
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Goes for me too Geo...

Glad we could help!
 
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Old 05-30-08, 11:16 PM
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Roger that. Thanks for the expert support.
 
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Old 06-03-08, 06:42 PM
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I thought this was resolved. A week later, its doing the same thing with the new cap. Starts w one pull, runs 5 minutes or so and dies. Wont start again until it cools and then runs 5 minutes or so and dies. Suggestions?
 
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Old 06-04-08, 12:02 AM
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Aww shoot. Check for spark after it dies and report back.
 
  #18  
Old 06-04-08, 12:10 PM
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Went out there with wrench in hand. 3 or 4 prime/pull/no starts and then it started and sat there, stationary, running fine for 15 minutes. UGH
 
  #19  
Old 06-04-08, 11:41 PM
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Check the cable from the bail on the handlebar to the kill siwtch and make sure it is getting a full pull on the kill switch. I'm wondering if it is barely disconnecting the kill switch and intermittently not letting it start or stay running.
 
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Old 06-06-08, 09:56 PM
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It is difficult to tell if the kill switch is sticking. I thoroughly WD40'd the cable at the handle end and the "brake spring bracket" (as it is called in the manual) where it terminates at the motor. Too late to try it now, first thing in the morning.
 
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Old 06-06-08, 09:59 PM
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At the engine where the cable connects, remove the plastic cover and look at the switch itself. You can see the electrical contact, and you can tell if it is touching the kill tab or not when the cable is pulled.
 
  #22  
Old 06-07-08, 02:02 PM
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It started like a champ, and died in 5 minutes. So much for the lube job. Now I may need a CAT scan, but I removed the 3 screws from the top of the plastic housing and I cant get it off.
 
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Old 06-08-08, 09:01 PM
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Sorry, I forgot that this is a tecumseh engine, not a briggs. The briggs can be easily viewed, but tecumseh's kill switch is under the flywheel. Look for a green wire under the flywheel near where the cable attatches.
 
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Old 06-11-08, 09:50 PM
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From the exploded engine diagram in the manual, it looks like from the flywheel all the way to the top, it goes flywheel>starter hub>Belleville washer>flywheel nut>blower housing>hex screw>rewind starter>starter plug. Underneath the flywheel there is a “solid state assembly” which has the spark plug wire attached to it, then the flywheel key spacer, then the oil seal. Is the “solid state assembly” the kill switch? I guess it is since it has the spark plug wire attached to it. But, as I mentioned, after removing the screws on the side of the blower housing, it seems I can go no further-the housing will not come off. Maybe I should skip to the next possibility as if its not the kill switch.
 
  #25  
Old 06-13-08, 01:21 AM
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Follow the cable from the handlebar that stops the engine. Follow it to the kill switch on the engine. That's where the kill wire should be.

There are 2 screws at the front of the housing over the saprk plug, and 2 screws under the gas tank at the other end, and then the housing should lift right up. Pull up on the gas tank to get it off.
 
  #26  
Old 06-15-08, 01:30 AM
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The housing came off easy enough. The cable terminates at the brake spring bracket. The wire runs from there and disappears up underneath the flywheel, as you said. I could not discern any problem as I could not see the end of the wire.
 
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Old 06-16-08, 09:37 PM
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The end of the wire you can wee is where the problem area is. It is a bent tab of wire that contacts metal when the kill bar is released. It sould move away and disconnect from the metal when you pull the handlebar. It needs to move far enough to completely disconnect.
 
  #28  
Old 06-16-08, 11:14 PM
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I dropped back and checked for spark when it wouldnt start, got it. So I went to fuel. I clamped the fuel line, removed the bowl nut, removed the clamp, got a pretty steady stream of gasoline, moved the float up and it stopped. I started to clean the bowl nut, but it doesnt look like this Mine is 'single stage'- one set of threads. I found and cleaned the hole at the bottom, but I dont see any others, there should be more than one, right?
 
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Old 06-18-08, 01:01 AM
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Ok, maybe dropping back is the thing to do. You checked spark and found it, so now squirt a little fuel into the spark plug hole and see if it will start and run for a second.

The fact that is was running before, for several minutes at a time before stopping makes me want to think the carb is ok, and you have a different problem.

If your bowl nut has threads all the way down, there is only one hole that I recall.
 
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Old 06-18-08, 02:07 PM
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You beat me to the post. I cleaned the bowl nut, used the wire from a twist tie to run the hole through. There was some very fine light gray sediment in the bowl. Half a can of carb cleaner later I put it back together and it ran until I killed it after I cut the lawn. So it seems like it might have been more than one problem-success with removing/replacing the gasoline cap seemed to point to a vacuum problem. Then the nut fouled from the sediment in the bowl which was fixed with the cleaning.

Or not.
 

Last edited by supersonicklutz; 06-18-08 at 02:17 PM. Reason: sp
  #31  
Old 06-18-08, 11:00 PM
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Who knows. At least it's going now. Could have been some junk floating/moving around in the carb intermittently blocking the passage in the bowl nut maybe? Some problems are just hard to pinpoint, especially intermittent ones. Glad it's going!
 
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Old 06-18-08, 11:26 PM
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Yes, I hate mysteries. Hope it stays working. Check next week. Thanks again for the help
 
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