MTD Bolen riding lawn mower will not start

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  #1  
Old 07-16-08, 12:24 PM
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MTD Bolen riding lawn mower will not start

I have a Bolens by MTD 15.5-HP Manual 38" Cut Lawn Tractor
and it ran well for 1 year but now in the third year it doesn't start. I have tried new batteries, cleaning the filter but nothing seems to get it to turn over. It will slowly turn the crank but never get started. I went through three baterries. does anyone have any other advice to at least check. I mow 1/2 acre all flat. Now it sits and I am tempted to buy another one, because it is such a hassle to get fixed as it is out of warranty. I am looking at 200+ just to get it fixed when I could put that money towards a new one. I have resprt to the push mower but allergies are killing me.

Thanks
John ryan
 
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  #2  
Old 07-19-08, 01:00 PM
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There may be a problem with the connection to your starter that is not allowing enough current to get to the starter.

The starter may have some bad field windings on the armature that is reducing it's torque.

The valves on your engine may need adjustment, or the compression release in not working.
 
  #3  
Old 09-08-08, 03:25 PM
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I am having a similar problem, where is this compression release located on the mower.

I have the exact Lawn Mower as jryan.

My lawn mower will not turn over by key, so i know the solenoid is going out because i can jump connections on the solenoid and it will crank once or twice until it hits the compression than it stalls. Also i can jump the starter off a car battery and it does the same thing?

So if there is a way to help the compression release work, where is it located?

Thank you

Tupling
 
  #4  
Old 09-08-08, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Tup15 View Post
I have the exact Lawn Mower as jryan.
The compression release is located on the engines camshaft.

You may simply need to adjust the valves on your engine. If you could post the brand and spec numbers of your engine, we could be more helpful.

Thanks...
 
  #5  
Old 09-08-08, 04:59 PM
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Bolens MOdel # 13AM662F16

Briggs and Stratton Model # 283H070197E1
 
  #6  
Old 09-08-08, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Tup15 View Post
Bolens MOdel # 13AM662F16

Briggs and Stratton Model # 283H070197E1
Here is a link to valve adjustment information on the Briggs website.
http://faqs.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/faq...i=&p_topview=1

Set your clearances at 1/4" past TDC on the compression stroke of the engine. .005" clearance on both valves will work alright.

Best of Luck...
 
  #7  
Old 09-08-08, 06:07 PM
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30yeartech,

Are you pretty sure this is what is causing the crank problems... I don't want to take the valve cover off it is no the problem?

Also i realized by my solenoid i have two wires that are not connected to anything, one is green with and eye type connect and the other is yellow with a pink slip connector? any ideas what these may be for?

and thank you for your quick responses it has been helpful!

Another thing how do i know which is compression stroke (may be a stupid question but not sure if cars are the same as lawn mowers in this sense)
 
  #8  
Old 09-08-08, 07:04 PM
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I don't know if that's your problem for sure or not!

I would certainly check the valve adjustment first before tearing down the engine to check the compression release!!

Valve adjustments are normal maintenance on OHV engines, so based upon years of experience, this is what I would check first, and removing the valve cover maybe one of the easiest things to do, short of replacing the spark plug.

Compression stroke is the same on this engine as it is on cars, it occurs after the intake valve closes and the piston begins it's upward travel in the cylinder.

With the spark plug out, insert a probe (like a screw driver ) into the spark plug hole and slowly turn the engine over by hand clockwise, the probe will be pushed out as the piston travels upward, when the probe stops being pushed out, this is the TDC of the compression stroke (assuming the intake valve just closed prior to probe being pushed out)
 
  #9  
Old 09-09-08, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Tup15 View Post
30yeartech,

Also i realized by my solenoid i have two wires that are not connected to anything, one is green with and eye type connect and the other is yellow with a pink slip connector? any ideas what these may be for?
Don't know if this has any affect on whats going on with the solenoid, as i do not have a wiring schematic
 
  #10  
Old 09-09-08, 05:00 PM
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Well here is what i found when i took of the rocker cover.





Seems valves have been worked with a time or two before i owned the mower. Also when i got the engine TDC and 1/4 past that both valves should have a gap correct. Well it was a big enough gap that i could probably stick a school ruler inbetween the valve and the rocker. i am assuming this is the point after tdc that i adjust the valves to .005 correct. Because on any other stroke i am able to move either the exhaust valve and not the intake valve or vise versa.

(I am at the right point of adjusting the valves correct. By this i mean i have the piston at the correct point?)

Thank again!
 
  #11  
Old 09-09-08, 06:01 PM
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Yes, you are correct that is the proper position for adjusting the valve. You have way too much clearance between the rocker and valve, the compression release cannot be working with this much clearance. I would also recommend getting the proper valve cover gasket, instead of the sealant used.
 
  #12  
Old 09-10-08, 03:46 AM
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Thank you very much for the assistance and answers you have provided. And i have ordered new gaskets for the entire engine in case i ever need to do something else to it or the carb etc. but i was totally suprised when i saw the sealant used for a gasket.
 
  #13  
Old 09-12-08, 11:18 AM
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okay, so i have adjusted my valves and by moving the flywheel by hand it seems to be alot easier. and it doesn't seem to stall as much...

waiting on the gasket and i will let you know whats going on.
 
  #14  
Old 09-12-08, 06:45 PM
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Great! Hope it all works out for you, keep us posted...
 
  #15  
Old 09-13-08, 09:26 AM
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Okay i got it all back together. Even though i am a little stumped, i didn't relize that maybe it was just flooded and since you can't compress liquid thats what was stalling, but i adjusted valves and everything got some fule and had it running last night. So i will be buying more fuel today and running it on the lawn to test it completely
 
  #16  
Old 09-13-08, 11:57 AM
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Alright... I got it running for quite some time. and now i can start it and run it for like 30 sec with choke on and it starts to sputter and act like it is going to die, then i put the idle back down into the operating section basically and it will run just fine for about 30 secs and then begins to sputter? any ideas? other than that it runs good, i broke the deck belt that engages the blades. LoL

Any ideas 30yeartech?
 
  #17  
Old 09-13-08, 01:50 PM
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Another update. So the mower has been sitting in my garage since my last post, and it seems all the fuel is leaking into the exhaust? now did these mower come with a fuel cut of valve or something? and it just not there or what?

I am stumped, but i am not ready to quit trying... only paid 60$ for the thing, plus 20 for parts this last time so i am on a role trying to get this thing working?
 
  #18  
Old 09-13-08, 08:04 PM
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In you first pic of the bottom left corner of the valve area, I see one of the tappets has fallen off the valve stem. It's laying on the bottom. Did you reinstall it?

The leaking gas is a carburetor problem, and the running problem is probably related as well. Clean and rebuild the carb to fix it.
 
  #19  
Old 09-14-08, 11:35 AM
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I understand it is a carb problem with the leaking gas, but can you be a little more specific please. I have read about the needle for the float, that the rubbber tip may have a indent in it, and it is not seating properly. Could it be something else? or what?
 
  #20  
Old 09-14-08, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Tup15 View Post
I understand it is a carb problem with the leaking gas, but can you be a little more specific please. I have read about the needle for the float, that the rubbber tip may have a indent in it, and it is not seating properly. Could it be something else? or what?
It could be a bad float needle, bad float, dirty or plugged fuel bowl vent, or simply a dirty carburetor or any combination of the above. It's much easier when your not quite familiar with these carburetors to cover all the bases by a complete cleaning, and installation of a rebuild kit. You can take the shotgun approach and try one thing at a time until the problem is solved, but this usually takes longer and costs more in the long run. Unless of course you get lucky and the first thing you try takes care of it.
 
  #21  
Old 09-14-08, 01:26 PM
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With some experience i have had, i have taken a carb and removed the bowl and allowed fuel to run freely, while the bowl was off i played with the float and the float needle, it seemed that the needle would get stuck and the float wasn't able to go up to put the needle in place, so i will try and buy a new float and needle and see what happens.

And has far as the valve thing i didn't put that on.... OOPS!!!!!! Will be taking that apart tomorrow...

Would this also be causing it to sputter, when the idle is on choke and when it is on operating ?
 
  #22  
Old 09-14-08, 02:22 PM
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Yes, definitely put the cap back on the valve and reset the clearance. The flooding carburetor could affect the way the engine runs at idle speeds, as well as the valves.
 
  #23  
Old 09-14-08, 04:34 PM
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Okay Thank You 30yeartech... You help is much appreciated. I am working on a very tight budget as i had to move for the military to my first Duty Station. So i thank you so much for the help and advice you have provided for me.
 
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Old 09-15-08, 01:25 PM
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Alright an update. I ended up going out and buying a new float needle valve since the old one was rounded and was basically messed up... i put the valve cap thing back on and adjusted the valve once again. Once i get it all back together, oh yeah i also put new oil in it as there was fuel in the oil. But i got it all back together and i took a video of what and how it was running, maybe you can give me an idea or some more advice for this thing?

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/JDnVvAX92_s&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/JDnVvAX92_s&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>


Update:

i ran it around abit with the choke on so it wouldn't die, and so far there is no leaking gas, but i got this wild erge to try something while it was running and this is what is going on...

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/N0mP1VZ1csA&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/N0mP1VZ1csA&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

Notice it works for a bit when i play with the choke, Any ideas is there some sort of springs that is suppose to be connect to it so when the engine starts to idle rough it plays with the choke or what?
 

Last edited by Tup15; 09-15-08 at 03:19 PM.
  #25  
Old 09-15-08, 04:14 PM
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The carburetor is the problem, you are not getting enough fuel through the low speed circuit. The carburetor needs to be thoroughly cleaned. When you apply the choke the mixture gets richer and the engine smooths out, the engine appears to run fine at higher speeds, as the low speed circuit is mostly bypassed at the higher engine speeds.
 
  #26  
Old 09-15-08, 04:41 PM
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So basically take some carb cleaner to it, Maybe soak it in carb over night i just don't really have the money for a rebuild kit, and let alone the proper tools to completly take the carb apart. Is solvent a bad cleaning solution for carbs, i have a solvent at work. Do you maybe know exactly what inside the carb that is the problem?

Also you are talking about high engine speeds and what not, but this does it whether idle is high or low? Still same the?
 
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Old 09-15-08, 05:31 PM
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You don't necessarily need a rebuild kit, but you do need to get all the passageways clean, soaking in a carburetor dip and spraying out with compressed air and solvent should do the trick. You can try solvent and compressed air, there is some obstruction in the low speed circuit of the carburetor. This will cause the engine to run like this at low to mid throttle positions, and may also do this when a load is applied even at higher engine speeds.
 
  #28  
Old 09-16-08, 04:08 PM
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Okay i let it sit in a Solvent bath and also took some pipe cleaners to all the ports and cleaned them all out, It still runs the same way as it did before


Now i don't know what to do? Maybe the valves are still out of adjustment, i don't know. How exactly can i tell when the piston is 1/4 of the way past TDC? Do you have any simple hints and tips to knowing, because i am wondering if i may not be going 1/4 way past TDC and it is throwing off the intake valve? because today when i was running the lawn mower it was popping kinda like a back fire but not really a back fire.?

And also out of curiousity the solenoid on the bottome of the carb. what exactlty does that do, and please don't tell me this could play a role in what the engine is doing now?

Any more advice.

I thank you again for the time spent helping me out.
 
  #29  
Old 09-16-08, 08:10 PM
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In the video, I heard no evidence of valves being out of adjustment. The video showed an engine with a carburetor restriction.

Pipe cleaners won't clean the necessary passages. Some are so small you can't even fit a needle in them, let alone a pipe cleaner.

I don't know what kind of solvent you used, but if it's parts wahser solvent, that won't do it. It's a much weaker solvent than gas. You need carburetor cleaner and a set of torch tip cleaners and take the carb apart, remove the main jet and possibly the noxxle and clean it all up, using the tip cleaner to clear all the tiny holes in the jets.
 
  #30  
Old 09-17-08, 04:49 AM
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i took everything off the carb that i could take of without special tools. i let it sit in parts washing solvent so that could be a problem. also i took a pin needle to all the tiny holes that came out of the carb that went towards the engine block, all the little holes on the bottom. i even took out the center nozzle and cleaned it as well. i sprayed compressed air through every passage i could get it through and even sprayed a liquid cleaner through the little hole and didn't seem to have any restriction. (this is way i am confused)

As far as the nozzle goes when i put it in and tryed to spray liquid backyard to where it would go into the bowl it didn't want to flow right. Maybe the nozzle may need to be loosened up just a little bit to open the tiny holes?
 
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Old 09-17-08, 01:34 PM
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So today while i was in class for work, i was thinking about my fuel starvation problem. And starting thinking about the fuel line. The previous owner had used vise grips to block off the fuel line so they could spray some starting fluid or something like that,

So i thought correct me if i am wrong. It is possible that there is a pin hole or some kind of hole in the fuel line causing air in the line. Now since this is a gravity carb. this could cause the fuel not to get the the carb like it should correct?

Well i am going to try it anyways and get a new fuel line and replace it and see if it work?

But this could be a problem correct?
 
  #32  
Old 09-17-08, 06:35 PM
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If there were a leak in the fuel hose that would allow enough air to enter to cause any problems, the fuel in the tank would all leak out and you would know there was a leak. Air entering the fuel line of a float type carburetor will generally not be a big problem, unless the leak is so large that it prevents fuel from flowing into the carburetor. Since your engine seems to run alright at full throttle positions, I don't think there is a problem with fuel reaching your carburetor, but rather there is a restriction in the low speed circuit, and it could be in the passage way of the carburetor casting and not necessarily in the nozzle.
 
  #33  
Old 09-18-08, 05:25 AM
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Well here is yet another update, i went out and got a new 1/4" fuel line and replaced the old with the new, after doing so i ran it around for a bit and it seemed to do alot better, i was able to set it at a low idle and it ran steady, also at a high ilde it ran pretty good. Now i did notice if i went from high ilde to low ilde quick instead of gradually going down it would cause the rough idle again, and vise versa if i went from low to high?

Also i have et to fill the tank full of gas because of the first leaking problem which turned out to be the float needle. But i also shortened up thefuel line a little bit so the fuel didn't have to travel back up.

So maybe if i let it run for a bit it may clean out the passage ways with the fresh fuel? Yes or No?
 
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Old 09-18-08, 06:48 AM
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Depends what may be clogging it up, if it's old fuel or varnish,then maybe it will clear up, can't imagine that it would hurt to try.
 
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Old 09-18-08, 04:01 PM
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Alright yet another update.

I let it run and drove it around a bit, but it seems it doesn't have all the power i think it should..

Also i went to start it and it did the thing that i first asked about. would turn over and stall like it would turn over anymore. So i take the plug out and turn it over and lots of fuel came out. So i put the plug back in and went to turn it over and it turned maybe 2 times and a loud POP!!! and it was loud like a 9mm going off... Well i took the plug out again and did the same thing and stuck it back in and it started right up. Now it just seems like i can hear the valves clicking/ticking/pinging?
i have checked the gap and it is .005 on both valves.


and checked the oil no changes, fresh oil and no fuel in the oil at all....

Oh yeah maybe i though my plug isn't producing like it should. it also sounds like the engine is miss fireing?
Maybe i am not going 1/4 of a turn past TDC or something?????
 
  #36  
Old 09-18-08, 05:01 PM
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Carburetor is still flooding, excess fuel in cylinder is what is now causing your cranking problem. All the liquid in the cylinder causes a hydro lock, the liquid fuel does not compress and the starter cannot overcome the immense compression created by all the fuel in the cylinder.

Your carburetor needs more work, the new float needle did not cure the flooding.
 
  #37  
Old 09-18-08, 05:51 PM
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COuld the fuel solenoid be causing this? Or what you think it may be? and as far as the misfire could that be a good problem with the way it has been runing?

Again 30yeartech i thank you so much for the time you have spent and the quick responses

also could you tell me what size of sprak plug is for this engine...

280H070197E1
 
  #38  
Old 09-18-08, 06:49 PM
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No, I really don't think the fuel solenoid is causing your problem. The purpose of the solenoid is to block off the main jet when the engine is shut down to reduce the possibility of after fire in the muffler (big bang, some refer to as backfire).

I think the problem lies in your carburetor, may have a bad seat and some kind of obstruction in the low speed circuit.

The correct spark plug for your engine is a Champion RC12YC or equivalent.
 
  #39  
Old 09-19-08, 04:51 AM
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Okay, but i still may have a problem with the solenoid. because when i started the mower yesterday and had problems with it turning over i emptied the cylinder and put the plug back in when it turned over there was that big bang! and it was loud!

But i see what you are saying with the carb. I will once again take it apart today and spray everything down with carb cleaner, as well as making sure i spray into every possible hole to ensure there is free flow....
 
  #40  
Old 09-19-08, 05:20 AM
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That was probably not because of the solenoid, but rather because your carburetor is flooding and excess fuel collected in the muffler.
 
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