Craftsman rider turns over slowly

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  #1  
Old 09-02-08, 09:34 AM
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Craftsman rider turns over slowly

I have a Craftsman 16 HP rider. Motor model: 310707, Type: 0136-E1, Code: 000327ZE. When I try to start it it will crack slow and stop like the battery is dead. I have replaced the battery and it will start good for a few weeks then start in again with the same problem. I would just put my battery charger on and it would start. Some times with the battery charger on it will still crack slow or stop but if I let loose of the key and crack again it will start. It's been doing this way for a month or two but now it's not starting. I noticed when I try to start it the gear on the starter will engage with the fly wheel but would not come away from the fly wheel every time. Do I need to replace the starter?

Thanks Dave
 
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  #2  
Old 09-02-08, 10:13 AM
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You need to adjust the valves. Set them both to .005" with the engine around 1/8 turn past top dead center.
 
  #3  
Old 09-02-08, 03:30 PM
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How do I go about adjusting the valves? Don't know much about this stuff.
 
  #4  
Old 09-02-08, 06:09 PM
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Cheese may be right, But I would check the charging system and the starter first. This engine was built in 2000 so it has 8 years of use on starter. I don't know what conditions or the amount of use it gets. You said that with a new battery it will crank over and start. then a few weeks later it has a problem. This would sound like a charging problem, But the starter might be worn out and killing the battery. If this tractor is left out in the weather or washed when it is hot (right after use) it could pull moister into the stater bushings and cause extra drag.

I would check the starter and the starter solenoid (object in battery cable between battery and starter). check the voltage at the battery then turn the key and check it while holding in the start position. the charging system might not be putting out the proper voltage/amperage. I would think stater first.

I may have missed something, but I read your post as a battery/starter issue.

I can understand the slow turning over being the valves - if the engine is warmed up and it would be a hot soak type issue. Pull the spark plugs and see if it makes a difference. If its the valves it will spin over really fast and easy. If its the starter going bad, pulling the spark plugs won't make a real change in the speed of it cranking over.

Good Luck

P.S. - Briggs and stratton web site has the adjustment procedure for the valves
 
  #5  
Old 09-02-08, 06:23 PM
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Before you spend a lot of time messing with your starter, do as cheese suggested, or at least simply check the valve clearance. Mechanical lifters require periodic adjustments. If there is excessive clearance on your valves, the compression release will not operate, and the starter motor cannot overcome excessive compression. I see this issue all the time on overhead valve engines, it is more common then starters, but continue to force your starter to crank an engine that is out of adjustment, and you will be replacing the starter!

You can test the voltage drop from your battery when cranking, but this will only be an effective test if the valves are adjusted properly and the compression release is working. When you overload the starter, it's going to draw excessive amperage trying to crank over the engine.

Here is a link to the Briggs site that has some information on adjusting the valves, it's the very last section at the bottom of the page.

http://faqs.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/faq...i=&p_topview=1
 
  #6  
Old 09-02-08, 09:32 PM
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Correct, valve adjustment is regular maintainence for this engine, and if it hasn't been done in the past couple of years, it needs it.

This shouldn't be a starter problem. I wouldn't waste time on that until other more likely possibilities are checked. I think you'll find the valve adjustment takes care of it.

Generally, I set both valves to .005" with the engine about 1/8 turn past TDC.
 
  #7  
Old 09-05-08, 06:40 AM
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I adjusted the valves which was not adjuted right and tried to start it but had the same thing so I took the valve cover back off and did it again just to make sure I had it right. With both valves closed and 1/8 past TDC I could put a .005 gauge in between the rocker arm and the valve. That's what I want , right? I then tried to turn it over with out the spark plug in and it will crank fast. Is it possible that it could still be the starter but don't have enough to crank the motor when it has compression?
 
  #8  
Old 09-05-08, 07:06 AM
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After adjusting the valves I tested the voltage at the battery. It was over 11.5 volts then I turned the switch on to see if it dropped. It didn't. I took the two wires going into the silonod off and tested the voltage there. It was 11.5. After I plugged the wires back in I was going to test at the starter when I crank it over but the silonoid started just clicking a bunch of times and the gear on the starter was stuck engaged to the flywheel. Bumping the key a couple times I got the gear on the starter to drop back down but still half the time when I turn the key the silonoid will start clicking. It will keep clicking as long as I hold the key.
 
  #9  
Old 09-05-08, 09:08 AM
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11.5 volts is not enough voltage. Your battery may be bad or the connections to it are bad. A fully charged battery in good condition will generally register around 12 - 13 volts. The solenoid only clicks or chatters due to the low voltage.

Did you check your valve clearances???
 
  #10  
Old 09-05-08, 09:53 AM
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My valve clearances are set at .005. I thought 11.5 was enough so I wasn't exact on the number. I checked it again and it is 11.80 v.
 
  #11  
Old 09-05-08, 10:13 AM
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The voltage on the battery doesn't tell it's condition entirely. It's common for a battery to show near 12 volts and still be bad. The solenoid clicking is tale that the battery is bad.
 
  #12  
Old 09-05-08, 10:56 AM
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I just used jumper cables and hooked it to my car battery and I have the same results. It cranks the car over fine but not the mower
 
  #13  
Old 09-05-08, 03:27 PM
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You get the same results as in the solenoid clicking?
 
  #14  
Old 09-05-08, 04:52 PM
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No. I got the same results that I started with. Where it cranks slow and stops cranking and I have to keep bumping the key to get it to crank again. I noticed that when it stops it's after the intake vavle closes and the piston is on it's way back up. That's when it stops. I have to keep bumping the key to get it pass that and it will crank until it gets to that point again.
 

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  #15  
Old 09-05-08, 05:22 PM
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I had to run to town this afternoon so I took my starter along and stopped by the lawnmower repair shop. I told them the problem. They checked the starter out and said the starter was good. I asked if it could be bad inside to were there wasn't enough to crank the moter. They told me if it was bad inside I would be able to smell it. They said since I all ready set my valve clearance that I should try taking my jumper cable from the battery directly to the starter and see if it works that way. They told me if it turns over good that way then it's something electrical between the battery and the starter. And if it still doesn't turn over good then they said something about the flywheel key? I probably won't get a chance to try the jumper cable thing till Sat or Sun. The flywheel key I have no idea what they are talking about.
 
  #16  
Old 09-05-08, 06:45 PM
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It's not only voltage by amperage as well that is needed for the starter to crank your engine. If you are only registering 11.5 volts then chances are you are not getting sufficient amperage to the starter.

You may have bad cables running from your battery to the solenoid, and the solenoid may also be bad. If the starter cranks the engine good when you jump it directly then the problem lies either in the solenoid or the cables. You should also have your battery load tested as well.
 
  #17  
Old 09-07-08, 09:19 AM
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OK---Here's what i"ve done and where I'm at now.I took the battery into town and had Advanced Auto test it.They said it was good. They had to give it a deep cylce charge. When they first tested it the amps where only 140. After they charged it the amps where 305 which the battery in rated at 300 amps. I now have 12.5 volts when I check it. It still cranks slow. I took a jumper and went staight fron the battery to the starter and it still cranked slow. I've rechecked the valve clearance several times. I'm setting it when the piston starts to go down 1/4" after it completes the exhast stroke. Is that TDC? I've also tried it at 1/8".Every time I've checked it the exhast clearance seems to be the same but the intake is so touchy and I get a little different reading because the intake rocker arm is just starting to move at that time. What do I look at now?
 
  #18  
Old 09-07-08, 11:42 AM
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TDC (Top Dead Center) is on the compression stroke. Rotating the engine in the direction it turns when it runs ( (clockwise from the top looking down), the compression stroke occurs right after the intake valve closes and the piston starts it's upward travel. When the piston reaches it's upper most travel this is TDC, using a probe inserted into the spark plug hole, continue to turn the flywheel clockwise until the probe descends back into the cylinder about a 1/4 inch or so. This is the position you will want to use to check and make the valve adjustments.
 
  #19  
Old 09-07-08, 02:32 PM
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I was setting the valves on the wrong stroke.This time I rotated until the intake valve closed then as the piston come to the top I went 1/4" past. The problem now is that as tight as I can close the gap is .020 on the exhast and .023 on the intake. How do I get the gap smaller? I don't know if this helps but when it stop cranking it is on the compression stroke.. The intake vavle has closed and the piston is just starting up.
 
  #20  
Old 09-07-08, 02:56 PM
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There is a set screw in the middle of the rocker nut that is used to set the valve clearance. Make sure that the set screw is loose when turning the adjustment or it will stop on the set screw and you will not be able to close the clearance any. Tighten the set screw only after you have achieved proper clearance with the adjustment nut.
 
  #21  
Old 09-07-08, 03:23 PM
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I loosened the set screws and adjusted both of the valves. The mower cranked over fine and started right up!!! Thanks for all your advice and patience
 
  #22  
Old 09-08-08, 12:08 AM
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Glad you got it! Thanks for the update!
 
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