Bolens 15.5 Hp lawn tractor will not start


Old 09-22-08, 10:12 AM
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I cannot get my Bolens 15.5 Hp lawn tractor to start at all. This is my first experience working on a small engine and I am afraid I have been taking the "shotgun approach" so far.

Last year a "friend" installed a (very expensive!) new starter no avail. I recently found the spark plug he said he installed in the bottom of my tool box. It was wrong size, so exchanged it for CORRECT Size and installed- No go there.

Here is what I have done in the last few days:

Have drained old gas, and replaced gummy fuel lines and put a new fuel filter on.

Have changed oil and replaced.

Have installed new battery.

Have cleaned debris and dirty oil from valve cover, under mower and around engine parts I can reach with hood removed.

Removed Valve Cover and cleaned out excess oil and build up around cover.

It sounds like the engine wants to crank but won't turn completely over; perhaps starved for gas. (I thought it was due to old and bad gas in the tank and lines.) Now I think from your advice to Tup15 I should clean the carburetor. Only thing is; I am not sure where to find it, or what it looks like on a lawn tractor. Sorry for the ignorance, but it has been 20+ years since I've even looked at a carburetor and that was on a car.

Can you advise or tell me where to find a good diagram online to view of the engine on this model? Unfortunately I do not have an owner's manual.

Thank you very much. I am so pleased to have found this site.

Last edited by Airman; 09-22-08 at 05:49 PM. Reason: Assigned new post subject and removed non applicable verbage
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Old 09-22-08, 05:55 PM
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I started a new thread for your problem. Would you please provide the model number of your mower and the engine also.

I will first suggest removing both ends of each battery cable and cleaning the connection with a wire brush, sand paper or a similar item. The problem could be a bad connection.
Old 09-22-08, 08:14 PM
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Does the engine crank? If not, it could be battery connections or valve adjustments. If it does crank, but just won't start, then it could be the carb as you suspect.
Old 10-14-08, 04:56 PM
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Carb Cleaned-ready to reinstall

Thanks for the quick reply, guys. I've been overloaded with other work and got behind on the lawn tractor repair.

I did find the carburetor, and removed and cleaned; ready to reinstall tomorrow. (It really looked better than expected.) Did adjust the idle a little while I was in there. Valves looked pretty good when I pulled the valve cover.

This is a B&S engine, Model 283H07, Type 1097E1, Code 040403ZE. Had a hard time getting the numbers to pull from the Briggs and Stratton Web Site, but I checked the numbers on the valve cover like five times to be sure.

I'll double check the battery connections, but I'm pretty sure they're good. Replaced the battery this summer when I started working on the %#*&@ thing!

It's been a real learning experience while the weeds grow, and the grass reseeds itself, anyway!
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