Craftsman lawn tractor won't start

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  #1  
Old 09-24-08, 04:47 PM
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Question Craftsman lawn tractor won't start

I have Sears lawn tractor model # 917.270631 that will not start. Here's the deal:

-replaced the solenoid
-replaced the starter
-replaced the battery
-it will start when I jump it from a portable battery

I understand that I may have a cable or wiring issue. How do I determine what it is? I have a multimeter to test but don't know where to start or how.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 09-24-08, 07:39 PM
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Are you jump starting from the battery? or are you attaching the jumpers directly to the starter??
 
  #3  
Old 09-24-08, 08:07 PM
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Craftsman lawn tractor won't start

I'm attaching the portable battery cables to the terminals on the tractor battery.
 
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Old 09-24-08, 11:13 PM
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Sounds like you need to adjust the valves.
 
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Old 09-25-08, 06:04 AM
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Thanks. Which valves are you referring to?
 
  #6  
Old 09-25-08, 08:46 AM
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The intake and exhaust valves, they are located under the valve cover on the front of the engine. They need to be adjusted with the engine at 1/4" past top dead center (TDC) on the compression stroke. This is normal maintenance on this engine, when they come out of adjustment, the compression release quits working and the engine compression is too high for the starter motor to overcome. The extra amperage from the booster can sometimes force the starter to crank the engine, but eventually this will result in starter failure.
 
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Old 09-25-08, 11:45 AM
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Thanks for the info. I'll try it. Is the 1/4" turn past dead center left or right?
 
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Old 09-25-08, 12:03 PM
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if you are looking down on the top of the engine, you will turn the flywheel clockwise, this is the same direction the engine turns when it is running.
 
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Old 10-10-08, 05:46 PM
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This is not as easy as I thought it would be. Should I take the rocker arm off? Do you have a link where I can see a good photo or diagram? Maybe a video? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.
 
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Old 10-10-08, 08:37 PM
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You loosen the jam nut and turn the torx set screw in the center of the nut to obtain the proper setting, then tighten the jam nut and re-check. It may take a few tries since the setting often changes a bit when you tighten the jam nut.

You can't adjust anything with the rocker arm off...you're setting the gap between the rocker arm and the valve tappet. You can't set that gap if the rocker arm isn't there. The gap is measured in thousandths of an inch with a feeler gauge. It might be best to let a shop do the adjustment. Call and ask, they may be able to do it while you wait (off season now) in a few minutes for probably $50 or less.

I only mention it because if you are not familiar with adjusting valves, or it isn't readily apparent to you when you view the valves, it may be best to let a pro do it since improperly adjusted valves can cause much more expensive damage.
 
  #11  
Old 10-11-08, 11:49 AM
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I have the same problem with my tractor and I can't find the clearance's for the intake and ex. Do you have them.
Thanks
 
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Old 10-11-08, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Fred10 View Post
I have the same problem with my tractor and I can't find the clearance's for the intake and ex. Do you have them.
Thanks
Fred, if you can post your engines model and spec numbers, I or someone else can likely supply you with the information you are looking for....
 
  #13  
Old 10-18-08, 01:57 PM
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Thanks Cheese,

Unfortunately I'm back to square 1. I've adjusted the valves to the specs (I had a gear head help me), replaced the battery, solenoid and starter. It still needs a battery jump every time I want to start it. I'm going to charge the battery overnight tonight but I shouldn't have to because it's only about 15-20 hours old. Any other ideas? Perhaps bad battery cables?

Thanks.
 
  #14  
Old 10-18-08, 02:01 PM
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Fred,

I got mine started with the following valve clearances:

Exhaust = .008 - .010
Intake = .004 - .006

Make sure you have feeler gauges with those ranges.

Good luck.
 
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Old 10-18-08, 08:20 PM
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You're gonna need to tighten those valves a bit more. Those specs you listed aren't correct for your engine, and will still cause the problem you're having. Set both valves to .005". No more than that.
 
  #16  
Old 11-01-08, 07:28 PM
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Cheese,

Thanks. I finally got it to work. It helps to check after tightening too. .005 on both valves worked.

Regards
 
  #17  
Old 11-01-08, 08:27 PM
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Glad you got it! Thanks for the update!
 
  #18  
Old 04-25-09, 08:56 AM
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Valve will not stay adjusted

I have a 16 hp Briggs model # 917.270631. I've set both the valves @ .005 but the bottom valve (exhaust?) will not stay set. Top one does stay set. I have of course tightened the stud as much as possible then re-measured. Once I crank it manually or key start it, it tightens up, thus hard to start next time.

Any ideas?

Thanks.
 
  #19  
Old 04-25-09, 06:54 PM
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Are you setting them with the engine at TDC? Is the stud loosening or is it the rocker arm nut that's loosening? Is the set screw in the center of the rocker arm nut?
 
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