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Craftsman Lawn Tractor dies then won't start intermittent.


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04-07-09, 02:04 PM   #1  
Craftsman Lawn Tractor dies then won't start intermittent.

My craftsman lawn tractor model 917.271054 dies intermittently while mowing . Sometimes it will restart after backfiring for a bit. Other times it will not start at all. One time I wiggled a wire running to the bottom of the carb bowl to get it to start. Also, I have jiggled the mower blade engaging handle on occasion to start it, wiggled the main wire harness, moved the seat up and down, and even threatened to shoot the darn thing if it wouldn't start. I am ready to buy a complete harness for 100.00 unless you can think of anything else I should do. I have replaced the solenoid, key switch, and starter. Please help.

 
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04-07-09, 03:33 PM   #2  
Even though you wiggled all these things to get it started, I have to think you have a seat safety switch problem. Something is killing spark to the engine (back firing) and that's what the seat switch does.

Some units have a second switch built inside of the seat switch harness plug connector, It's a little button in the center of the two connectors that contact the seat switch.

Work this connector switch in and out a few times while spraying wd40 or other penetrating oil in it to clean the contacts, In a case of a intermittent problem such as this it's better to just replace the seat safety switch and know you have a good one installed. Also make sure the connector plug is pushed on the seat switch good and tight.


Good Luck

 
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04-11-09, 06:49 AM   #3  
Posted By: 31YTech Even though you wiggled all these things to get it started, I have to think you have a seat safety switch problem. Something is killing spark to the engine (back firing) and that's what the seat switch does.

Some units have a second switch built inside of the seat switch harness plug connector, It's a little button in the center of the two connectors that contact the seat switch.

Work this connector switch in and out a few times while spraying wd40 or other penetrating oil in it to clean the contacts, In a case of a intermittent problem such as this it's better to just replace the seat safety switch and know you have a good one installed. Also make sure the connector plug is pushed on the seat switch good and tight.


Good Luck
Hi,
FYI should it start when I am not on the seat with the parking brake on? In the past it always did.
I replaced the seat switch last season as the old one was broken. Earlier this week I tried to start the mower and it would not start. I checked wire harness connections. When I unplugged and reseated the fuel solenoid harness connector on the bottom of the carb it made a loud click (I had forgotten and left the key turned on) then when I tried to start it, it started fine. Is it possible that the solenoid is sticking inside the fuel bowl? Would that explain why I can be mowing just fine and it will start running poorly then die and not restart? Should I run some liquid gumout through the fuel system? After it started it mowed the yard fine with no problems.:GMC:

 
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04-11-09, 12:29 PM   #4  
Yes it should start with the parking brake on, Make sure the connector is clean on this solenoid. It wouldn't take but a couple minutes to remove the solenoid and spray it with carb & choke cleaner. Walmart has Super Tech brand for a buck twenty-nine, I don't think you will find anything to put in the fuel tank at that price.

 
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09-10-09, 01:23 AM   #5  
update!

Mower is still doing it. I cleaned the battery terminals and recharged the battery the last two times this happened and after a 30 minute battery charge the mower started fine! IDK? Maybe just weak battery causing low spark?

 
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09-11-09, 01:18 AM   #6  
Check for spark when it will not start. Does it usually do this after the engine has warmed up a bit? If so, it could be a coil problem.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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05-15-10, 06:06 PM   #7  
Final result of problem

The spark plug wire had corroded where it attaches to the spark plug connector and was losing continuity.

 
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09-30-10, 03:31 PM   #8  
New final result of problem

Mower died again after spending 81.00 in May (and waiting 4 weeks) to have it "repaired" at a lawn mower retailer near my house! The guy sells dixie choppers, snappers and Simplicity mowers. The guy just replaced the one year old diehard battery with his own brand (said the battery was dead) and said it had a short in the plug wire which he fixed.
Fast forward 2 months. The mower died and would not restart. Finally restarted 4 weeks ago. (We haven't had any rain in 2 months here). Mower then promptly died 1/2 way through mowing the yard again.
I did some troubleshooting on my own 2 weeks ago. I pulled the white kill wire off of the Magneto coil pack and the mower still wouldn't start. So I looked up the kohler part number for a new coil pack. Found one locally, purchased it, installed it and the problem is officially GONE! Mower starts first time every time like it should!

 
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09-30-10, 03:34 PM   #9  
You were right Cheese! It was the coil. The shop I purchased my coil at said it is a common problem for Kohler engines, that is why they keep a coil in stock.

 
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09-30-10, 05:48 PM   #10  
Glad you got it fixed, and thanks for the update! Yes, it's a common enough problem to keep a coil on hand, however, it's not a plaguing problem. Just happens once in a while.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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