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Craftsman riding mower dies every 5 minutes / fuel leak

murray21's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1

05-12-09, 11:29 PM   #1  
Craftsman riding mower dies every 5 minutes / fuel leak

Hello friends-

Mower part # 917.271552
Sears craftsman 15.5 OHV - Old but reliable until this year.

Main problem - Mower runs fine for approximately 10 minutes when first fired up. It sputters and dies quickly after 10 minutes. Let it sit for 2 minutes and it will run like a champ for another 5 minutes. Dies again - This goes on until I give up. After searching similar problems, I have replaced:
1. Ignition coil
2. Solenoid/armature
3. New air filter
4. New Oil Filter/changed oil
5. New fuel filter
6. new gas cap/vent
7. Cleaned all fins

Have NOT replaced the fuel solenoid.

Nothing works - on a positive note, the mower will start back up quicker than it did before - had to leave it be for 5 minutes
in the past before it would start back up and run well for me...now I can let it sit a minute or two and then get another 2 minutes out of it.

That is problem #1.

Tonight, I decided to open up the carb bowl/float and check for any gum formation in the pin/ports. Nothing there. Cleaned the carb, reassembled and put her back together. Hooked the gas line back up to the arm and after 10 minutes, I heard a pitter patter of gas dropping down the underside of the muffler. No fuel can be seen leaking from the carb cup/solenoid. The fuel is coming out the vent on the bottom of the muffler at appx 2 drops/second.

I can live with the dying engine, but I have created a whole new problem opening up the carb cup and now have a gas leak issue.

Any help would be appreciated.

link to manual:


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cheese's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 16,567

05-13-09, 12:00 AM   #2  
The fuel leak is due to a bad, missing, or improperly seating needle valve in the carb. Open it back up and take the needle out...clean it and the seat with a Q-tip, and see if it quits leaking. You probably have gas in the oil now too, so don't run it without changing the oil if so.

As for the other problem, I suspect a fuel line that has collapsed internally. Replace the fuel lines, blow out the inlet where the fuel line connects to the carb, and fix the leak in the carb. I think that will fix 'er up.

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

God bless!

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