Craftsman Lawn Tractor Slow Cranking, New Battery

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  #1  
Old 12-28-09, 07:38 AM
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Craftsman Lawn Tractor Slow Cranking, New Battery

I have a Sears Craftsman 42", 19.5 HP lawn tractor. After setting overnight in cold weather, 20's, the engine turns over very slowly next morning. I put in a new battery and same thing happens. Once started, it runs fine. After shutting down, it restarts quickly. Next morning, same thing again. Barely starts after very slow cranking which almost stops at times. I use my tractor during the winter for snow blowing. Anyone have any thoughts?
 
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Old 12-28-09, 07:42 AM
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Too thick of an oil?

What type oil are you using....viscosity?
 
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Old 12-28-09, 09:59 AM
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I normally use 30W. Didn't have any, so used 5W30 that I use in my truck. Changed about 6 months ago. Checked level and it is fine.
 
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Old 12-28-09, 10:15 AM
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Might see about an engine block heater? And maybe a switch to synthetic oil if possible?
Largest batter that will fit (CCA I mean..not size necessarily)?

I mean, remember, yer asking a system that is really designed for milder temps (and just marginal for that in most designs) to start under very severe conditions.

btw...where is it stored
 
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Old 12-28-09, 10:26 AM
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What model engine do you have? Have you adjusted the valves in the past year or two?
 
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Old 12-28-09, 10:27 AM
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I've used it every winter for the past 10 years. This winter is the first time this is happening. I am keeping it in an unheated garage. No change from past years. I don't have the drive belt engaged. I will check further and post what I find, if anything.
 
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Old 12-28-09, 10:51 AM
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I would really clean you battery cables connections on both ends even if they look fine, just to make sure you are getting the best possible electrical connection.
 
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Old 12-28-09, 01:29 PM
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I will clean the battery cable connections first. Hopefully, it's that simple.
 
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Old 12-28-09, 04:19 PM
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Not just the battery...clean all the connections to ground and the starter as well.

That was good advise by Honda...the simple stuff is often overlooked...
 
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Old 12-28-09, 06:16 PM
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I can't give detailed advice until I know what engine we are talking about.
 
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Old 12-28-09, 07:36 PM
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I tried it after work today. Temp was around 20 degrees. It truned over slowly 3 times and started. Ran it for about a minute, shut it off and it restarted right away. Tried it a few more times and it started right up each time. Maybe it's an intermittent problem. I will have to see over time. I looked at battery cable connections on both ends and they look clean and tight. I plan to reclean and retorque them this weekend. My tractor model number is 917.270821. My engine is a Briggs and Stratton model 42E707 type 2631E1. Thanks to all of you for your suggestions. I will see how it goes and post the result.
 
  #12  
Old 12-29-09, 03:59 AM
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Often cables and their connections look good but in fact are not.Sometimes just the act of disconnecting them and giving them a cleaning on both ends pos & neg may result in a better electrical connection.

Be sure to clean the ground good as mentioned by Gunguy 45.....forgot to mention that, thanks Gunguy! My father always said the same thing "look for the simple stupid stuff first".
 
  #13  
Old 12-29-09, 05:41 AM
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I'm going to change the oil to synthetic 5W30. I think that was a good suggestion also. Later.
 
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Old 12-29-09, 09:09 AM
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What is the CCA rating of the new battery you installed?
 
  #15  
Old 12-29-09, 09:22 AM
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It's a Sears Die Hard Gold Garden battery, #29175 with CCA of 340 @ 0 deg F.
 
  #16  
Old 12-29-09, 02:20 PM
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Knowing the engine model makes all the difference. Your engine doesn't even require periodical valve adjustment like I was thinking, and doesn't have a compression release like I was thinking.

That battery should be sufficient. The model engine you have is prone to hard cranking when cold. I have one too on a piece of equipment I use occasionally. The starters on them wear the end cap bushings allowing the armature to push away from the engine when it engages, and it can drag. Also, the bushing material that wears away along with the dust from the brushes gets caked up in the bushing areas and makes them dry and creates a lot of friction. I suggest removing the starter and cleaning the bushings with solvent and q-tips, sand the commutator with 220 grit sandpaper, and lightly grease the bushings with white-lube while being careful to keep the grease away from the commutator and brushes. If the drive end bushing is worn enough to allow the armature drive end to move, replace the starter end cap or have an automotive starter repair shop install a new bushing in it for a few bucks, and reassemble. If the drive gear is damaged/worn, replace it, but be sure to ask for a genuine briggs gear, not aftermarket or you'll be replacing it again soon. You'll be surprised at how much this will liven up the starter and should solve your problems.
 
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Old 01-01-10, 11:00 AM
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Cheese was right. It was the starter. I don't rebuild starters or alternators and the shop that I used to take them to closed down. I couldn't find a rebuilt, so I bought a new one. Set me back a C-note, but I'm glad I got it. This thing has more torque and speed than my original starter ever had. I put it to the acid test this morning when the temperature was 5 below zero. It started like on a warm summer day. Maybe they improved it. It is part #497596. So now I have a new battery, cleaned battery cable connections on both ends and new oil. Ready for a rough winter. Thanks to cheese and others that pitched in. I'm truly grateful.

I plan to post an account of an interittent carb problem I had, that had me stumped for a long time, which I finally was able to find and fix. Later and thanks again.
 
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Old 01-01-10, 11:42 AM
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Oh well gosh...I figured you had already done all that stuff to your starter that cheese suggested....LOL...NOT!

Maybe thats why he's a Mod here? I really wish there was a way to not have the Mod thing show up on mine when I'm out of my own playpen...lol
 
  #19  
Old 01-01-10, 03:59 PM
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Glad you got it fixed! Ya might want to hang onto the old starter just for kicks... it's easy to rebuild.
 
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