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PushMower won't start, blade was loose, pullcord recoils


CamanoDaddy's Avatar
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06-14-10, 01:39 AM   #1  
PushMower won't start, blade was loose, pullcord recoils

I have a Craftsman (model# 917.377420) Push Lawn Mower. Mower has run fine for 12 years. Sudden problem is that it won't start, and when I pull the cord to start, it recoils every 4th time or so. When attempting to start, smoke comes out the air filter/carb air intake more than it does out of the muffler. The harder I pull, the more often and aggressively it recoils. Previous to not starting, it was running and I heard a metal clanking sound. I noticed that the blade was clanking around and was loose, so I tightened it. In trouble shooting, I have confirmed a oily spark plug, but it sparks when out & grounded and I attempt to start mower. I sand-papered the gap area and put it back, but I'll put in a new one soon. Also, the muffler is fine and the exhaust port it attaches to seems unobstructed. I just changed the oil, sucked out the possibly stale gas (we just put in before this stopped running) and I filled gas tank with fresh 87 unleaded gas (with Stabil added).

By the way, the oil has been overfilled occassionally, and I suppose that is why the 2 month old spark plug is very dark all over and oily. Problem is that I hit the oil filler tube last year where the bottom of it became dislogged from the engine, and at the same time I lost the o-ring where it fits to the engine. My new o-ring doesn't seem to fit as snug and it leaks oil when running. If you have a suggestion, please offer it.

Thanks for the help.

Engine model # 143.986500, engine family: VTP195U1G1SA, displacement 195.

 
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06-14-10, 07:59 AM   #2  
If it is trying to rip the pull rope out of your hand you have a sheared flywheel key or the blade is not on properly. Have a good one. Geo

 
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06-14-10, 06:29 PM   #3  
How will I know that the flywheel key is sheared, is it obvious? I have read in other posts to take off the engine shroud to be able to look. I will check to make sure the blade is on properly tonight; I may have assumed it was lined up and tightened it up anyways. will buying a new spark plug be advised?
Thank you much!

 
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06-14-10, 07:33 PM   #4  
You do not need a new plug, if the blade is on properly and not slipping on the shaft then you have a sheared key and it is not obvious on Tecumseh engines, some engines you can look at them and see if they have shifted on some Tec engines you can't tell until you remove the flywheel. Have a good one. Geo

Check the photo below, the first shows the key as you look down on it in the flywheel, however the second shows reality.


The second.

 
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06-16-10, 11:25 PM   #5  
Geo,
I got the flywheel off. I rented a 3 prong puller from Autozone ($45, but they will give me a full refund when I return it) and it came off in a snap. Sure enough, the key was broken. Now, I will head to my local True Value to get the key hopefully from their lawn mower repair dept. I tried searpartsdirect for my model and I could not find the right part on their, unless it is named a high pro key. Anyway, I called my local Sears part dist. center with the part number I thought was correct from the searspartdirect.com and she said she couldn't locate the number in her system! aaah!

All in all, your diagnosis was correct. I will let you know if I get it running. Thanks again. Ryan

 
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06-17-10, 06:59 AM   #6  
Sears & Tecumseh part number for the key is 611004

 
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06-28-10, 01:31 AM   #7  
61104 was the correct key number. I bought it at the local lawn mower repair/hardware for $1.60 and it is up and running! Thanks for all your help. Saved me from replacing this mower and spending about easily $250. Ryan

 
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