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Craftsman Lawn Tractor with Briggs and Stratton Engine wont start


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12-30-10, 07:42 AM   #1  
Craftsman Lawn Tractor with Briggs and Stratton Engine wont start

I have a craftsman lawn tractor with a briggs and stratton engine. The lawn mower model number is 917.275391. The Engine model # is 31H777 Type 0297 E1. Hoefully that helps. My lawn mower wont start. I have replaced the battery 4 times in the last 2 weeks. When I get a new battery it will start that day, the next day it won't start. It requires a minimum of 230 CCA and it is a U1R. I even used a 340 CCA. If i jump the battery, the tractor will start. I even tried batteries from different places, Home Depot and Sears. When I try to start the tractor it immediately sounds like it is dying a slow death. And if I continue to try it eventually will not really make any effort to start. Can someone please help, and also let me know if you need more info. Thanks everyone for reading my post.

 
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12-30-10, 01:32 PM   #2  
How does it run when it does start? How does the oil look?


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12-30-10, 04:25 PM   #3  
What does it exactly do when you try to start it the next day , completely dead?? binds??? or cranks slowly. if it is the first , it has a massive draw in which I dout, the second the valves are out of adjustment, , the third you may have a bad connection or bad starter, bench charge one of the batteries with a small charger, check the battery cables for corrison and also tighness on the soleniod aswell as the frame where the ground goes., If it starts right up with the charged battery shut it off and unhook one of the cables, there should be no arc when unhooking, DONOT put ure face right in front of it as it could explode if there is a dead short, let me know on how you make out

 
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12-31-10, 12:21 AM   #4  
I suspect the valves out of adjustment rendering the compression release inoperable. If they haven't been adjusted in the past 2-3 years, they probably need it anyway.


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12-31-10, 01:05 PM   #5  
Ok I need to give an update. Once the tractor starts up, it runs great. The oil is good and the gas is good. Today I tried to start it and it won't start, I cant jump it either. It tried to start but just makes a clicking noise, (click click click click), The battery terminals are all good and connections are good. I suspect that it is not the battery and maybe a coincidence that it starts sometimes and not other times. It tried to start today, but then to the clicks. THanks everyone for your replies. Keep helping

 
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01-01-11, 01:24 AM   #6  
Ok, nevermind the valve adjustment. While it may need one, that is not the cause of your problem. The repeating click is low voltage, caused by a low battery. You either have a short draining the battery, the battery is not charging, the connections are dirty/loose, and/or the battery is bad.


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01-01-11, 08:21 AM   #7  
When I test the battery, it has 12.69 volts when sitting and about 9 volts when trying to start. how do i test for a short draining the battery, etc?

 
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01-01-11, 10:31 AM   #8  
Ok, let me verify that the click, click, click is what happens when you turn the key to start one time. In other words, does it click repeatedly when you turn the key one time to start, or does it click once each time you turn the key?

Apparently I'm getting different impressions of what it's doing each time you post.


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01-01-11, 10:59 AM   #9  
Me too.
My thought now, and maybe cheese as well, is solenoid going, or bad connection.


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01-01-11, 11:49 AM   #10  
if the battery has that 12.9 volts sitting , the click click is coming from your solenoid, a very common issue, to test put a screwdriver across the the two big leads and see if it turns over then

 
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01-01-11, 02:21 PM   #11  
Ok sorry about the confusen, let me try and explain better. I try and start the tractor and it is a real fast click click click click until i stop trying to start the tractor. The click is coming from the solenoid. When i try the screwdriver across the two leads it does not turn over, it makes a slight noise but that's it and it does spark. All the conncections seem good. let me know what other info you need and I will try my best to provide it. This is a great help thanks everyone.


Last edited by cmisti66; 01-01-11 at 03:34 PM.
 
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01-01-11, 04:14 PM   #12  
Ok then, it is a voltage issue. Your measured voltages seem to be ok. Where are you measuring this voltage? I think the connections are bad.


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01-01-11, 05:12 PM   #13  
I checked the voltage at the actual battery. I also checked it at the first connection on the solenoid, and it was 12.56 volts. I connected the positive to the solenoid and the negative to the battery terminal, not sure if that is correct. Thanks again, I think we are almost there. If I need to test other things, please be specific, as you can tell, this is not my forte.

 
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01-02-11, 01:04 AM   #14  
Put the positive at the terminal on the starter and the negative on the engine block and check while trying to start, report the reading.


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01-02-11, 05:08 AM   #15  
Quick question, the lead from the solenoid goes to the starter, right? And does it matter where on the engine block I put the negative? Ok, i tried putting the positive on the starter and the pnegative on the front engine block, and my reading when trying to start is about .45. when i connect the positive to the first lead of the solenoid and the negative to the battery terminal I get 12.56. when I connect the postive to the second lead of the solenoid (which goes to the starter) and the negative to the battery terminal, I get no reading. Hopefully some of this helps. thanks


Last edited by cmisti66; 01-02-11 at 05:43 AM.
 
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01-02-11, 11:18 AM   #16  
Have you cleaned and tightened the connections at the battery yet?

Yes, one lead from the solenoid goes to the starter, and no, it doesn't matter where on the engine block you put the negative lead. What you're describing still sounds like loose or corroded battery connections.


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01-02-11, 11:40 AM   #17  
Do you mean the positive and the negative on the battery, if so this is my third or fourth battery that does the same thing. Or do you mean the connections at the solenoid or starter?

 
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01-02-11, 02:26 PM   #18  
Yes the terminals on the battery, even with a new battery, the terminals need to be cleaned. Either a wire brush or lightly scrape the inside of the terminals with a pocket knife of sharp edge until you can see fresh lead.
Same with all other connections, especially both leads that connect to the solenoid. Even if they look clean, remove them and check the underside for blue/green, or just a haze, scrape or wire brush them.
Another major connection is the ground terminal from the battery to the frame. Trace it back to the frame and clean that connection.
Next if no luck, try to connect a jumper from the positive of the battery to the small terminal on the solenoid, the starter should engage. If you have two terminals on you solenoid, one is ground, one wire should be white, jump to the white wire terminal.
If still nothing, try and hook a jumper from the starter case, to ground on the frame, not the engine but the frame or even the ground terminal on the battery. One lead of a jumper cable works well for this.
If still nothing, using one lead of a jumper cable, connect one end to the positive of the battery and then momentarily connect the other end to the starter positive connection.
You might print this and make some notes or....but these checks should have it narrowed down and keep you going for a bit

Good luck and be safe


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01-05-11, 06:17 PM   #19  
Hi,
The easy way to verify this is to remove the plug and stick a finge or thumb over the hole. Have someone hit the starter; broken rod then no compression so it will not attempt to blow your finger/thumb out of hole.
Best route of repair is short block or aftermarket engine. On is cheaper partswise and more labor; the other, engine costs more but the time is cut to 1/3 to 40% for labor.
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01-06-11, 11:12 AM   #20  
huh??? the engine isn't fine...it's the starting system that has problems.


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01-08-11, 09:40 AM   #21  
Ok, I checked and cleaned all the connections from the battery to the solenoid and then to the starter. Still the same thing. The battery tests good. I feel like it is something rather simple but maybe I am not describing the sound it is making good enough. I made a video and posted it on youtube. It is only 22 seconds and it shows the noise that the tractor makes when I try and start it. Hopefully this helps and thanks again. YouTube - What's wrong with my tractor?

 
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01-08-11, 11:02 AM   #22  
Can you put your hand on the solenoid and feel it making that noise? That's a really rapid buzz more than just a clicking noise it sounds like. Can you turn the starter by hand?


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01-08-11, 11:44 AM   #23  
Ok, it is definitely coming from the solenoid. This may be a stupid question but how do i turn the starter?

 
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01-08-11, 04:04 PM   #24  
Try shorting a screwdriver across the solenoid terminals for a second or two. Does the engine try to start then?


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01-08-11, 05:03 PM   #25  
I just get a spark and it makes the slightest, faintest noise that you can barely hear and does not start at all, the flywheel thingy(if that is what its called) turned about 1/8 of an inch at first.. Let me know if I dont explain something good so I can give you a video on it, or if you would rather videos, let me know.

 
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01-09-11, 11:00 AM   #26  
Can you turn the engine flywheel by hand? Still sounds like bad connection.


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01-09-11, 12:35 PM   #27  
Yes I can turn the flywheel by hand, i double checked all my connections and everything seems good, where do I go now?

 
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01-09-11, 12:45 PM   #28  
Posted By: BFHFixit Next if no luck, try to connect a jumper from the positive of the battery to the small terminal on the solenoid, the starter should engage. If you have two terminals on you solenoid, one is ground, one wire should be white, jump to the white wire terminal.
Did you try this? If you do and get the same results, my bet is the solenoid is bad, or the starter gear is stuck in the flywheel.


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01-09-11, 12:49 PM   #29  
So i use the one positive jumper cable and connect it the positive on the battery and the other end goes to the first terminal on the solennoid, where the positive is from the battery? If so that is what I tried and still the same thing.

 
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01-09-11, 12:57 PM   #30  
no,
Not where the positive is from the battery, but the SMALL terminal, where a spade connector is. Any small jumper wire will work for this, battery cable is not needed here.

Use a jumper cable from the battery positive to the starter positive connection.


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01-09-11, 01:07 PM   #31  
So do i remove the white spade connector so I can jump to the metal spade? I only have a jumper cable, is that ok

 
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01-09-11, 01:27 PM   #32  
Yes remove the spade, if you can fit the jumper cable in there without grounding something out....technically yes it will work, but it aint too safe from the sounds of your experience and understanding...sorry just being honest...


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01-09-11, 03:06 PM   #33  
BFHFixit, i dont mind you being honest at all. So the same thing is happening. The gear on the top of the starter is not turning, it trys but the most it moves the flywheel is an 1/8 off and inch. Could it be a starter problem

 
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01-09-11, 04:01 PM   #34  
Ok sounds like it is time to remove the starter and have a look and some tests.


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01-09-11, 04:06 PM   #35  
How can you tell the gear on the starter is NOT turning?
Are you sure it is just not engaging the flywheel and not turning the engine?

That is what it is starting to sound like to me, there was too much echo in your video from the closed up garage and the hood not open....
Have a look at the gear on the starter, it might be stripped or weak or....you can test the starter once removed as well.


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01-09-11, 04:16 PM   #36  
I will post a video by the end of the night. thanks again

 
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01-09-11, 05:24 PM   #37  
I did a second video, let me explain first. When I first try to start it in actually turned the flywheel a few rotations, but that is the first time it has doen that since I started posting. The second time I tried to start the tractor it didnt move. Hopefully the video speaks for itself, here we. Thanks again everyone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIxH4fMy47k

 
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01-10-11, 07:54 AM   #38  
I watched your video. FIRST You have to turn the motor cc to get the starter drive to go bck down ,then If you are sure your battery is good, take a set of jumper cables hook a red end to the starter and then to the pos on the battery, hook the black to the -on the battery and touch it to one of the bolts or nuts that holds the engine down, if it turns its in your wiring, and if it does not may be ure starter. If it does not work unbolt your starer and do it on a bench.

 
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01-11-11, 10:32 AM   #39  
Ok, I brought my starter to a local lawnmower repair shop, and the starter is fine. I was told that the valves need to be adjusted, does this sound accurate? Thanks again everyone, if anything, I am learning a lot from everyone.

 
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01-11-11, 12:00 PM   #40  
If the starter checked out and all connections are good, I say replace the solenoid.
The noise in that video is not caused by valve adjustment.


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