Lawn Tractor Craftsman #917.271080 won't start.

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  #1  
Old 01-27-11, 04:49 PM
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Lawn Tractor Craftsman #917.271080 won't start.

Long story. I recently purchased a used Craftsman lawn tractor. I have been through so much frustration with this thing. I hope somebody can help me. Here goes. The tractor won't start. I have replaced the spark plug, new fuel filter, replaced the gas(cleaned out the tank), purchased a new battery.

I did alittle research online and went up to the Sears Parts store and replaced the Soleniod. When I went to crank it after that it sounds as if it won't to start but doesn't. I have read in the forums about the seat switch and the coil.

I am totally confused. But willing to explore all possibilities. Since it is still cold weather outside I have time until grass cutting season starts.

I also notice someting after doing a simple test. I took the spark plug out and still had it attached to the boot. I tried to crank it while the spark plug was next to some metal and I got no spark from the plug so it is not firing at all. That is what prompted me to replace the Soleniod. But nothing.............


It's a Craftsman 16.0 HP Electric Start. model # 917.271080 with a Kohler engine model # CV16S, spec # 43519
 
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  #2  
Old 01-27-11, 05:41 PM
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If the spark plug is actually touching metal on the engine when you are checking for spark, and there is no spark, then unplug the white wire from the coil and try again. If still no spark, the coil is bad. If it does spark with the wire removed, then there are other problems we can help with. If the coil has more than one small wire plugged onto it, let us know.

The solenoid doesn't have anything to do with the plug firing or not.
 
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Old 01-27-11, 05:53 PM
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Thanks for the quick response. I took the coil off and it is pretty rusted. The coil also has the spark plug boot attached to it. I remember the orientation of the wires. I took off the coil thinking there was another way to check it. I will reattach the coil to do that test that you mention. I feel alot better since I have the forum to rely on. I don't feel so alone. I dread taking it to a shop. Saving money is a prority right now.
 
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Old 02-06-11, 12:43 PM
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I finally had a chance to test the coil with the wire removed like you instructed. Even gapped the coil with the magneto. Still no spark. I also jumped the seat switch with a wire between the terminals. I have looked on the Sears Parts and couldn't find a coil. Again Cheese thanks for all your help.


Also the coil does have more than one wire plugged into it. (ground w/ screw(blk), yellow, black)
 
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Old 02-06-11, 05:28 PM
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Ok, since it has more than one wire plugged onto it, I don't think you can check it the way I mentioned. Try with the white wire unplugged from the S.A.M. module where the harness connects to it.

You can't bypass the seat switch by doing that... the connector has an internal switch that prevents bypassing the seat switch.
 
  #6  
Old 02-06-11, 05:35 PM
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Tried with the white wire disconnected. Still no spark.
 
  #7  
Old 02-06-11, 05:39 PM
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Thanks for narrowing it down for me. So we are down to the seat safety switch and the coil. Am I missing anything?
 
  #8  
Old 02-07-11, 12:31 PM
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No, with the white wire unplugged, it removes the safety switches from the circuit. I forget how to check the S.A.M. module though, but they rarely ever go bad anyway. I seem to recall it is a process of elimination rather than an actual test procedure. It's almost always the coil. When you tested with the white wire disconnected, did you reconnect all the other wires? You'll need to if not. Also, since yours has the S.A.M., there are relays under the dash area and if one of those is bad, it won't fire.
 
  #9  
Old 02-09-11, 05:39 PM
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I will check with the wires off. I think I did already but will try again. You mentioned relays, I noticed on the diagram that this unit has (2) interlock switches. Are these the same as the relays that you mentioned? And of course it has the ignition switch. Also is there a way to check the coil without purchasing one? You also talked about the S.A.M Is that the box on the outside of the flywheel housing?
 
  #10  
Old 02-09-11, 07:01 PM
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Yes, the SAM is the box you see. I just looked at your diagram and yours doesn't have the relays. My mistake. Kohler gives some ignition troubleshooting info here, depending on what model yours is: PBS Net-Compass
 
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Old 02-11-11, 09:16 PM
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I checked out the site that you referred me too. It states that I should look for proper fuel delivery. And of course the all mighty safety switches.
 
  #12  
Old 02-12-11, 01:21 AM
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There should be info specific to your engine and how to test the SAM and ignition module. Did you enter your model and spec numbers?
 
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Old 02-17-11, 12:56 PM
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I just replaced the ignition coil (gapped) and still nothing. I checked the choke on the carb. It was stuck so I sprayed some starter fluid it. I also changed out the 30amp fuse. Still nothing. I did notice that there were 3 relays. But I am at a lost. Wow I think it is easier to work on a automobile.
 
  #14  
Old 02-17-11, 01:01 PM
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I saw the 3 box like things tied together with zip ties. I suppose these are relays. They all says 896-1CH-D1 Coil:12VDC. Don't know what these are?
 
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Old 02-17-11, 10:32 PM
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Ok, I thought these models with the SAMs had the relays too, but the wiring diagram on the sear site doesn't show them. Yes, they are relays. Swap them around and see if you get spark. If so, one of the relays is bad. You can pop the top off and clean the points on them to get them working again most times.
 
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Old 02-20-11, 12:49 PM
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I just tried to swap and move around the relays and nothing. Wow this is so puzzling.
 
  #17  
Old 02-20-11, 03:49 PM
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Have you followed the Kohler troubleshooting procedure in the manual for this engine?
 
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Old 02-20-11, 03:54 PM
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Yes. They directed me to the coil replacement. I piped the top on tge relays and they appeared fine. Can it be a fuel delivery issue? Reguardless to whatever it may be, even if I can't find it. I would like to thank you for all that you have advised me on. I feel as if I know that thing inside out. So I thank you!!! Maybe I will take it somewhere or sell it or something. I still have my old reliable push mower.
 
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Old 02-21-11, 12:14 AM
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Ok, let's start over from the beginning. Get a known-good spark plug, make sure it is touching metal on the engine, crank the engine while watching for spark at the electrode (preferably in a dark area so you can see it). Post the results. If the spark plug is not actually touching metal on the engine you will get no spark. If the engine is turning too slowly, you will also get no spark. We can fix this.
 
  #20  
Old 02-23-11, 04:57 PM
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Hi,
I checked for spark in my garage. I turned off all the lights and used a last known spark plug and no spark. The engine is turning strongly also. Thanks again for being patient with me. I feel like i have bought everything in the book. I won't do anything else unless instructed by you.
 
  #21  
Old 02-24-11, 09:45 AM
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Was the white wire unplugged as you performed this test, while making sure all the other wires are plugged in? Are you cranking the engine with the keyswitch and not by jumping the solenoid? Is there any chance you put the new coil on upside down? Is the new coil .010" from the magnet on the flywheel?
 
  #22  
Old 02-25-11, 03:13 AM
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I left all the wires attached while doing this test. I also cranked with the ignition switch key. The new coil was gapped with a business card. Maybe I need to see if I put the coil on upside down.
 
  #23  
Old 03-13-11, 02:38 PM
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Cheese it's been a long time. I had to take a break from it for awhile. I was so frustrated. Now I am back. I just took tge white wire off and tried it. Still won't crank. I all so looked at the way the coil was on it is on correctly. Not upside down.
 
  #24  
Old 03-13-11, 03:06 PM
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Cheese I have replaced everything but the ignition switch and the black starter I guess going into the flywheel. It engages when I try to crank engine. But I have maybe changed things that didn't need to be changed(wasted money).
 
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Old 03-13-11, 07:52 PM
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Did you test the SAM voltage?
 
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Old 03-13-11, 08:16 PM
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No I haven't tested it. Don't know?
 
  #27  
Old 03-13-11, 11:33 PM
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You said you did the test procedure in the kohler manual for your engine, right? Testing the SAM voltage was one of those steps. It tells you what wires to check, what the readings should be, and what is wrong depending on your readings. It's step by step. Too much for me to type here when it's already printed there. www.kohlerplus.com
 

Last edited by cheese; 03-14-11 at 06:48 PM.
  #28  
Old 03-19-11, 06:25 PM
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craftsmans lawnmower won't start either

I just came in from working on my craftsman lawnmower and that has same engine as you described and I have the same problem-engine cranks but won't fire. I bought another mower for parts and have changed the coil, SAM I think(small black box with 5 wires(yellow,brown,black,red,white). I've also swapped the relays around under the steering wheel without success. The white wire that yall have been talking about-is this the white wire on the SAM unit? The coils on both tractors have a yellow and a brownish wire and black wire that goes to ground. thanks in advance for help.
 
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Old 03-19-11, 06:36 PM
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The white wire is the kill wire that eliminates the safety switches and ignition switch from being able to stop it from sparking. If you look up your model and spec numbers from the engine on the kohler site, you can download a manual with a very comprehensive ignition system diagnostic procedure. It tells you where to start, what readings to look for at what points, and where to go for the next step, depending on the results from the previous step.
 
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Old 05-01-11, 06:34 PM
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Cheese

Cheese I am back.

Still have the same problem. I took a break from it so frustrating. I hope that you and your family is okay in responds to the recent tornadoes that have affect the southern states. My family lives in Alabama, but they are okay Thank God. But so many other families have been affected.
 
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Old 05-01-11, 06:53 PM
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Yep, we're ok. Thanks for asking. The storm wasn't bad down here in the southern part of the state. When you get started back on the project, we'll be here.
 
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Old 05-01-11, 07:04 PM
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Need a Miracle!!!!!

Cheese that was super fast I am glad to hear that you and yours are alright. Ok this is where I am on the project. I just went to the garage to check the gas. Still tries to crank, but won't start. I was thinking about the starter. But if it was the starter it wouldn't even turn the flywheel right? That is the only thing that I haven't checked. Also the saftey switch under the seat. I see that the switch under the seat has black electrical tape on the wires. Is there a way to check the seat switch?

Anyway I am just fishing. You are the expert.
 
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Old 05-01-11, 08:13 PM
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Unless you perform the SAM voltage test, and the steps listed after that if necessary, I can't tell you what is wrong. You're going to have to follow the diagnostic steps or just guess until you get lucky. Guessing gets expensive and frustrating really fast.
 
  #34  
Old 12-04-11, 06:58 AM
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Same problem experience....

Just had the same problem you mentioned in your thread here.
There is a small solenoid that lives beneath the carburetor. It has a single wire lead to it, and easily removed from carb. My mower is the same model as yours and it just needed to be replaced after 13 years of faithful service. I cannot claim the honors of discovery here. The hero for my fix was a gent, Charlie, who runs Mower Medic in Maryville, TN who diagnosed and replaced in 1 day. He said it is quite common problem with the Kohler engine of this vintage.

Hope this helps.
 
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