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Craftsman Lawn Tractor will not start


butterfly7171's Avatar
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05-15-11, 06:49 PM   #1  
Craftsman Lawn Tractor will not start

I have a Craftsman Lawn tractor Model #917.270850. I am having problems starting it. I have done the following:

Replaced battery
replaced air filter
replaced fuel filter
replaced spark plugs
changed oil
replaced starter
replaced solenoid

the first problem I was having was that the ignition switch would not always start the engine and then I would have to play with it to get it to turn over. I have not replaced the ignition switch.

Then, the other day I turned it off and the fly wheel kept turning on it's own for a few minutes. Started having more problems getting it to turn over.

Then, I ran out of gas while the tractor was on an incline. I filled up the gas and now it will not start at all. It attempts to turn over with no success. After a few tries it just clicks as if draining the battery.

I just tried the solenoid today and that did not change anything. But, I am not at all positive I have the solenoid installed properly. It is a different part than the one I had in there originally.

I know that I need to drain the gas and replace it as it may be a problem with the gas, but before I do that I thought someone might have any other suggestions???

 
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05-15-11, 11:50 PM   #2  
Since you had trouble with the ignition switch that is where I would have started the troubleshooting. I'm thinking that the section of the switch that grounds out the magneto is bad, that could cause the engine to keep running when the switch is turned off and could also keep the engine from starting.

Do you have spark at the spark plug when trying to start?

 
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05-17-11, 03:42 PM   #3  
Craftsman will not start

I am going to replace the ignition switch tomorrow and see if that fixes the problem. The only issue I have is I am concerned the the bad ignition switch fried the new solenoid I put in. Hopefully that is not the case. Will let you know. thanks for the help

 
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05-17-11, 07:40 PM   #4  
The switch shouldn't hurt the solenoid, but if it isn't the right switch, it may have fried the coil. So the mower won't even crank now, and that's why you replaced the solenoid... or???


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05-19-11, 05:33 AM   #5  
Craftsman

I replaced the ignition switch and it did not work. Checked the voltage on the battery and that is good. Voltage on ignition switch is good. Voltage on solenoid from battery to solenoid is good but 0 volts on white wire of solenoid. 0 voltage on starter battery cable at solenoid and starter. PTO switch good voltage at one white wire, 0 voltage at another. Random voltage at the brake switch.

Engine will not attempt to start at all anymore and makes a squealing noise when I try to start it. Tried to jump it with no success. I did try an new starter so that is not the problem. It has been suggested to me that either the PTO or brake switch may be bad. It appears to be an electrical problem and I am at a loss. Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you,

 
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05-19-11, 07:23 AM   #6  
have you run a jumper from the battery positive to the small lug on the solenoid to see it the engine then cranks? What is squealing? Does the engine move at all?

 
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05-19-11, 10:25 AM   #7  
Craftsman

I have not run a jumper from the battery to solenoid. I am not sure how to do that. The engine does nothing at this point. No attempt to start at all. It was attempting to start when I first started this but nothing now. The battery voltage was at 13.25 and is now down to somewhere around 12. Not sure if something is draining the battery. I have replaced everything except for the safety switches and they are next.

 
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05-19-11, 05:45 PM   #8  
You get no voltage at the white wire at the solenoid while cranking, but you hear a squealing noise? Locate the source of this squealing noise.


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05-19-11, 08:03 PM   #9  
the reason to run jumper from battery positive to solenoid is to determine that both solenoid and starter and battery are good, if it cranks, and problem is therefore in safety switches or ignition switch. If no crank then it's battery or solenoid or starter or bad connections to any of them. 12v is getting low for cranking but I have had a battery read 13 and not crank and that battery failed a load test. But I think you said it's a new battery?

 
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05-20-11, 05:59 AM   #10  
craftsman

the squealing noise is coming from the engine.

can someone tell me how to run the jumper to test the solenoid and starter??

I will put a charger on the battery. The battery is new and will get recharged and then when I run these tests putting load on the battery it drains it. Something is draining the battery??

 
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05-20-11, 09:38 AM   #11  
If the engine is squealing and it's not the starter, then you are getting voltage to the coil kill wire and have burned up the coil. Did you get the correct switch for this mower, or just one that looks the same?


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05-20-11, 04:43 PM   #12  
craftsman

I did get the correct ignition switch. Bought it at Sears and gave them the model # of the rider.

I have spent days on this mower and am just about ready to give it up. Looks like I will have to buy a new one.

 
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05-20-11, 06:08 PM   #13  
Is there any way the battery is connected backwards?


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05-22-11, 06:08 PM   #14  
craftsman

I don't think the battery is connected backwards? I have the red hooked to positive and black to negative. I recharged the battery. It was low and that is why the engine was not trying to turn over. So, now I am back to the original problem. It attempts to turn over, the starter pinion engages with the flywheel but does nothing else.
I have cleaned the carburetor, new plugs,,etc...

I wonder if the plugs have no spark? How can I check that? I am not sure how to do that.

Thank you !

 
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05-22-11, 07:04 PM   #15  
So the engine is not turning at all, the starter just clicks and stops? Will it the engine turn by hand?


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05-22-11, 07:13 PM   #16  
Since you have replaced most of the stuff that should make the starter work, & it still doesen't, (Assuming it is an OHV Engine) try adjusting the valve clearance.... If they're loose, the decompressor won't work & it always acts like a dead battery or starter.. Just a thought... Roger

 
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05-23-11, 07:33 AM   #17  
craftsman

checked the spark at both plugs and no spark. It has been suggested to me that it is the ignition coil. Any ideas? Can I install the coil myself? Don't want to spend a fortune having Sears come out. I have replaced everything else, not sure why I can't also replace this??
thanks !
Don't know how to check or adjust the valve clearance. Can you tell me how?

 
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05-23-11, 09:17 PM   #18  
The coil has nothing to do with whether or not the engine turns over. You said the starter engages the flywheel and does nothing else. This means the engine is not turning over. How are you checking for spark on an engine that doesn't turn??? This discussion is all over the place and it's making it hard to help you. A lot of money has been spent shotgunning the problem and it still doesn't run. This is a simple mower with a simple engine... we can help you get it fixed. This engine doesn't have adjustable valves.

If the engine is turning over and you can check for spark, and the engine is turning over fast enough to generate a spark but is not generating one, then remove the kill wire from the coil and re-check for spark. If there is still no spark, the coil is bad. I assume you are grounding the spark plug when checking for spark, right?


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

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