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My Craftsman Riding mower cranks over but won't start. What gives?


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04-30-12, 05:00 PM   #1  
My Craftsman Riding mower cranks over but won't start. What gives?

I have a Craftsman lawn tractor Model No. 917.275661 with a Kolher 20 hp engine. When I pulled it out to start cutting this spring it would run for about 1 minute then abruptly shut down. I would keep starting it and it kept stopping. Finally, it would crank over but not start at all. I've replaced the starter solenoid, battery and the regulator/rectifier, all to no avail. The engine has spark, the fuel pump works fine, compression is good. I've sprayed carb cleaner into the engine. Still no go. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks, Geno

 
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04-30-12, 05:12 PM   #2  
You bought all those parts for this problem? Ouch. None of those will keep it from running.

You said it has good compression, spark, and fuel via carb cleaner sprayed in it. These are the main ingredients for it to run. How do you know the compression is good? You visually checked and verified spark I assume? Have you tried adding a little gas through the spark plug hole and see if it will star and run off of that? Is the carburetor bowl filling with gas?


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04-30-12, 08:39 PM   #3  
I didn't do a compression test on it but just put my thumb over the spark plug hole and cranked it. It blew out pretty strong. I did put a bottle cap amount of gas in the spark plug hole, put the plug back in and cranked it over. It popped twice but didn't actually run. As for the spark plug check, I removed the s.p., hooked it up to the coil wire and laid it on the engine and then cranked it. It sparked great. Per you suggestion, I checked the carburetor bowl and it did have gas in it. However, I'm not convinced the engine is getting gas. I say that because the spark plug was not wet when I pulled it. And, also the carburetor is equipped with a "fuel shut-off solenoid" and I am now wondering if it actually is working. What would you suggest.

 
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04-30-12, 08:59 PM   #4  
Hook up the solenoid, turn the key on, and see if the plunger goes down. If not, you've found the problem. You can usually clean the solenoid with carb cleaner while working the plunger and it will free up.


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Last edited by cheese; 04-30-12 at 09:23 PM.
 
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05-01-12, 08:55 AM   #5  
Cheese,

The fuel shut off solenoid is working properly. Do you have any other suggestions to remedy this mystery? Thanks for your help. Geno

 
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05-01-12, 09:18 AM   #6  
Did a lot of fuel run out when you pulled the solenoid out?


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05-01-12, 10:48 AM   #7  
There was enough gas that came out that I would estimate filled the carb bowl. Geno

 
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05-01-12, 05:13 PM   #8  
Try putting a bit of gas into the spark plug hole and see if it will start and run for a second or two.


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05-03-12, 05:06 PM   #9  
Still doesn't go

Cheese: I took your suggestion to put a little gas in the spark plug hole but it didn't fire at all. Do you think I should circuit test the clutch/brake switch as a possible culpret? Geno

 
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05-03-12, 08:07 PM   #10  
No. Check the flywheel key, I think it has sheared. Either that or it has a valve problem.


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05-04-12, 06:58 PM   #11  
Eureka! It Runs!

Cheese:

Your diagnosis that the flywheel key was sheared was right on! I replaced the key and my mower runs great now. Thanks very much for your advice. Your wisdom and knowledge is appreciated. Geno

 
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05-04-12, 07:20 PM   #12  
Great! Thanks for the update, and glad I could help! Make sure the flywheel bolt is torqued properly (tightened pretty darn good).


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