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Can no longer yank cord on $160 Briggs & Stratton 500Series 22" Gas push mower


MichaelChang's Avatar
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04-11-13, 11:29 AM   #1  
Can no longer yank cord on $160 Briggs & Stratton 500Series 22" Gas push mower

It's a few seasons old, it started happening at the end of last season. I Yank the cord to start it up, it sticks at the beginning. I can sometimes wiggle/play with it until it comes out some more but nowhere near enough the force it would take to crank over the engine.

If it matters it's 158cc

Time for a new mower?

 
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Northern Mike's Avatar
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04-11-13, 11:49 AM   #2  
You probably could simply replace the pull cord recoil and go. Should save you a couple $$

 
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04-11-13, 07:23 PM   #3  
Is the engine hard to turn, or is the cord just hanging up? Could be that the engine brake is still engaged, or there might be oil in the cylinder if it's the engine that's hard to turn.


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

God bless!

 
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04-11-13, 08:01 PM   #4  
my 2 cents........

remove the sparkplug and pull the cord. See if it is still hard to pull. I once had the problem on a Toro and pulled the plug put in some oil and let soak for awhile I then pulled on the cord several times, reinstalled the plug and it has worked ever since with no problems. (knock, knock on wood!!!!).

 
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04-12-13, 06:56 AM   #5  
"Is the engine hard to turn, or is the cord just hanging up?"
It seems like a combination of both but moreso the former since "hanging up" implies it won't go past a certain point but it will, just rarely and slowly .

"Could be that the engine brake is still engaged"
Had no idea it had an engine brake. Where is it and how do I disengage it?

"there might be oil in the cylinder if it's the engine that's hard to turn."
How would I get the oil out of the cylinder?

Once I get my tools back (long story) I'll remove the spark plug and try that method.

Assuming the pull cord recoil isn't readily available at a Lowe's/Home Depot type place the online ordering process will be my last resort.

 
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04-12-13, 09:14 AM   #6  
The engine brake is controlled by the cable that goes to the flip bail on the handlebar. The brake assembly itself is down at the flywheel.

To get oil out of the cylinder, remove the spark plug and crank the engine several times. Usually this happens when the engine is tipped.


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04-16-13, 03:20 PM   #7  
Ok the engine brake seems fine, when I close it to the handlebar the piece next to the engine rotates. I assume if it's locked it would remain in place.

I removed the spark plug and the threading was very oily. But the rope cranked smooth as butter.

I cranked it 10 times, primed it, put the spark plug back in, and the engine started up. A bunch of smoke blew out for the first couple minutes but then that subsided.

The issue of the engine revving up/cutting then slowing/not cutting much then revving back up in a continuous cycle remains. Is this something a new spark plug would resolve?

Thanks guys for the info, this thread saved me $160 along with the PITA of having to go buy the darned thing and assemble it.

 
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04-16-13, 03:40 PM   #8  
Check the air filter....I borrowed a neighbors mower and it did the same thing because the filter was completely clogged.

Engine would build up speed....then due to the restriction it would bog because of being too rich. Once that burned off it would repeat.

Not that that could be the only problem...but just pull off the air filter and cover and try it...if it works...get a new filter or clean the old one...depending on what you have. Paper...buy new...foam...wash in hot water and soap and let dry.


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04-16-13, 07:21 PM   #9  
The big cloud of smoke was oil in the cylinder being burned off. That's why it was hard to turn. If the mower it tilted, oil will fill the cylinder and cause this. The engine surging problem is probably because the carb needs cleaning.


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

God bless!

 
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04-16-13, 10:36 PM   #10  
To solve the problem with the engine surging, revving up and down, is pretty simple.
You need to install a new diaphram kit, it is Briggs part # 795083 or old # 495770 also Lowe's has a kit #5083 which has the same parts.
Here we go:

Remove air cleaner, there are 2 bolts that hold things together, one on the front of the tank 3/8" and one into the block 1/2", remove these bolts, now "slowly" slide the carb/tank off the intake tube and breather tube, now tilt the tank in to release the throttle linkage and waalaa the carb/tank is removed. Check the intake tube to see if the O ring seal and plastic retainer are still on the intake tube, if so remove them and re-install them into the carb. Remove the 5 screws from the carb/tank remove carb(don't loose the spring) now spray all holes, cracks and crevases in both the carb and tank surface with brake parts cleaner, remove the main screen(looks like a thimble), now with a small screwdriver pry out the main jet(carefully) and clean it, check the O ring on the main jet for damage, if it is damaged it must be replaced, reinstall the jet, it can be difficult some times to get it to snap back in place(I use the rounded end of a screwdriver handle). Remove and clean the fuel pickup stem(not necessary if the fuel tank was clean). Clean any junk/rust from the tank. Install the diaphram on the tank then the gasket(no goo or sealer) now carefully replace the carb(the spring will try to misalign the diaphram), tighten all screws a little at a time so as not to crimp the diaphram until they are all tight. Install the carb/tank in reverse order and you are done. If I missed something one of the real mechanics will correct me. Have a good one. Geo

 
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04-17-13, 10:02 AM   #11  
If you need to tilt the mower for any reason always make sure the carb is up, if the carb is down oil from the crankcase can drain through the crankcase vent to the carb and from the carb to the combustion chamber creating your hydrolock problem. Have a good one. Geo

 
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04-17-13, 07:09 PM   #12  
I agree with both of Geo's posts above. My response about a carb cleaning was before I realized that this has a diaphragm carb on it.


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God bless!

 
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04-19-13, 08:53 AM   #13  
I took out the air filter, same build up of speed and slow down cycle. When the air filter case was removed I could see a smaller/fairly complex mechanism moving back and forth in sync with the revving, things are pointing towards replacing the diaphram kit.

By the way, has anyone noticed whether taller grass keep other people's dogs off your lawn better?

 
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