Need Help Diagnosing A Stalling Problem With A Briggs & Stratton Engine

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  #1  
Old 07-27-13, 06:23 AM
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Need Help Diagnosing A Stalling Problem With A Briggs & Stratton Engine

I'm trying to help my elderly neighbor fix his 17 Horsepower Craftsman LT1000 riding mower and need some guidance.

The symptoms are very consistent. After mowing for about 15-20 minutes the engine stalls but will either start back up immediately or the engine will fire and try to start then after another try it will start. Sometimes when it stalls and you try to start it, the engine will fire and start but run rough for a few seconds then run fine. It may also stall more if the front of the rider is going downhill slightly, but it will stall on level ground as well.

Originally, I thought it might be an electrical problem but the more I observe the stalling and starting I'm thinking its a fuel problem or it could be both.

This engine has a fuel solenoid on the bottom of the carburetor which makes me suspect that it could the problem but I'm not familiar with how it works.

Here are the engine numbers:

Model - 310707

Type - 0137-E1

Code - 020530ZE

I would appreciate any help I can get in diagnosing and fixing this rider for my neighbor.

Thank you

Dom
 
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  #2  
Old 07-27-13, 07:12 AM
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Check the fuel cap on gas tank to see if vent hole is plugged up,, remove cap and see if it will run longer and better,,,if that doesn't work check fuel flow through filter, if that doesn't work I would say carburetor needs to come apart and cleaned really well. Good Luck.
 
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Old 07-27-13, 07:32 AM
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mowerdude,

Does your response mean that you don't think the fuel solenoid on the bottom of the carb is a possible problem?
 
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Old 07-27-13, 09:13 AM
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Do the simple stuff first,,,,,,,,that fuel solenoid is a anti back fire solenoid has nothing to do with fuel delivery.
 
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Old 07-27-13, 09:27 AM
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that fuel solenoid is a anti back fire solenoid has nothing to do with fuel delivery
I'm far from an expert, but it seems that the "anti-backfire solenoid" works by cutting off the supply of fuel to the engine?

So, my thinking was that if it was defective in some way couldn't it cause the engine to stop running?
 
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Old 07-27-13, 10:59 AM
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The fuel solenoid "could" cause it to stop running, but it is rarely the problem. People are quick to blame it but it's never the problem. It sounds to me like the carb has water in it or trash in it.
 
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Old 07-27-13, 11:41 AM
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I didn't completely disassemble the carb but just took the fuel solenoid and fuel bowl off to check them. The fuel bowl and float and needle valve are squeaky clean. No sediment at all. Fuel flows freely through the fuel filter to the carb. The spark plug is burning perfect.

I made sure the ground for the fuel solenoid was clean and tested it to make sure it activated when 12 volts were applied to it. One thing that surprised me, but may be ok, is that the rubber tip on the fuel solenoid rod just comes off with no resistance.

After checking everything I ran the mower around my lawn until it stalled which was about 15 minutes or so. Then it immediately started up so I took the gas cap off and continued to run the mower until it stalled again within 5 minutes so taking the gas cap off didn't make a difference.

The one constant seems to be that it runs perfectly fine until the engine warms up fully then it starts to stall but starts right back up. It seems to me if it was dirt or grime in the carburetor it would run poorly and stall from start up.

Given what I have described, what else can it be? Where else can I look or what else can I try?

Thank you
 
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Old 07-27-13, 01:22 PM
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What Carburetor do you have ?? Walbro or Nikki?? If it is a Walbro there would be a jet on the inside of the carburetor just above where the fuel solenoid seals off,,did you clean this jet?? If it is a Nikki it may have a broken o-ring under where the needle seats,,,,,,also is there a possibilty that the coil maybe be breaking down when getting hot??
 
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Old 07-27-13, 01:44 PM
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The carburetor is a Nikki.

There's no external coil. Is there one under the tin shielding?
 
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Old 07-27-13, 09:05 PM
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When you had the fuel bowl off, was the fuel running out at a pretty good stream, or was it just dribbling? It could be low volume being delivered to the carb, or it may also be a coil problem.

The trash idea doesn't apply anymore. What I was thinking before you said it was clean, was that sometimes when large pieces of trash are in the carb, they float around a while until they happen to get sucked onto the main jet of the carb and stall the engine. The engine stalls, the trash falls off the jet, then it can start again. So trash in the carb can cause intermittent problems.
 
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Old 07-28-13, 04:57 AM
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cheese,

I drained the tank first before taking the bowl off so I can't say whether it was a stream or dribble. Perhaps I should do a carb rebuild so I can not only examine it more closely but blow out all passages with compressed air.

The idea of a bad coil also crossed my mind based on my years of hands on automotive experience. However, the only thing that doesn't make sense about a bad coil is that when they act up due to heat, the engine usually does not start right away, it needs to cool down for a while first. This engine starts right away. I think because it starts right away after stalling, testing the coil after it stalls probably won't tell me anything.

One thing I didn't mention is that this mower's engine has been acting this way for two years and is only now stalling with greater frequency?

Any other ideas or places to look?
 
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Old 07-28-13, 11:03 AM
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I'd look at volume to the carb. A line could be collapsing, restricting flow to just below what the engine requires. The bowl starts full and gradually gets lower until it stalls. Once it stalls, the bowl is full enough again for it to start right back up. That's my guess at this point.
 
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Old 07-28-13, 11:57 AM
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I'd look at volume to the carb. A line could be collapsing, restricting flow to just below what the engine requires. The bowl starts full and gradually gets lower until it stalls. Once it stalls, the bowl is full enough again for it to start right back up. That's my guess at this point.
cheese, I think you are right. The engine runs too good and starts immediately after stalling so its reasonable to rule out the coil at this point.

I'm going to replace the entire fuel line and see if it solves the problem. Btw, I found a lot of discussion from a few years back on GardenWeb about this exact problem. Most favorable solutions seemed to involve replacing the fuel line, fuel solenoid but mostly the fuel filter.

I'll report back my findings

Thank you.
 
  #14  
Old 08-05-13, 04:32 AM
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I fixed my neighbor's Craftsman riding lawnmower!

It turned out to be the fuel filter.

So I replaced the fuel filter, the entire fuel line and installed a in-line fuel shutoff.

It runs perfect now.
 
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