Cannot get Briggs & Stratton to start, and the lawn is growing quickly!


Old 10-14-13, 09:31 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Cannot get Briggs & Stratton to start, and the lawn is growing quickly!

Self propelled walk behind lawnmower

Troy-Bilt Lawnmower with Briggs & Stratton Engine

Engine number 124T02-0464-E1 06092859

Hi everyone, I'm a new homeowner and am quickly delving into many things DIY. I'm new to the forum.

I have owned the above lawnmower for a little over a year, my in-laws gave it to me, at that time the belt for the "self propelled" part of it had broken, I replaced the belt, changed the oil, replaced the spark plug, air filter, and it worked great last summer. Last fall it started to have trouble starting and running. I rebuilt the carburetor and it seemed to fix just about everything.

I moved this summer and added fresh gas to it, and now it barely starts and then cuts out. I will prime it, and it will start after 3-4 pulls, run very rough, so rough that the whole lawnmower kind of rocks back and forth, it will put out little bit of black smoke and then cut off after a total of about 4-5 seconds.

I have since, completely replaced the carburetor, spark plug and air filter again.

It is not runing any better. I tried a bottle of "Start Your Engines" from HD, but it didn't do anything. At this point, the gas in it is now a little over a month old.

Both the old and the new spark plugs if I remove them smell a little bit like gas.

I have been borrowing a friends lawnmower, but would really like to get this one running.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-14-13, 05:04 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 205
First take the spark plug wire off the plug.Tilt the mower on it,s side with the carb up.Check for loose blade,if the blade is tight,check to see if the belt has come off the pulley on the blade adapter.When you said the mower rocks back and forth.Hope this helps

Old 10-14-13, 05:14 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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Have you checked for spark? Take the spark plug out, connect it to the cap/wire and then rest it so the threads are touching the metal of the engine. Pull the cord like you are trying to start it and see if it is sparking. You might need a friend to pull or watch for the spark.

Also check the gap of the plug. Most cases I think it should be about .032"
Old 10-14-13, 06:06 PM
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This engine has the primer only, no automatic choke? Sure sounds like an engine with the autochoke sticking.
Old 10-14-13, 06:08 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 2,365
I think if you will clean the bowl nut(main jet) you will solve your problem, refer to the pic below, 1 hole through the bottom and 1 down the center. Have a good one. Geo
Old 10-14-13, 06:59 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Hi everyone, thanks for the replies!

It's already dark, so I won't be able to do much tonight, but...

jsouth, I have check the blade tightness at my grandfather's suggestion, still tight, and I just ran out and checked the belt, it looks to be on just fine.

Tolyn Ironhand, I have not checked the spark, I don't have the B&S tool, but I should be able to get my wife to help me with just the method where you don't need the tool tomorrow.

Cheese, that is correct there is only the primer, there is no manually adjustable choke.

geogrubb, I hadn't cleaned any of the carburetor, since I bought it brand new, but I'll take it apart tomorrow and give it a good cleaning.

Thank you all again, for your replies, I'll follow up after I've gone through the list of suggestions.
Old 10-19-13, 09:36 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 4

Sorry, I haven't forgotten about your tips. I haven't had time to try them out yet. Thank you for your help so far.

The grass needs to be cut soon, but my wife had a event planned for this weekend that I forgot about, so it will have to wait.
Old 10-27-13, 06:38 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Success! or at least partly

Life calmed down enough, and I was able to go tinker with the lawnmower again. The main jet didn't appear to be dirty, but I cleaned it anyways, there was some crud in the float bowl though, and I removed the fuel line from the tank to where ever it plugs into and cleaned that out as well. It started on the second pull! It ran great for several minutes and I got a good portion of the yard mowed.

However, the grass was so dense and long that it started to bog it down, I helped solve this a little bit by putting the bag on, I normally leave the clippings on the yard, and that pretty much fixed everything. Since the gas had been in the tank for so long, after I was done I let it run empty.

Mostly as it was running down to empty, but also while I was trying to get through dense grass, there was some of the "knocking" noises, and the rocking side to side feeling. I verified this as it was running towards empty, you could see that it was rocking side to side with the "knocking" noise.

I can't complain too much, the grass is cut! But if anyone knows what else I might do to smooth it out, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you everyone for your help and patience.
Old 10-27-13, 07:35 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 2,365
Check the blade it might be loose. Have a good one. Geo

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