Murray riding mower won't start


Old 04-01-14, 11:31 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 2
Smile Murray riding mower won't start

I bought an old Murray in perfect cosmetic shape and am having no luck getting it running.

Replaced: battery, spark plug, air filter, fuel tank, fuel filter, oil filter, oil

Cleaned carburetor bowl/float and pin. Anti-backfire solenoid clicks appropriately when ignition switch engaged/disengaged. It also gets warm during startup attempts.

I would crank just fine, though sometimes miss and not crank but generally it would crank.

So I tried checking the 3 safety switches with a continuity tester:
- seat OK (continuity on/off with switch movement)
- clutch OK (pairs of contacts work opposite of one another as they should)
- blade OK (pairs work as they should)

Now it won't even crank any suggestions? I'd really like to get this mower up and running.

UPDATE: I traced all the wiring around the safety switches as that was obviously the cause of the mower not cranking anymore. I found a loose wire from tracing all the wiring (orange, under the steering wheel assembly). It cranks again now... but still won't start.

using starting fluid it will run until that burns out, so obviously not getting fuel? Any suggestions?

Last edited by rakoczy; 04-01-14 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 04-01-14, 01:43 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 528
Is there a chance that the new fuel line or filter caused something to dislodge and restrict the flow of fuel. Or the inlet needle on the carb is stuck closed.

If the carb had fuel in the bowl, it should start and run until the fuel in the bowl runs out. If you can't get it to run at all it must be a restriction of fuel to the carb bowl. Are you sure you have the right fuel filter on it now and in the right orientation (if it makes a difference)?

You could try and tap the side of the carb lightly while trying to start it to see if maybe a stuck float/inlet needle might give a small reprieve to some fuel. If you get a hiccup then you know the problem is in the carb. If not, it might be in the carb or the line.

Those are my thoughts.
Old 04-01-14, 04:43 PM
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Take the carb bowl off and see. If it's not getting gas into the bowl, you know there is a delivery problem. If there is fuel in the bowl, the carb is stopped up and needs cleaning.
Old 04-01-14, 05:11 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: USA
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Well, I drained the fuel and removed the anti-backfire solenoid and cleaned it up and it works, the plunger moves as they key is turned. Re-assembled and confirmed plunger moves as I could feel it clicking when I turned the key back and forth.

Any suggestions? Have gone through tune-up, replacement of parts, checking all the cut-offs and solenoid... nothing. Still won't start. Cranks and will run using starting fluid sprayed into air cleaner. Just not on it's own
Old 04-01-14, 06:15 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 528
There has to be an obstruction of the fuel somewhere. You could pull the fuel line from the fuel filter. Let any gas drain out and blow into it and verify that air will flow into the carb. That would eliminate the inlet needle sticking theory. If you could bypass the fuel filter with another fuel line, that would eliminate that item.

I am just guessing here. It has to be something blocking the fuel somewhere between the gas tank and the carb's jet that sucks fuel up to the carb's throat. In your last post where you said you "drained the fuel and removed the anti-backfire solenoid", was that after or before your first post. If the motor is not running and you are sure there is fuel in the carb's bowl then the carb jets must where the blockage is.

Those are my thoughts. You could take the gas tanks cap off to eliminate tank venting but I doubt that is your problem, but easy to do. Good luck.

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