Craftsman 42" Riding Mower w/ 16HP Honda Engine

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Old 10-15-14, 12:34 PM
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Craftsman 42" Riding Mower w/ 16HP Honda Engine

Hi Folks, I've had my Craftsman Riding mower for about 5yrs now, it's a 917.273800 Older Model. I've had no issues with her the past 5yrs, I faithfully change the oil, filter, etc...just about every season. Anyways I fired her up last weekend and seemed to run fine, however when I engaged the blades it was very slow to kick in and I could tell the engine sounded very weak almost like it was losing power when the blades were engaged. I could clearly tell the RPM's were not what they normally sound when blades are engaged. Now the only thing I had done prior to this that might explain all of this was treat the fuel with Sta-Bil Ethanol Treatment. Could this be the cause? Or is there something bigger looming. I again mowed the lawn this past weekend and the same result, I also on both occasions have heard slight backfires periodically when mowing the lawn. They aren't loud or great but you can hear them subtly. Thanks so much for your time and help in advance!
 
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Old 10-15-14, 02:40 PM
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It would be difficult to say. It wouldn't have done permanent damage. Did you replace the doctored fuel with fresh gas? If so did that fix it?
 
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Old 10-15-14, 05:04 PM
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Sounds more to me like the blade belt isn't engaging well rather than an engine problem. With the engine off, engage the blades and see if the belt is tight.
 
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Old 10-16-14, 06:47 AM
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Thanks for the replies, no I haven't changed out the gas with fresh I guess that is as good as any place to start. I will siphon out the gas and try fresh.

Cheese: I am novice at this for the most part, I assume the blade belt would be down under the deck near the blades? I'll check it out, if for some chance it's loose is that an easy fix to tighten or replace? Thanks so much all for the replies and help!
 
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Old 10-16-14, 09:40 AM
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It will be on top of the deck, not under it. If it isn't getting tight, it might be that the pto parts aren't moving like they should (usually happens when grass gets caked up on top of the deck and left there).
 
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Old 10-16-14, 10:28 AM
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Awesome Cheese, thanks for the heads up I will check it out. Greatly appreciate it!!!
 
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Old 10-20-14, 05:31 AM
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Problem Solved: Cheese you were 100% right, there was so much grass caked up underneath some of it was like cement. I can't believe how much of it was under there. Once I cleaned it completely out it fired right up like it always did. Can't thank you enough for you replies and help, great stuff!!!
 
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Old 10-20-14, 04:33 PM
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Great! Glad we could help!
 
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