Crafstman 10 HP 42" Mower won't stay started.


Old 05-05-15, 12:07 PM
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Crafstman 10 HP 42" Mower won't stay started.

Hi everyone,

I have about an 8 year old Sears Craftsman 20 HP, 42" riding mower (model 917.275661) which will not stay running, let alone let me engage the blades. It keeps dying.

8 year old Sears Craftsman 20 HP, 42" riding mower.

Engine Kohler Model SV600-0001

model 917.275661

First of all, I now see in the instruction manual that I was suppose to drain the fuel in each off season. I didn't.

Symptoms: Mower will start, but will die immediately when I engage the mower/blades. It will also die if I don't keep moving throttle between high and low. I added new fuel this season, and added fuel additive.

Two years ago I replaced the fuel filter and spark plugs. the clear filter appears very clean still.

My gut says the carburetor needs cleaned. I also now see there is a "To Adjust Carburetor" section in the manual. Not sure where to go from here but am willing to try something that is within my capability.

Please advise and thanks in advance.
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Old 05-05-15, 01:22 PM
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My gut concurs; I would start by cleaning the carburetor. Skip any notion of simply squirting cleaner in the throat; disassemble and clean it good. Before you start, make a sketch of where the throttle, choke, and governor connect, lay the parts out as you disassemble it so that you know where they go, and you won't have any problem. I like to put a dab of paint or even just a piece of tape on the throttle cable so that I make sure to put it back in the same spot in the clamp, and while maybe not necessary, I generally run the adjustment screws in first, counting the turns, easy, don't overtighten, but just to where they seat, so that I have a starting point when I put it back together. Then, once it's clean, and the screws are back to where you started, you can start it up and adjust them as needed.
Old 05-05-15, 01:26 PM
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I think you alluded to a couple important clues. You left gas in it while it sat through winter and you mentioned that it can be kept running if you keep moving the throttle from high and low. I'm thinking the carburetor needs cleaning.

There are videos online that show people cleaning their carburetors. Not all do it the way I would but they will get you there for the most part. Here is a link to a document on the Kohler webpage that might help you get your bearings and see what parts your carb has hiding inside. Taking it apart and cleaning is not really rocket science but it does require you to work sorta carefully methodically. It also doesn't hurt to take pictures along the way or to lay each part out in a row as you take the carb apart so you know how to put it back together.

The one VERY important thing I would do FIRST is take good photographs of all the linkages and springs and how they attach to the carburetor so you can hopefully put it back together correctly. You don't have to hang around this forum for long before someone asks where some spring is supposed to connect. Oddly, I find this harder to remember then where parts go inside the carb.
Old 05-05-15, 02:30 PM
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OK, thank you "aka pedro" and "pilot dane". I appreciate it and I'll look for those Kohler videos on how to clean a carb!

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