Craftsman riding mower won't start

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  #1  
Old 03-27-16, 07:50 AM
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Craftsman riding mower won't start

I have a craftsman 12hp ohv riding mower. the last time i had it running when i shut it off it backfired. it has never done that to my knowledge. this is a new mower to me. i have used it 5 times with no issues starting or running. i say 5 times, i should say 5 days. i have started and shut it off several times each day as i am spring cleaning my lawn. since the last time i used it i went out to start it the next day and it turns over but will not start. i changed the spark plug and noticed it was dry. i have also changed the shut off valve. i was looking around and i saw a bead of gas on the bottom of the high speed mixture screw. i have not went any further as i know next to nothing about small engines. i have been looking online and i have read a tun of different things it "could" be. i do not have a lot of money to put into this so i am hoping someone here would be able to help. thanks in advance. if you need more info just let me know what info and how to find it. also when it is turning over once in a while it will make a Chug like sound. its hard to explain
 
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Old 03-27-16, 09:45 AM
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Might help to post what kind of engine. The only 12hp OHV engine that I can think of on a craftsman would be an old Tecumseh, but that's a really old engine, not sure many are around anymore. Was the bead you saw truly gas? If so, I'd say it's got a bad float or trash in the inlet needle.
 
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Old 03-27-16, 10:11 AM
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I am assuming you have verified spark and gasoline. There is a piece of soft metal that keys the flywheel to the crankshaft. This piece of small metal will partially shear when the crankshaft (and whatever is connected to it) hits a immovable object like a rock, tree root, etc. A backfire will do the same thing. This offset usually changes the timing such that the engine will not start. You have to remove the flywheel and install a new soft metal key. Hope this helps.
 
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Old 03-27-16, 10:24 AM
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the engine is made by tecumseh it is a 4 cycle ultra balance with cast iron bore. and yes it was gas i touched it and smelled and tasted it
 
  #5  
Old 03-27-16, 10:30 AM
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when i am turning the key to start it cranks over 3 - 4 times then "chugs" 3 -4 more times then "chugs". dont know if this helps with finding out whats wrong. any one know of a site with detailed instructions to help walk me thru all this trouble shooting? i am not bad with my hands but like i said i know next to nothing about small engines
 
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Old 03-27-16, 11:27 AM
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Remove the spark plug and turn it over a few times. It should spin freely, also, when doing this watch to see if any liquid is expelled from the cylinder. Also check your oil, is it overfull, smell of gas?
Is the high speed mixture screw you referred to screwed into the bottom of the bowl?
If yes to both, then I definitely agree with cheese.

In my 16 years working on OPE, I have never seen a shear key shear on a riding mower with belt drives.
 
  #7  
Old 03-27-16, 12:18 PM
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yes the screw is in the bottom of the bowl. i will go try what you said. but from everything you guys have said and research i have done i am thinking i need to rebuild or at the least clean my carb. lets hope i can find a how to for that lol. shouldn't be all that hard to do tho.
 
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Old 03-27-16, 12:49 PM
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Once we establish what is needed we can talk/walk you through most procedures you should need to try.

Also, if you can post the model number of your riding mower, should be located under the seat. We can track down the engine specs that way.
 
  #9  
Old 03-27-16, 03:02 PM
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Product - 12 hp lawn tractor
model number - 917.254611
engine model number- 143a06152
 
  #10  
Old 03-27-16, 08:59 PM
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Do you have spark? You can use a spark gap tester (cheap at the parts house) or pull the plug and hold it against the block with a pair of insulated pliers while someone else spins the motor over. You should have spark. If you do, re-install the plug & see if it will kick on starting fluid (ether). If it will, you have a fuel problem. I don't recall you saying anything about a fuel filter, that is something to check too. Cleaning a carb is no big deal, perhaps you can find someone to help you or check YouTube.

TexasFire
 
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Old 03-28-16, 12:40 AM
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I would make sure you don't have a leaking carburetor before checking spark... If you do, you could end up with a huge exploding fireball when you crank the engine with the spark plug out. The carb can leak gas into the cylinder and when you crank it with the plug out, it blows it out in a fine mist, the spark plug sparks, and BOOM. Voice of experience talking...
 
  #12  
Old 03-29-16, 05:56 AM
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Also, no incandescent lights used to give you more visability. Those are also a fire hazard around flying gasoline.

As many know, whenever a liquid hits a lit incandescent bulb, the bulb will usually burst. When that liquid is gasoline, you can many times say good bye to your garage. Just google it if you are not convinced.
 
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Old 04-14-16, 01:24 PM
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ok an update. it got cold out so i was not able to try anything. here is what i have done so far. replaced the spark plug. checked for spark. thats good. cleaned the carb. but i still am not getting gas to the spark plug. i think the next step should be rebuilding the carb? when i had the carb off i checked for holes in the bottom of the carb pan and also in the float. i did not find any holes and when i put the float in water it floated lol. no water got inside and no air bubbles came out. also i have checked the fuel lines and filter all that seams to be just fine. if it helps i found the number on the engine it is 143 406152 SER 0024D
 
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Old 04-14-16, 04:08 PM
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Yep, I think you need to pay the carb some attention and make sure gas can pass through all the intended passages.
 
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Old 04-15-16, 09:37 AM
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any one know a good website to order Tecumseh parts on the cheap side?
 
  #16  
Old 04-15-16, 04:15 PM
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Is there fuel in carb bowl?
 
  #17  
Old 04-19-16, 03:51 AM
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yes it has fuel in the carb bowl. i am buying a rebuild kit tomorrow
 
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