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Craftsman mower turns over very slowly


GaryBro's Avatar
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07-12-16, 09:40 AM   #1  
Craftsman mower turns over very slowly

I found this forum a bit late. Already replaced the battery and then the starter. It was still turning slowly or not at all. When I found this forum I was excited to learn about adjusting the valves. Well, the exhaust was right at .004 and the intake a bit more. I set the intake to .004 and was hoping for great results. If it is on the compression stroke, it still won't turn over (battery was freshly charged). With 2 or 3 clicks of the starter, it gets past this and fires right up. I did turn it over with the plug out and it spins fine.

What else can I check?

 
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07-12-16, 10:35 AM   #2  
Two things you can check.
1-Make sure the gap between the ignition module and the flywheel is .005-.010 inch. Use a business card if you don't have feeler gauges.
2-Make sure the 12 volt battery has at least the CCA rating specified by the mower manufacturer. A cheap 12 volt battery's terminal voltage drops when a large load, like the starter, is connected.
Good luck

 
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07-13-16, 05:12 AM   #3  
Thank you, I will check those two things.

 
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07-13-16, 07:10 AM   #4  
I assume that you cleaned and snugged the cable connections at the battery and starter when you replaced them, so would also remove, clean, and reconnect the ground connection from the negative battery cable to the frame.

 
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07-13-16, 05:34 PM   #5  
Did you set the piston at 1/4" past top dead center, after the compression stroke, before you set and measured the valve clearance?

 
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07-14-16, 02:05 PM   #6  
Cable connections to the battery were cleaned and tightened sufficiently. Didn't look at the frame connection of the negative side, will have to do that when I check the clearance on the ignition module. I did set the valves with the piston just past TDC on compression stroke.

 
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07-14-16, 04:08 PM   #7  
Set the exhaust valve to zero lash and rotate the engine by hand. Do you see the exhaust valve bump just a tad on the compression stroke? If not, the compression release ont he camshaft is broken.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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07-17-16, 06:29 AM   #8  
Ignition module clearance looked ok, but I loosened it and reset with a business card anyway. Just learned about the bump of the exhaust valve on the compression stroke and will have to check that. The battery is new and has a CCA of 275. Not sure what is recommended as I don't have literature.

Symptoms now are that it won't turn when you turn the key on, it just clicks a little. Doing this multiple times (usually only about 3), gets it spinning and it starts right up. Seems to me that the compression release is not working like it should. Is this a big fix? Engine disassembly?

 
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07-17-16, 07:34 AM   #9  
IMO the battery is too light for that engine. I always replace lawn tractor batteries with at least 360 cca and most of the time 420cca

 
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07-17-16, 12:30 PM   #10  
When it clicks 3 times, does the engine try to turn at all? Absolutely no movement from the engine? Can you see the flywheel move even the slightest bit? If not, the soenoid may not be making connection to the starter. I would try to get an idea if it's an electrical problem or mechanical problem before going any further. Check the compression release. If it's good, go to the negative battery cable wjhere it connects to the frame and other suspect areas. If the comp release is bad, you'll need to replace the camshaft. It runs about $90.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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07-17-16, 04:26 PM   #11  
When it clicks, the flywheel moves a very small amount. When it finally moves, it spins very fast and starts right up. I will try jumping the battery with my car and see if that makes a difference. If it does, then the battery is probably not large enough. Also have to check the other end of the ground cable (forgot to do that) and check to see if the compression release is working (now that I know how to do that). Thanks for all the ideas!

 
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07-21-16, 07:40 PM   #12  
Battery cable negative end was OK. Jumped with car battery and experienced same condition. I'm thinking that it must be the compression release and I'm not going to dump about $100 for a fix to this old machine. Will just live with the multiple key turns when trying to start.

 
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07-21-16, 08:02 PM   #13  
Tighten the exhaust valve lash to zero and it will start much more easily if you aren't going to fix it.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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07-22-16, 09:08 AM   #14  
Ok, Thanks for the information.

 
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