16 HP Briggs spin no start


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Old 06-21-18, 12:16 PM
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16 HP Briggs spin no start

I can't figure this one out. I've got an old Craftsman riding mower, model 917.273351, with a 16 HP Briggs. A few months ago it started and ran fine, now it will not start.


I have replaced the fuel filter, checked the gas, replaced the plug, and checked the air filter. I pulled the plug last night and cranked it up--nice and blue spark. I have tried spraying some starter fluid directly past the carb but it would not even begin to catch. I have pulled the valve cover and the valves look fine. I even turned the motor via hand and watched the valves open and close several times.


I'm tapped out. I can supply pics, video, and frustration. Any ideas?
 
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Old 06-21-18, 04:00 PM
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How long ago exactly is "a few months ago" when it last ran? Most often it is a gummed up carburetor from letting the engine sit. The gas goes bad and forms varnish and gunk that blocks the tiny passages and jets in the carburetor. I am surprised that starting fluid didn't get it to at least fire or sputter a bit if you have spark and saw the valves moving. Did it have a problem or make any usual sounds when run last?
 
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Old 06-21-18, 04:06 PM
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I should have added that. Carb is clean. I did that before starter fluid attempt. Not even a sputter on starter fluid. Mower sat 3 months before trying to crank again. Rank like a tank last time. No noise, no sputtering.
 
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Old 06-21-18, 04:25 PM
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Welcome to the forum davis_lsu,


Do you have a fuel solenoid?

When you pull the spark plug, note the condition, is it wet? oil or fuel, black? carbon or oil..?

When you say you sprayed past the carb? how?
 

Last edited by Shadeladie; 06-21-18 at 06:01 PM. Reason: Removed unwarranted comments
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Old 06-21-18, 04:44 PM
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Not sure if I offended anybody. That certainly wasn't my intention if I did.

The spark is nice and blue. Looks strong. The spark plug is a little wet but nothing bad. It smells like fuel.

I sprayed starter fluid into the air intake past the carb, right behind the air filter. I do not have a fuel solenoid that I know of.
 

Last edited by davis_lsu; 06-21-18 at 04:45 PM. Reason: Adding info
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Old 06-21-18, 05:08 PM
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You did nothing wrong, I'm not sure what that's all about.

Try spraying directly into the throat of the carb while cranking. Does the engine have compression?
 
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Old 06-21-18, 05:34 PM
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Bad day at work, my apologies I deal with an idiot all day, my comment was not directed at you davis

What cheese said, when you said past the carb, I wasn't sure you had the carb removed and .....

Also agree if you have spark and introduced fuel, and the plug is wet, compression is next to check.
 
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Old 06-21-18, 06:07 PM
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Still no luck spraying directly into the carburetor. I'm out of fluid now but I'll get some more this weekend and try maybe a little bit more spray.

Hard to tell about compression. When I turn it by hand, it gets very difficult at what I figure is TDC, but I am able to hear what sounds like pushing air through the intake. Does that make sense? I don't have any type of gauge to check compression...
 
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Old 06-21-18, 06:10 PM
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No worries at all. I spent 8 years as a service advisor at a few dealerships. I remember those days and complaints.....
 
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Old 06-21-18, 09:55 PM
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It sounds like you have compression then. Let's see what happens with spraying into the carb before going further.
 
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Old 06-22-18, 07:14 AM
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Have you tried to put a teaspoon of gas directly into the cylcinder,reinstall the plug and see if it Barks then.
Geo
 
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Old 06-22-18, 12:23 PM
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I haven't put gas directly in the cylinder only because it didn't fire with starting fluid. I'll be working on this tomorrow. I'll be sure to try that also.
 
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Old 06-22-18, 03:47 PM
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Well damn. Fired up with new starter fluid. Maybe what I had was bad. Fired strong and immediate but died in about 3 seconds. So it is fuel delivery then.

Lines free and clear. The fuel will pour out of line from tank to carb so no restriction there, right? If carb was clogged, it would sputter right?

I pulled my parts diagram. I do have a fuel solenoid. Could that have gone bad?
 

Last edited by davis_lsu; 06-22-18 at 03:48 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 06-22-18, 04:11 PM
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So it seems a new fuel solenoid is like $50, but I can get a complete aftermarket carb, with a new solenoid, for under $30.

How are aftermarket carbs in general? At that price, I'd just get the whole thing and keep the old one.

Before I buy one, is there a way I can test for power at the solenoid? I realize that is a super stupid question, but electrical is not my strong point.
 
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Old 06-22-18, 04:28 PM
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You should have two wires to a plug for the solenoid. Remove it, plug it in and turn on the key. Does it retract? click? or measure for voltage on the plug. Many times the plunger gets gummed up and can be cleaned, some plungers will just pull out of the solenoid if not you can also snip the plunger if it is not working.
 
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Old 06-22-18, 06:32 PM
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Pulled solenoid and cleaned it. It was pretty nasty from flood waters last year. Plugged it in and it would cycle with the key. Put it all back and still no luck.

Should I cut the plunger and try again?
 
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Old 06-22-18, 08:08 PM
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No, the carb is clogged. Just pull the bowl off and clean it. If you're considering an aftermarket carb to save money, why not just buy a $5 can of carb cleaner and clean it, that would be the cheapest and fastest way to get it going again. Clipping the solenoid isnt going to fix it and the engine will be backfiring when you shut it off at times, and you'll blow out the muffler, costing even more money.
 
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Old 06-22-18, 09:18 PM
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I must have missed something cleaning it then. I did that at the beginning. Strange that I get nothing through it though. No rough idle, never even sputters on start.

I store it with fuel stabilizer. Pull it down to clean yearly also. Odd...
 

Last edited by davis_lsu; 06-22-18 at 09:20 PM. Reason: Adding info
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Old 06-22-18, 11:39 PM
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Did you make sure the main jet is clear?
 
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Old 06-23-18, 06:10 AM
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Yes. Last time I cleaned it the idle had become rough. Cleaned it really well and idle returned to normal.
 
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Old 06-25-18, 04:45 AM
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Still no luck. There must be something in that carburetor that's clogging it that I can't reach. I think I'm just going to buy a new one. Are the aftermarket carburetors any good?
 
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Old 06-25-18, 10:22 AM
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Hit and miss. Some work, some don't.

You should be able to spray carb cleaner through the main jet and up into the throat of the carb from underneath. If it has a small jet screwed into the side of the stem that the bowl scre goes into, it should allow carb cleaner to spray through it too.
 
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Old 06-27-18, 02:49 PM
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Well I couldn't get it cleaned, so I bought an aftermarket carb off Amazon. Fired right up without issues.

I'm a little embarrassed. I've cleaned that thing dozens of times without issue. Wherever it was clogged, I couldn't get to it. Thanks for the advice. Now on to my next problem, but I'll make a new thread.
 
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Old 07-01-18, 10:05 AM
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New carburetor got it running great. It does idle a little high. How do I adjust that?
 
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Old 07-01-18, 01:10 PM
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Back out the idle screw. It's the one with a spring around it on top of the carb.
 
 

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