Attn "Fish" and Cheese.

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  #1  
Old 05-09-02, 07:46 PM
Joe_F
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Attn "Fish" and Cheese.

Ok gents, this is a good one. Lol

On my way home from picking up pizza, I see this Craftsman. I grab it:

Model #917.384011
Serial # 013305
M042587 (This either means McCrae (Georgia where they are made, or Mfg. Either way it was made on 4/25/87).

This is a 4.0 HP Tecumseh powered 20" unit. It has a brake for the clutch. Looks hokey and troublesome.

Rusty deck. Shouldn't be a problem. I have a 1979 Craftsman deck (that I replaced new in 1986 with my dad when he was still alive) that I could transform this model onto

I seem to have spark, but it seems a bit dry on fuel. I will check the fuel line for restrictions (it felt mushy in a few spots) and just put on a new hose.

I might need to tap into you guys literature/knowledge on it. I would appreciate the support .

This is more of a mental challenge to get it to run. Lol. I have two mowers at each property (here and my grandfather's house a mile away) that run fine .

I want to fix it/perfect it. That clutch brake looks hokey and troublesome.

I can shoot some pictures if you want to see it. It has this funky lever/handle thing. Weird.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-09-02, 10:40 PM
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Hi Joe!

The lever-thing you describe....is it a lever that attatches to the side of the handlebar and bends with the contour of the handlebar and runs about 1/3 of the way across so that it can be held in place while operating? That's all I can picture.

See if you can get it running so you know whether the engine is worth a flip before you go to the trouble of changing the deck. If it has been sitting up for some time, it most likely will need a carb rebuild. (I'm sure you know that, lol. Same thing with cars).

Happy tinkering. Drop in if you need any hints.
 
  #3  
Old 05-10-02, 09:34 AM
Joe_F
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I think it ran recently Cheese.

I think there's goo in the fuel line. Feels funny.

I'm going to shoot some gas into the cylinder and see if it fires. I tried some Gumout for a giggle and I got one small blip of compression. The plug seemed dry to me. Makes me think there's a restriction. I also have to look at how the blower shroud comes off. Then I'll service it if it works to cut my lawn . That's the test.

As for the lever, I recall something at the right side that goes down under the deck. That should be the blade brake. Then there is a another wire that goes under the blower shroud which I think is some kind of cutoff or device for the dead man's bar.

From what I can see I seem to have decent spark. It was getting dark, I was by myself and trying to beat the drizzle we had in NYC last night. Lol.

I'm guessing I can swap to the older deck (which we bought in 1986 because the original 1979 issue deck rotted out) if everything matches up as far as bolt holes go. It seems to be the same thing. Both mowers are 20" cut Craftsman units.

Basically, I have a "rolling chassis" of the 1979 mower. I pitched the engine as I hit a tree stump with it back in 1992 and it was not worth fixing. I was pissed at that! Lol. I replaced that mower in 1992 with another Craftsman.

All of these mowers are "917" models. That means they are American Yard Products machines made for Sears.


Cheese: If you wouldn't mind, pull up the diagram on Sears parts direct (www.sears.com, and then click parts) and have a lookie see for me . Tell me what you think.

Thanks and I'll be in touch.
 

Last edited by Joe_F; 05-10-02 at 09:51 AM.
  #4  
Old 05-10-02, 06:46 PM
Joe_F
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Thumbs up

Partial success.

I got the patient to run. There was crap in the fuel line, so I replaced it. I also noticed that if I squirted fuel into the chamber it would run and die. That told me fuel problem.

Sure enough I took the bowl off the carb and the bowl was loaded with crap. I cleaned it out the best I could and put it back together again.

It will now run longer and sometimes better if you prime it a few times. I got it to where it would stay running. At one point, it ran smoothly for five minutes or so while I was cleaning my tools and putting things away.

Do you guys have anything on the rebuild procedures of the carb you can find for me? I can probably get the kit for free from one of my buddies in the business that I know that handles these items.

Another classy thing: It had an RV17YC spark plug in it. Lol. That's a Chevy V8 plug. I stock a case of J19LMs so I promptly swapped it for the right plug

Here's some more information:

Model of complete Unit: 917.384011
Made on April 25, 1987
Made by AYP for Sears.

Engine Model #143.374402, 4.0 HP, Tecumseh, vertical shaft, 4 cycle motor.

Carburetor #632468.

All of this from the Sears website based on the 917.384011 complete model # shown above.

Thanks guys,
 
  #5  
Old 05-11-02, 12:37 AM
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I haven't had the "pleasure" of running across one of these before. The blade brake is what is unusual to me. Very odd. I looked at the diagram offered by sears.com, and it looks like a plain jane techumseh on it. The carb should be easily repaired. I would replace the float, needle, and seat. The seat is a small rubber "washer" that is just pushed up into place. I use a small screw to remove the old one, and the blunt end of a drill bit to push the new one in. You will probably be best off to soak the carb in a can of chemdip.

The deck you have in mind for this engine should have the same bolt pattern. And the shroud is easily removed with 2 bolts with 3/8ths heads, and 2 screws with 5/16ths heads. Pull the gas tank to gain access to the two 3/8ths bolts.

There are some tiny holes in the bowl nut that must be clean for a smooth idle. Don't overlook them. One is very tiny. Good luck with it!
 
  #6  
Old 05-11-02, 04:12 AM
Joe_F
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You got me thinking now Cheese.

Since you know what runs downstream, I'd bet that there's junk in that bowl nut (It's actually a bolt that screws into the body).

I did get it to stay running at one point for a while. It would just sit there and go, and it was smooth.

I noticed the rubber elbow is torn on the air intake. Right now, I'm running it without an air filter (!!! I Know) until I get it all squared away. A PCV elbow from my stock should fix that broken air intake thingie like new .

Cheese or Fish: Any pictures on the R&R of the carb you can dig up? I would be grateful. I'm going to go look in the Chilton manual on small engines I have as well.

The deck has a little snippet printed on it about the blade clutch/brake. I think what it does is allow the engine to run but the blade stop when you want to empty the bag or clear the mowing path of something. On my later Craftsmans, there is simply the dead man's bar. Releasing it in operation kills the engine. It's like that on my 1992 model and the 1988 model I use at my grandfather's house. All of these are Tecumseh powered AYP mowers. All 20".

I wonder if I can just have the deadman's bar? Heck, I'd rather the thing not run when I'm not operating it. I believe killing the engine when you're not behind it is a better (and easier) design.

I'd bet this mower design (the blade clutch and the annoying flip top catcher) were short lived as the look hokey and troublesome. I'll probably use the simple bag setup on the 1979 chassis I have.

Thanks a bunch and I hope to get it running soon . Any help you can provide would be great.
 
  #7  
Old 05-16-02, 03:47 AM
Joe_F
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I hope to get to this by the weekend and try by cleaning out the carburetor a bit more, including the orifice Cheese mentioned.

Thanks Cheese and I'll report back as soon as I can .
 
  #8  
Old 05-16-02, 05:19 AM
Fisher
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I have pictures of Tecumseh carbs and procedures
but I have no idea how to post them or send them
to you. If you would like, e-mail me direct so I
can send you the pics, then you all can post them
if you want.
Fish
[email protected]
 
  #9  
Old 05-16-02, 09:06 AM
Joe_F
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Thanks Fish.

I sent you an e-mail. I appreciate it.

I'll report back with my findings.

Regards,
 
  #10  
Old 05-16-02, 06:42 PM
Joe_F
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Thumbs up

Gents:

The old chief runs like a champ now. As Cheese correctly stated before, the bowl had more junk in it and the bowl bolt was packed with junk.

I sprayed everything with Gumout and let it soak and it freed up.

I put it all back together and the old chief fired up on the first try and stayed running. If I shut it off, it then started right up.

I will clean it up, service it, and swap it over to the 1979 body as soon as I have a chance.

Thanks for sticking with me on this one fellas

Maybe I'll post a picture of the "finished" project. Lol.
 
  #11  
Old 05-16-02, 11:29 PM
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Good job! It's always nice to take something that would otherwise add to a landfill, and fix it up for a second life. And the best part was it was free! Happy mowing, lol!
 
  #12  
Old 05-17-02, 05:41 AM
Joe_F
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Thanks Cheese for being right on. I plan to do the "body off" restoration this weekend

I think I'll submit the photos to Sears and win another contest as I did with the toolbox

I'll try to take some photos and post them here as well.
 
  #13  
Old 05-19-02, 09:36 PM
Joe_F
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The swap is just about complete gents.

I have to fix one of the handle brackets (put new nuts and bolts) and get a different type of muffler for it. The 1987 deck had a longer "flat" area for the muffler to fit, the 1979 deck used a different muffler and hence the "flat" area isn't as large. I tried to swap the muffler around, but then the carburetor doesn't fit! Lol.

Any ideas? I was thinking of getting a muffler with a tube style inlet or a small round one to clear the deck. I would gather the bolt pattern of most Tecumsehs of this era are the same.

Other than that, some little details here and there and I should be done. Here's a "before" picture of both decks. I'll send a finished photo soon!

Thanks,
 
  #14  
Old 05-20-02, 11:55 PM
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I think the bolt pattern has remained the same on those small techumsehs for the past 30 years. You should be able to find a variety of mufflers that will fit it, just choose the one that fits best.

I didn't see the pic. Seems like a lot of folks have trouble posting pics on here.
 
  #15  
Old 05-21-02, 10:11 AM
Joe_F
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I'll do that Cheese. The muffler had a hole in it anyhow, so it would need to be replaced.

I will probably buy a mulching blade for this one at Sears when the season is out, POR15 the underside of the deck to prevent rust and put it into service. So far I'm into it for under 10 bucks and my time .

Question: I removed the blade brake control and springs during the swap. Will this allow the blade to turn? That clutch looks hokey and troublesome. I would probably eventually hook up a dead man's bar as I like that better .

I'll send you the picture via e-mail when it's all said and done .
 
  #16  
Old 05-21-02, 09:02 PM
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Is the clutch still on the crankshaft with the blade attatched? If it is in the engaged position when the cable is released, then it should work. You might just remove the entire clutch and install a blade adapter from another mower, and attatch the blade in the conventional manner.
 
  #17  
Old 05-22-02, 09:43 PM
josh1
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i think 1/2" pipe threads will fit into the exhaust outlet.. you could use a length of pipe with connector to clear the deck ..then attatch the muffler ( i expiremented with low back pressure exhaust but in the interest of not going deaf i stuck the muffler back on) ----Josh
 
  #18  
Old 05-23-02, 04:03 AM
Joe_F
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I looked at my other Tecumseh/AYP mowers, and I'm pretty sure that a small round muffler will fit and work. I could in theory just try it from the other machine.

If it works, I'll just buy the part # suited for the machine I remove it from .

I'll try to get one this weekend (time permitting) to see what I can do.

Thanks,
 
  #19  
Old 05-23-02, 05:50 AM
Joe_F
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Cheese,

You got me thinking. Now I have to figure out if I removed the cable when it was engaged or not .

I think I'll be able to figure it out. I know it runs, I've gotten that far .

I'll get a muffler hopefully this weekend (have relatives coming in from out of town) and see what I get when I put it together and fire it up again.
 
  #20  
Old 05-25-02, 02:34 PM
Joe_F
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Ok, fellas, here's the deal.

Found a small style Tecumseh muffler and put it on. In fact, put the new muffler on my 1992 machine and transferred the old one to this project, since it's a low budget project.

Noticed that fuel was coming out of the breather elbow and it seemed to fill the cylinder with fuel, making the starter cord kinda jam. A little fuel squirted out of the muffler at the same time.

The primer area seemed to be filled with fuel as I could hear the "squooosh" of fuel when I primed it.

I figure it needs a rebuild, but what gives? Fuel poured out of the inlet to the cylinder head when I pulled it off. I"m going to take it down at work to see what the problem is. Gas is seemingly going where it should not.

Also, Cheese, how does the blade brake work? If I disengage the cable, will it now be free and the motor and blade spin together?

Comments?

Thanks,
 
  #21  
Old 05-25-02, 08:55 PM
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On your fuel problem....the float is either full of gas and needs replacement, or it's stuck, or the seat is leaking. As far as the blade brake, I am not familiar with it. Is it actually a brake, or is it a clutch, allowing the blade to disengage from the engine? If it is a clutch, I would think that when the cable is pulled, the clutch is engaged, making the blade turn with the engine. I would remove all of it and just put a $3.00 blade adapter on it if you are planning to disable it anyhow.
 
  #22  
Old 05-26-02, 08:39 AM
Joe_F
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Will do Cheese.

We have a float test bath at work and I can probably test it there. I plan on disassembling it to clean it anyhow. So, now is a good time to figure out what's wrong inside.

I'll take the float out and put it into the bath and listen for bubbles or fuel sloshing around. My guess is the needle and seat are wiped out.

I'll drain the oil too, likely to be full of fuel at this point too.

As for the blade adapter, how do I know what size I need (and what I need exactly)?
 
  #23  
Old 05-26-02, 01:42 PM
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Hello: Cheese & Joe

Quick note to Cheese:

Hi Cheese, your PM {Personal Message} folder is full and will not accept new messages. I'm attempt to send you one but it fails...

Quick note to Joe:
Hi Joe. I also sent you a PM too. Did you find it?
If so, would you care to reply? Hope so. Be waiting your reply PM.

Thanks.
Tom_B
 
  #24  
Old 05-27-02, 08:53 PM
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Hi Tom! Sorry 'bout that. I cleaned it out so there shouldn't be any more problems. I'll be looking for your message.

Joe.....The blade adapter is the metal piece that fits onto your crankshaft and holds the blade. There will be one on your other mower. You need to get one that fits your diameter crankshaft....probably 7/8", fits your blade mounting pattern, and that extends down far enough to get the blade close to the bottom of the deck. Since this is a "customization", we don't know which one is the correct one, so you may have to test fit 2 or 3 to find the correct one.
 
  #25  
Old 05-28-02, 05:42 AM
Joe_F
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Cheese,

I think I've located some carb rebuilding kits for them . I'll advise on the progress of the patient in the ongoing weeks.

Thanks!
 
  #26  
Old 06-17-02, 02:32 AM
Joe_F
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Gents:

I have not forgotten about this and will keep you posted. I did order and get the carburetor kits for this and will hopefully be rebuilding them in the next couple of weeks.

I'm busy at work (that's where I have the equipment to clean and degunk these carburetors) and have a few things in the way there before I can get to them .

Thanks for sticking with me on it
 
  #27  
Old 06-18-02, 12:15 AM
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Sure, let us know how it goes when you get back to working on it.
 
  #28  
Old 06-21-02, 05:54 AM
Joe_F
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Thumbs up

Cheese and "Fish",

Will do. Thanks for the support.
 
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