Engine Starting Problem

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  #1  
Old 05-13-02, 03:45 PM
tdragnes
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Tecumseh lawn mower engine won't start..

I have a Murray 5.0 "Convertible Mulcher" lawn mower with a Vector Pro 5.0hp Tecumseh engine having starting problems.

The lawn mower came with the house that I just purchased and I had used the lawn mower once successfully prior to the current problems.

Here is what happened: After starting the lawn mower and running it for about 2 minutes, it suddenly stopped (I was NOT hitting anything or doing anything else abnormal..). The failure seemed to be electrical based on the sudden stalling, but I first checked the gas to make sure it wasn't out. It turned out that it was pretty low, and I hoped that it was just out of gas. Then I filled up with some gas out of a gas can that also came with the house and started pulling again... No luck.

I now checked the plug (which I replaced with a new one also by the way), and confirmed that I have a spark! Next, I checked and cleaned the carburetor, and found nothing apparently wrong. I then drained and refilled with new gas. Nothing..

When I prime, I get gas flowing into the carburetor. Still won't start. Even when I spray start fluid into the cylinder or air intake, I get no reaction from the this thing.. It just doesn't seem to want to ignite...

My two only guesses at this point is that the timing is off somehow.. (don't know how that would happen but..) or that I have no spark when I install the spark plug (the voltage spike is shorting to something else when I install the plug..)

Keep in mind that the engine was running very nice and smooth just prior to the sudden stop..

I am running out of things to test and check for.. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.

Tom
 
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  #2  
Old 05-13-02, 08:44 PM
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Hi tdragnes!

Does the plug look wet and smell like gas? It may be flooding. The flywheel key could be sheared causing it to be out of time, but usually that only happens when the engine comes to an abrupt stop, like when hitting a stump or root. Check for a flooded engine first.

Another thing, Is it full of oil? Does it seem to spin too easily when you pull the pullcord? If it was out of oil, and the pull cord pulls too easily, then it probably slung a connecting rod. Hold your finger over the spark plug hole while someone pulls the rope, if you don't feel any air trying to push past your finger, then the rod is probably your problem.
 

Last edited by cheese; 05-13-02 at 11:40 PM.
  #3  
Old 05-14-02, 07:35 AM
tdragnes
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Cheese,

thanks for taking the time to reply to my message! I finally found the problem last night. When I studied the plug cable more carefully I noticed a small hole in it close to the plug connector indicating damage from an arc. The plug cable is rather short and is routed across the cooling fins on the cylinder. Sure enough, the hole in the cable lined up with one of the cooling fins.. So, when I installed the plug, the voltage would short through the cable/cooling fin, and not through the plug... When I took out the plug to check for sparks, the cable was moved and everything looked fine.. A little electrical tape solved the problem until I get a new cable.. So simple, yet it cost me a day of frustration...

Tom
 
  #4  
Old 05-15-02, 12:00 AM
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There you go! The little things get the best of us sometimes! Good job!
 
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