Starting Problem

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  #1  
Old 06-29-02, 05:55 PM
Gary's_wife
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Unhappy Huskee Starting Problem

We have suffered with our 1998 Huskee Riding Mower for 2 years now. It has got harder to start each time. We tried new battery, starter, & 2 new solenoids. Jumping use to work but no longer. Thank heavens I found your web site!!! My husband was ready to sell it for junk. I tried e-mailing TSC and Tecumseh but no help. I did a search of your forum and found someone (volleyballspkr) with exact same problem. Bless their heart!! The reply was to adjust the Valve lash because it was to wide to let the compression release work. I want to put my hubby to doing that ASP but how is it done?? I have all my books we received when we bought the mower but I just don't know where to begin. The more details I can get on this procedure the better. Please help I gotta get my yard mowed......
 
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Old 06-30-02, 01:26 AM
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There are several possible reasons for hard starting. The valve lash is one of them. Does your mower try to start, but turn slowly? Or doesn't turn at all?....try to turn? What are your symptoms...specifically? I also need to know what horsepower, make, model engine you have. Different engines have different adjustment procedures. Is it an overhead valve engine?
 
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Old 06-30-02, 06:10 AM
Gary's_wife
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hi thanks for the reply cheese. We have a 1998 42" cut huskee. It has a Tecumseh Engine, model OHV17 spec. # 204605B
When you turn the key it tries to start but it won't turn past the compression stroke. It just gets to that point and no further. If you do get it started it runs fine. I made the mistake of holding the key while it tried to turn over and burnt the starter up. I had done this before and it would grind, stop, grind, stop, and then finally start. But my Hubby had just told me not to do that when smoke came out of the starter. So we got bought a starter but the guy at the repair shop said he has seen several Huskees with same problem. He said he thought the starter was not powerful enough for the motor. But it used to work good when we first got it. This problem has just been progressing in the last 2 mowing seasons. We don't have the money to hire a repair, so our hope is you all can help.
 
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Old 06-30-02, 10:34 PM
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Sure we can help. You are most likely correct in thinking that your valve lash needs adjustment. Before we go into checking that, lets do one small test first. Take the spark plug out, remove it from the wire, tie the end of the wire back away from the spark plug hole so that it wont spark near the hole. Have someone watch while you crank the engine to see if any gas comes out of the spark plug hole. If it turns easily, and no gas comes out, then you will need to check the valves. Let us know what happens!
 
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Old 07-01-02, 03:34 PM
Gary's_wife
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Hi Cheese, We cranked it a little and it was wet in the cylinder. Oh and I forgot to mention this problem was alot worse in cooler weather. On hot days (Over 90 degrees) it would start but the cranking was slower than expected. On cool days(low 70s) you might as well forget it.
 
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Old 07-01-02, 08:48 PM
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Wet with gas? was there a lot, or just wet looking? If there was a lot of gas in it, you have a leaking carb, which will fill the cylinder up with gas. This in turn keeps the engine from turning beyond the compression stroke because the piston can't squeeze the gas like it "squeezes" the air. Did the engine turn over fast and easy with the spark plug removed?
 
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Old 07-02-02, 04:03 AM
Gary's_wife
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The cylinder was damp inside but it didn't run out or anything. My hubby, a while back, when we first started having problems suspected the carb. So he put a gas line shut off on it. Each time we use it we turn the gas off just before turning it off. However it did turn alot easier with the spark plug out.
 
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Old 07-02-02, 05:15 AM
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Hello: Gary's_wife
Hi: Cheese

Based upon all that I read here, the problem could be a valve lash problem or a started motor problem. However, it could be a high electrical resistance problem somewheres within the electrical system too.

Examples:
Battery connection terminals that are corroded, cables and or connections that may be corroded at or on any terminal connection points etc.

A defective key switch etc. Battery drainage during none useage and or any grounding point which may be loose or corroded etc

Wiring connections, solenoid, starter motor, key switch, terminal blocks, fuses and or any number of potential internal or external revolving parts dragging or binding.

If the engine cranks well without the spark plug installed and will continue to crank for several seconds fast, most likely the problem is external. This then brings us back to the valves or compression release mechanism, which may need adjustment or replacement.

Valve adjustments are critical and they must be set correctly. Set in-correctly, the valves will burn-up very quickly and render the engine useless until major repairs are done to them.

Use extreme care adjusting valves. Follow each adjustment step exactly as described in the service manual and double check all work. Done correctly, the engine will provide many more years of reliable service.

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  #9  
Old 07-02-02, 10:29 PM
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Hi Tom!

Gary's-wife, I agree with Tom, I think we've eliminated the possibility of a fuel locked engine. Now we need to determine whether it is electrical, or mechanical. You said you replaced the starter and battery, so I think checking the valves would be the next logical step. It doesn't take much time to do. A service manual and a set of feeler guages will be your needed tools for the job.
 
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