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mikestorm5 08-17-2013 08:25 AM

Craftsman Riding Mower won't easily start (video)
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so a video must be worth a thousand pictures?

Fresh gas. New sparkplug. New battery. New fuel filter. Clean air filter. Solenoid two years old. Ignition switch two years old. Every week it's a wrestling match, but it does eventually start AFTER flooding and spitting out gas through the front when it finally turns over.

Any insight would be very much appreciated!

EDIT: I think I googled my own answer; the valves need to be adjusted. Top is VERY hard to move by hand at first. I'm going to remove the plug cable to rule out the starter and report back.

PoleCat 08-17-2013 08:48 AM

I notice your tank is higher than the carb + Spitting out gas sounds like the cyclinder is filled with liquid gasoline. Float on carb is not sealing off the flow of fuel. Interim fix is to shut off the fuel when not in use.

TarheelTerp 08-17-2013 09:45 AM

How long has it been since you adjusted the valves?

mikestorm5 08-17-2013 10:22 AM


Originally Posted by TarheelTerp (Post 1230448)
How long has it been since you adjusted the valves?

TarheelTerp, never. I just ran across that video myself an hour ago.

Removing plug and starting, starter spins freely.

So, I went about adjusting the valves. Just finished up, but I'm not sure I did it correctly. Still hard to start but not as hard. Now if I keep the key turned the mower 'powers through' the rotation and turns over but backfires LOUD every time.

I'm pretty sure I did the actual valve adjustment itself correctly (manual calls for .005"-.007" clearance on intake and .009"-.011" clearance on exhaust and I used .006" and .010" respectively), but where I got confused was finding top dead center. I have a feeling I did not do that step correctly, which I would imagine makes the most anal valve adjustment moot.

Any tips or tricks on finding top dead center beyond what's stated in video?

SeniorSitizen 08-17-2013 10:22 AM

One snap shot, worth a thousand words, :laughing: of the engine side where the spark plug is will tell us if the valves need adjusting. I'm thinking not but don't like advising with iffee information.

Already mentioned, possibly gasoline in the cylinder has it hydrolocked. You may be lucky it hasn't caught fire.

mikestorm5 08-17-2013 11:33 AM

Fairview, hood is off. Do you need a pic of the front where it says OHV?

SeniorSitizen 08-17-2013 01:04 PM


Originally Posted by mikestorm5 (Post 1230475)
Fairview, hood is off. Do you need a pic of the front where it says OHV?

No, with OHV visible on the valve cover another pic isn't necessary. But I would address the spitting gas out the front first and then do the valve adjustment.

mikestorm5 08-18-2013 08:34 AM

Ok, had a bit more time this AM and tried again. This time (apparently) I did a better job of finding top dead center. Buttoned it all up again and SUCCESS! In fact I'm stunned at how effortlessly it now turns over.

Regarding the spitting gas, I don't know if I did anything or not, but this doesn't occur anymore either. I think this fixed itself after the first (botched) valve adjustment. I didn't do anything at all regarding the carb so I can't really claim I did anything.

Before: holding key in ignition position would inject a steady stream of fuel through carb into engine despite nothing turning over.

First Attempt at valve adjustment: engine is a bit easier to turn over. Minor wrestling match instead of major wrestling match. HOWEVER fuel situation cleared up???

Second attempt at valve adjustment: Engine turns over the moment I turn the key. Fuel situation remains addressed.

Just wanted to post a follow up and a thanks to all who contributed.

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