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Old 06-07-2014, 11:04 AM   #1
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lawn mower died, now won't start


Quick rundown of the problem:

- Roughly 10 year old Craftsman LT2000 with a briggs and stratton.
-I was building a new house last year so the mower sat for a year unused
-The lawn was ready to mow this year so i put a new battery and spark plug in it, and it wouldn't start. My father suggested covering the air intake with my hand to give it a better choke (to clear the gunk out) and that worked. I've mowed the lawn twice since then.
- The lawn mower started very hard today, had to sit still and run it on full choke for a while and it was spewing black smoke, backfiring, etc. Was then able to mow without issues.
- Shut it off because a friend stopped by and it wouldn't stop on it's own, it was coughing and backfiring and to get it to shut off i had to choke it out/
- Got it going and it ran fine for a while, then in the middle of mowing it died.
-Now it won't start at all, it's like it's not getting a spark or fuel, it's just spinning. The tank is full of new fuel.

Any suggestions? I was going to try a new plug first thinking maybe the backfiring fouled it but I didn't want to drive the 20 minutes to get one if somebody had another suggestion to try. I pulled the plug and it looks OK but I don't have a way to see if it's sparking.

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Old 06-07-2014, 11:24 AM   #2
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lawn mower died, now won't start


First of all how is your heart. If it is not good I would not try this because you might get a mild shock. To check the spark plug you need to put the wire back on the plug(assuming you took it off to get the spark plug out)and hold the metal side of the plug to something metal on the engine. Pull the cord or turn the key. It is best to try this in a dark area where you can see the spark better. If contact is lost during procedure between the plug and metal you will get a shock but you will know the electric system is working.

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Old 06-07-2014, 11:29 AM   #3
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lawn mower died, now won't start


Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsffrd View Post
Quick rundown of the problem:

- Roughly 10 year old Craftsman LT2000 with a briggs and stratton.
-I was building a new house last year so the mower sat for a year unused
-The lawn was ready to mow this year so i put a new battery and spark plug in it, and it wouldn't start. My father suggested covering the air intake with my hand to give it a better choke (to clear the gunk out) and that worked. I've mowed the lawn twice since then.
- The lawn mower started very hard today, had to sit still and run it on full choke for a while and it was spewing black smoke, backfiring, etc. Was then able to mow without issues.
- Shut it off because a friend stopped by and it wouldn't stop on it's own, it was coughing and backfiring and to get it to shut off i had to choke it out/
- Got it going and it ran fine for a while, then in the middle of mowing it died.
-Now it won't start at all, it's like it's not getting a spark or fuel, it's just spinning. The tank is full of new fuel.

Any suggestions? I was going to try a new plug first thinking maybe the backfiring fouled it but I didn't want to drive the 20 minutes to get one if somebody had another suggestion to try. I pulled the plug and it looks OK but I don't have a way to see if it's sparking.
Sure you have a way to see if it's sparking. Remove the plug, dry electrode with a flame if it looks wet, re-attach the plug wire, ground the side of the plug to the head and crank. One caveat of this method, it won't tell you if the plug will fire under compression.

To check for lack of fuel, remove the air filter and put about a teaspoon ( measured not just dump from the jug ) of gasoline directly in the carburetor throat opening. If the plug has good spark it will probably start and run for a couple of seconds. This will tell you basically there may be a fuel delivery problem to the combustion chamber through normal avenues and the carburetor may need cleaning.
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Old 06-07-2014, 11:39 AM   #4
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lawn mower died, now won't start


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Originally Posted by Robpo View Post
First of all how is your heart. If it is not good I would not try this because you might get a mild shock. To check the spark plug you need to put the wire back on the plug(assuming you took it off to get the spark plug out)and hold the metal side of the plug to something metal on the engine. Pull the cord or turn the key. It is best to try this in a dark area where you can see the spark better. If contact is lost during procedure between the plug and metal you will get a shock but you will know the electric system is working.
In my younger days I just held the plug wire end to see if the mag was good but not any more at my ripe old age. The judgement was how far up the arm the current traveled. Just to the wrist - not too good - if it felt like my elbow joint got knocked half out of the socket - purdy dammmm good -
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