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Old 04-17-2011, 07:41 PM   #1
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murray riding mower wont start


Hi all, I need some advice,

My mother has a murray riding mower I am trying to get running so I can cut her grass. She has a Murray 12.5hp riding mower that has been sitting for a couple years. It ran fine when she put it away.

I pulled it out and it was dead. Here is what I did;
- Put in a new battery
- Put in a new spark plug
- Changed Air filter
- Changed fuel filter
- cleaned the battery connectors

The motor acts like it wants to turn over but it won't go all the way. Does it need to be primed somehow? I have no idea how to take a motor apart unless I have a diagram.

I am not a mechanic by any means, so any input would be greatly appreciated. thanks.

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Old 04-17-2011, 07:58 PM   #2
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murray riding mower wont start


Things you haven't mentioned:

Clean all of the battery and starter terminals.
Install new gasoline.
Varify the choke is working properly.
Check for air-lock in fuel line.
Be sure battery is fully charged.

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Old 04-17-2011, 08:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Things you haven't mentioned:

Clean all of the battery and starter terminals.
Install new gasoline.
Varify the choke is working properly.
Check for air-lock in fuel line.
Be sure battery is fully charged.
thanks for the quick reply;
- I bought a brand new battery from the store, I assumed it was charged. I don't know how to check the charge on a battery. The terminals were spotless.
- I did drain the old gas and use new.
- I don't know how to check the choke. When it was engaged it was pushing something on what I think is the carburetor forward. (I watched what it was doing with the engine cover off when I was pushing the lever/choke up and back)
- I don't know what an air-lock in the fuel line is.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:45 PM   #4
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murray riding mower wont start


You may still have bad gas in the fuel line and the float bowl. Not something I'm comfortable giving instructions on if you're not familiar with the process.
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:34 PM   #5
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murray riding mower wont start


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Originally Posted by ColbyZ View Post
thanks for the quick reply;
- I bought a brand new battery from the store, I assumed it was charged. I don't know how to check the charge on a battery. The terminals were spotless.
- I did drain the old gas and use new.
- I don't know how to check the choke. When it was engaged it was pushing something on what I think is the carburetor forward. (I watched what it was doing with the engine cover off when I was pushing the lever/choke up and back)
- I don't know what an air-lock in the fuel line is.
Make sure you are getting spark pull the plug out hold the bottom where the threds are and ture it over look at the gap on the plug to see if it is sparking the gap. If so great take some starting fluid spary it in the spark plug hole turn it over see what happens
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:58 PM   #6
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murray riding mower wont start


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If so great take some starting fluid spary it in the spark plug hole turn it over see what happens
Potato guns are safer.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:16 PM   #7
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Potato guns are safer.
Dude I been doing that for 40yrs never once did something happen other than start alot of motors.... I thought that is what we were trying to do
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:17 PM   #8
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I got some starter fluid and put it in the carburetor. it started and ran for a couple of seconds.

I pinched the fuel line with some pliers and took the bowl off and cleaned it with carb cleaner. it was nasty. It had a thick orangy coating in it.
Based on that I assume the whole carburetor needs to be cleaned?
Possibly new fuel lines?
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:23 PM   #9
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Dude I been doing that for 40yrs never once did something happen other than start alot of motors.... I thought that is what we were trying to do
DUDE...it was a friggin' joke - get a life.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Don Smith View Post
Make sure you are getting spark pull the plug out hold the bottom where the threds are and ture it over look at the gap on the plug to see if it is sparking the gap. If so great take some starting fluid spary it in the spark plug hole turn it over see what happens
I got some starter fluid and put it in the carburetor. it started and ran for a couple of seconds.

I pinched the fuel line with some pliers and took the bowl off and cleaned it with carb cleaner. it was nasty. It had a thick orangy coating in it.
Based on that I assume the whole carburetor needs to be cleaned?
Possibly new fuel lines?
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:59 PM   #11
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murray riding mower wont start


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DUDE...it was a friggin' joke - get a life.
Ok i'll work on that first thing in the morning after I get out of the pool. Let you know how it works out

Last edited by Don Smith; 04-20-2011 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:49 PM   #12
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murray riding mower wont start


Sounds like the carb needs to be cleaned.

My thought was the valve might be stuck but you got it to turn over. I would still be inclined to spray a LITLE WD 40 down the shaft where the spark plug sits.

By the way, ethanol mixes in fuels might be great for the environment and run in cars but they are killer for small engines.

Make sure the spark plug is gapped correctly. If it is off, you are going to get limited combustion.

Have you actually pulled the gas tank and cleaned it?

Last edited by user1007; 04-19-2011 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:58 PM   #13
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You should try a John Deere mower. They seem to always start for me after sitting for a long time unused.

http://www.homeproductsunlimited.com
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ColbyZ View Post
I pinched the fuel line with some pliers and took the bowl off and cleaned it with carb cleaner. it was nasty. It had a thick orangy coating in it.
Based on that I assume the whole carburetor needs to be cleaned?
Possibly new fuel lines?
I wouldn't worry about replacing the lines at this point; not that they couldn't need it, but I've gotten some mowers with pretty gunked up carb's running without changing the fuel lines. It definitely sounds like the carburetor is your primary issue though, so clean as much of it as you can with your spray cleaner, wipe it out good, and see what it does. It would be best to remove the carburetor, but if you do, make sure that you don't damage the gasket that holds it to the engine, and before removing your throttle and choke cables, mark them such that you can put them back exactly as they were. When you look at it, you'll see that they can be adjusted within the clamps that hold them to the carb, and if they don't go back like they are, you will most likely have a new problem.
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:42 PM   #15
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murray riding mower wont start


Cut off switches

I found 2 one under the seat of the Murray 495103 model that is grey and another on the side by the lever to start the blades, this one is hard to disconnect, I had to disconnect this from its place, then hold the button down while turning the engine over, this workes fine, the one behind the seat I disconnected one of the yellow wires, It ran fine now, for a while, the engine has stopped, and will try and clean the carburator, I replaced the cellenoid, starter and the one in the little panel area in front of the seat but hat is not the problem, I update on the carburator project, it seems to flood in the air filter chamber, does any one have any advice ? Or does anyone know of a third cut off switch? thank you Susan

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