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Old 04-27-2016, 10:32 AM   #1
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Mower Stalled During Mow, Won't Start


I've seen many "mower won't start" posts (I even posted similar 1 yr. ago!) BUT this is a unique circumstance. Toro 20017 Personal Pace / Tecumseh LEV 80-120 Engine. 12 Years old - but still works fine, till now. Was mowing 2nd time this spring. Walking along fence, wheel gut stuck in rut. I tried to lift out but engine stalled. Has not started since. Spark plug and filter new and clean. I did an exterior carburetor clean (sprayed cleaner into hoses exterior holes, wire cleaned holes in lower bolt, but not comfortable taking it apart!) Still no success. What may have happened? (P.S. - Before cleaning I found a tiny spring and clip sitting below the carburetor area, image attached - that can't be good!) Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:47 PM   #2
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Re: Mower Stalled During Mow, Won't Start


Wow, no replies!!! Anyway, spent more time investigating and researching. Is it possible that I sheared the flywheel key? The blades didn't strike anything solid but probable hit the ground when the mower dropped into the rut. That spring and clip could NOT have come from this issue since I moved and tilted the mower many times after the initial stall. They appeared while changing the spark plug and cleaning the carb. Anyone recognize those parts and where they belong?
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Old 04-28-2016, 01:26 AM   #3
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Re: Mower Stalled During Mow, Won't Start


I'm sorry that I cannot be of any more help than this, but here is a link to the repair manual. Maybe the diagrams in there will help you figure out where the extra parts came from. I would look around the carb and linkage to see if I could find where they go as a place to start.

http://www.manualslib.com/products/T...0-3575830.html
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Old 04-28-2016, 03:29 AM   #4
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Re: Mower Stalled During Mow, Won't Start


Posting 15 minutes after the first asking why no one has replied, is not how to get replies. People have lives outside of this site and are not always sitting around waiting for someone to post.

The following are reasons why a mower will not start. Bad gas, Carburetor shot (needs replaced), clogged fuel line, no vacuum for the fuel line at the Primer bulb, because of cracked lines or a bad primer bulb, nicked or torn spark plug wire, bad spark plug, seized pistons because of not checking oil, or hit something that caused the shaft to bed and in turn seizes the piston.

That clip and spring would not be a part of the Carb, since the clip would be normally used for holding on say the filter. The spring could be from the carb, it could be from something else.

Take it into the local small engine shop with those pieces and they can tell you what is wrong.

Some mowers can last decades. Others can last just a few years. I have a mower that is over 12 years old that is still going strong. Regularly maintained.



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Old 04-28-2016, 05:59 AM   #5
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Re: Mower Stalled During Mow, Won't Start


Those look like pieces of the throttle cable and the holding clip for it.

Look to see if the throttle cable is still attached to the carburetor throttle valve.
Also sometimes there is buildup of old cuttings under the mower that someone never cleans out that will bind the blade enough that it cannot get movement to allow the engine to start.

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Old 04-28-2016, 07:57 AM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback. My first and second post were 12 hours apart although my time zone seems to reset itself often so maybe that made the posts appear closer. Those parts definitely appeared after the initial problem. Do the circumstances of what caused the stall rule out the fuel and spark plug issues? The reason for my urgency is that i will need to mow again mid next week so I must decide by then. I don't intend to spend any $ on a repair for a 12 yr old so my dilemma is fix it myself or get a new one and the clock is ticking. I always appreciate feedback from you guys on this site. Sorry if I gave the wrong impression! Thanks again!
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Old 04-28-2016, 10:52 AM   #7
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Re: Mower Stalled During Mow, Won't Start


It is plain on my view that the posts were 12 hr and 15 min apart, I just thought that the complainer was not fully awake at that time and IGNORED the barb.

As I stated inspect the throttle hook up for missing link.


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Old 04-29-2016, 06:49 AM   #8
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Re: Mower Stalled During Mow, Won't Start


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Posting 15 minutes after the first asking why no one has replied, is not how to get replies. People have lives outside of this site and are not always sitting around waiting for someone to post.
Being grumpy towards people with a low post count is a sure fire way to kill a message board and drive away new members. Those posts were 12hrs apart, but if they weren't; surely there was a nicer way to say it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steveromo View Post
Thanks for the feedback. My first and second post were 12 hours apart although my time zone seems to reset itself often so maybe that made the posts appear closer. Those parts definitely appeared after the initial problem. Do the circumstances of what caused the stall rule out the fuel and spark plug issues? The reason for my urgency is that i will need to mow again mid next week so I must decide by then. I don't intend to spend any $ on a repair for a 12 yr old so my dilemma is fix it myself or get a new one and the clock is ticking. I always appreciate feedback from you guys on this site. Sorry if I gave the wrong impression! Thanks again!
Use the manual I linked to and see if you can fix it. Suppose those parts were already loose and are what caused the stall, then fell completely off later? I would at least see if I could make it run again before getting a new mower. The fix may be free. How much is a new mower?
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Old 04-29-2016, 07:17 AM   #9
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Re: Mower Stalled During Mow, Won't Start


Any pics?

+1 on the bad gas assessment is what kills most mowers. Never seen a magneto go bad in all my years, but I am sure that they do. Checking for spark is easy enough.

Check for spark and then you can effectively narrow it down to fuel.
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Old 04-30-2016, 11:18 AM   #10
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Re: Mower Stalled During Mow, Won't Start


If fuel starved, there is air getting into the fuel line. Usually at thr Primer bulb when it happens.

I did not notice the date, which can happen in the database for the board. Sorry for the first part, since it looked like same day.



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Old 04-30-2016, 11:21 AM   #11
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Re: Mower Stalled During Mow, Won't Start


rOckstarr I was actually in a lot of pain when I posted and did not see that they were 12 hours apart.

It was while I was waiting for a shot of Toradol and Norflex, which did nothing.

Just bear with me if I post like that. I did not even know when I posted, thatI had put that in there, until I pulled up thr posts today.



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Old 04-30-2016, 02:07 PM   #12
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Re: Mower Stalled During Mow, Won't Start


UPDATE: Thanks for the feedback so far! I am busy for a few days and will give repair one more try before giving in to buying a new mower (it IS over 12 years old and showing its' age!) Anyway, the spring that I found on the deck of the mower looks an awful lot like a valve spring from the piston cylinder - if so I assume valve arm is broken and all hope is gone. Am I correct? I still want to rule out any simple repairs before "pulling the plug." I doubt that fuel or spark plug can be to blame since it started fine up until the mower hit a rut in the ground. Signs point to sheared flywheel so I removed the cover / bolt to expose the flywheel but I couldn't get it off and ran out of time. I've attached a pic, does it look sheared to anyone? I can try to see if the wheel spins when the shaft is braced to see if it is sheared. Is that a logical test? Since the problem began while in use I assume a mechanical issue rather than any fuel issue. I will spend a few hours Monday making one final exam. Any last suggestions? Thanks again for the replies!
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Last edited by Steveromo; 04-30-2016 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 04-30-2016, 08:37 PM   #13
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Re: Mower Stalled During Mow, Won't Start


You have to use a puller to get the flywheel off. The two pieces would not be from inside the engine. Most likely it is as post #5 states.

If the deck is in good shape, you can just replace the motor. If replacing, a local small engine shop will take the old off of your hands in trade for a new mower.

12 years is pretty good for equipment that is taken care of, before something happens.

If you pull the plug and can cycle the piston with the cord, then the engine may not be shot. It could be carb or magneto.

I would cut the loses, get a new mower or if time is bad with your schedule, find a local neighborhood kid to cut it for you. I made around $50 a week, when I mowed yards in our neighborhood, when I was in high school.



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Old 04-30-2016, 09:02 PM   #14
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Re: Mower Stalled During Mow, Won't Start


It doesn't look sheared from the pic but can't tell for sure. Like Gregzoll says, if you can cycle the engine with the plug out it may be ok. You should also be able to tell if the piston is moving either by sight or a feel it with a thin piece of wire. Depending on the manufacturer, there might be key holding the blade hub to the shaft but I don't know how that would be connected to your no-start problem.
That spring and clip look suspiciously carb-related. The spring is definitely not a valve spring.
I've got 30 years on my Lawnboy push mower and JD lawn tractor so good care has its benefits but at some point ya gotta know when to fold . . .
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Old 04-30-2016, 09:08 PM   #15
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Re: Mower Stalled During Mow, Won't Start


That key way looks ok. Have you tried giving it a squirt of carb cleaner, or gas, directly into the carb to see if it will run at all?
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