OT: Damn Lawn Tractor Won't Start

This is somewhat off topic, but I can?t get my lawn tractor to start.
Yesterday it was running fine. It ran out of gas and now won?t start.
It is a 2005 Craftsman Lawn tractor with a 17.5 Briggs & Stratton
engine. Sears wants a hundred bucks to look at it.
Yesterday I filled it up with good gas. I did standard trouble shooting.
It has spark and compression, but doesn?t seem to be getting gas. I
checked the fuel filter to see if it was clogged. Plenty of gas is going
to the carb. I disassembled the carb to blow any crap in the jets and
check the float valve. Everything looks good. A little gas in the intake
and she starts right up, but stops as soon as that gas is used up. The
float bowl has an electronic solenoid. It is getting current and
actuates when it gets current. I am running out of tricks.
Anybody got and idea what the problem is? Something seems to be going on
with the carburetor, but I can?t seem to be able to figure it out. It is
probably something simple.
TIA
Jay Cups
Reply to
JayCups
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"JayCups" wrote: (clip) Yesterday it was running fine. It ran out of gas and now won?t start. (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Everything points to dirt in the carburetor. You took it apart and blew it out, but you must have missed something.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
Crank on it for a bit and then drop the float bowl off of the carb. Gas in the bowl? If not, re-check the float needle valve, and make sure that something hasn't shifted so it's holding the float in the up position.
If there is gas in the bowl, and the solenoid is for sure working, then you have some crud in there somewhere.
Reply to
Bill Marrs
A question was posted on A lawn tractor that won't run and to this I say:
I have A Craftsman garden tractor that is a mid 90's model and if I run it dry I have A hell of a time getting it started so I always make sure I have enough gas in it. To get mine started ,when I ran it dry, I have to prime it. I have a long nozzle oil can of about a quart capacity that I use only for gas. When I need to prime an engine I give the carb about 3 shots of gas while I crank the engine with the choke off. This usually gets the thing popping if there is spark.If it don't pop start your investigation at the spark plugs. Dry?,wet? If the engines flooded spin it over with the plugs out and at least dry off the plugs and better yet replace them.If it starts popping you will need to keep feeding it gas with the can until it runs smooth on its own. I belive it has something to do with the vacuum fuel pumps on these small engines. Once they go dry they don't like to pump until the engine is running at full speed . My engine is A Kohler 18 horse and after the fuel pump croaked for the second time in 5 years(alky fuel eating the diaphragm?) I got smart and replaced it with an automotive style electric pump at half the Kohler price and I haven't had any vapor lock or priming issues since.
Good Luck! H.R. "Get your facts first,and then you can distort them as much as you please"
Mark Twain
Reply to
harleyron
I'd replace that selenoid. You can't be sure it wasn't damaged when the bowl was empty. Usually fuel selenoids are cooled by the fuel flow and they burn up when the engine is cranked without fuel.
starbolin
Reply to
starbolins
Use a can of quality carb cleaner and blow out all the passages and vents you can find. Do not invert the carb as this can cause fuel to travel into a small passage and plug it up.
-Carl
Reply to
Carl Byrns
I just helped my neighbor with the same issue, two things,one, check the fuel filter to make sure it is primed and doesn;t haveair lock. Second, replace the solonoid.
Reply to
pccruiser
Hi Jay,
From what you're saying it sounds like the gas just isn't getting from the tank to the carb? You might be able to take off the gas cap and VERY CAREFULLY use an old rag and air gun to apply a SLIGHT bit of pressure to the tank. If the carb still has the bowl off watch and see if gas comes out okay. Be careful not to blow up the tank!
Many of Sears mowers are made by Husqvarna. If you don't have the manual take a look at the Husqvarna site and see if they have one you can use. For their manual search page see:
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Reply to
Leon Fisk
Thanks for the responses. The plot thickens. The motor has no fuel pump and fuel is fed by gravity. I finally got a spray bottle and filled it with gasoline. I held it over the carburetor and started to spray gas into the carb while cranking. The engine started and I continued to feed it gas from the bottle. After about 45 seconds of running in this way, it started to run on its own. It will now crank on its own with no spray bottle, but it is not running smoothly. It is running very rich. So I have gone from no gas to too much. I know this because when I pull the plug from the fuel solenoid, it will speed up and run smoothly until all the gas drains from the carb bowl. The spark plug is black with carbon I have disassembled the carb. The interior is mostly plastic. The float assembly is injected molded plastic. There is no means to adjust the float level. So I am still screwed. There is no adjustment other than an idle jet that will make 2/3 of a turn.
I sure have learned one thing from this; NEVER ALLOW THAT ENGINE TO RUN OUT OF GAS AGAIN!
Jay
snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:
Reply to
JayCups
Ok. Now we are narrowing it down a little. My money is on dirt in the float valve of the carb. First it was stopped up not letting enough gas through and now there's some dirt on the seat causing it to not shut off.
WARNING. If the float valve does not seat on a gravity feed system the engine will fill up with gas. This will then migrate into the oil thinning it till it won't do it's job. Be sure and check the oil for overfull, being thin, and smell it to see if it smells like gas. Any of the above calls for changing the oil.
Reply to
Wayne Cook
. It is running very rich. So I
You probably have a plugged passage in the carb. Most likely culprit it an itty-bitty (technical term there) air passage that helps to emulsify the fuel by sucking air into it. Get the carb in a good strong light and LOOK. It will be a hole about the size of a gnats A**hole, in either the mainjet to venturi area (high speed), or possible in the throat near the edge of the closed throttle plate(low speed). Whatever carb Tecumseh used was notorious for this problem.
OR--it could be a bad needle/seat or hung/sunk float as others have mentioned. The float went all the way DOWN when it ran out, something might be cocked/hung up.
Reply to
Bill Marrs
What's AYP?
I could have sworn everything is Electrolux now; our GE refrigerator, Frigidaire washer and dryer, and Sears/Husqvarna lawn tractor.
Reply to
Steve Ackman
American Yard Products.
With all the buy outs it hard to tell who owns AYP now. I just know that they're the name of the factory where the mowers are made. All after market parts have the AYP name.
Reply to
Wayne Cook
Hi Wayne,
I picked up the Craftsman-Husqvarna link from this review:
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I had already noticed that the Husqvarna Roto-tillers and Craftsman units were virtually identical some years ago (own a Craftsman). Being kind of in the market for a new riding mower I've been looking around at stuff and this review was still fresh in my mind. I've looked at the MTD lines pretty close and these sure didn't seem to be related to them.
Thanks for the AYP tip/info.
Reply to
Leon Fisk
Interesting.
With the way everybody owns everybody else now days it's hard to say who is the actual owner. A little looking shows that Electrolux probably owns the whole line.
Reply to
Wayne Cook
Hi Wayne,
I had heard this (Electrolux) about Craftsman mowers some time ago but have never pursued it. The biggest hurdle is getting a good manual and parts diagram. The Husqvarna web site has good manuals in pdf format. The ones I've downloaded and looked over even have a wiring diagram/schematic format. This is kind of important to me. I'd like to make a few changes/modifications that aren't too intrusive and could easily be changed back. You can probably guess which electrical mods I would be making :) I'm an old electronics tech, so I could do it without the schematic, but it is a whole lot easier with one.
I really find it annoying with how stingy a lot of manufactures are with their service manuals nowadays.
Isn't Husqvarna a Swedish company? and I believe Electrolux is also. Bah, so I went googling...
It was bought by Electrolux in 1978 and looks like it is still under their control, but has separate stock. See:
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I guess it really doesn't matter a whole lot (other than it isn't MTD). You source/request bids on an engine, transmission, belts, bearings/housings, stamp some metal, inject some plastic in molds voila! one lawn mower to go. Who cares what name is on it...
Reply to
Leon Fisk
I notice two clues on that link... though I'm not positive what it *really* tells us.
AYP (American Yard Products - merged with Poulan) -
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(made by Husqvarna / Electrolux) -
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Reply to
Steve Ackman
Actually what you're wanting just requires cutting one wire most of the time. The other mod requires cutting two and splicing. The trick is knowing which wire. A schematic would be nice alright but I've rarely found one. After working on them for 25+ years I've got a good feel for what wire is the right on most mowers.
Actually I've been rather amazed at how much easier it has become to actually get a parts break down for most mowers in the last couple of years. Before it was nearly impossible but with parts catalogs online it has become much easier. Now trying to understand some of the rather badly scanned break downs is another story.
True.
Reply to
Wayne Cook

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