Need help with my POS lawn mower....

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by 2 Sweet, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. 2 Sweet

    2 Sweet Legend

    Well, TWO of them actually.

    One is a Craftsman self propelled push mower made around 2000ish, and the other is a John Deere self propelled push mower from 2010. Both have had recent tune-ups, and both have nearly identical Briggs & Stratton 6.75hp engines. Both are having the exact same symptoms: they won't freakin start.

    The John Deere always ran well, but I noticed it's been getting harder to start the last few times I've used it. It took several hard pulls last time to get it to eventually fire up, but it ran perfect (like always) once it came to life, and didn't skip a beat. Well I tried to mow the grass on Monday and it wouldn't start at all. It seems to come close, then falls on it's face.

    The Craftsman is new to me; it started right up today and ran great at first, but quit on me 5 minutes into the mow. It just sputtered and died and wouldn't start back up. I let it sit for a while and tried again with no luck, and now it's in the same boat as the other one, it tries to start but won't fire up.

    I've checked them both thoroughly. Clean air filters, clean carbs, primers seem to work fine, the brackets on the start cables seem to be engaging properly, the pull cables feel normal. Both have good looking spark plugs. Bowls had fuel in them, filters/floats looked good. I drained the tanks and tried fresh fuel from a new container, and it made no difference. There doesn't appear to be any gaskets or O-rings missing anywhere.

    When I was taking apart the JD earlier this week, I noticed the air filter housing had TWO gaskets on it for some reason, and one of them was really crusty. So I ordered two new gaskets thinking that might be the problem. While I was waiting on those to come in, I figured I would buy another cheap mower (the Craftsman...just got it today from craigslist) and use it for a while, then sell one of them once I fixed the John Deere. HA, so much for that.

    I cleaned the carb thoroughly on the Craftsman and replaced the spark plug, just for the hell of it. Didn't help. I didn't have starting fluid but I dumped fuel into the carb, still wouldn't start. I'm at a loss for words here.

    In summary, I should have just bought a new mower instead of dicking around with old craigslist junk. Lesson learned. But what's done is done, and at this point I just need to get one of these piles running. I suppose should pull the plug and check spark while I try and fire it up, but other than that, I'm dumbfounded. Any ideas?
     
  2. BobbyFord

    BobbyFord Resident Gearhead Contributor

    What type of carbs? I don’t know much about mowers but I just rebuilt mine. The carb diaphragm was blown and a spring was installed incorrectly.
    Mine is 26 years old and it starts on the first pull. Mine still has points.
    I got tips here. Search your brand. These guys know what’s up.
    https://www.lawnmowerforum.com/forum.php
     
    2 Sweet likes this.
  3. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    crappy gas. if you left any in there over the winter your carb is probably screwed. I didn't see by passing the carb with fuel. Try pulling the plug and drizzling some fresh gas in the cyllinder putting the plug back in and firing it and it will tell you if the carb needs cleaning out. Don't put a bunch in there you could hydro lock it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
    Charlie Spencer likes this.
  4. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    another pretty common problem are mouse nests. They get in under the cowling and build a nest. The mower runs fine for a while until it gets hot and starts seizing because the fins are clogged with mouse nest.
     
  5. 2 Sweet

    2 Sweet Legend

    I cleaned the carb thoroughly on the Craftsman and added new gas from a container I just bought today, and it didn't help. The gas I've been using in the JD wasn't very old, maybe a month or so.
     
  6. DUN24

    DUN24 Skeptical of the Spectacle

    I know I’m/we’re no one to talk but.. lawn mower forum? Lmfaooooo
     
  7. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    wouldn't hurt to put a bit directly into the cyllinder and see what it does. could be something in the carb, float, needle and seat could be cocked and flooding out. really tough to keep the idle circuit clean now days. I live in a state where you can get non alcohol gas and that helps a bit. I have 5 mini bikes with Tecumseh and Briggs flat heads and Predator hemi motors on them, so I stay in practice.
     
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  8. BobbyFord

    BobbyFord Resident Gearhead Contributor

    :mad:
     
  9. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    EPA crap like this inside the carb will give you fits. It looks clean on the outside but the passages inside can be clogged.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Johali

    Johali Team Owner Contributor

    That's what the chit chat section is for? :confused: :p
     
  11. Whizzer

    Whizzer Retired entrepreneur

    Try buying gas without ethanol, a couple of gallons at a time then adding Stabil to preserve it. I've found gas with ethanol makes lawn mowers difficult to figure out when they don't run or run crappy. Just a thought but that's what I do with my assortment of gas operated tools. The stuff without ethanol costs about a buck more per gallon but it is a lot less troublesome. And no, adding Stabil to ethanol gas is not the same as using gas without ethanol then adding Stabil.
     
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  12. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    I use Sea Foam in the gas can and a cap full in the tank, I just guess how much to put in.
     
  13. Johali

    Johali Team Owner Contributor

    Hell I use Sea Foam in everything I have that runs on gas. And I mean everything.
     
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  14. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    me too, I have 245 thou on my Dakota, same fuel pump and filters
     
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  15. kyle18fan

    kyle18fan Team Owner

    Use fuel stabilizer religiously
     
    sdj likes this.
  16. BobbyFord

    BobbyFord Resident Gearhead Contributor

    I cut my grass twice a week. No chance for the fuel to go bad.
     
  17. 2 Sweet

    2 Sweet Legend

    Craftsman is fixed! No spark. The ignition coil was bad. Replaced it, and it runs perfect now.

    John Deere still won't start after I cleaned the carb, but it's getting spark, so at least I kind of narrowed it down. I'll get it figured out tomorrow.
     
    TexasRaceLady, BobbyFord and Johali like this.
  18. TexasRaceLady

    TexasRaceLady Admin/TimeOut Monitor Staff Member Contributor

  19. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    I have one of these except mine is orange. Flail mower

     
  20. sdj

    sdj Just a race fan

    Only use NON ETHANOL Boat gas in your small engines, add Stabil to every gallon as recommended. When the season is over and you park the mower the gas will be fine that is left in the tank till next season.
    If you use ethanol gas, drain all out of mower and run the engine till it quits.
    If you do not do this the ethanol gas will screw up your carb every time and gum up all kinds of things.

    Proof: Just one example, When I went to California for 6 years for work, I left my Husqvarna Chainsaw full of boat gas, with stabil in it in Florida. I forgot to drain and run dry. When I got back to home in Florida, I needed to use it and got it out. When I saw it full I thought oh sh!t I am screwed. Took gas cap off smelled gas, smelled like new. Put cap back on choked it pulled the cord three times it was running like new. Nuff said.
     
  21. BobbyFord

    BobbyFord Resident Gearhead Contributor

    What is this, “season is over” that you speak of? :D
     
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  22. TexasRaceLady

    TexasRaceLady Admin/TimeOut Monitor Staff Member Contributor

    Yeah. ROTFL I frequently mow every month of the year.
     
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  23. DSquad48

    DSquad48 Wizard/Mall Santa

    Find any topic on and there will be at least 100 people extremely passionate about it lol
     
  24. sdj

    sdj Just a race fan


    Umm, @2 Sweet is from OHIO (according to his profile)! I do not think you mow snow in the winter months there. :p:D
     
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  25. Johali

    Johali Team Owner Contributor

    [​IMG]

    :D
     
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  26. Bobw

    Bobw Team Owner

    I have a Ben lawnmower, had it going on 7 years. I call and Ben shows up with his crew and 10-15 minutes later the grass is cut, edging, clipping blown off walk and driveway. I write a check once a month. Best investment ever made.:)
     
  27. sdj

    sdj Just a race fan

    Ummm, @2 Sweet stated he had (2) PUSH Mowers, not ZTR's. Kind a hard to plow snow with a push mower don't ya think.;)
     
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  28. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

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  29. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    trade in's?
     
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  30. sdj

    sdj Just a race fan

    ???
     
  31. Johali

    Johali Team Owner Contributor

    :D
     
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