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Old 10-14-2008, 04:44 PM   post #1 of 45
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Default craftsman won't crank

Last time I was here, you guys helped me fix my steering. Now I have another problem. My Craftsman will not crank. It is a 6 or 7 year old 18.5 hp craftsman. After I got done mowing the tractor would not start. It seemed like the battery was dead. It gave a slight noise like it wanted to crank. I replaced the battery with a good battery from my other tractor. Same thing happened. Then I out the battery that was from the Sears into the other tractor and it worked fine. Anyone have any ideas? Tractor was running perfect prior to this.

Greg
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Old 10-14-2008, 05:07 PM   post #2 of 45
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Default Re: craftsman won't crank

And the Sears 917.xxxxxx number is?
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:44 PM   post #3 of 45
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Default Re: craftsman won't crank

sorry - forgot that part
917270821
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:54 PM   post #4 of 45
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Default Re: craftsman won't crank

Sounds like a key switch or starter solenoid. With the new battery, is there a clicking sound?
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:58 PM   post #5 of 45
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Default Re: craftsman won't crank

no repetetive clicking sound like a car makes, but a one time light "womp" - and that is it.

Is a solenoid hard to replace?
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:06 AM   post #6 of 45
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Default Re: craftsman won't crank

If you don't have the owners manual, here it is-
http://www.managemyhome.com/mmh/lis_...M/98080210.pdf

Engine is an old Briggs opposed twin (42E707-2631-E1) so we shouldn;t have any valve adjustment issues.

First thing I'd do is remove the spark plugs, ground the plug wires and try to crank it. (You don't want spark if gas comes shooting out)
It sounds like the cylinders may be full of gas from a leaking carb, hydro locking it. IF so, repair carb and change oil

IF that's not it, clean ALL battery/starter solenoid/starter motor cables, including grounds. Make sure engine mounting bolts are snug too.
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Old 10-15-2008, 01:56 PM   post #7 of 45
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Default Re: craftsman won't crank

Bill is correct on that- it should turn over w/o the plugs in.

Ive also had a starter gear break on me- it lodged between the starter/ring gear and motor causing it to lock up- check that as well.
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Old 10-16-2008, 01:28 PM   post #8 of 45
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Default Re: craftsman won't crank

ok, here is a dumb question. How do you ground the plug wires?
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Old 10-16-2008, 02:22 PM   post #9 of 45
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Default Re: craftsman won't crank

I've made up a pair of wires with small alligator clips on the ends.
You could probably reinsert the spark plug into the boot and then try taping them to the block/head out of the way.

OR ground the ignition kill wire-

The main thing is, you don't want spark near the spark plug hole where gas MIGHT come shooting out.

In general, it's not good practice to force an ignition coil to jump an overly wide gap. IF it can't, the HT spark tries to go to the path of least resistance and that can sometimes cause coils to break down internally.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:56 PM   post #10 of 45
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Default Re: craftsman won't crank

Thank you guys for all of your help. I do appreciate it.

OK - I took out the plugs, taped them to the block and still nothing. Only a small "womp". Went underneath and turned the drive gear pulley and the motor spins freely. What should I do next? Solenoid or starter?
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:38 PM   post #11 of 45
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You can try jumping the 2 large studs on the solenoid to bypass it, but I have a hunch the starting motor is bad.
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Old 10-18-2008, 08:32 AM   post #12 of 45
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Default Re: craftsman won't crank

would you mind giving me a step by step on how to do that? Jumping the solenoid I mean.

Greg
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:59 AM   post #13 of 45
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Default Re: craftsman won't crank

A jumper cable for jumping car batteries is probably easiest.

Some people will use an old pair of pliers or similar to bridge the two terminals.
Expect the pliers to possibly get hot and be decisive. You;ll get some arcing. The more timid, the more arcing you'll get.
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Old 10-18-2008, 11:09 AM   post #14 of 45
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Default Re: craftsman won't crank

Nah, just use a screwdriver with an insulated handle (like plastic). My Craftsman has a similar problem (mine's wiring related though) an that's the way I start it.
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Old 10-19-2008, 08:19 PM   post #15 of 45
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Default Re: craftsman won't crank

Quote:
Originally Posted by tractorkid94 View Post
Nah, just use a screwdriver with an insulated handle (like plastic). My Craftsman has a similar problem (mine's wiring related though) an that's the way I start it.

That's like saying, "Of course I have the key Officer, it's this long thingy with the Clear, Red, and Blue striped handle!". ROTFLMAO
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