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Old 05-22-2010, 10:02 AM   post #16 of 26
bullashe
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Default Re: broke flywheel key on my mower.... TWICE!

check to make sure the washer under the big nut is not cupped to the point of it not putting pressure on the flywheel. when you did get this to start was there alot of excessive vibration? possibility of bent crank also.
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:17 AM   post #17 of 26
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Default Re: broke flywheel key on my mower.... TWICE!

I'm no expert, but I've been told the key is just to line it up, the taper is what holds it. Make sure you have CLEAN OIL FREE flywheel & crank. I remember having a 12hp with a sheared key and oiling it up while i had it apart so it would come off easier the next time. It did come off easier the next time..a few days later.
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:07 AM   post #18 of 26
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Default Re: broke flywheel key on my mower.... TWICE!

time for me to sound dumb,so here goes...is it a big deal to change the flywheel key? i have an old bolens tiller that wont start...friend of mine says its probly the key...i didnt want to admit to him i had no clue where to find that...but i dont.. ..ive tinkered with a lotta equipment,but been pretty lucky where i havent had to tear one down and see whats in there...usually its varnish in the carb and tank or recoil,linkage or cable issues,which i can deal with usually...
cant recall for sure,but i think its a 3 or 3.5 briggs...anyone got a diagram?
P.S.-dont tell anyone i didnt know this
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Old 05-23-2010, 01:34 PM   post #19 of 26
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Default Re: broke flywheel key on my mower.... TWICE!

You're 'secret' is safe with us on MTF. We won't tell.

Once you have removed the large nut holding the flywheel on the shaft, the flywheel itself will have to be coerced into moving (small hammer in the right place) or use a wheelpuller, or a combination of the two. Watch your feet when it lets go.
Key is on the shaft. To replace the flywheel, just reverse the process. Have patience.
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Old 05-23-2010, 04:38 PM   post #20 of 26
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Default Re: broke flywheel key on my mower.... TWICE!

Sheetmetal has to come off first on fan shroud. Sometimes tank has to come off before that or other stuff.

VERY old briggs has left hand threaded flywheel nut, normal stuff comes off the usual way. Impact wrench and socket will eliminate the need to hold flywheel from turning with strategicly placed screwdriver for removal, replace nut with ratchet, possibly torque flywheel nut to specified ft lbs wouldn't hurt when replacing.
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Old 05-23-2010, 05:05 PM   post #21 of 26
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Default Re: broke flywheel key on my mower.... TWICE!

thanks for all the help! as to the order that things happened in, here goes: hit the thing, engine stopped. restarted but didn't sound right (minor knocks/pings in regular intervals). each restart caused it to sound worse (louder knocks). finally it wouldn't start. inspection revealed that the flywheel had spun 90 degrees further than it should've and taken its part of the key with it. bought new key from searsparts.com. I think there was a note about how the original key for my engine was discontinued so I was buying the 'substitute'. I mention this b/c it didn't seem to totally fill the space in the flywheel where it should go, but since I had no other options, I moved forward. put it all back together, and i guess i didn't tighten the flywheel nut enough. the washer was fine. pulled the cord, it started right up but with VERY loud knocks. 5-10 secs later, it shut down and inspection revealed this key sheared and was 90 degrees away from where it should be.

thanks again!
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Old 05-23-2010, 10:21 PM   post #22 of 26
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Question Re: broke flywheel key on my mower.... TWICE!

A feller brought his walk-behind, self-propelled lawn mower to me--said he'd hit a gas pipe in the lawn, and it won't start! So, i checked and the fly key was sheared. Replaced it, and---nothing! Checked fly key again--still ok. Checked blade nut--ok. Blade not bent. Blade nut tight. Finally gave it up. He took it home. I asked him to tell me how they fixed it, if he takes it to a shop. Said he will. Mystified, i am.
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:49 PM   post #23 of 26
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Default Re: broke flywheel key on my mower.... TWICE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by junk_jivin38 View Post
time for me to sound dumb,so here goes...is it a big deal to change the flywheel key? i have an old bolens tiller that wont start...friend of mine says its probly the key...i didnt want to admit to him i had no clue where to find that...but i dont.. ..ive tinkered with a lotta equipment,but been pretty lucky where i havent had to tear one down and see whats in there...usually its varnish in the carb and tank or recoil,linkage or cable issues,which i can deal with usually...
cant recall for sure,but i think its a 3 or 3.5 briggs...anyone got a diagram?
P.S.-dont tell anyone i didnt know this
Don't worry your secret is safe between you and the 36238 other members!! just remember there is no such thing as a dumb question!!!
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:16 AM   post #24 of 26
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Default Re: broke flywheel key on my mower.... TWICE!

Ok, I'm just putting this out there...with only a couple of bearing surfaces, i don't think this can really happen...

I used to drive and fix aircooled VWs.

They only have 3 bearings so it can happen with them for sure.

Anyway, I was driving my '66 Karmann Ghia and suddenly it started knocking something horrible, and the oil light came on.

So I shut it off and pulled over. I was heading to a friends house and was about 2 miles away out in the boonies.
I look at it, and the crankshaft has all sorts of end play, and I know somethings big wrong. Well, I had a few extra blocks and cranks and figured this one was probably junk, so I start it back up and drive the 2 miles with it not sounding very happy. pulled the engine and the crank was broke diagonally, probably in the middle of the second main, though I don't really remember now.

It's POSSIBLE but not probable that you hit something and broke the crank some where odd?? If you can push the blade in & out that would be a big give away.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:53 PM   post #25 of 26
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Default Re: broke flywheel key on my mower.... TWICE!

The timing gear on the crank is also keyed,but I have yet to ever see one broken yet though..suppose anything can happen ,especially with todays cheap junk they mass produce..

Have to be SURE the flywheel key is the correct one on a SEARS push mower with a Tecumseh/Craftsman engine..Sears had them make a "special" key that only fits Craftsman engines,I believe there is more than one style too..
if the key does not fit tightly in the crank and flywheel groove,it'll break again and again in a matter of seconds to minutes..

I had Craftsman push mowers stacked up like cordwood in my backyard years ago because of this--they were the ones most often found in the dump's metal piles or "free" at the curb!..finding the correct keys got to be a pain,so I ended up scrapping many of them,others I "custom made" a key out of steel and told the people buying them they have a "one shot" engine--you hit a rock or stump with it,it's DONE..
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:06 PM   post #26 of 26
jmp14
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Default Re: broke flywheel key on my mower.... TWICE!

all I can say is I did the best I could buying a new key via sears' website and entering in my engine's model #. that said, I was skeptical of the replacement key as it didn't seem to fill the space in the flywheel the exact same way the original did. oh well.
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