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Old 03-08-2009, 09:08 PM   post #1 of 23
Bullred
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Default Craftsman mower won't start after 2 years.....?

hey all, i got my dad's old Craftsman model 917.377591 6.75 HP 22" power propelled mower. it hasen't been started in 2 years but was kept in a dry shed. i use to go over and cut his grass all the time with it and it always started.

that was 2 years ago, but it appears to still be in good shape.i have replaced the sparkplug gapped at .30 and filter. i primed it 5 times and it sputters but no go. oil is clear and looks good. i filled it with gas.

now i know i need to dump the old gas out and change out the oil. but that shouldn't keep it from starting---i think.

i don't think it's getting a spark for some reason. or the fuel filter(where is this?) is clogged?

i've got the manual but it only helps so much. what else can i try to get it going? thanks
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:15 PM   post #2 of 23
D-Dogg
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Default Re: Craftsman mower won't start after 2 years.....?

First of all, your carb is gummed up if you are lucky, or rusted up if you are not so lucky. If you are lucky, you can pull it, and clean it up with a can of carb cleaner.

Dump that old gas, and remove the plug. Pull the engine over to purge out the bad gas. Clean your plug again, add fresh gas and retry.

You can hold the plug wire slightly off the engine and look for a spark while someone pulls the engine over.

And always use Stabil in all your power equipment year round.
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:49 PM   post #3 of 23
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Default Re: Craftsman mower won't start after 2 years.....?

Your carb is definately in need of cleaning. The jet has some crud preventing it from taking off.

YOU MUST REPLACE THE OLD GAS!! (good advise)

Neal
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Old 03-08-2009, 11:00 PM   post #4 of 23
Bullred
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Default Re: Craftsman mower won't start after 2 years.....?

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Originally Posted by Indy452 View Post
Your carb is definately in need of cleaning. The jet has some crud preventing it from taking off.

YOU MUST REPLACE THE OLD GAS!! (good advise)

Neal
thanks---ok---prolly so after this long. i tried removeing the cover but after 3 screws, something else is holding it. hard to work on it on the ground.(bad knee's)

thanks again.....
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:59 AM   post #5 of 23
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Default Re: Craftsman mower won't start after 2 years.....?

On the cover if you are talking about the Briggs Quantom motor the shrouds have a bent corner that tucks under kinda hard to explain but just munipulate it alittle and it will come loose.As for the carb those motors will clog from trash at the drop of a hat. Clean the carb and always replace needle and seat and you will be fine.Also ALWAYS replace the air box gasket when you do as it seals the filter housing and that is what you need for those engines to prime. Need help let me know.
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:21 AM   post #6 of 23
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Default Re: Craftsman mower won't start after 2 years.....?

My 18 yearold craftman push mover was some times difficult to start. One way I found to get it going was to remove the air filter, insert my propane torch, open the propane value and pull the start rope. It would start right up on propane. When it started to stumble, run roughly, I'd remove the torch and the engine would be running on gasoline. Reinstall the air filter. Worked every time.
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Old 03-09-2009, 02:43 PM   post #7 of 23
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Default Re: Craftsman mower won't start after 2 years.....?

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Originally Posted by wheelhorseman View Post
On the cover if you are talking about the Briggs Quantom motor the shrouds have a bent corner that tucks under kinda hard to explain but just munipulate it alittle and it will come loose.As for the carb those motors will clog from trash at the drop of a hat. Clean the carb and always replace needle and seat and you will be fine.Also ALWAYS replace the air box gasket when you do as it seals the filter housing and that is what you need for those engines to prime. Need help let me know.
thanks wheelhorse. got my avatar up so thats what she looks like. (gonna put a larger pic up shortly.....)

here she is---->http://www.jwweir.com/lawnmower4LARGE.jpg
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:03 PM   post #8 of 23
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Default Re: Craftsman mower won't start after 2 years.....?

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thanks wheelhorse. got my avatar up so thats what she looks like. (gonna put a larger pic up shortly.....)

here she is---->http://www.jwweir.com/lawnmower4LARGE.jpg

That carb just needs a good cleaning.
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:39 AM   post #9 of 23
sharkey
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Default Re: Craftsman mower won't start after 2 years.....?

Hi BR,
I just finished getting a Sears push with a Quantum B&S ready to go that was a gift. 6hp. Same problem as yours. Number 917.388380. Im not real familiar with B&S of this vintage but here is what I found.

You can run your 917 number at the sears website and find the parts schematic. Sears will ship the parts to your local store if you would like.
http://www.searspartsdirect.com/

Primer system uses a gasket that goes between the air box and the face of the carb, part number 795629. This gasket must be good for the primer system to work. You could probably make one from gasket material if you had to. The air from the primer is forced through a duct which is cast into the plastic on the back of the air box. Pretty hokey really.

The air box is held on with three 5/16 or 8mm bolts. The carb is held to the intake pipe with two more bolts which I think were 7/16 or 10mm. Take a piece of paper and draw the linkage positions for the governor rod and spring. 5 bolts and its off.

After the bolts are out, pull the carb toward you and it pulls off the intake pipe. Reset the sealing O ring by pulling it toward you a half an inch once the carb comes off. If that O ring is cracked, you will need a new one. Pull the gas line. Next, the PCV hose pulls off the back of the air box. I found the gas line was rotted and replaced it. I used 1/4 inch fuel hose. There were no extra gas filters on this one that I was working on, just a strainer in the tank.

Once you have the carb off, loosen the brass jet on the bottom and remove the bowl. 1/2inch socket. Work over a basin incase anything falls. The float is plastic, and is held on with a pin. Pull the pin and pick the float straight up off the carb. Put the pin and the needle in the basin. Shake the float near your ear, if there is gas inside you need a new one. When you lift the float off, the needle comes with it out of its seat. The needle rides in a recess that is on the float. Notice the orientation for reassembly. There is another big O ring that goes around the outside edge of the float bowl. If its cracked your going to need a new one.

Use a tag wire or a bread bag wire with the outside covering removed, and run the wire in and out of all the holes. Mine had the pilot jet plugged on the face of the venturi, which is right next to the primer air inlet from the bulb. If yours is like mine, there is a small brass plug with a really tiny hole in it that feeds the pilot jet. Because of the EPA, there are no float bowl vents on these carbs any more, and they use these pilot jets to control fuel flow up to the venturi. Give each hole a good shot of carb cleaner, and the wire treatment. Reassemble in the reverse of how you took it apart.

I found four holes in the bottom brass main jet that holds the float bowl on, of which two were also plugged with organic matter. The holes are so small, again because of the EPA, that almost anything that gets into the fuel system will plug the jets. Wire and carb cleaner to clean them out. Allow everything to dry and reassemble.

While your waiting, dump the old gas and rinse out the tank with a little new gas. Allow the fuel to flow through the tank as it normally would and catch it in a cup. Look for particulate matter, and flush until its clear.

Dont try to run the gas from last season. Dump it into your truck, and go buy fresh. Because of moisture condensation, gas in the small cans doesnt seem to last too long anymore, especially if it sits in the sunlight.

Put the carb back on and use a drop of motor oil on the gaskets and O rings for a good seal. Should fire right up when your done.

Good luck and if you have questions, PM me. Should take you about a half an hour. You can get a new air filter at Sears or one of the box stores. Part number should be B&S 5043 or Sears 491588. Spark plug is J19LM.

Best wishes,
Bob
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:31 AM   post #10 of 23
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Default Re: Craftsman mower won't start after 2 years.....?

Dont buy the parts from Sears they are very overpriced instead get them at any local shop that handles B and S parts.
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:40 AM   post #11 of 23
Bullred
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Default Re: Craftsman mower won't start after 2 years.....?

yea it seems it was hard navigating SEARS website before anyway.

pretty in depth there Sharkey---thanks.

SO FAR--though, i've just pulled off the side of the carb and cleaned out the choke,spring, and all around the outside. i had to replace 2 fuel lines. although one looked like a vaccum line from inside the head to the kill switch cable.(?? whatever it is)

i had a bad hose clip so i lost gas all over the place last night. gonna give it a shot later today after a new clip. at least the gas tank is getting a good cleaning.

i'm hopeing to get lucky with out a major tear-down. if not---i'm real warmed up on this dood.


BTW, i've been meaning to ask of this forum: Does everybody like or prefer Lawnboy's and why? are they more expensive than most?
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:46 AM   post #12 of 23
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Default Re: Craftsman mower won't start after 2 years.....?

That can be a loaded question there Bullred! We just happen to have a cultish type following of many here who have either grown up with or reverted back to one of the finest mowers EVER made due to their lightweight, usually simplistic design, and ease of maintenance(2 cycle) of course. They are/were a breed all their own and once you own 1,2, 25 or more, you'll understand that a 2 cycle Lawn Boy of certain models and years have no other rivalry, hands down!
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:27 PM   post #13 of 23
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Default Re: Craftsman mower won't start after 2 years.....?

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That can be a loaded question there Bullred! We just happen to have a cultish type following of many here who have either grown up with or reverted back to one of the finest mowers EVER made due to their lightweight, usually simplistic design, and ease of maintenance(2 cycle) of course. They are/were a breed all their own and once you own 1,2, 25 or more, you'll understand that a 2 cycle Lawn Boy of certain models and years have no other rivalry, hands down!
well you guys got my attention, no loaded question there. i maybe looking for one.

I'll have to go check the Lawnboy website for self-powered one's......thx

Last edited by Bullred; 03-10-2009 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:32 PM   post #14 of 23
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Default Re: Craftsman mower won't start after 2 years.....?

what do yall think about this Lawnboy. only $269 and self propelled.

http://www.lawnboy.com/productinfo/m...009/10641.html

Last edited by Bullred; 03-10-2009 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:07 PM   post #15 of 23
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Default Re: Craftsman mower won't start after 2 years.....?

I'd buy it. BUT, you could buy a used lawn-boy 2 stroke (for a lot less) and end up using it for the rest of your life. I am still running the mower my Grandfather bought in the late 1970's (my 7229). In my opinion, if you don't mind buying used, a used lawn-boy 2 stroke is the way to go. Go to ebay and or craigslist and look for a duraforce or F powered boy and that would probably more than satisfy your needs.

Bob
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