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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like the forum here, looks good.
I bought a 30" snapper RER (non electric, pull start only) as new 2 years ago from a snapper dealer. Been great since then.
Two months outta warranty and the thing simply will not start. Pull the cord and the engine turns over but will not fire.
Gas is good, plug's good, clean air filter, in neutral, brake is engaged, ignition. switch is on. Tried all choke speeds. What the heck gives. I'm thinking its a bad switch somewhere. Any help appreciated!
 

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The Magnificent
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See if your dealer will do a "good will" extension on the warranty. You could get lucky.

Have you checked the spark plug to see if you are getting fire?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How do I find out if it's getting fire? I changed the plug 3 months ago and checked it now, clean as can be. thanks
 

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The Magnificent
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Remove the plug, connect theplug wire, and lay the metal part of the plug against the head of the engine. Look for a blue spark at the electrode of the plug as you pull the engine over (you need not pull it too rapidly).

If no spark, I would have a look at your wiring before tearing into the engine covers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I will try that thanks.
Assuming no spark, what should I look for in the wiring? Last I looked it all seemed ok.
Assuming there is spark, what could be the problem then?
 

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If there is spark, i would look at the carb. If no spark i would check the coil ground wire, (if its grounded then its not going to spark).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the help, will try all that tonite.
No love from the dealer for an extension, I know that technically it's not his problem but it's just irritating that this thing should start to act up right as warranty expires. This is my first snapper and I must say that did not leave a good impression. I hope it a quick and easy fix, he will charge $65 just to pick it up and look at it.
 

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The magneto on most engines(if everything is working properly) will fire unless it is grounded out.There are safety switches that make the mower inoperable by grounding out the mag.Assuming yours is a series 23 with the Briggs 9 or 10 HP engine,the mag grounds from the ignition switch or the safety switches through the module or the ign. switch.The ign. ground connects near the throttle.CAUTION this is a testing procedure and I, or no one on this forum will advise you to operate equipment with safeties dis-connected, dis- connect the ign. ground wire,and see if the engine will start,if it does the trouble is a safety switch module or wiring shorting to ground. If the engine starts the only way to stop it is to re-connect the ground wire ,shut off the fuel ,pull off the spark plug wire,or maybe put on the choke. be double sure the mower is in neutral and the area in front is clear. if the engine does not start or make a strong blue spark then the trouble may be in the engine mag or wiring.Trouble shooting the safeties is another chapter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes thanks I didn't mention I have the 30115BV with the 11.5 horse briggs, which is the same model they still sell. So I think your advice would apply to mine as well.
 

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try the coil maybe its bad.. and on the snappers (the older ones) twhen you take it out of engagment (when you stop cutting grass) make sure its fully out of engagment. or it will not start its a safty feature. and pull the plug out of the motor. stick it back in the rubber boot hold the rubber boot and put the plug to metal and pull if you see a blue spark you have spark.
 

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I forgot Snapper stopped using "series numbers" after 23.Yours is a little different from the 23 but not much.I would download the electrical info from the manual but my computer or photobucket is fighting me to the finish.My method of troubleshooting is to look for the easy things first,don't tear into the engine until you have eliminated the easy stuff first.Use a little starting fluid or Berrymans B-12 sprayed into the carb,if it starts or tries to, the problem is fuel system,As some of us have tried to spread, modern Gasoline doesn't last long,it can get to where it will not start a small engine,but will probably work in a modern car.I've seen it happen.next the safety switches fail, sometimes only after years of service,sometimes sooner,as I suggested in my earlier post,eliminating all of them by dis-connecting the wires at the mag ground will tell in a hurry,But BE CAREFUL.Anything that grounds the mag gives a no spark condition and it won't run or start.There are 3 wires on the mag ground post 1 runs back to the mag inside the engine shroud,1 runs to the convoluted conduit and goes to the ign.switch the other goes to the intrrconnect module,which is supposed to control the 3 safety switches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I forgot Snapper stopped using "series numbers" after 23.Yours is a little different from the 23 but not much.I would download the electrical info from the manual but my computer or photobucket is fighting me to the finish.My method of troubleshooting is to look for the easy things first,don't tear into the engine until you have eliminated the easy stuff first.Use a little starting fluid or Berrymans B-12 sprayed into the carb,if it starts or tries to, the problem is fuel system,As some of us have tried to spread, modern Gasoline doesn't last long,it can get to where it will not start a small engine,but will probably work in a modern car.I've seen it happen.next the safety switches fail, sometimes only after years of service,sometimes sooner,as I suggested in my earlier post,eliminating all of them by dis-connecting the wires at the mag ground will tell in a hurry,But BE CAREFUL.Anything that grounds the mag gives a no spark condition and it won't run or start.There are 3 wires on the mag ground post 1 runs back to the mag inside the engine shroud,1 runs to the convoluted conduit and goes to the ign.switch the other goes to the intrrconnect module,which is supposed to control the 3 safety switches.

Thank you very much. After using this method I'm almost positive it is a bad ignition switch. In the meantime I can use the mower by disconnecting the ground.
 

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Try reconnecting the ignition switch ground and then removing the cover under the seat on the right hand side. There should be a module about the size of a turn signal flasher, a small can about 1" from top to bottom and about 1.5" in diameter. It has wires plugged onto spade connectors. This thing looks at the safety switches, shift lever position and ignition switch - roughly - and disables the ignition when you try to crank with the blade engaged or the shift lever in a 'drive' position. It can fail, and disable the spark all the time. If you unplug it, you bypass all the above mentioned safeties. If it works unplugged, with the ignition connected, you have found your problem. Buy a new one, and install it to insure the safeties still work and your engine will run.
In addition to the above switches, there is a ground provided on the throttle control that will also kill the spark.
tom
 

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There is also a seat switch which requires weight on the seat for the engine to run.this one has a device to kill the engine if the plug is disconnected. if the brake/clutch pedal is locked down the interlock lets the engine start without weight on the seat switch, so you can use the recoil start, but will quit running when the pedal is released, if the seat switch is bad.If you suspect the Ignition switch check by removing the wire from the engine ground post,it's the green one that goes down the main tube.The electrical parts tomwO was referring to are on p.42 of the parts list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
There is also a seat switch which requires weight on the seat for the engine to run.this one has a device to kill the engine if the plug is disconnected. if the brake/clutch pedal is locked down the interlock lets the engine start without weight on the seat switch, so you can use the recoil start, but will quit running when the pedal is released, if the seat switch is bad.If you suspect the Ignition switch check by removing the wire from the engine ground post,it's the green one that goes down the main tube.The electrical parts tomwO was referring to are on p.42 of the parts list.
The first thing I tried when I got home was to check for spark. I got spark. So i put the plug back in and lo and behold she started up. I let the engine run for a minute then shut it off. Tried to start it back up and nothing. Pulled the plug and checked for spark. No spark.
OK, so there is a bad connection somewhere.
Next I removed the green wire from the engine ground post, the one coming from the ignition switch. I got spark after that, and now she starts again and again no problem. So it's gotta be the ignition switch, what I suspected to begin with. You see usually when I'm done mowing and putting the mower away, I just lift my butt off the seat to shut it down. I almost never use the ignition switch. For some reason last time I mowed I decided to use the switch. Thats probly what did her in, lack of use or something.
In any case thanks for all the fine help!
 

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Sound like you have it under control, you can get those switchs about any where.
 

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The 7017817 switch is used on a long list of mowers and just grounds the mag.5/8 shaft and 2 prongs for a plug.The originals seem to be hard to get with asking price up to $17.53.low as $9.85,aftermarket: Stens 430-029 $5.95. something this small and cheap will probably eat you up with shipping.List seems to be $12.62,probably a local item would be best. Please replace and don't depend on the seat switch they go bad too.
 
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