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HELP w/craftsman lawn tractor:no power

967 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  gsxr11001990
I have a 4 year old Craftsman lawn tractor, model# 917.289244. It has a 21 HP Briggs, model#331877 type#1371-b1. A month ago, after a no start situation, I diagnosed that the compression release mechanism on the camshaft had failed. I replaced the camshaft. In doing so, I found the pieces to the old one in the sump. most of them were rather small, not much left that was very big! I inspected everything and didn't see any damage from the disintegrated pieces. After putting everything back together, it starts and runs but lacks power. I can put it in gear and it rolls slowly. If I try to engage the blades, it dies. I was wondering if I did something wrong when putting it back together or was there damage I missed. It had enough compression to hold back the starter when there was no compression release. I have spark and I have fuel. I didn't mess with the carb other than to remove it and set it off to the side and then re-install. What am I missing? I guess I'm asking the community what would they look for before throwing their hands up and bringing it to the $shop$! Mower ran well before the no-start issue. It did consume a little oil and I would get some bluish/white smoke when mowing deep wet grass. I figured that was where the oil was going. But I never lost power. Any help would be appreciated. When I do have it running now, I don't have any smoke, but I cant put a load on it, when I do it dies.
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If the machine is starting and running and sounding alright but dies as soon as it's loaded, the first think I think of is the governor. As soon as that engine becomes loaded and the rpm begins to drop that governor should slam the throttle open and then regulate back down as the rpm comes back up. Watch the linkage and the throttle as it runs and the load varies.
It's likely the governor linkage needs to be adjusted to get the slack out. I'm pretty sure there's a video or two on youtube that shows that.
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