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Discussion Starter #1
Would not start. Checked battery and solenoid. Took off engine cover and turned the flywheel, which was initially hard to do, but eventually turned.Put the cover back on and she started up. What kind of problem is this indicative of?
 

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Wouldn't start or wouldn't turn over?
 

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Not much to go on, has this problem been "creeping up" or just came out of the blue? Here are a couple of guesses:
  • Battery getting too weak to overcome initial compression stroke.
  • Valve adjustment needed, (close too soon creating too much compression)
  • Starter is getting weak or is dry in need of some lube.
  • All grounds, and wires clean and solid.
Good luck and let us know if and what you find is wrong.
 

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Would not start. Checked battery and solenoid. Took off engine cover and turned the flywheel, which was initially hard to do, but eventually turned.Put the cover back on and she started up. What kind of problem is this indicative of?
It sounds like you turned the engine past the compression stroke and then it was able to turn over and start.

I'll bet you have a 31000-series B&S engine. Chances are your automatic compression release has broken. It can also be the valve adjustment as they have to be spot-on for the ACR to work. But... I'm betting the ACR has broken and you have these parts laying in the bottom of your crankcase (been there, done that TWICE!).

2450129
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It sounds like you turned the engine past the compression stroke and then it was able to turn over and start.

I'll bet you have a 31000-series B&S engine. Chances are your automatic compression release has broken. It can also be the valve adjustment as they have to be spot-on for the ACR to work. But... I'm betting the ACR has broken and you have these parts laying in the bottom of your crankcase (been there, done that TWICE!).

View attachment 2450129
It sounds like you turned the engine past the compression stroke and then it was able to turn over and start.

I'll bet you have a 31000-series B&S engine. Chances are your automatic compression release has broken. It can also be the valve adjustment as they have to be spot-on for the ACR to work. But... I'm betting the ACR has broken and you have these parts laying in the bottom of your crankcase (been there, done that TWICE!).

View attachment 2450129
I hope not as I just had that job done last year to the tune of $500 with pickup/delivery. If that is the issue again, I will seriously consider getting a Predator engine installed.

One reason that it might not be that IMO was that it was very very hard to get that first turn done. Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Not much to go on, has this problem been "creeping up" or just came out of the blue? Here are a couple of guesses:
  • Battery getting too weak to overcome initial compression stroke.
  • Valve adjustment needed, (close too soon creating too much compression)
  • Starter is getting weak or is dry in need of some lube.
  • All grounds, and wires clean and solid.
Good luck and let us know if and what you find is wrong.
How can i lube the starter?
 

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Would not turn over.
Check your battery connections, ground wire, starter wires, wires to the key switch, and if the battery is good.

Have you tried to jump the starter?
 

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I hope not as I just had that job done last year to the tune of $500 with pickup/delivery. If that is the issue again, I will seriously consider getting a Predator engine installed.

One reason that it might not be that IMO was that it was very very hard to get that first turn done. Thoughts?
Wow.. that was an expensive repair. I did mine myself and had about $95 in parts. As mentioned previously, you can get a similar condition if the valves are out of adjustment.

There are a couple things to try. First, remove the spark plug. If it turns over easily without the spark plug but then won't turn over with the spark plug installed it is ACR related. Another test is to remove the air cleaner and hold your hand over the intake pipe while you crank the engine. If it cranks and starts that is a further indication that the ACR has failed.

If you can get the engine to start you can hear if the ACR is working when you shut off the engine. When the ACR is working you will hear a clear PFFTT-PFFTT-PFFTT sound during the last couple revolutions of the engine as it comes to a stop and the ACR re-engages. When the ACR has failed the engine will stop rotating very abruptly when the key is turned off. I'm so used to the failure that I can tell right away just by hearing the engine come to a stop.

I would definitely check the valve adjustment before going too far. The ACR is on the INTAKE valve.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow.. that was an expensive repair. I did mine myself and had about $95 in parts. As mentioned previously, you can get a similar condition if the valves are out of adjustment.

There are a couple things to try. First, remove the spark plug. If it turns over easily without the spark plug but then won't turn over with the spark plug installed it is ACR related. Another test is to remove the air cleaner and hold your hand over the intake pipe while you crank the engine. If it cranks and starts that is a further indication that the ACR has failed.

If you can get the engine to start you can hear if the ACR is working when you shut off the engine. When the ACR is working you will hear a clear PFFTT-PFFTT-PFFTT sound during the last couple revolutions of the engine as it comes to a stop and the ACR re-engages. When the ACR has failed the engine will stop rotating very abruptly when the key is turned off. I'm so used to the failure that I can tell right away just by hearing the engine come to a stop.

I would definitely check the valve adjustment before going too far. The ACR is on the INTAKE valve.
Ok, when I had the problem I took out the spark plug and had no change in symptoms. Now of course it starts like a champ so perhaps it is/was a weak starter?
 

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It sounds more like an intermittent battery problem...there is really nothing to lube on a starter..I don't recall seeing if you mentioned testing the battery...pull it out and bring it somewhere Advance or Auto Zone and have it tested....I believe that you will have the same problem if you leave it for a few days and go back to try to start it...it is the beginning of the season...a lot of people are going to have problems with batteries that died over the winter and carbs with problems from ethanol fuel left in the tanks all winter
 

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I would agree that it has to do with the battery or the starter if removing the plugs did not alter the effort to turn it over. I would check the battery first with jumpers and then if that failed, move on to the starter. On the starter, from the positive battery terminal on the solenoid, touch it with a screwdriver to the starter terminal. If the starter is good then it is the solenoid.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I would agree that it has to do with the battery or the starter if removing the plugs did not alter the effort to turn it over. I would check the battery first with jumpers and then if that failed, move on to the starter. On the starter, from the positive battery terminal on the solenoid, touch it with a screwdriver to the starter terminal. If the starter is good then it is the solenoid.
I had put a battery charger on it for a few hours with no change in outcome. I use the machine year-round, if not for cutting grass than for hauling stuff around the property.

Starting to believe that it had to be the starter as trying to move the flywheel was extremely difficult. But once freed up, the problem has not returned.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It sounds more like an intermittent battery problem...there is really nothing to lube on a starter..I don't recall seeing if you mentioned testing the battery...pull it out and bring it somewhere Advance or Auto Zone and have it tested....I believe that you will have the same problem if you leave it for a few days and go back to try to start it...it is the beginning of the season...a lot of people are going to have problems with batteries that died over the winter and carbs with problems from ethanol fuel left in the tanks all winter
Had checked the battery and I run ethanol-free fuel for all my tools.
 

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Charging a bad or weak battery does not mean that it will get recharged. Without a loadmeter, just the voltage of a battery is no indication of its performance. If you jump it from a car with a known good battery that will tell you about the battery in the mower. You are proceeding with a faulty assumption if you go with what you have done. Just jump the battery and then short the solenoid with a screwdriver to make sure you also have a good connection at the solenoid.
 
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