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YT3000 Loss of Power/Speed

1284 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  tomw0
Hi new to forum. Can on here looking for badly needed help. I have a Craftmans YT 3000 that is about 10 years old. Anyway I unfortunately forgot to put it away after cutting my lawn and it got completely soaked as in tropical monsoon (was very bad). I discovered it 2 days later and now it has about 50 of it's original power. It still rides and cuts but everything is slow. I also noticed that is much more quiet which is good but the fact that is super slow worries me. Also when the blades engage it seems like the tractor struggles to start cutting (never did this before). I have since changed the spark plug hoping it might be something easy but that did not help. I also briefly ran it without the air filter as well to see if it was clogged but that did nothing either. Also the tractor was just serviced too which included cleaning out all the debris inside the fuel tank (fairly decent amount of leaf particles inside) and a new fuel filter. The reason for cleaning out the tank and fuel filter was at the suggestion of the repair shop however I am still back at square one so I could really use some help. Thank you in advance.
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Welcome to the forum!

If it has a choke control, does adding choke make it better, or worse? If adding choke improves things, then you're running lean, and not getting enough fuel. If adding choke just makes it weaker and maybe produce black smoke, then it's likely not a fuel mixture problem.

If you had a video of it running, that might be helpful.

You're getting spark, since it runs, so that implies it's not an ignition-related problem. Is the gas cap exposed, so the rain could have gotten in? I guess you could have gotten water in the gas.

You can also check the new spark plug and see what the end of the plug looks like. If it's black & sooty, etc. The plug appearance can give clues into how the engine is running. This is one of many resources that describes trying to "read" your plug:
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You have not noted the engine installed. That may be needed or not.

Anyway, most times you get flooded(drenched more likely), you get water into places that matter. I'd be removing the float bowl to see if there was water at the bottom, or open the drain(attaching bolt/ABF solenoid - engine dependent) and catch the leak out liquid so you can inspect for 'pearls' of water agglomerated at the bottom. If you have pearls, best thing is to drain everything, and make them dry before putting back water-free gasoline. The m/ethanol in the fuel will absorb some water, but you can have more.
If there's nothing there, you could still have water in the fuel tank, filter, etc. You can remove the fuel line at the carburetor and drain into a container so you can see, and again check for pearls.
It is possible water got onto the ignition, such as the magneto, and has not dried out, causing misfire. Most magnetos are under the shroud around the flywheel blower. You should remove said shroud and check for nests, clippings, and anything that would block cooling air from passing over the head and cylinder.
Finally, you could have a mess under your mowing deck. Clippings can get into the pulleys, belts, and blade brake linkage on top of the deck, and mixed with water, can make a sludge. Same as the underside, but it would likely make a ffzzzz noise as the gooey clippings were tapped by the rotating blade. You should clean out the clippings, though it likely does not reduce power, it can hinder mowing by blocking the normal flow of air from around the blade spindles to underneath the deck.
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