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Craftsman 6.5 HP Pushmower

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (Not Computer-Related)' started by jp1203, Jul 23, 2007.

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  1. jp1203

    jp1203 Thread Starter

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    Hi All-

    Among all the people here, I'd hope we have an engine expert (or at least someone better than me :)) I know where everything is, how to change oil, check the spark plug, check the air cleaner (filter?), what the carburettor is, simpler stuff like that.

    I've got a Craftsman 6.5 HP 22" cut pushmower (Briggs Engine) (I think this is it's third year) that sat out when it was pouring, as I left it out to let the muffler cool so I could cover it and put it away, then forgot about it and left it during a big downpour.

    I went to start it again and it wouldn't do a thing, so I gave up and tried it today.

    It started first pull and expelled a large cloud of white smoke, then shut off after about 10 seconds. I repeated this probably 20 times and kept getting the same result. I figured there might be water in the gas line, so just for the heck of it I reduced the idle control a bit and it started and ran nicely (although lowly revved), but smoked lightly for around 10 minutes. At this idle, it's not enough power to mow grass, it just doesn't spin the blade fast enough.

    If I quickly tap the idler to the high end, it'll rev up very high, then go back down. If I try to hold it up a bit, it stays revved for a few seconds and stalls unless I release it back to it's standard position. No more smoke at all now though. What I've been trying to do is run it out of gas, and there's not much in it. I ran it for maybe a half hour with just a 1 cm lining of gas in the tank and it's still going. At this rate, it's going to take it quite a while to run out, even though I already dumped out the little bit that was in the tank and I see nothing. I'm guessing it's going on what's in the line.

    I read that gas could have gotten into the oil (as I had tipped it over to check the blade and clean a bit of grass out a few days ago). I took off the dipstick while it was running and it proceeded to spray oil out it (it was very light). I shut it off and put the dipstick back on. I know my lawn tractor doesn't do this (An older (late 80s, early 90s?) Dynamark 12.5 HP 38" cut)

    I can't smell any gas in the oil, It just smells like oil to me, but it seemed awfully light (for 10W40-which I changed it with about two months ago, it's what I always use because it seems to use less gas and starts and runs generally a bit better than with 30)

    Anyone have any ideas? Currently, it'll run well without smoking on low throttle and start first pull, but if I go to jack up the idle, it can't handle it and clogs.

    Thanks,

    Joe
     
  2. lexmarks567

    lexmarks567

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    have you tried removing and cleaning out the carb replaceing the gas and oil. replace the spark plug also
     
  3. wacor

    wacor Banned

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    how old is it and what is the model number?
     
  4. jp1203

    jp1203 Thread Starter

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    replaced the gas and oil, did the same thing on a new spark plug as well

    We bought it 2 or 3 years ago, I'll check the model tomorrow, too dark to see it right now.

    Currently, it starts every pull, the lower I set the idler, the longer it'll run before it shuts off. Normal idle lasts 10 seconds, but lowering it enough it'll run 2 minutes or so. It starts again without priming and runs the same amount of time again.
     
  5. jp1203

    jp1203 Thread Starter

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    Post one-last line

    change clogs "can't handle it and stalls within a few seconds"

    Wonder why I put clogs???

    Must've been braindead that day :D
     
  6. Knotbored

    Knotbored

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    It sounds to me like your choke (an automatic one) is sticking closed. It doesn't get enough air to run full speed, and it gasps when fed fuel through the throttle.
    Your carb has two round plates in the air tube. The one nearest the engine is the throttle, the one nearest fresh air is the choke. Run the engine till its warm, then remove the air cleaner and see if the choke plate is still closed (it should be fully open.) If stuck then a shot of WD40 or another solvent and working it back and forth will usually free it up.
     
  7. jp1203

    jp1203 Thread Starter

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    Okay...I'll look at that. It's dark now, so I'll have to do it tomorrow
     
  8. rameam

    rameam

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    If that doesn't fix it, check the governor and linkage. WD40 does wonders sometimes. Spray all the linkage and make sure it's all moving nicely.
     
  9. jp1203

    jp1203 Thread Starter

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    Funny thing-

    the second I take the air cleaner off, it stalls, and it won't start with it off. Choke is fully open though from what I can tell.
    Air cleaner looks pretty dirty, would replacing that help at all?

    Also, sprayed WD-40 on the governor and linkage, definitely runs smoother now, but still only on low idle settings. Stalls after a few seconds on anything reasonably high though
     
  10. rameam

    rameam

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    What appears to be happening is, the filter being dirty is acting like a choke. When you take it off there isn't enough gas coming through to keep it going. With the filter off you should be able to partially choke it and it will run like it does with the filter on. A good carb cleaning/overhaul should fix it. If it's a Briggs, look here:

    http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/lmfaq.htm
     
  11. wacor

    wacor Banned

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    I missed the part about it being a Briggs.

    Ugh

    Not real happy with them. Their quality is not what is was 30 years ago.

    Did you try running carb cleaner thru it??
     
  12. NoelNNY

    NoelNNY

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    Joe -

    It's worth a try - and i am no engine expert - but I left the gas/oil mix in a weed wacker once, and took everything apart and cleaned it with WD40. I then did the same thing to my mower - just because i could!

    I found that on some small gas engine carbs, there is a small cup or resevoir - mine was held on by a brass colored bolt - and there is a float in this little cup and some reserve fuel. I am not sure how it works, but it could be there is water in this resevoir or in the float.

    Just a thought - hope it helps.

    NoelNNY
     
  13. NoelNNY

    NoelNNY

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    Joe -

    It's worth a try - and i am no engine expert - but I left the gas/oil mix in a weed wacker once, and took everything apart and cleaned it with WD40. I then did the same thing to my mower - just because i could!

    I found that on some small gas engine carbs, there is a small cup or resevoir - mine was held on by a brass colored bolt - and there is a float in this little cup and some reserve fuel. I am not sure how it works, but it could be there is water in this resevoir or in the float. Spray it well with WD40. That's what WD40 is - WD stands for Water Dispersal - attempt #40, according to their web site. The inventors were trying to develop a water dispersal spray, and after 39 attempts at various mixtures - the 40th did what they wanted it to do. Hence, WD40. Glad they got it right - i love that stuff!! If you have copper water pipes in the basement - liberally spray them especially where any green corosion exists - and voila! Gone forever!


    Just a thought - hope it helps.

    NoelNNY
     
  14. jp1203

    jp1203 Thread Starter

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    wacor-

    Tell me about it. I have a circa 1993 Briggs 12.5 horse engine on my lawn tractor, gone years and years w/o a problem, my grandmother has basically the same engine on hers I/C 12.5, only it's a 2001. Lawn mower engines tend to be not as reliable as the say 10 horse + engines for Briggs from my experience. I've blown one older 4 horse briggs, almost blown another, seen a 4.5 horse on a self propelled that is a royal pain to start, and have another 3.5 horse engine at my gram's that starts first pull, but doesn't always run the best, a 20 or 30 cc 1950s lawn mower over there runs better than that does. Now of course this. My mother always told me how she used to leave their mower out in the rain all the time and it was just fine and never did die. Still got that one, but it's got no height adjustment and cuts too low for the edges of my yard. 3.5 Horse Tecumseh.

    I've got a pretty good sized yard, given being in the middle of nowhere. About 1.5 acres to mow, I can do most of it with the tractor, but there's some things that I don't dare try (okay, I have tried them-like the bank at the edge. nearly drove it right into the swamp when I slid down the bank...) Given these areas, I need the pushmower. I've been doing it with the weedwacker (a Craftsman 32cc weedwacker I absolutely love with one of them hassle free III heads on it. I can go the whole yard edging on two strings (and they take 5 seconds to change. Beats the bump feed by a heck of a lot-went through half a spool on those)

    Haven't tried carb cleaner due to my fear of it. I saw a 20 horse Kohler V-Twin be eaten by the stuff, and it's junk now. I don't trust my self with carbs for the most part. I take my tractor one off once and a while to make sure it's not filthy, it usually isn't.

    BTW, it's model 917.something I didn't write it down, but I remember 917. It's on it's 3rd year I think.


    NoelNNY, You've got a double post there :)

    I know what you're talking about there with the carbs, I take my tractor one apart frequently to make sure it's clean, that's the only problem it has (otherwise it "surges" on low throttles)

    I never though to think of that. It seemed as I said earlier to be like it had water in the line, but now that you say that I imagine it could be on the float considering I've gotten all the gas out of the tank and line so far. I also figure that the carb could be slightly clogged, or as was mentioned by rameam, the air filter could be filthy acting as a choke as well.

    I never knew how WD-40 was named. Thanks for the info :) We have mostly copper pipes here, as the house was built in 1973. The cold ones have green, but the hot ones don't. I'll have to give it a shot. I wonder if spraying them with some of that would prevent them from dripping? That would be really neat, I've got one annoying pipe that drips on my head whenever I go down to the other freezer or to run laundry.

    BTW, welcome to TSG! :)


    I imagine what I'll do is take the thing to a friend (he's 88 and a whiz at engines) I wasn't expecting to see him, but I've found out I will. I think I'll print all of this for him to read, then he should be able to fix it quick for me. I don't like messing with carbs, I generally make them worse than before. The wd-40 did solve one problem, it runs a lot smoother now, I had noticed it was running rough. It just needs to keep running
     
  15. jp1203

    jp1203 Thread Starter

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    I'm in a very rural part of Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Population density is now 28 per sq. mile if I remember right, and my neighbors are almost a mile on both sides, I have no idea who some of them are.

    almost one year ago, the town hall decided it wanted T1 for internet, so homeland security ran a fiber optic line up there. Apparently Verizon had DSLAMs up here for a long long time, so they could do DSL if they had fiber to throw into them. Lucky for me, they decided to do just that, so I've had DSL for about 8 months now, we're finally coming into the times I guess. Got cell service a few months ago when the finally decided to use the enormous tower for something, but the idiots put the reciever thing at the bottom of the almost 400 foot tower, so it's spotty, but I get 4 bars here.

    Still no cable TV though, but I don't really see that happening. I've got satellite anyway and I'd stick with my DSL over cable internet any day.

    I wish you luck in getting some sort of better internet service. It's worth it :D
     
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