Craftsman 917.374356 Won't stay running

Plambert71March 15, 2013

I have a Craftsman 917.374356 with a B&S Platinum Engine Series, 190cc 7.00, Self Propelled Bagger/Mulcher Mower. Last summer I was having an issue with it not wanting to start, it would start, run for about 3 secs and then die. I took the bowl off of the carb and found that it had some build up in it. I took the carb completely off and cleaned it in its entirety and replaced, it started and ran fine. I ran all the gas out of it this past summer and stored it in the garage, it stays inside a climate controlled garage when not in use. I brought it out the other day, filled the tank with fuel and it began to do the same thing. I have since removed the carb again, cleaned it out completely and reinstalled it but I am still coming up with the same issue. I have replaced the spark plug, but still having the issue. I noticed it was a tad low on oil, not sure if it has a sensor to "not run" if oil is low, but I will change the oil today to see if this cures the problem. I have noticed similar issues here on this forum and just thought I might see if any of you had the same issue, with this or a similar mower?

Thanks in advance!


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I'm going to guess that your bowl nut has some varnish in the jet. Have you looked in the throttle body to see if when you prime, the fuel actually pushes up out of the brass tube? You will see it rise about 1/8" or more. (Unless you're is an auto choke). Did you clean with carb cleaner in a spray can?

These carbs are pretty forgiving and generally are fixed by cleaning the jet or fixing the primer bulb.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 3:34PM
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@baymee, thanks for the quick response and my apologies as I forgot to state in my original post that this was an auto-choke with no prime bulb. Carb cleaner was used, I did have some build up in the brass nut last summer I'm the bottom of the float bowl. It seems as its a fuel delivery issue. The needle on the float moves freely and all jets are clear. I'm scratching my head over this one.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 4:02PM
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Not intending to be demeaning, but did you check for free flow of gas to the carburetor? Changed the fuel filter? Cleaned the vent hole in the gas cap?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 6:18PM
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@twelveguage, not demeaning, lol. The fuel flows freely from the tank to the carb. There are no "Guts" to this fuel cap, only a thin white plastic ring inside, I did check for seal and any obstructions through vent hole. I tore it apart again, thoroughly cleaned it again and for some reason the needle valve on the float stuck open, it would not seal and was leaking out of the filter, this all after I tried to start it and let it sit for about an hour to get my bearings and think about it more. After I saw it dripping, I went and pulled it and it started? I mowed the back yard and I am letting it sit to see if the float bowl will fill up and the needle leaks again...more to follow.



    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 6:25PM
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Clean ALL the holes in the "Brass Nut". That's your main jet!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 7:39PM
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@bill_kapaun yes sir, I have done that with the carb cleaner. Flows through there with no issues. It is running again and the float seems to be "unstuck" for now. We'll see how it goes in a few days when I have to mow again. Up here in the Pacific Northwest I have to mow sometimes twice a week, in between rain cycles!

Thanks again for all the help from everyone.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 8:08PM
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A top down view of a main jet. Note the hole in the center. It's rare, but if you loosen the bowl nut and let the fuel flow, it should not stop flowing after the bowl empties, which would indicate a lack of flow from the tank. I use a 1/2 socket and small container to catch the fuel.

It now appears you have or had a leaking float seat.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 8:08PM
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Some jets will have a tiny hole on the side that is easily missed. It'll look like a little black speck when clogged.
Not saying yours has one....

I fine wire like the wire tie on a loaf of bread tends to work decently.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 9:31PM
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@bill_kapaun yep, that is what I used, as well as a push pin. Mine looks just like the photo above with 2 holes on the sides, one solid hole from left to right. The main jet opening goes down into them and they are larger than the jet opening. I used te red straw that came with the Carb Cleaner and shot it from all three openings ensuring it flowed thru freely.

You guys have been great with the feedback, I really appreciate it.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:11PM
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You've got a Briggs Quantum 128T02 flat head engine fitted with a Walbro carb, Briggs p/n 796707. Good engine and carb.

Complete carb should cost about $30. Briggs also sells an overhaul kit 796612 for about $12.

Baymee and Kapaun instructions are good, but sometimes it's not possible to clean all of the internal passages, and either ultrasonic cleaning, or complete replacement may be required.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 9:41AM
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So to close out this debacle, I found out the issue. This lawnmower, as I stated, is an Auto Choke. The mechanism is located directly behind the muffler and was seized. $14 dollar part, replaced and mower runs like new. Starts with 1/2 pull every time like it did when I bought it. Just a little info in case anyone else has this problem and you guys happen to get in on the conversation.

Sorry for the late reply!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 1:31PM
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The automatic choke was not closing at rest can anyone help

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 3:26PM
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See my previous message. I replaced the automatic choke, part was about $14, and the mower was good as new. I went ahead and paid $12 more for a carb rebuild kit. Since you're tearing it down, no better time than to redo it all!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 3:53PM
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I all ready did that and it didn't help.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 2:49PM
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