craftsman 4.5 mower issues

jvmagic(USDA9)June 29, 2012

Hi,

My 7 yr old 4.5HP craftsman (briggs & stratton) has been great for my home use and one day after mowing my back lawn it stopped working...so sudden.

I primed the mower and it smelled like gas. I left it alone for 2-3 days, cleaned the carb, replaced the filter and removed the spark plug. The plug was wet/black and wreaked like gas of course.

I purchased a new plug and it still does not start. What gives?

I know a rebuild is over $100 and I just saw an add for a craftsman 6.5HP mower for $169. Just wondering if it's worth rebuilding the carb etc....or puchase a $169 mower?

Thanks in advance.

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jvmagic(USDA9)

model number: 917.388040

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 3:52PM
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bill_kapaun

Have you checked for spark?
New carb is about $60

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 4:49PM
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rcmoser

throw it away and buy another, somebody will take it off the curb and run it for another 10 years. Your happy and the freebie guy happy

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 11:35PM
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homegrown55(9)

A carb kit is cheaper than a new mower is what gives.Cleaning it is WAY cheaper. Maybe tinker with the carb and get it to function properly. How come you guys cant or wont answer the posters question the way it was intended? To SAVE MONEY nowadays is important isnt it? To help people nowadays is important isnt it? Or all we all just whizzing in the wind? Sometimes it sure seems like it. Jeez!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 5:04PM
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rcmoser

Some people can't clean carb. and for them it's better to buy new one rather than have somebody attempt repair cost 80 to 100 bucks on probably old worn out mower that probably didn't get enough pre-ventive maintenance and will probably not last long enough to get their money back. Sometimes is just best to buy new one and start over. With proper care it may last longer and it may not being the owner fault.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 9:46PM
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bill_kapaun

Why get your panties in a wad when the OP hasn't responded back?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 9:55PM
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homegrown55(9)

OK RC and BK...Your points have been well made and well taken. His initial question was that he was wondering if it was WORTH rebuilding the carb ...or should he get another mower for 170.He stated that he already CLEANED the carb and I thought he was pondering putting in a rebuild kit which he probably could accomplish with a good diagram to guide him, right?
I guess he figured it all out as he hasnt returned to the forum. And Bill...I cant wear those...

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 4:24PM
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rcmoser

I have found about anything I want to know something about or do it's usually on utube. Like getting training class on how to do it before you do it. I sure Utube has excellent video's on how to rebuild carb. just got to find the right one that matches there equipment. But, even then sometimes it's still over the top for some.

Good example for me central Air conditioner digital themostat replacement. It's hard for me to see the tiny coding or figure out the electricial schematic so I just pay someone to do it for me. And then there is plumbing! I hate plumbing! Fix one leak and create another!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 5:04PM
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jvmagic(USDA9)

Thanks for all the responses.

After letting the new spark plug dry up for a day I inserted the plug the following day and the mower started and did it's job.
4 days later and the mower won't start again. I saw that the plug was wet after priming 3 times like it states. I even used 'starter fluid' to see if this did the trick but to no avail.
I did notice that sparks were present (held spark plug to engine) and yet the mower would not start. After about 30 minutes of fiddling with this mower, I did the spark test again and this time no spark.
I assume it's a bad coil.
What's your take?

Thanks again for all that chimed in.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 5:40PM
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bill_kapaun

IF the plug is wet after 3 primes, PRIME LESS.

And to homegrown55 --
Just what EXACTLY did YOU do to HELP?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 6:50PM
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bill_kapaun

Another thought-
The plug seems to get wet "too easy".
Possibly the carb needle & seat is leaking?

Check the crankcase for the presence of gasoline or "overfull". A "sniff" test should tell you if gas is leaking into it.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 6:57PM
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homegrown55(9)

Bill I have answered over 1000 questions regarding small engines on another site. Hundreds were helped. I hope that I maybe HELPED to encourage jvmagic to try a rebuild on his carburetor or even more. That is all. Sometimes, a little encouragement really goes a long way.
RC Leaks on engines or plumbing are aggravating, to say the least.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 4:33PM
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bill_kapaun

And to homegrown55 --

So it was "maybe" some encouragement? Pretty LAME!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 4:39PM
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homegrown55(9)

Bill It is really too bad you feel the need more to hinder than to help. I dont know what is eating at you, but I will be glad when it runs its course! Dont you have something to go fix? Do you talk to ALL people you dont REALLY know in this fashion....now that is pretty lame.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 5:23PM
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bill_kapaun

No - Only the hypocrites that go out of their way to chastise others.
It's very RARE that that I do that, but you made that very short list.

Exactly WHAT am I doing to "hinder", that you aren't?

My first post was to check for spark and to point out that a NEW carb was about $60 vs "over $100" for a "rebuild" that the OP stated.

Yours was......

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 11:55PM
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homegrown55(9)

jvmagic....... My apologies to you for the shenanigans in this forum. I was only trying to ENCOURAGE you to get a carb rebuild kit and ATTEMPT the rebuild on it yourself. As stated earlier, many YOU TUBE help videos are available on the subject and it is not so difficult. If you can clean the carb, you can probably rebuild it too. What is the status of the 4.5 at the present?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 10:17AM
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baymee(LehighValleyPA)

In the 9 years I've been doing this, servicing about 25 units per month, carb work is probably 90% of the reason I see the unit. Usually it's varnish or other dirt inside.

I replaced the first carb ever, a few weeks ago and it was the Briggs type that uses a diaphragm mounted to the tank. Commonly found on small HP engines.

All the other carbs were easily fixed by soaking them for 10 minutes in NAPA carb cleaner and replacing the Welch plugs and final cleaning. That tells me that rebuilding works.

The price to rebuild is in the $50-60 range for the non-tank related Briggs carbs, so a new carb for $60 is a reasonable compromise. However, there is the time to research the right carb, place the order, the labor to remove and replace the carb, wait for it to come while the unit sits around the shop vs. taking it off, rebuilding it and getting it out the door.

That's why I rebuild them and in the long run it's cheaper than buying new. Just my 2�

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 10:26AM
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baymee(LehighValleyPA)

AS an aside: Most carbs can be restored by cleaning the main jet, at little cost. Tecumseh carbs are, by far, the ones that require total cleaning, and Briggs non-tank carbs, except for the main jet, almost never need internal cleaning.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 10:32AM
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jvmagic(USDA9)

Hi Guys,
Sorry it took so long but I was out on vacation :-)

The spark looked ok at first then kept getting weaker as I kept testing to finally no spark at all. I assume this means the coil is bad.
I saw on-line that these coils are $52 (w/shipping and tax).
This is 1/3 of a new mower.

I hate to spend $150 (on sale craftsman 6.5HP mower) but to spend $52 for a coil is not a great feeling either.

What's the consensus?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 3:16PM
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homegrown55(9)

Why not consider investing in a good (tested) used coil? I know they are available on E-Bay and you could save 50-75% on the cost of a new one. If you're not a member, consider joining as there are MANY good deals on NEW and USED lawn equipment parts there. Research the part number for the coil and do a search on E-bay for it.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 4:44PM
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homegrown55(9)

There are currently 349 Briggs and Stratton ignition coils listed on E-bay this evening. Grab your coil's part number and take a look!

Here is a link that might be useful: E-bay Briggs Ignition Coils

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 6:08PM
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bill_kapaun

Doesn't matter if all the Briggs coils on Ebay were free, since you have a Tecumseh engine.

Google
Tecumseh 34443C

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 6:40PM
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homegrown55(9)

jvmagic stated in his initial post that it was a Briggs and Stratton. It is OK as Tecumseh coils are on there too. Yes, I have a 4.5 Tecumseh at the present. It has been a good one. Bought it in 1991 and it still runs great.It is very similar to the Craftsman 917.388040. The search bar on E-bay will accept a Tecumseh search just as easy.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 7:06PM
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garfield25

Craftsman 4.5 HP 22" Mulcher Lawn Mower 917397610
It is running to fast and does not idle.
Does the carb need cleaning? Or what?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 3:21PM
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