Sears Craftsman Eager 1-- 22 inch mower-starts but then dies

irishkingSeptember 16, 2006


I have a Sears Craftsman Eager 1, 6.75 hp, 22 inch self propelled lawn mower (Model 917.377190) which has a problem somewhere in the carb. The carb was rebuilt this Spring and the mower started up and ran beautifully until recently. Then it would start up but only run for a second or two before dying.

I found the area of the problem with the lawn mower. I used a needle nose pliers to try to remove the red rubber primer bulb that has a retainer clip holding it to the side of the Tecumseh carb. As I grabbed hold of the bulb where the retainer clip is, some gas leaked out of the rubber bulb. I didn't take the primer bulb all the way out and had no clue why gas started coming out. Anyway I then pressed the primer several times and the lawn mower started and stayed running. it's running again but I believe the underlying problem still exists and will rear its ugly head again.

the recurrent fouling problem appears to have something to do with that red rubber primer bulb on the Tecumseh carb.

Even though the red rubber primer bulb looks good, can it still be defective and cause these fouling problems?

any insight would be appreciated. Thanks. Irish

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tekumcman(Upstate SC)

Fuel leaking out of the primer indicates pretty serious
carb problems. The only way this occurs is due to flooding
which is caused by a needle/seat or float problem. This
carb needs servicing, which is very easy stuff to folks
(like us) who do this every day. Your BEST BET, however,
might be to simply REPLACE the carburetor. Tecumseh part
number is 640350 for the replacement. This can be bought
from Sears, or from ANY local Dealers in your area, or from
MANY on-line sources advertising Tecumseh parts for sale.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 10:25PM
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thanks for your expert advice. The carb probably has corrosion and 'gook' in it again. Taking it off to clean and rebuild it again would likely be a waste of time and money.

where is the cheapest place to get a new Tecumseh carb for my Sears Craftsman Eager 1 22 inch self-propelled mower?


    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 5:05AM
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By: Rustyj

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 12:02PM
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tekumcman(Upstate SC)


The internet abounds with sites to buy Tecumseh parts
from. MOST will sell at retail, including Sears. Just
use the part number provided when looking around. You
might find a discount here and there. Good hunting !!


    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 5:14PM
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thanks Rusty and T-Man. you help make me feel on top of the situation and in control. the mower is running fine right now but I'll get a new carb for it to be installed at the end of the mowing season. Hey, that's coming soon.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 8:01PM
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whybuywhatyoucangrow(z9 Burbank)

After a couple of months of disuse, my three year old Eager-1 Tecumseh would only run on start spray. After draining the old fuel (and recycling in the truck) I turned the mower on its side and unscrewed the float bowl screw then reamed the side holes with a tooth pick and the smaller ones in the upper side and in the center with a twist-tie wire. Reinstalled the screw, new gas and shazam, it started and ran like new. Might need to fix something else later but this is an easy thing to check first.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 7:07PM
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I start and run my equipment every two weeks at a minimum. This helps keep these sort of problems at bay.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 9:01PM
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whybuywhatyoucangrow thanks for the post. I did what you did and my mower is running like new!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 6:20PM
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Thanks to whybutwhatyoucangrow. I read through these and it was really looking like rebuilding the carborator was needed. The only screw near the carb is the fuel bowl screw. I pinched the gas line with some vice grips and removed the screw. I looked at it, tapped it, looked at it again and then reinserted it. It was previously starting and choking out after a minute. It fired right up and is good to go. As he said, perhaps a bigger fix later, but this took 5 mins and didn't cost a dime.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 2:19PM
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This was very useful and helped me out! My Eager started dying after 5-30 seconds. I changed the plug. I took out the bolt from the bottom of the carb and made sure all the little holes were clear. Also drained out old gas (likely culprit) and put in new gas. Works like a charm now.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 12:35PM
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I discovered that then my engine starts to putter all I have to do is press the red bubble once or twice. while it is sputtering. It kicks in and works fine. Rarely when running the engine, if it sputters, press, and again runs fine..

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 1:26PM
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Emero: Welcome to the Site . Although your are priming the engine with the purge bulb , your issue perhaps will become more permanent. I would suggest you begin treating your fuel with a cleaner treatment occasionally . The fuel you are using may contain ethanol which will eventually restrict the fuel flow completely .

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 5:27AM
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Starts and dies on Tecumseh mower engines is usually the bowl nut/ metering jet remove and clean out all small holes in the bowl nut. Make sure the gas is fresh as gas starts to decompose after 30 days and will start to corrode the carb. If you are encountering flooding, (gas in the primer bulb), you should change the needle and seat. Do not get carburetor cleaner on the new seat as it can make the needle stick to the seat. Watch my lawn mower repair videos on youtube, user name pafoofnic.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 4:12PM
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Thanks for the help. Removing and cleaning the nut on the bottom of the carb fixed my mower with the same starting problem. This YouTube video shows how to do it.

Here is a link that might be useful: YouTube carb cleaning video

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 10:03PM
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My mower will not pull when in grass 3 or 4 inches high. I have removed the cover over the belt drive and ran the mower the belt seem to viberate a lot. what do you think

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 4:14PM
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Some belts can be adjusted, some cannot. Probably too much slack in the belt.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 5:49AM
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