B&S 5.5 testing for spark

mvronDecember 31, 2012

I have acquired a Craftsman B&S 5.5 silver series 158CC SN 0908195445371 mower. I think it has been sitting out in the rain for a while. I would never do this myself. It won't start or even spark. I have run carb cleaner, fresh gas, starter fluid through the engine and nothing happens. I don't have a spark testing tool. Ideas on how best to check for spark before I go through the carb. Thanks much for any ideas. Seems like I'm getting a lot of water through the muffler when I try to start the engine.

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You can ground the body of the spark plug against metal- clean a small area of corrosion away if need be to get a good ground. Have an assistant pull the rope and look for spark at the electrode. Be mindful that you don't want to be shooting gas, start fluid or anything else out of the spark plug hole as you do this as fire can result. There is also a potential for a stuck valve. I'm sure the air filter is saturated, fuel in the carb itself is old or contains water. Proper engine #s are stamped on the engine, exhaust shield, shroud or valve cover. Example 12T808- 1234-B1 / model and type.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 3:34PM
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Also, a lot of times, i have found the air filter completely clogged with grass, dirt, oil, and slime. A new filter cures a lot of problems! And, brings a nice reward of $30 or so!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 2:36PM
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You're right. that's the first thing I do - pull the air filter - you're also right - clogged with grass, dirt, oil, and slime. All of the above. Haven't had a chance to try the spark test yet.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 1:37PM
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For what it's worth, i bought two battery charger type clips and attached them to a fourteen inch piece of 10 gage wire. I remove the spark plug, put the wire back on the plug, put one end of the clip on the spark plug body and clip the other end to a good ground. Pull the starter rope,or crank the engine over if so equipped. That's the way i test for spark. Lot easier than trying to hold the plug against a ground source.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 6:50PM
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I found my spark tester. Hooked it to the plug and cracked it over - no light in the tester. The compression seems good. I need to check the plug first. Need to cross reference the "Max Power 4052" that's in the motor to something like NGK/Champion or something I can find. I took the shroud off. If the plug is good/new, what should I look at next? thanks again for ideas.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 12:32PM
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Looks like the champion J17LM should work.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 12:44PM
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Use the J19LM, it's the most common. Pull off the shroud and remove the ground wire from the coil. Then test for spark. If the flywheel and coil are very rusty, clean off the rust and gap the coil from the flywheel at .012

If you don't have spark then, the coil is bad. It's uncommon, but possible.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 7:17AM
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