Craftsman LT 2000 won't run

mocrazyMarch 17, 2014

I have a 2004 Craftsman LT 2000 , model # 917.273143, with a Kohler 17hp engine with OHC and hydro. lifters. The other day it started as usual and then after use it wouldn't start. At first it wouldn't crank, but then it would crank but not start. Here is what I did:
1. changed fuel filter and I have fuel in filter and in carb. bowl
2. removed fuel solenoid
3. cleaned carb
4. new spark plug and confirmed spark
5. pulled valve cover off and inspected lifters and push rods and everything looks solid
6. bypassed the seat switch
7. checked the other safety switches
8. inspected the flywheel and the key is in slot.
9. new battery
I then sprayed starting fluid into the cylinder with the plug out and then replaced plug and tried it. It would fire for a few seconds then quit.
As I was trying to start it one time, I held the key over to the "start" position longer and it started and ran, then I let the key return to the "run" position and it quit as if the key was turned to the "off" position. I repeated this and as long as I held the key in the "start" position the engine would run fine, at high throttle or idle.
My question is: This obviously appears to be a bad ignition switch, but can anyone think of another plausible explanation? I hate just throwing parts at a problem and not actually fixing the problem.
And yes, I have already installed a fuel shut-off valve

This post was edited by Mocrazy on Mon, Mar 17, 14 at 18:58

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Sounds like a bad key switch.
Remove the key switch and check the connections in the various positions.
There is a "Truth Table" on the lower left page of the schematic in the owners manual.

The M terminal should only connect to G in the OFF position.
When M is grounded, it kills the spark.
Another possibility is that B is NOT connected to A1 in the run position. This would cause the Carb fuel solenoid to be OFF.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 10:41PM
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Bill, thanks for the one and only reply. Just to let you know, I didn't check the ignition switch as you offered, but I was confident that was the problem so I went ahead and ordered a new one for $12 + shipping. It fired right up and runs like new after all the other work I did on it! I also had to replace the mower clutch cable so I sharpened the blades while the deck was off.
Also, anyone who is having trouble with the carb. solenoid: you don't need it. Just cut off the plunger and disconnect the electrical connection. Install a fuel-shut-off valve in the fuel line and just remember to turn it off after each use. The engine will shut down just fine without the solenoid and there won't be any "dieseling".

Happy mowing!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 7:35PM
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