Craftsman riding mower won't start

Bennett12March 17, 2014

I have a 2011 craftsman 42" 19.5 model 247.288841 that won't start and doesn't want to crank over. Last time it ran one minute it's great then the sound of the exhaust got louder and louder and started backfiring. I put new gas, filter, spark plug and most of the time I turn the key an it just clicks and clicks and clicks then it will release and try to start. Has great compression great spark and when I take spark plug out and turn it over it turn over perfectly like it should but once I put the plug back in it doesn't want to turn over. Please help

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Mocrazy

Did you run over anything right before it started acting up? Possibly the flywheel key has sheared and the timing is off.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 7:31PM
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Bennett12

No I didn't run anything over

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 7:53PM
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mownie(7)

Pull the valve cover and check the valve clearances.
The engine not wanting to crank over may be due to valves needing adjustment to restore function of compression release.
Don't worry about the flywheel key shearing, that is not something likely to occur on a mower that has a belt driven deck, The concern over shearing a flywheel key by hitting something and stopping the blades is only true in push mowers where the blade mounts directly to the crankshaft. Belt driven blades can't stop the crankshaft quick enough to shear a flywheel key.
The puzzling part of the description is how the exhaust seems to have gotten louder just prior to backfiring.
Start with the valves.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 1:25AM
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Bennett12

After it started getting louder and back firing my first thought was bad gas so I tried draining the gas pulling the line off the fuel filter and it was dripping out very slowly finding out there was a big dead spider stuck on the bottom of the fuel tank so I cleaned all that out and added new gas and sometimes it fires up for a split second but exhaust still loud and backfiring

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 1:39AM
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bill_kapaun

As mownie stated, valve adjustment affects the compression release.
When you remove the valve cover, look for something obviously amiss, such as a push rod having excessive clearance or bent etc. Some of these engines "eat" cam shafts.
Make sure BOTH valves open & close the same amount when rotating the engine.

The engine should be a Briggs 31P677-3373-G2 or G6

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 9:28AM
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rcbe(6)

bennett12 - do you know how to check the valve clearance on that briggs engine?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 11:08AM
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Bennett12

No I do not know how to check the valve clearance

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 1:25PM
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Bennett12

Thank you everyone for the words of wisdom, I adjusted the valves and starts right up and runs like new. Thanks again for helping.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 8:39PM
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mownie(7)

Thank you for the update and glad you're going again :^)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 12:56AM
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