Craftsman Lawn Tractor MYSTERY Issue
Hello, I have a Craftsman Lawn Tractor, 18.0 HP, 42" Mower, Electric Start, 6 Speed Transaxle, Model No. 917.287053
The mower ended last season and started this season with stalling out or shutting off and back firing loudly. I had it serviced in early May and the normal stuff was done...spark plugs, filter, changed the oil, and replaced bent blades. He left, issues continued with backfiring, etc. He returned, and "tightened the valves" and told my son to use his hand to turn the black screen cover thing that's round above the engine next to the air filter --to crank the engine back to crank the pistons to have a longer crank time -- to give the engine the best possible chance to start. Another month went by with only about 2, possibly 3 mows. The mower would mow our front lawn, but when turned off, and then turned back on it will run when left in neutral, but when put into gear and releasing the clutch, it would stall and backfire. When in gear and clutch in, the mower will run but when you turn on the blades, it stalls and wants to backfire. Those were it's ongoing behaviors. I had the mower man come back the 3rd time. He did suspect the gas we got from a local station had water in it (said it happened to other locals as well), and that is was "old". We put all new gas in, he replaced the fuel filter with a "better one" that he just took off another tractor and the part was used for only 3 months (I had put one in before I ever called him the 1st time), cleaned that rubber fuel line out which he thought was clogged, replaced the carbureter, replaced some other little plug on the front lower left of the engine, and ordered a "switch" that is the sensor ($15) under the seat which I will insert when I receive it. He drove the mower around the yard, it was working...backfired...he adjusted something...ran it again. Turned it off for 5 minutes, started up. He left. I waited 2 hours and went to put it away and it will NOT start!!! (Turning the round thingamajig didn't help it to start.) Before he came this last time it would start up! (The see-through fuel filter he put in is only filling up with about 1/4 inch of gas in the bottom of the little thing...should it fill up all the way?) ....I've spent $400 already and can't consistently mow. He said if I call him back again, if it would be stalling out, he would think he would replace the whole string of wires that connects to the seat sensor piece he is sending me (a $15 part), and 2 other items in the engine related to it. He also said it might be the catalytic converter going bad. ANY ADVICE on what it may be and what I can do? I would greatly appreciate some sound advice. I don't know much about repairing engines as a single Mom. Thank you!!!