How long will this run??

louky(6b)September 13, 2013

I have an older Craftsman Garden Tractor that is not charging. I don't want to spend any money on this is it is primarily going to be a parts tractor (but it runs good now). The PO removed the deck and all the deck hanging hardware so it will never mow again in this incarnation. He also stripped the wiring safeties etc. so now it just has a start button and a kill switch. No key, seat switch, brake switch, pto switch. The PTO is on the shaft but not hooked up electrically, and It has no headlights, and does NOT have a carb solenoid. My question is how long would this run with a completely charged battery. I may try to use this to pull a fertilizer spreader for a 2 or 3 hour period. Am I right in thinking this is doable since there is nothing going out of the battery?? The sheet metal has been changed on this so I don't know the 917 number. The engine is an 18.5 hp briggs twin and may not even be original the tractor. Thanks!

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It will run until you are as far away from the shed or garage as you can get and then it will die.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 1:27PM
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If it starts, it should run until you're out of gas.
Or, shut it off.

This post was edited by bill_kapaun on Fri, Sep 13, 13 at 14:29

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 1:41PM
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    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 6:28PM
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Well you don't say WHICH 18.5 B&S it is but you can either replace the carb solenoid with a threaded stud that some have instead of the solenoid or remove the solenoid and cut the plunger off or depress the plunger and wedge a tooth pick beside it to hold it and break off the tooth pick that way you won't ruin the solenoid. It will probably run a couple of hours as is.

Walt Conner

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 10:01PM
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If it's a GT and "runs good" it's worth fixing a charging issue. Probably something simple, bad diode or bad rectifier (square metal thing mounted on the engine cowling).

Do you have a voltmeter and able to check voltage levels? How old is the battery you're fighting with, electrolyte level in battery? How old is the unit? Does it have a coil? Battery may not be needed after it's started. Unclear about "does NOT have a carb solenoid." If it runs without that the PO has already dealt with it. If it doesn't then you'll have to follow Walt's advice about the threaded stud.

Good luck,


    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 9:23AM
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To expand on my previous post. If it's a "GT" as in Garden Tractor, you've got a heavier frame, heavy duty rear end, bigger rear tires, etc. Lots of guys look for what you've got without the mower to use for pushing snow and using ground engaging equiptment on while keeping their mower "pristine."


    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 12:13PM
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As bill stated, til it runs out of gas or you shut it off.
There is nothing on this "stripped" machine using electrical power from the battery........except the starter.
The ignition magneto is completely "self powered" and need only for the crankshaft to turn for it to make its own electrical energy.
If your concern was that the battery would get low and shut off the ignition........will not happen, this is magneto ignition....not battery and coil ignition.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 12:29PM
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