Craftsman Lawn Tractor -briggs stratton 2004
I was driving my lawn tractor the other day and when I stopped the engine it backfired (frequently happens). When I went to re-start the engine the starter would crank the engine very fast but the motor would not start (it would backfire very loudly if starter was engaged too long).
I checked for spark and gas delivery and both seem fine.
I found a mouse next near my air filter and a mechanic told me my engine was blown because of that (why would it blow when I turned off my engine....).
I opened up the over head valve cover and found that the top valve was very loose at TDC (maybe 0.030").
I tried to fix the problem but the keeper rings fell out and now I can't seem to get them back on the valve.
1) Does this sound like a valve problem or a blown motor? How do you determine?
2) How do you get the keeper rings back on the valve? Is there a tool or do you need to remove the head?
3) This tractor only has 45 hours on it and it's out of warranty. Has anyone had any luck dealing with Sears when it comes to a blown motor with so little hours?
Any input would be greatly appreciated. I hate to think I've ruined a fairly new tractor...