Return to the Lawn Mowers Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
MTD riding mower won't start

Posted by rjohmit (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 30, 08 at 16:07

I have a 4-5 year old Ranch King by MTD riding mower. It has a 12.5 HP single-cylinder Briggs & Stratton engine.

I was mowing grass the other day, going VERY slow because the grass was kinda high. Suddenly, I heard a noise and the mower jolted a little...then the engine started struggling so I immediately turned it off. Light smoke was coming out of the flywheel. Now it will not start. It cranks, but it will not catch. I don't think I hit anything...the blades look okay and I couldn't find anything in the yard near where it happened.

It has a new battery, purchased maybe a month ago. The gas tank is full...so is the oil. I have installed a new spark plug...though I am not sure its sparking. I have taken the plug out (kept it connected) and turned the key...it shocked me but I couldn't see a spark on the end of the plug. I can see the piston moving inside the spark plug hole, so the rod is not broken. I have tried putting gas directly into the cylinder to no avail.

Anyone have any ideas what it could be?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: MTD riding mower won't start

When it cranks, is it cranking "normal" speed?
IF the smoke was actually coming from the flywheel, it sounds like something in the stator/flywheel came loose. Maybe a magnet?
Sure you didn't have a drive belt smoking?


 o
RE: MTD riding mower won't start

Yeah it cranks at normal speed. The smoke (and it was very light) was coming through vents in the top of the hood...when I opened it, it was coming out of the flywheel.

I'm wondering if the timing is messed up so its not sparking when the piston compresses.


 o
RE: MTD riding mower won't start

If Bill's on the money here, you could have sheared the flywheel key a good deal. It will spark yet, but the timing will be off. I think you will need to pull the shroud and inspect. You can remove the bolt that retains the flywheel and look down at the key way to check for shearing. You will need to pull the flywheel to check out the stator.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Lawn Mowers Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here