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Briggs & Stratton 42A707 starting issues

Posted by ladysashya Central Illinois (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 1, 09 at 0:02

Hello everyone, I'm hoping to "pick your brain" and see if you can point me in the right direction with my mower problem. I do my best at DIY stuff but small engine repair is new to me. Yet, I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty and dig in! Here is my situation: bought a used RanchKing rider with a 16.5 hp Twin II I/C B&S engine, Type: 2238E1, Code: 9808205B. When I bought it from an older gentleman, he said he'd just replaced the battery but it still hestitated when starting so he had a repairman replace the starter. Still, it would strain to start but he said even so, it always would start. I found it did the same for me last summer, my first season using it but since it started I didn't really care. Now this summer I'm finding it's struggling even more and sometimes the battery will become depleted from attempting to start it. This is what I've done so far: taken the battery to a reliable place and had it checked (said it was absolutely fine and strong enough for the job..it's an Everstart 350 cranking amps). I replaced the two spark plugs, air filter, drained and replaced oil with synthetic, fresh gas with Sea Foam additive, cleaned battery contacts and made sure ground was good, and cleaned the deck and belt areas thoroughly. When I try to start it, after hooking up the battery to a charger to be sure it's fully charged (and it is), the flywheel spins about 1 1/2 times and it makes a "arr-rumpf" sound a few times but just doesn't seem to have the juice to fully start, as if the battery were weak. When I try to start it with the battery attached to the charger, the charge bottoms out completely as if attempting to start just is too much for it. (don't know if that's a normal thing to happen or not?). If I keep trying to turn the starter key (never more than a few seconds at a time) finally I'll hear a whining sound from somewhere underneath, I thought it was from the starter but my son said it sounded more like the battery area. I thought maybe it needed a new starter but a neighbor said if the starter was bad, it would just click click click and not be able to do as much as it was already doing, making the flywheel turn. I bypassed the battery and grounded the charger to the frame then put the pos. charger lead directly to the starter but it still didn't start easily. The last time I got it to start a week ago, it started to surge when I was idle with the blade off, acted like it wanted to die on me but didn't. Then it backfired when I shut it off later (scared the crap out of me!) I don't know if that is a comletely different set of problems involving the carb/fuel pump or filter, etc. I guess none of that will matter if I can't get the darned thing to even start! I tried to push it to the garage from where it laid after the last attempt to start it and it was too darned heavy so I hauled the battery charger outside on a long extension cord and charged it fully again and fortunately it started up with a puff of white smoke and sounded rough (probably flooded from my many attempts). I got it far enough to put it up in the shed and gave up for the night. I have an acre to push mow that consumes 4 hours of my life I'll never get back..I live in a tiny farm town and the only guy that worked on mowers just had surgery and can't do that now. The nearest places that have repairmen are 45 min. away and I have no way to get the mower there. So....short of the Mower-Genie magically showing up, I am turning to you all...I can't take apart the engine and rebuild it, I can do basic stuff and I'm always willing and eager to learn. If there is a book out there you can recommend, I'll buy it and memorize it. If you can at least give me a general idea what the main problem seems to be (need a new battery even though this one seems to test ok?), (need a new starter?), (need an exorcism????) I'd really appreciate the help. Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Briggs & Stratton 42A707 starting issues

Not knowing anything about that motor - it sounds like you have a motor which compression release is not working properly.

I see a picture of the motor - but it kinda looks like it might be a flathead ? I dont know how that one gets adjusted.

good luck - Dave


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RE: Briggs & Stratton 42A707 starting issues

Well don't know if I will remember all your points to answer them or not. This is a fairly common complaint with this series of engines. A little research will turn up a whole bunch of threads on it. Unfortunately the starter for this engine is at max capacity when conditions are ideal.

One very common cause is carbon build up in the cylinder heads which causes an increase in the compression ratio. Running Seafoam should clean out the carbon IF you ran enough, doubt one tank with mix will do it. Some people remove the heads and scrape out the carbon.

All battery cable contacts must be good including the ground cable connection to the frame.

"I bypassed the battery and grounded the charger to the frame then put the pos. charger lead directly to the starter but it still didn't start easily."

Unless you have a charger that has the special "starter boost" feature, a charger will not put out enough amps to start.

"I thought maybe it needed a new starter but a neighbor said if the starter was bad, it would just click click click and not be able to do as much as it was already doing, making the flywheel turn."

It is hard to say about this except that your neighbor is wrong. IF you continually hold the key on and keep trying to make the starter turn, the starter will over heat causing a loose of resistance in the windings hence less torque. I note that you run the battery down trying to start. Worn top bushing will let the armature drag on the fields loosing torque also it is possible a field magnet has come loose dragging on the armature, as I said, hard to say.

"so he had a repairman replace the starter."

You don't say if this was a NEW starter. The starter of practically any B&S engine will work on this engine by changing the end/mounting plate. The starter can be removed without removing the flywheel even though there is one mounting bolt under the flywheel. Use a 1/2" end wrench, turn flywheel until there is a recess which allows the bolt to come up and out. Takes nimble fingers.

Too small or partially broken battery cables will not conduct enough current to the starter. IF you have a GOOD set of jumper cables, jump directly from the batter to the starter as you said you did with the charger and see what happens. The contacts of the starter solenoid that you hear clicking may be burned until they do not conduct enough current anymore. By passing as above may help tell if this is a problem but would need more checking.

"finally I'll hear a whining sound from somewhere underneath, I thought it was from the starter "

I would say that the battery has run down until it is too weak to give the starter enough current for the starter gear to extend fully, the starter is running not engaged and whining.

Actually there are so many things I hesitate to try to cover them here.

In order, I would check battery cables & connections. Check starter for excess side to side play, put 3 - 4 drops of oil around the starter shaft where it exits the end of starter, consider changing starter for a good used one. Remove heads and clean carbon.

Walt Conner


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RE: Briggs & Stratton 42A707 starting issues1

As a follow up, Central Illinois I see. We live in IL also.

IF this engine had a "valve job" done and the trouble started after that, there is a good chance whoever did the valve job left too much clearance as was the norm for "old school" mechanics. B&S has a range for a reason, caution to everyone, stay within it. This engine has an "easy spin" cam grind which holds the Intake Valves open well into the compression stroke allowing compression bleed off for easier starting. This has little affect at operating speeds. Excess Intake Valve clearance does not allow this bleeding off of compression. Too long to tell you how to check this here.

Walt Conner


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RE: Briggs & Stratton 42A707 starting issues

Walt, nice "long post" and good coverage too! I concur. :^)


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RE: Briggs & Stratton 42A707 starting issues

Walt, thank you so much for taking the time to think this through and write about it in detail. I drove to Springfield today in hopes of talking to a mechanic at a huge power equiment business there that is well known for parts and service...unfortunately it has closed and there is no "we've moved to..." sign. This economy is killing everyone. Oh well...sleuthing with you all, I guess! :)
Anyhow, to answer some of your comments, I have run two tanks with SeaFoam but seen no improvement since using it. I have a stupid qustion regarding the ground for the battery...I only see the two main battery cables (pos. and neg.) and then they lead underneath the battery compartment/seat area to places unknown and impossible to see or get to without removing the entire metal cover for the mower. I've had experience dealing with battery problems on my pick up truck and I know there was a separate ground wire that was attached with the negative cable for my truck but I don't see a separate ground for this machine. Is it bundled with the negative cable? When I removed the battery from it's compartment, I still can't see where the cables lead (although I saw a white plastic flywheel of some sort under the battery area, what the heck is that?? Just curious!) Is there any way to get to any of this stuff without removing the mowers metal cover?
I was going to remove the starter and take it to a mechanic to test it but couldn't figure out how to get it off the motor. I asked a neighbor who rolled his eyes and said "It's only 3 bolts!" but when he looked at it, he couldn't figure out how to get it off there either (made me feel better...the little eye-roller!)
Regarding your comment: IF you have a GOOD set of jumper cables, jump directly from the batter to the starter as you said you did with the charger and see what happens. The contacts of the starter solenoid that you hear clicking may be burned until they do not conduct enough current anymore. By passing as above may help tell if this is a problem but would need more checking.
I have a good set of automobile jumper cables..I can definitely try this and see what happens.
I'll continue to post if I have any luck with this. I think it might be time to junk it and get something new but I really, really hate doing that. I'd rather fix it if it's possible and cost-effective. It's a shame that this engine has a history of this problem yet Briggs&Stratton never dealt with or addressed it.
Oh one last thing, would a bigger/stronger battery help in any way or not since you said the starter is maxed out when conditions are ideal? Thanks again!


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RE: Briggs & Stratton 42A707 starting issues

"Oh one last thing, would a bigger/stronger battery help in any way or not since you said the starter is maxed out when conditions are ideal?"

Jump directly from your car or truck battery to the starter may help with your evaluation.

"Is there any way to get to any of this stuff without removing the mowers metal cover? "

I don't want to be a smart --- but I can't see it from here. Have you tried looking from below?

"(although I saw a white plastic flywheel of some sort under the battery area, what the heck is that?? Just curious!) "

Sounds to me like a cooling fan for a hydrostatic drive, does it have hydrostatic drive?

About B&S, the engine starts fine when new and when all factors are near spec. It is only after several years of questionable use and maintenance that the lack of a large margin of starter power comes into play.

Walt Conner


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RE: Briggs & Stratton 42A707 starting issues

Ladysasha,

You and I and about half a million other people are in the same boat with this 42A707 starting problem. My research indicates there is a problem with the compression release mechanism on these engines. The compression release is a mechanism inside the cam shaft that holds the exhaust valve partly open when the engine is turning at very low rpm (such as when cranking). This allows the starter mechanism (whether it's a starter motor or your arm and a rope) to get the engine turning from a dead stop without having to overcome the compression resistance. At about 100rpm (which is like one good pull on a starter rope), a centrifugal spring on the camshaft is overcome and the exhaust valve is allowed to close fully -- compression happens and (hopefully) ignition follows and you're on your way.


The functioning of this compression release is very dependent on proper valve lash ajustment. The valve lash procedure is not for beginners, but it can be learned. Technically it should be: .1" at 4 degrees after TDC, on the exhaust valve, at ambient. [Any engine techs reading here feel free to update and correct me here as necessary.]


Even with the valves properly adjusted, ANOTHER problem can happen. The little spring loaded mechanism on the cam shaft inside the engine is plastic. It degrades with age, and breaks -- and then you have no more compression release, and the garupmph hard problem during starting is your new companion.

To fix this second problem requires opening the engine. Later this spring I'm planning to do my first one of these. I'll try to get back here if I can remember and post the results. Or you can email me at kingleo1 @ aol.com and I'll report what I found.

Take care and good luck,
James


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RE: Briggs & Stratton 42A707 starting issues

"The compression release is a mechanism inside the cam shaft that holds the exhaust valve partly open when the engine is turning at very low rpm (such as when cranking)."

NO!! Not on this engine.

"Even with the valves properly adjusted, ANOTHER problem can happen. The little spring loaded mechanism on the cam shaft inside the engine is plastic. It degrades with age, and breaks -- and then you have no more compression release, and the garupmph hard problem during starting is your new companion."

NO again.

I strongly suggest that if you plan to do an engine "later on" that you take the time to examine the IPL or a Service Manual first.

This engine has an "easy spin" cam grind that holds the INTAKE valve open a hair very late into the compression stroke. NO moving parts involved and note - Intake Valve.

This is a common complaint with these engines and I have a list of POSSIBLE causes.

Walt Conner
wconner5 at verizon dot net


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RE: Briggs & Stratton 42A707 starting issues

This is a common complaint with these engines and I have a list of POSSIBLE causes.

Walt Conner


Walt ………… I thank you in advance for any help that you may provide me with this problem.

I have:

· Changed the plugs

· New fuel

· Removed the muffler

@ this point with one plug out and looking for spark, the engine fired and ran as good as possible on one cyl. So I:

· Removed the Cyl head looking for a broken / stuck exhaust valve (no problem found)

· Then the other side , some “carbon” (no other problem found)

@ this point the engine is spinning freely (normal) so I do not believe there is any problems further down the engine.

To me from the old school of 327 Chevy’s it seems like a timing issue, but I have read that the timing on these engines are fixed ……….. So here I am in need of some guidance. Hope you can help.

The engine is a twin Cyl. 19 HP type 125201 code 9501175 A

Again Thanks in advance

Rich Dinan


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RE: Briggs & Stratton 42A707 starting issues

Because the ignition magneto on this engine produces a single spark current that is sent out to both cylinders at the same time (one cylinder is on compression stroke while the opposite cylinder is on exhaust stroke), a weakening coil can become unable to cause 2 sparks, but disconnecting one of the spark plug cables can sometimes permit the engine to run on one cylinder.


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RE: Briggs & Stratton 42A707 starting issues

Hi all!, this is my first time posting on this site. I hope someone can help me.

Briggs & Stratton Model - 42A707, Type - 2238 E1, Code - 9707115B

I have just inheaited a starting problem for a couple of hundred bucks and I would like to repair it quickly. I have the same starting issues as a posting by "ladysasha" on 6-1-09. I have a new battery, starter, and good cables. The motor will turn over very slowly or not at all. It usually only spins until compression if created in one of the cylinders. I am going to try and adjust the valves and see where that takes me. Can anyone send me the valve specs, and a link to a exploded view of the engine. Hopefully this will take care of the starter issues, but I have another problem.

I can jump the starter from another battery (truck battery) and use the key and make the starter spin the engine over very well (two batteries, one starter). However, the engine acts like it is trying to start, (as if it were flooded out). then I release the choke and it will almost start, then nothing happens. Kind of acting like a car when it is out of time. It is getting gas, smoke from the exhaust, spark plugs warm up, heads warm up, but the engine just will not catch and start. Does briggs still use the aluminum ket in the flywheel, I new that this was a problem years age, but I am not into the newer engines like this one. I like the older ones from the 60's and 70's. The plugs are new B&S plugs, the engine is getting gas, the plugs are firing, the air cleaner is off. Maybe the throttle assembly is off adjustment or something. I do not have a manual to repair this engine and adjust the linkages to the carb or govenor. Can anyone direct me to a (free) repair manual site where I can get this information.

Thanks

Ken
989-326-0327
klm.inc@charter.net


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RE: Briggs & Stratton 42A707 starting issues

Ken, manuals sent via e-mail.
I do suggest you create a new thread of your own to address this issue. A new thread will garner more interest than attaching a new problem to an old thread.


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