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Old 09-14-2014, 10:59 AM
 
3,339 posts, read 7,157,118 times
Reputation: 4218

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
While I have done a lot of my own repairs on cars and small engine for many years this one has me stumped. I have a Sears riding mower, model 502.255070, with 10 HP Tecumseh electric start. Last weekend it ran just fine. Today it cranks just fine (until I ran out the battery) but will not fire even a little.
The gas is full, oil fresh and full, the fuel shutoff is on, there is gas in the bowl, and good spark. The fuse is good, and I had it in neutral, mow lever off, and was sitting on the seat. When I pull the plug, it smells of gas and looks wet. I held the plug to ground and had my wife crank it and got a nice spark (and shock). Are there any other safety sensors/switches that I may have missed, or any other ideas?
When we had a recurring problem that sounded like this on our old JD lawn tractor, everyone suggested a faulty seat switch. That wasn't it, but it's a good suggestion.

After numerous trips in for service at great expense, I finally found an online forum where I found the answer: a plugged vent hole in the gas cap. The gas wasn't getting any oxygen to fire up.

Seriously, one little toot through that hole and the mower was just fine. And the repair place refused to refund any of our money. It was something they should have thought of.

Worth a try, anyway.
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:01 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
28,302 posts, read 50,365,166 times
Reputation: 28460
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinaMcG View Post
When we had a recurring problem that sounded like this on our old JD lawn tractor, everyone suggested a faulty seat switch. That wasn't it, but it's a good suggestion.

After numerous trips in for service at great expense, I finally found an online forum where I found the answer: a plugged vent hole in the gas cap. The gas wasn't getting any oxygen to fire up.

Seriously, one little toot through that hole and the mower was just fine. And the repair place refused to refund any of our money. It was something they should have thought of.

Worth a try, anyway.
Now that's one I hadn't thought of and easy to test by just removing the cap and trying to start it. If that doesn't work I'm off to get a new spark plug. If that doesn't do it I'll disassemble to check the choke and that wire to the carb if it has one. I do have fuel at the carb though, since it drips out of the float bowl when I press on the drain screw.
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Old 09-14-2014, 01:40 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
28,302 posts, read 50,365,166 times
Reputation: 28460
The lawn is all mowed!

I put in the new plug and got one pop, then nothing. I removed the air filter assembly (2 screws) and saw that the choke was closed all the way despite the throttle being well away from the choke position. Moving the lever all the way up and down did nothing. I opened the butterfly with my finger and found that it was hitting and getting stuck on the edge of the bore. Working it many times with a little WD40 at the top and bottom I got it to where it moves freely now. I put it back together, started it up and I'm glad I replaced the plug because it's running much better now, starts within seconds. Thanks to all for your help!
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Old 09-14-2014, 02:53 PM
 
25,756 posts, read 49,556,946 times
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I knew you would get it figured out...

Mostly, just a process of elimination and you had a history with the mower to guide you...

Congratulations!
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Old 09-14-2014, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Democratic Peoples Republic of Redneckistan
11,106 posts, read 12,780,635 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
The lawn is all mowed!

I put in the new plug and got one pop, then nothing. I removed the air filter assembly (2 screws) and saw that the choke was closed all the way despite the throttle being well away from the choke position. Moving the lever all the way up and down did nothing. I opened the butterfly with my finger and found that it was hitting and getting stuck on the edge of the bore. Working it many times with a little WD40 at the top and bottom I got it to where it moves freely now. I put it back together, started it up and I'm glad I replaced the plug because it's running much better now, starts within seconds. Thanks to all for your help!
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Old 09-14-2014, 04:12 PM
 
Location: The Dirty South.
1,567 posts, read 1,301,391 times
Reputation: 1087
Usually when any motor is cranking but not starting. You either have a fuel delivery issue or a spark issue.
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Old 09-14-2014, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Democratic Peoples Republic of Redneckistan
11,106 posts, read 12,780,635 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfoe View Post
Usually when any motor is cranking but not starting. You either have a fuel delivery issue or a spark issue.
I agree 100%,but with these stupid safety switches and everything else they have had to add on these newer mowers due to stupid ppl and lawsuits it now adds variables into that situation as to what's causing a lack of spark or fuel...I despise these newer lawn tractors myself.
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Old 09-14-2014, 05:32 PM
 
25,631 posts, read 29,041,151 times
Reputation: 23038
Like waiting for a baby to be born.


Gotta love the crud in gas now that makes things stick. Run STA-BIL thru a few tanks of gas. Gumout, Lucas and Seafoam work wonders as well in the gas and oil as well.
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Old 09-14-2014, 07:45 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
28,302 posts, read 50,365,166 times
Reputation: 28460
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
Like waiting for a baby to be born.


Gotta love the crud in gas now that makes things stick. Run STA-BIL thru a few tanks of gas. Gumout, Lucas and Seafoam work wonders as well in the gas and oil as well.
That might be a good idea. Last spring (2013) I had a stuck intake valve and had to spray Gumout along the valve shaft through the sparkplug hole to loosen it up after sitting all winter.
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Democratic Peoples Republic of Redneckistan
11,106 posts, read 12,780,635 times
Reputation: 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
Like waiting for a baby to be born.


Gotta love the crud in gas now that makes things stick. Run STA-BIL thru a few tanks of gas. Gumout, Lucas and Seafoam work wonders as well in the gas and oil as well.
I haven't tried sta-bil for gas yet,but have had good luck with Marvel Mystery Oil and Seafoam...I used a type of sta-bil in my kerosene shop heater when I shut it off this spring..guess ill know shortly if THAT worked.
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