Mower lost air filter won't start.

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This Craftsman mower won't start after I left covered outside for a month. I check the oil dipstick, it's full. I'd check the gas, it's full. I check the spark plug for sparks, it sparks. I'd remove the spark plug and check for gas and I smell gas - plus a bit of moisture. The air filter has been missing for months.
It doesn't have the extra "dead man" safety handle, or does it? I do notice a dangling loose wire running from the coil into the brake cable mechanism. I don't know where it actually goes or if it's necessary. What are some steps I could do in order to get this mower starting again?
Thanks
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On Mon, 7 Mar 2005 20:22:06 -0800, Tim Zimmerman wrote

Your gas is contaminated; dump it and put in fresh. If you have spark, then, no, you don't have another deadman switch (that works). DO NOT continue to operate without an air filter as you will suck enough dirt into the motor ruin it in short order if you haven't already. If it is a Briggs & Stratton engine check compression by spinning the engine backwards (by turning the flywheel by hand, NOT THE BLADE). If the flywheel comes up on compression going backwards and 'bounces' forward, then there is enough compression to run. If you have a Tequmseh (sp?) or Honda engine take it to the dealer. Hope this helps.
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you can also see if it will start with a squirt of ether (starting fluid)

full. I

filter
then,
Stratton
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Another technique that works is to use a propane torch (unlit). Direct the gas from the torch into the carb and pull the starter cord. The engine will start on the propane and you can see if it will then run on the gas in the tank by just removing the torch. I wouldn't try this on two-stroke engines because there is no oil in the propane, but it works really well for four-strokes.
-- Bob (Chief Pilot, White Knuckle Airways)

to
motor
the
compression
to
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Bob Chilcoat wrote:

...
The time it's running on a little non-mixed fuel will be unlikely to make much difference at all...keeping a can of starter fluid on hand for such useage is always worthwhile..
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I
I'd check to make sure one of the valves hasn't gotten stuck open--very common where you have left them outside with no air cleaner......you can easily tell if this is the case if it "puffs" air back out of the carburetor on the compression stroke......
Usually, you can spray some wd-40 into the intake port and then stick a screwdriver into the plug hole and up against the stuck valve, gently tapping it back down with a small hammer while slowly turning the engine over by hand in order to free it back up.
--
SVL



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"PrecisionMachinisT" wrote: I'd check to make sure one of the valves hasn't gotten stuck open (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ As an aside, my small genset came with instructions that warned about that. They suggested always pulling the rope up onto the compression stroke when putting it away. That way you know the valves are closed, so they will be lifted by the cams the next time you try to start it. Seems like a good idea to me.
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hasn't
that.
You tap on the valve when the cam lobe is away and it usually suddenly closes under spring pressure--really no big deal once you know what the problem is.
--
SVL



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Dump the gas, put some fresh one in.
Do usual maintanence: buy new air filter + spark plug+ oil
Get starting fluid $.99 and try staring it again...
Brian
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Just because you see a spark doesn't mean you are getting one "under compression" .... I would replace the plug and dump the gas as a good place to start....good luck, Ross
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Tim Zimmerman wrote:

...
Did it ever run without the filter? Some engines require the restriction from the filter to get the proper air flow and won't run without it. I can't recall if I've seen this on Craftsman engines. Bob
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Bob Engelhardt wrote:

Thanks for the laugh Bob. That was a good one.
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Al Bundy wrote:

No, seriously. I used to bring home mowers from the dump, get them running, and sell them. I had mowers that wouldn't run without the filter. By "proper air flow" I didn't mean sufficient air flow, but correct air flow. I think that I read an explanation of this somewhere, but can't remember the logic. My memory is full and new stuff pushes out the old to make room. <G>
Bob
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Most of the "classic" Briggs and statton engine suction carburetors (mounted on the tank) will flood badly if trying to start without the air cleaner bolt installed. It might start but wont stay running.
I've also repaired enough small engines from dumps to assume that everything needs to be checked before starting.
http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/lmfaq.htm
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Without the air filter, the mixture is too lean. You can sometimes get em going with a squirt of ether, which riches up the mix.
A friend of mine's tractor was like that. Had an oil bath air filter. Without it, it would run with the choke pulled partly closed, but would stall out with choke opened.
--

Christopher A. Young
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Some engines wouldn't run start well even with the filter if it was one of the foam ones that needed oiling and the things had gone dry. Chap near me had the problem of his tecumseh mower not starting well so I suggested he oil the filter and the problem went away.
Bob Engelhardt wrote:

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I had a neighbor down the street. well, he's still down the street. Had a Craftsman lawn mower, with the Tec engine. Air filter missing. I spent some time getting it to run, and put on an air filter. Ran fine when I brought it back to him. The next time he brought it up to me, the air filter was missing. So, I put another one on, this time with a hose clamp. And told him how important it is to keep the air filter on. He brought it back the next time, with the air filter missing, and I refused to work on it.
--

Christopher A. Young
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Many newer engines use the screw (s) that secures the air filter to block off passages in the carb. Without the screws in those holes the carb draws to much air at low speed to start.
--
Steve Williams

"Stormin Mormon" <cayoung61-#spamblock*-@hotmail.com> wrote in message
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"Tim Zimmerman" wrote

Hi, Got it started. Turns out ether worked, as suggested. Thanks all. But, new problems came up. Let's see if someone can pick one to solve.
1) It won't run when pushed. The end of the loose dangling wire mentioned earlier is giving out sparks, this could be the problem. As long as I don't push it the mower will run for 20 minutes then shut-down.
2) It won't start without ether. This is the reason why the air filter was thrown out in the first place since it ran fine without it, or doesn't it? I will look for a new filter box. I even dump out the old debris collecting gas when overhauling the carb.
3) Flywheel bearing seizes after 30-secs. I lube the one-way bearing with no luck. I will replace the bearing but not sure how. In order to keep the mower running I would have to remove the cover with the reel ( labeled Briggs & Stratton) or otherwise it will screech to a halt.
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Hi, Got it started. Turns out ether worked, as suggested. Thanks all. But, new problems came up. Let's see if someone can pick one to solve.
1) It won't run when pushed. CY: Hmm. You mean not enough power to cut lawn?
The end of the loose dangling wire mentioned earlier is giving out sparks, this could be the problem. As long as I don't push it the mower will run for 20 minutes then shut-down. CY: That gets me thinking. Wonder if that's the wire that is supposed to shut down the motor when you turn it off?
2) It won't start without ether. This is the reason why the air filter was thrown out in the first place since it ran fine without it, or doesn't it? CY: If it needs ether to start, then it likely would be even less likely to start with the filter off.
I will look for a new filter box. I even dump out the old debris collecting gas when overhauling the carb. CY: New air filter is a good idea. New gas is also a good idea.
3) Flywheel bearing seizes after 30-secs. I lube the one-way bearing with no luck. I will replace the bearing but not sure how. In order to keep the mower running I would have to remove the cover with the reel ( labeled Briggs & Stratton) or otherwise it will screech to a halt. CY: I kow what you mean, those ball clutch things. If you remove the motor cover, sometimes you can get the clutch apart, and then use some solvent and a towel to clean the crankshaft, and solvent and cotton swabs to clean inside the square tube that slips over. Use a magnet to get all the ball berrings out, put the tube back on, and put the ball berrings in.
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