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Briggs-Fan
Briggs-Fan, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 1198
Experience:  over 15 years experience in small engine repair, multiple certifications
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Lawn tractor won't start or roll in neutral

Customer Question

Lawn tractor won't start or roll in neutral
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

Welcome to JUST ANSWER small engines, let me try to help you !! I don't know it all, but maybe together we can get you a satisfactory answer!

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

Tractor can be not rolling , if the brakes are locked, but that should not keep it from starting.If you hold brake clutch down, do you get any click from the engine area when turning key on and off?

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

Is engine cranking, just not starting? When did it last run?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
It started right up after rebuilt carburetor was put in put rest of tractor back together now it won't start
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

Won't start, as it is turning, but will not catch and run? Starter spinning the engine?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
It fired a couple of times but didn't stay running
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

Carburetor has electric solenoid in it? Is this solenoid clicking open as soon as the key is turned on? It plugs the main jet and if not open, cylinder gets no fuel.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I don't know that I hear a clicking ,tried to start it again turns over and fires then dies
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

Look at the solenoid in the carburetor, does it have 12 volts when key is on?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Is the solenoid plugged into the bottom of the carburetor ,there are no gauges to tell if solenoid is getting 12 volts
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

yes, in the bottom of the carburetor. Feel the solenoid while you turn key on and off, you should feel it click.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Don't think I fell a click
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

If it doesn't click open, you get no fuel to the cylinder. You wouldn't have an old carburetor with a bowl bolt, you could use instead of the solenoid?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
No
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

Do you have a jumper wire you can go direct from the battery posiitve, to the fuel solenoid , to see if it opens?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
No I don't
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Would it work then not work two or three times
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

Yes, maybe a bad connection at the solenoid.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Would grease help, tractor is only four years old ,kept in shed
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

Do you have a good , solid connection at the solenoid, or is the wire loose? If loose, you can tighten up the connection, by using pliers to clench the connection closed.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
It has a plug-in connection ,feels ok
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

Remove it and with it connected to the harness, turn key on and off and see if it works!

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Same ,fires won't run
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

You are not getting fuel through the carburetor. Was the fuel bowl full of fuel?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Are u saying to take it off to look
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

How did you check solenoid, if you didn't remove it?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Didn't get response to last question
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

How did you check solenoid, if you didn't remove it?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I unplugged it
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

That keeps any chance of engine starting, as the solenoid has the main jet plugged. It has to open main jet for engine to get any fuel!

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
u want me to remove solenoid from bottom of bowl
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

That will give you opportunity to test the solenoid, and to see if there is fuel in the bowl!

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Heard message coming did not receive
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

That will give you opportunity to test the solenoid, and to see if there is fuel in the bowl!

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

OK>

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Took solenoid off lots of gas had to crimp fuel line
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Do u want me to plug solenoid back in and turn motor over? If so what am I looking for
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

no, just plug it in to the harness, and turn key on and off to see if the solenoid retracts when key is turned on!

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Did not retract
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

So either solenid is no good, or it is not getting voltage.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok I will go buy a solenoid and start there thanks
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

If you are willing to do that, take the old solenoid, cut the tip off it and reinstall as a dummy, to see i f the engine runs!

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok didn't know I had to ground solenoid, I grounded it and it and it retracted but not going in and out,didn't get new solenoid store was closed last time we talked
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

It should retract each time power is applied t it, and should hold in retracted position. You can cut the tip off and install it as a dummy for test. Older engines do not use this shutoff solenid, it is for anti-backfire. To keep engine from backfiring when key is turned off and engine is hot.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Solenoid is good took to shop,didn't receive your response
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

OK>

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Had gas in oil before carburetor rebuilt, changed oil without new filter have new filter now going to change oil again
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

OK< you know this fuel solenoid has nothing to do with gas in the oil, that is the job of the needle valve and float.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
That's why I had the carburetor rebuilt
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

OK> Needle valve has to be the source. That is why I use an inline fuel shutoff between uses on mine.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok going to change oil and put solenoid back in and try again
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

OK<

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok changed oil reinstalled solenoid started right up let run for one minute tried forward and reverse fine,shut off started up again, now same as before fires but won't stay running
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

Is the fuel solenoid clicking? No click, no fuel. If it clicks, is there spark at the spark plug. Engine does not start, because it has loss spark or fuel.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Started again left it running this time ,put it in drive moved about one foot , engaged blades ,died and will not start
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

Starter turning the engine?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
No it was running
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

?? will not start? Meaning?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
It was running ,let run for about three our four minutes drove one foot , engaged blades and won't start again
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 month ago.

I can't seem to communicate with you! I will opt out, maybe someone else can fill in the blanks. Sorry.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
When I engaged the blades is when it died
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.

Hi my name is ***** ***** welcome to Just Answer. I think Curtis who was working with you opted out . It sounds like one of your safety switches killing the engine when the blades are kicked on

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
That was the first time that happened,did u get any information from Curtis
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.

I did see the conversation , if you lock the parking break will it turn over or try to start ?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.

Will it start like that ?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
It has started four or five times since I put the rebuilt carburetor in,don't remember if I tried to start it that way
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.
Ok , can you try to see if it will start
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
It did start,but I don't know four how long or if it will start again , that was the first time it died when I engaged the blades
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.
Ok if it dies when you let off the brake , blades not engaged then I'd check the seat switch
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Did not die,put shift in forward and reverse and drove engaged blades and didn't die ,still running
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Is there anything else you want me to try while it's running
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok ,tried to mow, traveled about 100 feet and it died
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.

Ok if you lock the brake will it restart ?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Locked the brake turned over and fired but didn't stay running
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.

Ok , how old is the fuel

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Maybe week and a half old
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.

Ok, there'could be quite a few problems here , it could have a short , a bad safety switch. It could be something like a valve or push rod , is it smoking at all , does the oil smell like gas or is it thin ?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I changed the head gasket and reset valves earlier this summer. Took it to shop when it would not fire.they said it was bad gas and it started and ran fine.mow my half acre lot one a week.about two weeks ago when problem started
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.
Is it stored inside or outside
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
In a shed.I will drain gas tomorrow and try new gas.if that's it never had gas problems before this year
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.
If it runs longer it could have water in the gas
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok thanks I will try tomorrow afternoon and get back to you
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.

Ok sounds good

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok,removed all gas including carburetor new gas filter,removed gas tank and cleaned out,put new gas in,turns over will not fire,tried six or seven times
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.

Ok , can you check for spark at the plug ?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Did yesterday has spark,just checked rod's and rocker arm gaps look good
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Tried to start again fired this time wouldn't start
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.
Ok , there's something wrong because it's dying and will not restart etc , have you checked compression on the engine?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Just by spinning the screen on top of the motor ,hard to spin seems ok ,don't have gauge of check
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.
We may have to test it because it gas spark and is getting gas
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok it is rolling now my be able to get to shop
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.
Ok , even to have the compression tested , who rebuilt the carburetor?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Gruel Bros. INC since 1938 ,That's who did the carburetor,that is where I took it in the spring after I changed the head gasket and set gap on rocker arms thought bad compression then but it was the gas
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.

I'd Def ask about the compression, your getting spark and fuel

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok,someone else told me about something that spins off crankshaft maybe that may be broken. What do u think
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.

The connecting rod?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
No it sounded like a small flywheel,I think I seen it on u tube didn't want to go that deep into motor
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.

Do you gave the model, number off the engine itself

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Just found it,compression release mechanism
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.
No because it's still turning over when it doesn't start right?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
ok that was the part I didn't want to tear the engine apart to get to
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.
I'd rent a compression tester ant run a test on the cylinder , of it ran before with a gas oil mix in the crankcase ot could of damaged the cylinder
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Do u know what the compression should be,and where I would rent one
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.
A bigger should have 120 to 150 psi usually , 60 is bare minimum and even 80 on the larger engines is lolw . Auto zone may rent them
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok I'll check to see if I can find one
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.
Ok sounds good
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.
Hi , just seeing if you were able to get the mowers compression reading ?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
No gathered leavs and mowed grass,after physical therapy this morning will be back at leavs,go Cubs
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 1 month ago.

Ok , just checking , yeah it was a great world series