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The Bayou Gardener Family

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I am feeling very proud. I have a really old lt3000 craftsman mower. It is 20hp with briggs stratton engine on a cast iron frame. I love the thing!  I have the high lift gator blades on it and it would mow anything.

About 2 weeks ago i went to start it and just a click.  A few youtube videos later and i learned how to take off the gas tank and replace the solenoid.  It was actually much easier than i thought.

Tried turning over still nothing. Another youtube video showed me how to replace the starter mower motor. That was a little bit more of a pain in the butt because of where the mounting screws were and i had to use a flat wrench to put them on and off. Replaced that and it still would not turn over.

Another youtube video taught me to use a meter to check for power. I had a bit at the solenoid but not at the starter mower. I ran to walmart and got a new battery and a new wire that goes from the solenoid to the starter mower terminal. Put those on and...it turned over! I am so proud!  I learned alot and it was very satisfying to have it work. 

 

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That's the way I work on stuff.  I'm convinced I could build a space shuttle as long as there is a youtube on how to do it.

She oughta be good to go now, you pretty much have a brand new electrical system.  Long as the carb holds up, there aint much more to break.

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Posted (edited)

Great news !  I had trouble with where the ground wire attached to the frame on my sister's zero turn.I finally made a new place and a new cable to clamp.    I also had to eliminate some of the safety switches  in past years- it had at least 5. No kids here so I felt ok with that but caution should be used.  

Edited by bordercollie
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Way to go Chips!

 

 


21' X 48' High Tunnel

Knox, NY

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To help keep the carbs clean put some SeaFoam in the gas. It protects the gas from breaking down and cleans the engine. I can leave a tank of gas sit all winter and my equipment will crank off just fine in the Spring. I also use it in my boat for protection against moisture building in the gas and then phase separating.

"gene"

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Well i hit a root in my yard and popped the belt. Hub took the deck off for me and put a new belt on. Hooked up the deck again and the Mower wouldnt start. I checked all the electrical stuff i had just replaced and it was fine.  

He dropped the deck again and weird part was that the mower would start.  After several youtube videos i figured out the deck engagement mechanism had a little high ridge on it and was not moving freely. This was keeping the brake pad things locked in. I did get it freed up with some wd40 and will get a file in the morning to get rid of the offending ridge.  Will have hub put the deck back on when done and we should be good to go.  Will let you know if i succeed.  

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Good, can you come fix some of mine, and the string trimmer, leaf blower, four wheeler.... .. .

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Speaking of youtube for small engine repairs, I have been subbed to Donyboy for years. It's funny because he's up there in Canada, and it seems he has more snow blower and chainsaw repairs than mowers and trimmers like we deal with down south. But they all suffer the same issues. He's done so many videos, he's even done the exact same models of some of the stuff I have.

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I was up early this morning to work on the mower before the garage got hot.  Dont have a big grinder so used a stone attach on my dremel to clean up the edge of the metal deck engage plate. Got the ridge down an smoothed out the edge where a little divot was starting. It did move freely after that. I ran to auto zone and got some of the silicone wd40. That should keep it moving without bogging up with grass.  Put it back together and the darn thing still wont start.  The flywheel will turn a bit but not catch. I moved it manually to be sure it is not seized up and it moves ok.

I have a call in to my younger brother who lives in tx.  He is a mechanic by trade and i know he works on his own stuff.   I will let you know what happens. 

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I have repaired mower, saw, trimmers and tractors 45 years, now that I am retired I have time to do it full time and have been very busy and I don't work for free, I can save the customer the rate of 80.00 per hours in this area and have all the tools and electrical equipment to test, bought me a lawnmower lift table not going to get on my knees to work on a mower and I don't use Chinese crap like a carburetor for 20 dollars when I can put a kit in a saw or trimmer for 6 dollars, the ones that bring the best money on repairs are John Deere, Dixie Choppers and Sears, I tell the customer you tell the truth of what you did to the mower or its dying words that saves them on trouble shooting, seeing less quality more plastic on the ones that come from the box stores, I have a few Scags they are expensive but if you buy one and take care of it will preform for a lift time, they don't break enough for a repair man to make money, make what ever you got last, don't cut wet grass, mud, change the oil and filter, change the air filter, keep your blades sharp (dull blade transfers heat through resistance to the bearings) fresh gas, they don't make mechanic in a can, be careful with that crap.

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I'm with you Joe, two turf tigers, and had Toro z masters before them. One of the scags went under in Katrina and still running. 

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@woodchip gardener, now as I recall, didn't you just put a new battery on that machine? Have you thought to try to jump it off, there might be some short and it might have drawn down that new battery. 

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WoodChip, read your post which I found to be confusing, what is a Divot on a mower,  bogging from mowing is caused by to much grass for the mower to cut and discharge from the deck, wet grass stick then it is pushed to the top of the deck, when that get to be to much the belt will stop turning and wear it down so fast you will be replacing them often, you say the flywheel turns but does not catch, it is not suppose to catch anything, the starter turns the flywheel, the only thing that catches if the starter gear into the ring gear on the flywheel then when the motor starts it is pushed back down the starter shaft, do you mean that it starts to turn then stop before it can make at least a round, if it ran and then you worked on it and now it won't start, did you tilt the mower to where oil from the engine could have got into the carburetor, that would cause that, if no do you have a good strong battery, if yes I would say that the valves need setting, intake and exhaust, before you do all of that remove the plugs and see if the engine will spin over freely, make sure you have the right amount of oil in the engine, over full will get them to lock up, now go try these things, Joe  

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MPH, I had one turf tiger with the Kawasaki water cooled, electric fuel injection, don't ever get one of those, that is a piece of S_it, it is a 61" cut got it for almost nothing, antifreeze in one cylinder, it had been worked on several time with someone changing the head gasket, I put it on the milling machine and milled ten thousands off, found a hole in the casting, this on was on the inside of the head gasket, milled another 10 that hole gone, new one in line with that one on the outside of the head gasket, so when it got hot they could communicate, getting fluid in the cylinder, so I milled another 10 and both gone did that to the other head, ran great on the work table put if on the mower about half season it started missing, changed the coils that helped some but the missing to worse, then I got a new "High Pressure" fuel pump from Scag, now on the second one and still having fuel problems, the Kawasaki people admit to having problems with fuel pumps, so if possible stay clear as long as you can from any (EFI) electronic fuel injection, a lot of shop still don't know how to deal with that, EFI on a lawnmower come on man. (we just need a few more Scags and we will be ok)

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Hi mph. Yes. You are correct. It is a brand new battery. 

Hi joe. When i mentioned a divot in the engagement mechanism i meant there was a shallow worn spot in the plate that was causing a ridge and hanging up the other bar and not letting it disengage properly. I used my dremel with a stone on it to smooth out the problem area and now the mechanism moves as intended. 

Yes, by catch i mean the fly wheel spins like it wants to start but will not actually complete the process and turn over to full start.

I will try removing the spark plug and see if the engine moves freely.  I will also watch some videos on the carburetor and try to check that. Thanks for the suggestions!

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Wow, had no idea, I had a Kawasaki on the Zmaster, but normal carb. Glad I didnt end up with one of those.

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MP, Kawasaki make junk motor also but they do keep minimize it, at least they don't have a plastic cam gear like some of the Briggs, the cost of mower goes up in price and more plastic, wonder how that is justifiable. 

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Hey joe. I took out the spark plug and the engine turns freely. I also reached under and the main spindle that pulls the belt was also turning. 

I saw a video that said that i may have sheared the flywheel key.  I found a place locally that sold the briggs flywheel puller tooll and a replacement key. So tiny!

After much effort and several youtube videos i got the flywheel off and put the new key in. The old one did not look damaged so i was not holding my breath that it was going to do any good. 

I got it all back together, pulled the rope out, put the spark plug back in and tried it. 

Still wont start. Ug.

While the stubborn girl in me wants to keep trying, the practical side of me says grass waits for no one and this has to get done. I am gonna call the place where i got the parts today and make a service appt. 

Today was a learning experience and not a waste...but i am at the point i just want this done already. 

I have not tilted the motor so not sure it would be the carburetor but will mention it to the repair guy to check.

Thanks for trying to help me.

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   Hey  Dirt Dabber, do the simple things first, pinch the line going to the carburetor, remove the tank and pour the fuel in a jar, that will tell you a lot of where you need to do next, if there is trash, water, (don't do methanol at all) if you find trash remove the carburetor and blow out the trash, most of the time it is fuel, lack of spark, like the plug, could be valve setting but rule that out for last, how about a model and serial number if you get the chance, again spark, clean fuel, two main reasons for failure, let me know how you come out with the mower shop, a lot of them add and add to the ticket when its minor.

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One time I had the magnatron go out on a little BS engine and it wouldn't start.  I fixed it but only by the skin of my teeth . That was a long time ago though  and a manual start . Best wishes  on getting it fixed. 

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I found a guy in the next town over that can look at my mower tomorrow.  I was thrilled because most of the mower/small engine places i called are book up for a week or more. The place i bought the flywheel puller and key from are 4 weeks out! 

Will let you know how it turns out.

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Mower guy called. He is done!  He said the cover for wire that goes from the spark plug back to the engine had ripped and let gunk up in there. It must have also touched the muffler at some point since part of the cover was melted.  He replaced that. He put in a new spark plug too. He also got me a new battery. I told him that one was brand new.  He said when he tested it it was only showing 9v. He said the wal mart everstart batteries are notorious for having dead cells.  He also mentioned i needed a bigger battery for my 20hp motor. 

He is gonna drop it off at some point tomorrow. Thank goodness because my lawn looks shaggy. 

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Woodchip, the flywheel key will not shear but only on a push mower, that mechanic needs to explain ripped, what ripped, if the spark plug wire was cut he would have to change the coil, gunk to in where, the battery replace a lot of batteries on mowers from Wal-Mart with never a problem and if your was new you bring it back and exchange it, that is all the cranking amps you need, have got customers wants the high crank amp batteries a starter does not pull enough amps to justify that high dollars, ask the repairman how much amperage draw, bet you get a blanks stare, if your mower is two years or less it has the emission controls, they stop up the carburetor, easy fix, get your battery back. Joe  

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@woodchip gardener glad you got it repaired, I know that feeling when the equipment  is down,  that grass doesnt stop growing.

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  Kubota G1900,  Got this one come in for repairs, the two rear motor supports were broken, excessive shaking and belts at the power take off (PTO) to the drive shaft he said are slipping, I gave him a guess on the price, he said that is high so I told him to bring it to Kubota, I know it would be well over 1,000 dollars, he left hope to finish today, don't know If I would take another one in,  he said it ate batteries, starter would hardly turn, guess the wire from the + on the battery should not be shorting against the frame, he wanted a new alternator and starter, think I will just change the cable and save him 350.00 dollars, the only thing left to the frame was front end, engine, rear end, everything else had to be removed to get to the rear motor supports,  without the jaws of life I would not have been able to change the motor support, the threaded stud on each end were way to long so getting the engine high enough was a chore, I will say it is a well built machine but not mechanic friendly to work on,  if you look to the left of the ratchet handle you will see one of the rear supports hiding behind the foot and floor panel and in one piece, a magic show to get on and off, talked him into letting me change the fuel line and the two filters, that would have been a total tear down again, and if the fuel pump goes out same thing, this would and could be most costly to keep up that what you paid for, it is a Diesel, 60" cut, hydraulic lift deck and auto transmission, I will post a few pick of the torn down tread to start repair look good a the close up's you see the motor support hiding, hope to be done today that was two full days if I do get finished. Joe

 

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