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Craftsman Riding Lawn Mower (Hard to Start)

I have a Craftsman Lawn Tractor (Model # 917.275.400). Upon turning the key to start it up, the motor turns maybe one to one and a half revolutions and then the solenoid starts making a rapid clicking noise and the starter and motor both quit. I have replaced the battery and all terminals and wires are tightly secures and cleaned. I can jump start it with a car, but prefer to figure out the issue. I have also adjusted the valve compression to .004 on both intake and exhaust valves. I hooked up a voltage meter to the battery and the volts are at 12.7 before turning the key to start. After I turn the key to crank the engine, the volts drop substantially (to almost 3 volts at times) and that's when the starter seems under a heavy load. I have not check the solenoid by have unmounted the starter motor from the motor while still hooked up to the solenoid and the starter ran fine after turning the key to start. Is there something else I'm missing? I've seen where the valve compression specs for an 18hp briggs and stratton are .003 for intake and .005 for exhaust and others have said .004 for both. Will that make a huge difference/solve this problem?


Thanks,

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Craftsman , Lawn Tractors , Lawn Mowers
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3 Answers from these members:
Manage My Life
Ok, I tested the solenoid with a volt-meter and the input terminal registers the same voltage as the battery at any given time. Battery is fully charged (so I think). When I turn the key, the voltage on the input terminal goes down to 2.5-3.0 volts. I put the battery on a trickle charge last night. I then tried to start it this morning and it turned over fine for a bout 10 seconds and it acted like the battery lost charge. I think I may have a bad (brand new) battery or a bad cable between battery and solenoid. I have already tried replacing the solenoid last night and it didn't make a lick of difference. Looks like I will be returning the new battery and getting one from an auto parts store (better brand).
by Manage My Life
August 24th, 2012
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tnesbi0
Thank you for submitting your question. If you turn the ignition key to the start position with the meter connected to the battery terminals, the voltage should not drop below 12 volts DC. I believe your solenoid is faulty and may need replacement. One of our Experts has provided great troubleshooting information for checking the solenoid and battery. Please click

here

to view this information. I hope this helps. If you require further assistance with this repair, please reply back to this thread with more details. Thank you for using Manage My Life.
by tnesbi0 Earned 293 community points in Craftsman
August 22nd, 2012
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Manage My Life
Riding mowers are awesome to have especially in fall season. But when it starts to have issues it can be frustrating. While you are waiting on an expert to answer your question, I suggest you set service with a sears technician. I have attached the link below. Have a nice day!
by Manage My Life
August 21st, 2012
Answered in 8 minutes
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