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why am i burning through countless coils on craftsman lawn tractor?

My cousin has gone through 5 coils on craftsman lawn tractor. model no. 917.273635.

It starts a couple of times then nothing. Is there something that he is missing?

Any help would be greatly appreciated?

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Craftsman , Lawn Tractors , Lawn Mowers
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13 Answers from these members:
Manage My Life
Just wanted to let you all know that I installed the wiring kit that i purchased form sears and it works like a charm.
Very easy to install. 5 mins.
Still believe sears should not charge customers for this item. 20 bucks is not bad though.
by Manage My Life
August 18th, 2011
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Manage My Life
@Jami, your model number directly calls for that kit. I have attached the kit install directions. You may be able to wire around it but it's not recommended.
by Manage My Life
August 16th, 2011
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Manage My Life
I have a 917.273643 (don't have the Serial Number at hand) and have blown two coils the last two times I ran my tractor. I'm assuming this will fix mine as well, but my local Sears doesn't carry the 192931 kit ans it'll be 7-10 days to get. Is there a way a guy can wire this on his own?
by Manage My Life
August 15th, 2011
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Manage My Life
The original bulletin on this has date codes that are affected. If the first six digits of the tractor serial number fall between 121503 to 052704 I would think you could make a case for it being covered. You would need to contact our Customer Service for that at 1-800-4-MY-HOME to see if they can extend it. The only issue I can see is strictly based on the age of the mower and it being well beyond the 2yr warranty. But I have seen things like this covered before. In my opinion, it's worth calling to find out.
by Manage My Life
April 29th, 2011
Answered in 19 hours
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Manage My Life
Thanks a Whole Lot. I will order one now. Hope this is the solution.
So the 7th coil this week might be the last one i buy? LOL
Will let you know how i make out.
Thanks again.
PS
Wouldn't you think that this would be a free fix seeing that it's nothing the operators are doing wrong????? HMMMMMMMM
by Manage My Life
April 29th, 2011
Answered in 18 hours
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There is a kit to fix this problem. I thought there was but my system was not telling me it is for this engine for some reason. but it is. I got with Briggs and Stratton about this. then another tech and I were talking about it and sure enough. 192931 is the fix kit. There is a spike being sent down when you shut the engine off and that's whats causing all this headache. the kit is a couple of pigtails that will re-reoute that voltage spike to prevent this problem. I apologize for not finding this sooner.
by Manage My Life
April 29th, 2011
Answered in 17 hours
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Manage My Life
If you have a volt meter, set it to read DC voltage and take a reading between terminal "M" on the ignition switch and ground. Then (with bad coil in place) try to start the engine and watch the meter for a voltage spike at any point when you are starting or when you let off the key. It may not show it if the engine is never running, but I'm trying to keep from blowing another coil.

Terminal "M" is the starting point of the kill wire. It runs in the harness loom with a few wires that carry power. So it could have a short anywhere along the line. Or it could just be the ignition switch, but that would really be a reach since you don't have any other symptoms.
by Manage My Life
April 29th, 2011
Answered in 16 hours
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Manage My Life
I believe the first to be true. started fine, then when put together and go to start again. NOTHING!!!.
Where might one look for power getting to kill wire?
thanks again
by Manage My Life
April 29th, 2011
Answered in 16 hours
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Manage My Life
Something else I thought about for this problem: If there is a short in the harness it could be backfeeding 12 volts (battery) back up the kill wire and frying the coil. It could be the ignition switch doing this on shutdown or it could be a short in the harness while the machine is in operation. You can remove the "kill" wire from the coil and run the machine to see if it still fries the coil. If it does not then it could be narrowed down to that. Or you can trace the kill wire all the back to the ignition switch checking for bad spots in the wire.
by Manage My Life
April 29th, 2011
Answered in 16 hours
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Manage My Life
If they're burning out as the mower is being shut off, meaning you kill the mower and come back later and the coil is dead, then I would suspect a possible short kicking power back up the kill wire. If they are dying out while the machine is in use, there is nothing but the spark plug and flywheel that are working with the coil. So it would have to be plug, flywheel, or faulty coil. A flywheel is expensive and I wouldnt just say change the flywheel, but if with this situation, I think I would unless it's killing the coil on shut down.

I saw a 2nd question that I believe may be from you. Another tech has that question and will respond shortly. Another opinion is never a bad thing, so do know that he will get to that other question shortly.
by Manage My Life
April 29th, 2011
Answered in 15 hours
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Manage My Life
Thanks for the response.
Used 5 coils in 3 days!!!!!
All were aftermarket parts.
Sixth coil was OEM.
Would it be safe to assume that switches, connections... can be ruled out as possible causes?
If not, where might he look?
thanks again
by Manage My Life
April 29th, 2011
Answered in 15 hours
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Manage My Life
There are 3 "normal" causes for ignition coil failure. They are:

Overheating. The operating temperature of the engine gets to hot and burns the coil out. This is not real common on a small engine as usually the engine will shut down from heat before the coil will fail, but it is possible.

Resistance problems. If the wrong spark plug is used, you can count on the coil failing. The engine on your model number calls for a Champion RC12YC plug.

Electrical surges. This is really considered a typical use failure. If the mower has used 5 coils in 7 years is almost one a year and is excessive. I've had 3 of my tractors for over 10 years and they are all still using their original coil. 2 of my engines use the same coil as your model.

I ran into a similar situation a few years back and we ended up having to replace the coil and the flywheel (for the magnet). The problem went away after we did that. I really do wish I had a firm answer for you on this but I'm afraid it is almost impossible to determine what causes a coil to fail.

Thank you for using Manage My Life!
by Manage My Life
April 29th, 2011
Answered in 15 hours
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Manage My Life
When electrical problems seem to keep occurring it can be discouraging. The experts here will review your situation and respond with good advice. In the meantime I did locate a previous expert post for this model that has some information that you may be able to use with the troubleshooting. I attached the link below. If you decide you would like to hand over the diagnosis and repair at this point to a technician, an option is to visit Sears Home Services and use the handy scheduler below.
by Manage My Life
April 28th, 2011
Answered in 9 minutes
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