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Craftsman 917.271550 lawn tractor 15.5 HP starts missing and not running right after I use it a little while. Fuel in filter looks low then..

I replaced fuel tank, cap, longer piece of fuel line but not shorter piece from fuel filter to carb in Aug 2009.

When mower started acting up a few weeks ago, it would quit when i push choke throttle down to mowing speed. A friend wiggled the brake clutch switch around and then I could mow with it. The other day it would run fairly o.k. unless I engaged the blades, then it started missing. During the last few days I have noticed the fuel filter which I recently changed to local generic is almost full when i start out mowing and when the missing starts it appears the fuel filter has so little gas in it i don't see how enough is getting to carburetor. I have recently put in new spark plug and new air filter as well. I am a woman a bit mechanically inclined but not too much so and don't have men handy to help me. Help me, please. I inherited this about 10 yr old mower from my dad's estate, and I hope the fix is easy. Several friends think there could be enough of an air leak somewhere in lines to keep gas from flowing to filter correctly, but there are no gas leaks.

Craftsman , Lawn Mowers , Lawn Tractors
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2 Answers from these members:
Manage My Life
Good job! Women can do anything a man can and I think it is wonderful you are attempting to self repair your mower. With the help of an expert you will get throught your repair in no time! It usually takes 24-48 hours to receive a response. Below I attched a link that will provide some great informaiton about your issue. I ohpe this link is helpful!
by Manage My Life
July 4th, 2011
Answered in 21 minutes
0 votes
Manage My Life
If the hose running from the tank over to the carburetor dips down below the level of the carburetor that could cause this problem. Also, if there is some trash or something floating around in the bottom of the fuel tank you could have similar issues. If there were trash or water in the carburetor bowl similar issues would occur.

The clutch switch should have nothing to do with how the engine is running in this regard.

As far as the fuel filter goes, it could possibly be playing a part in this, but I doubt it.

It's possible that the power going down to the fuel shutoff solenoid could be loose somewhere along the line and it's losing power or flickering while in use. That's kind of a long shot, but something to keep in mind if nothing else seems to pan out.

Along the same lines of long shots, it's possible the valves are out of adjustment and causing the machine to run bad, but that's something that would have other symptoms to go along with it.

You mentioned an air leak, that's possible but unlikely as it would tend to not ever clear up. It would run rough (if it started at all) and continue to run rough the entire time the engine was on.

Run the engine until I starts to run bad and then reach up and loosen the fuel cap by a turn or 2 and see if anything changes at all. I don't hold out much hope for such a simple fix as a fuel cap, but it is possible.

One thing I did notice is that you said it starts to run okay when you move the throttle down. This throttle is also a choke on the same lever. When you want to start the engine you move the lever all the way up as far as it will go. Then when the engine starts you move it down until you feel the lever hit a notch. That's the full throttle position and where the engine should be when mowing or just driving around. Anything about that notch is "choke" and it will over-fuel the engine and cause it to run really rough and puff out some black smoke.

Let me know what all you find with this and where you stand with it. I'm pretty sure we can get you back mowing right; it's just a matter of figuring out exactly what's going on.

Thank you for using Manage My Life!
by Manage My Life
July 5th, 2011
0 votes
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