Question about Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor - CA Model

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Engine won't Start

I have a craftsman 17 hp model 917.271653 lawn tractor. The problem is the engine won't "turn over". When I try to start the engine it just "clicks". I replaced the battery, and it did the same thing. Then I removed and tested the starter - it seemed fine. Further investigatin showed oil pooling in and around the airfilter (my father told me the week prior he added 1+ quarts of oil). I then drained all the oil and filled with required 3 qts. I turned the flywheel counterclockwise until it was extremely difficult to move. At the same time i lowered the gear on the starter. I tried starting the tractor. It seemed to crank the engine up to the point the flywheel became difficult to turn. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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  • dselheimer May 24, 2009

    Correction, once I drained the oil I added 3 pints. Took your advice removed and cleaned plug. The engine cranked and then started. Once started it blew out quite alot of white smoke. I then shut it off and had difficulty some difficulty starting. Once started, I once again had quite a lot of white smoke. Is this normal until the engine/oil problem rights itself?

  • dselheimer May 25, 2009

    Worked perfectly - Thanks

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If you have 3 qts. of oil in your mower, drain it immediately. It only holds 3 PINTS or 48 ozs or 1 1/2 qts. Next, remove your spark plug and put the end away from the hole (to prevent possible arching and fire) and crank the engine over. Probably, a lot of oil/gas will blow out, clearing your cylinder. Clean the plug and try to restart. If it still reaches a point where the engine will not turn past while trying to crank, the valves need to be readjusted. Also check by smelling the dipstick that there is no gas mixed in the oil. That would mean your carb needle and seat are leaking.

Posted on May 24, 2009

  • Dwain Pippen May 25, 2009

    Again, very important, be sure there isn't any gas mixed in your oil. If it had too much oil in it before, some could have been sucked into the oil breather and flooded out the cylinder which would have put it in the muffler too. It may take a few minutes to burn it all out. If it doesn't burn off, you might have a lesking head gasket. Let me know. Dwain

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