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

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Murray rear engine riding mower locks up after riding briefly

She started up and began mowing. After 20 seconds, it screeched to a halt and turned off. I restarted it and mowed another 20 seconds until the same occurred. Now, it will not even start. Just a click when I turn the key. Fuse is good. Any thoughts? (Mover is 8 years old).

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  • mktopping May 27, 2009

    Ok, I am an idiot. I now realize that she froze up because my oil was practically drained. So, here is the question: Now that she doesn't turn over when I turn the key, is there anyway to "unfreeze" her (after I fill the oil of course) or have I permanently frozen her. There is no pull start. There's a round screen over the engine. Thoughts?

  • mktopping May 28, 2009

    Panilling9, I followed your steps and BINGO! It started up after a few tries. THANK YOU

  • Dwain Pippen May 11, 2010

    Can you lay your hands flat on the screen on top of the engine and turn it by hand, backward or forwards and will it turn all the way around? Did you check the oil before use?

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I really don't think at this point there's much hope for your engine. I would say it was seized from lack of lubrication. The piston is likely 'galled' to the cylinder frrom heat and probably wouldn't last even if you did break it loose and started. Still, you have nothing to lose. Soo.. put the correct amount of oil in it, remove the spark plug and spray a penatrating in the cylinder. Take a 5/8 socket and breaker bar and turn the bolt on the botton of the engine pulley clockwise and see if it breaks loose. Good luck

Posted on May 27, 2009

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Check your oil of course
does the engine have a pull rope?
if so try to pull start it
is the motor free?
next step do you have a good battery?
under the motor cover. if you have a pull start is a clutch type mechanism that engages when you pull start it
remove motor cover and on top of the clutch you will see a small hole put oil in that hole and work it so the oil goes to lubricate the shaft that the clutch spins on this mechanism and spins freely only ccw cw it catches and turn the motor,
just a thought it may or may not be related

Posted on May 26, 2009

  • panilling9
    panilling9 May 27, 2009

    i would say longhorn 294 has great input

    you could also remove that screen and locate the flwheel nut and get a socket to fit it and a 1/2 inch drive ratchet or breaker bar wrench with extension and try to turn it cw an ccw to assist in breaking it lose

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