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

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Rider will not run and dies when on the slightest downward incline

I have a Sears Craftman Rider Model # 917.273403. I just replaced the safety seat switch which I thought was the problem and to no avail. what was happening was it seemed as if when it warmed up about three passes around area it would seem to quit then power up and then quit. This always happens when I am at or on the slightest downward incline. It always starts back up but if I do not get to an incline will just repeat the dying and then make or three passes and do the same thing when hit the decline. I have checked the carb, and the fuel filter, new gas, etc. All plugs and carb cleaning was done at the end of last years season. I did have to buy a new battery and after installed mowed the entire yard 5 acres with no problem, Next time then it began this business with dying out. Do you have any suggestions or clues as to what this could be and how do I go about fixing it. Thank you.

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  • stardustbelo May 27, 2009

    Thank you rjbeg123 for your comments as they are more than I have been able to come up with so far. As for the oil, everything was changed and tuned up before putting to bed for the winter. If it is an oil sensor cutoff where would I find this and how to repair it. Should I just drain all of the oil and refill. The oil is still clear and not dark, It should be good as I have only mowed once this season with it before things went awry. As for the float, what are your suggestions for adjusting or getting it out of whack back into its whack? Thank you.

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Interesting, The only thing that is changing is the angle of motor and carb when you hit the incline. The only possible culprits therefore would seem to be an oil sensor cutoff that thinks your oil is low low when on the incline, you didn't list oil as one of the things you checked. Or an out of whack float on your carb. Nothing else on the machine would be that sensitive to a slight incline...

Posted on May 27, 2009

  • rjbeg123 May 27, 2009

    I wouldn't change the oil, just make sure its up to the full line when the engine is warm and you stop it. The float should be level, there's a pin that lets fuel in to the carb based on the level of the float. If your seeing black exhaust when it's loosing power and dying then I'd say your float is riding to high and it is getting too much fuel. If no smoke and feels more like a no fuel situation then your float is shutting off too soon. You bend the float arm to get the height within the proper range of height. No special tools that I know of. The float adjustment is really a loose adjustment, like within a eighth inch or so, not a couple 1000ths like a spark plug gap or valve clearance. The only other thing to check first would be to make sure you have good fuel flow to the carb.

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Most of those mowers have a seat sensor. Some are faulty...When going downhill, it's possible that your body weight shifts forward and the sensor is turning the engine off. To check this find the sensor and temporarily bypass it and see if the problem persists. It is a safety item though so do not use it bypassed...replace the switch.

Posted on Jun 16, 2009

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