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HI I have a Craftsman lawn tractor model 917.274641 purchased in 3/05. This model has an automatic transmission. My problem is as follows: I was mowing the lawn.......stopped the tractor and turned it off to do something else. When I returned tractor would not start. I was able to jump the battery with my car (instructions say you can do this). I continued to mow for 10 minutes when the engine shut off suddenly in the middle of the cut. I have replaced the I can't even jump start it. When I turn the key, there is only a clicking sound and then a low level squealing sound. My mechanically inclined neighbor has attempted to help me diagnose the problem. Thus far we have checked the fuse under the instrument panel with a vol-con is ok. While I was in the seat, he tested the solenoid connection (he put a crescent wrench between the two poles and got a spark as I turned the key to start. Still no start. This is where we ended up. Any assistance to help diagnose this problem would be appreciated. Lew

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  • ljwaltersjr Sep 30, 2009

    Thanks eliase,

    I took the blower housing off of the tractor to gain access to the engine......I was able to turn the engine and saw that the starter gear pinion was engaged with the flywheel. I disengaged the gear pinion from the flywheel and sprayed it with WD40. When I tried starting the engine.....the gear pinion popped up to engage the flywheel.....with a cranking sound as though the engine was going to start, but then stopped. When I turned the key again, I only got a clicking sound. I think the starter is bad and am going to replace it. What do you think?


  • ljwaltersjr Oct 01, 2009

    I installed a new starter. Now, the engine turns but doesn't start. As long as I hold the key to the on position it turns, but don't want to run the battery down. I'm at a loss now.

  • ljwaltersjr Oct 01, 2009

    thanks, I have checked the gas level...ok and choke is on. Haven't tested the ignition system yet, but In the meantime since my last post, I tried to remove the spark plug to take a look. I couldn't get it to budge......a neighbor tried sprayed it with WD40 to see if it would loosen up. It loosened up but was very hard to remove. The electrode end (part going into the head) of the plug was SMASHED....the electode (not sure what you call it) that curves out was missing and the center one was bent to the side........part of the threads at the tip were gone. I looked in the block and the threads are stripped. I think it might be a blown valve?????? Reiterating what happened when the tractor originally shut down.........the tractor just stopped.....with sort of a reved sound (I was wearing ear couldn't hear it clearly.


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Try turning the engine by hand if it doesnt turn the engine is bad

Posted on Sep 24, 2009

Testimonial: "thanks so much for your assistance. In the end, had a mechanic put a cam in the spark plug hole into the engine......the rod came loose from the cam"

  • 1 more comment 
  • Eliezer Miller Sep 30, 2009

    sound like it may be a bad starter good luck

  • Eliezer Miller Oct 01, 2009

    make sure you have enough gas also make sure that when you replaced the starter you didn't mess up the ignition system the way to check this is to go to autozone or a similar store and get a spark checker hook it up and see if you have a spark if not check your starter installation also make sure the choke is on when you try to start it

  • Eliezer Miller Oct 02, 2009

    now that the plug is out look in to the bore while an assistant engages the starter(using eye protection) if the piston is still moving back and forth try replacing the spark plug but i suspect it wont be no this is not likely a bad valve since that would contact the piston and destroy that not the spark plug and the noise from that would be extreme if the engine is gone consider replacing it its only a 3.5 hour job according to the manual


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