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

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Crafstman riding mower cutting off now won't start at all

I have an older Crafstman riding mower model 917.270722. It's 17HP w/ 42 inch deck. Recently it runs fine until about 15 minutes in then shuts off. Until today, I was able to restart it seconds later and it would run for about 5 minutes before doing the same. Today, it ran for 10 minutes, did the same and then died. when I tried to start it it spun slower and slower until eventually, it won't turn at all. It's doing nothing. I checked the battery and it's showing fine. Help?

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  • 148 Answers

The two most likely suspects for the symptom you describe are:
a) Ignition coil failure under high heat.
OR
b) Decompression failure due to normal wear.

For a positive diagnosis try the following:

For scenario a)
Run the engine until it shuts itself down. As quickly as possible, check for spark using a spark tester (availabe at local auto parts store). If no spark when hot, allow to cool down and test again. If good spark when cold and no spark when hot, change the ignition coil.
Proper part number (assuming your machine is still all original) Briggs & Stratton part #492341.

For scenario b)
Run the engine until it shuts itself down. Try to restart but pay close attention to the speed of the spinning starter. Next, remove the spark plug and spin the engine over (WITH SPARK PLUG WIRE WELL OUT OF THE WAY!!) If the engine spins super fast and free you can discount the theory of a bad battery and you will need to adjust the valve lash.

Determine which is the case and reply to this post. I will gladly give a detailed explanation of the valve lash adjustment procedure in another post.

Hope this helps!

Posted on Oct 01, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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