Question about Poulan 42-Inch Steel Deck 17.5 HP Briggs & Stratton I/C Engine With 6 Speed

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Engine won't turn over

I have had an on going problem, since I bought this mower brand new. It is a Poulan with a Kohler engine.The starter will only turn the engine to top dead center and not passed it. I have changed out the battery several times, thinking this was the problem. I finally went with the most powerful battery available and it won't turn the engine over, just to TDC. I have done a continuity test on all of the wires. Replace the solenoid. I've done a voltage drop test on my present battery. It's fine. I've checked and made sure I have a good ground connection. I am bepinning to suspect the starter has never been strong enough to turn the engine over. It did seem to work okay for the first 10-15 starts. After that is when my problem started. I'm ready to scrap it and buy another brand. Any suggestions?

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Is the engine flooding the cylinder with gas and hydro locking it? Try pulling the spark plug and seeing if the engine can be turned over and keep note if any gas comes out.

Posted on May 07, 2010


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When I try to start my 60" Ariens rider all I get is a loud clattering sound. I just replaced the battery 2 months ago. What's wrong with my mower?

Joel, Recheck battery to make sure it has good charge >12 v and all battery and starter wiring,plugs,connections are clean,tight and undamaged. If you remove spark plug and engine spins freely from the key, the engine compression release or valve clearance needs adjusted. It is probable the solenoid or starter is faulty, the starter Bendix/drive may be sticking. If you can, give the starter a couple sharp raps with a hammer or bar and then try to start.
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The starter won't completely turn over even though

Sometimes on the Briggs and Kohler engines, the compression release fails to operate at the proper time or is malfunctioning. A remedy for this is to remove the valve cover(s) and adjust the OH valves per the manufacturers specifications. This enables much easier starting, produces less wear and tear on the starter and may allow your new battery to completely turn that engine over. Out of adjustment valves mimic a weak or failing battery quite well and the engine hangs up on the compression stroke because the compression release system is not working properly. Adjust those darn valves.

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It has a new battery, but it do'nt turn over good enought. the spark is good. It has a new plug.

if this engine is a briggs ohv unit

try adjusting the valves so that decompressor can do its thing
and decompress the engine for easier starting

valve clearance is sett @ 1/4 inch tdc on power stroke to 0.003 " inlet and 0.005" exhaust
on briggs alloy push rod is inlet and steel one is exhaust
the bottom valve assy is inlet and top one is exhaust
because of cross flow design of engine

but check battery positive cable and negative cable to earth and make sure good connections - check your starter motor earthing and bushes

if kohler engine with hydraulic lifters make sure you use 10w/30 oil not sae 30 oil or it wont decompress properly


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