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I have a craftsman lawn mower and having engine problems. It will not start. I have tried cleaning the carb and opened all orifices, checked float and main jet. Everything is clear. I put it all back together and tried starting. NOTHING! It will turn over if I spray starting fluid, runs 2 seconds and dies. Any ideas?

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  • David Burbee
    David Burbee Aug 06, 2010

    Hello! Tell me the year and engine size...Depending on information it may have a fuel pump...Disconnect fuel line at the carb. and crank the engine ...Do you have fuel? Send a comment... Guru......Saailer

  • Steve Aug 06, 2010

    Thanks for responding so quickly:

    It is a craftsman EZ3, 6.5 HP, Eager 1, 22" inch cut, self propelled gear drive. It starts with starting fluid, but only runs a few seconds. Fuel line appears to be gravity fed to the carb bowl, then a float keeps the fuel in check. Fuel and float are good to go. Thanks for your help!!

    Mower mod# 917.377271
    Engine# 143.976500

    I hope this helps. I have been racking my brain here to no avail



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Hello! Thanks for information...If you pull the fuel line going into the carb. and crank engine...Does fuel flow?...Saailer

I’m happy to help further over the phone at

Posted on Aug 06, 2010

  • David Burbee
    David Burbee Aug 06, 2010

    Hello! Replace the fuel bowl...They are noted for warping...Part #730235B...It's a kit and should solve the problem...Saailer



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My Craftsman lawn mower has a problem. After starting, it only runs a few seconds, and then dies.

There are a few things you may want to try. One, the float in the carb may be stuck. Try putting a small amount of gas directly into the carb, this may free the float. Two, try replacing the fuel filter, it may be that some fuel is getting to the engine but not enough. Three check the air filter, same as with fuel the engine may be getting some air but not enough to continue to run. Hope this helps.

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Hi and welcome to FixYa, I am Kelly.

Carbs all have some minimal derbis in the float bowl. When an engine runs out of gas the float bowl cavitates and the debris that was just fine in the bottom of the float bowl is drawn into the main fuel jet located in the threaded area of the bowl nut. Remove the float bowl nut and bowl. Use carb cleaner to remove the debris from the main fuel jet orifice in the threaded area of the carb body.
(If the carb cleaner does not free the debris from the main fuel jet is can be unscrewed and removed for cleaning. Just make sure the screwdriver is a good fit to the brass slots of the orifice or you will never get it out.)
Make sure to clean out the float bowl and nut before re-assembly. This should get you going pretty quickly.

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Drain the fuel or when you remove the float bowl bolt (also the main jet), then hold up on the float to keep the needle on the seat so gas won't go everywhere. When you have that brass bowl bolt off, clean it! Use nothing metal on it. Pay close attention to the small hole in the bottom and along the smooth unthreaded part at the other end. Use carb/choke cleaner to blast gum and dirt out of those very small fuel orifices. I recommend installing an inline fuel filter also. A shut off valve is recommended too, that way if the needle in the carb sticks open, the crankcase won't be polluted with gas. Usual symptoms on a clogged lawn mower main jet though, are after pushing primer bulb, engine runs about 3 seconds. Try the brass bolt cleaning and post back if needed.

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Float stuck in open position. When the gas evaporated in it there was a gunk left behind and then It was down and either froze up or there is trash keeping the needle valve from sealing up all the way.
So when you start it gas keeps pouring into the motor. It is suposed to shut off once it gets enough to run on.
Be real careful take the carb off and remove the bowl. And then the float. Take a q-tip and clean the needle valve port ou real good. And clean the rubber tip gently. Then put back together.
When it is upside down the float should be parallel with the carb. That would be the shut off point. You may have to adjust it.

That should do it. When you hook the gas line back up loosen the bowl and let gas in carb til it starts to run out. Then mow.

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