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

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I recently bought a 2002 craftsman 17.5 hp, 42" cut deck mower.(Mdl# 917272670) It hesitates after you turn the key to start. When I turn the key to start position, choke on, you hear an initial click, than nothing for 2-3 seconds, than it starts to turn over. I just put a new battery in, but it did not solve the problem. also when I engage the cutting deck, than dis-engage them, the blades continue to turn. (stay engaged) thinking about replacing the belt. Any suggestions?

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Your starting problems sounds just like the overhead valves need to be adjusted. They work in timing with the compression release feature in the engine and when set to specs enable the engine to start much easier. You remove the 4 screws in the valve cover and then with a metal feeler gauge check the gap between the rocker arms and the valve's ends.This being done after you remove the spark plug, turn the engine by hand until it comes up on the compression stroke and then 1/4" down into the power stroke, you hold it there and adjust the valve lash. I have the same machine and a new battery spins the engine quite well. Try the valve adjustment.
For you engage/disengage problem, check the action of the engagement lever behind the "dashboard" area and under the mower. The linkage to the lever needs to be checked and possibly lubicated if no foreign matter is jamming it's movement.

Posted on May 19, 2011

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