Question about Briggs & Stratton Briggs Stratton Lawnmower Lawn Mower Short Block

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The Briggs and Stratton engine on my lawn mower starts well and works well at first. I stop it now and then to empty the grass box. However after a while it won't restart. It doesn't seem to be a fuel problem, there isn't a spark on the plug. I leave it to cool down, try again, and it starts. I've changed the spark plug, but the problem is the same. Is it something to do with the condensor? Points?

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Hi and welcome to FixYa, I am Kelly.

There is a brake on the flywheel with a kill switch on the flywheel brake mount (behind the flywheel) on the back of the engine. Usually you can correct this by readjusting the user safety handle / bar cable at the back of the engine on the side of the flywheel brake bracket. 1/4" head screw to lift of the plastic cover most of the time and then loosen the cable clamp / mount .. pull the cable a bit furter away from the original position re-tighten clamp and squeeze the user safety hande to make sure the kill switch is no longer activated when the user safety bar is against the mower handle.

Since you did not include an engine model number I can not discuss specifics on you engine. I can do so with your engine model number.
If that does not correct the problem... if your engine has a LOW oil level sensor make sure the engine OIL is fully serviced. If the oil is fully serviced and you still have the problem on sensor models... disconnect ONE wire from the low oil level sensor and re-test spark. If disconnecting the low oil level sensor wire corrects the no spark issue.. remove the sensor and clean through the 2 holes in the barrell of the sensor with carb cleaner... several times to flush it.

On engines that do NOT have a low oil level sensor you have to inspect the black wire coming from under the flywheel for any signs of melting or chaffing. Usually you can repair any noted wire damage with electrical tape. Note fuel eventually eats the adhesive off of the electrical tape. I use electrical tape and a mini zip / cable tie over the tape so it does not migrate or come off.

Thanks for choosing FixYa,

Posted on May 22, 2011

  • 2 more comments 
  • Tony Priestley May 22, 2011

    Thanks for the reply. Model number is 10T802 and type is 0140B1. There doesn't appear to be a problem with the dead man brake switch or the black cable crossing the engine. The machine doesn't have a low oil level
    sensor, so I'm still confused!

  • Kelly
    Kelly May 22, 2011

    Your parts list is here:

    This is an impulse ignition and the armature / magneto PN is 793352. (item 333B) Ignition is stopped by grounding the wire PN 692390/ item 356 via the flywheel brake switch. There are only 2 parts to the ignition system the armature / magneto and the stop wire. One of the 2 is causing the problem. The armature / magneto can be breaking down from heat or the stop wire is finding a chassis ground somewhere between armature and the brake switch lever. Those are the only 2 possibilities. Sometimes the High tension lead grounds where it passes under the air shroud on the way to the spark plug. If the high tension lead has failed all the tape in the world will not prevent the spark from arching to the air shroud. You have to replace the armature / magneto. The armature / magnetor gap between the magnet on the flywheel and the armature / magneto is 0.0125. or... open up a match book... rip out the matches and use the outside cover for a spacer between the flywheel magnet and the armature / magneto then tighten the mounting bolts for the armature / magneto.

    If you brought it to my shop and I did not find any wire or switch problems I would recommend replacment of the stop wire and the armature magneto to end your problem. This is not an expensive repair if you do the repairs yourself.

    The stop wire is $5 - $6.00 and the armature is around $39.00 ($40.15 from


  • Tony Priestley May 23, 2011

    I ended up changing the magneto. Took one from an old defunct mower, and it now works fine :O)

    Many thanks


  • Kelly
    Kelly May 23, 2011

    Glad you were able to get it up and running again. If you would rate the post however you see fit. I was just happy to be able to help.




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