Question about Yard Machines 155 Torque Briggs Stratton Riding Lawn Mower (NonCARB Compliant) 13AM772F000

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I have a Yard Machines by MTD, 638 RL, Model 13A1762F, 13.5 HP, Tecumseh engine. Yesterday, after using it without incident, it died while putting it away. The engine turns over, there is fresh gas in the tank. The spark plug fires and a shot of starting fluid in the carb does nothing. Any ideas?

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  • Alan Childers May 29, 2011

    Just checked the flywheel key. It is good. (was sorely hoping that was the problem)

  • Alan Childers May 29, 2011

    Anyone else have any suggestions? My Yard Machines 638 RL will not start. Engine turns over, spark plug fires, fresh gas and flow to carb is good, starting fluid in the carb has no effect, timing key is intact.
    Could it be a safety switch somewhere keeping the engine from starting?



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Recently had same problem with this machine with a Tecumseh 17.5hp. There is a solenoid on the bottom of the fuel bowl that controls fuel flow inside the carb. It is controlled by the ignition switch. Mine got stuck in the closed position. I could not find a replacement, so a small engine mechanic told me I could disable this by removing the solenoid and cutting off the pin. This worked for me. Then, for safety, put a fuel cutoff valve in the fuel line.
Hope this helps.
Hank in Marietta, GA

Posted on Sep 19, 2015

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Sounds like you need the carb cleaned. This can be a pretty tedious job. It's easier with small engines but still risky. If you have a lot of mechanical experience I would go for it, but if not you should take it into a repair shop.

Posted on Dec 06, 2014


There might be something wrong with the engine. While your lawn care equipment is different from my car, my car was doing something similar a few months ago. I can't remember what exactly was wrong with it, but I can recommend having a professional mechanic look at it. We can't be as much help since we can't look at the engine.
Claudia Rosenburg '

Posted on Jul 17, 2014

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Air is not getting into the engine, clean the air filter. Or it may be due to a fuel blockage in the pipe. I would clean the air filter and the carberator.
First try just the air filter, you may just get away with it ey! Won't be too much work.

Take care!

Posted on May 29, 2011

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Did it possibly shear the flywheel key?which would throw it out of time,remove the top cover and see if the key is sheared off by removing the flywheel

Posted on May 29, 2011

  • danny Hendrickson May 29, 2011

    also what color is the spark ? blue or dull orange?and is it a large healthy spark at the spark plug?,possible the ignition module is getting weak or its ground is bad due to a rusty high resistance connection, check this also as grounds are important in ignition systems too or the flywheel is just rusty enough to limit the pick-up modules signal,check the flywheel for rust also,and kill or distort the spark impulse signal too


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