Engine won't start no matter what I do

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by fabriker, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. fabriker

    fabriker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I have a Murray 42" mower with a 14.5 HP Briggs and Stratton OHV model number 287707 engine. I cannot get it to start. I have replaced the battery (300 amp cranking power), replaced the selinoid, changed the oil, drained and replaced with new gas, new fuel filter, adjusted the valves, cleaned the carb, changed and gapped the spark plug and it still will not start. The crank starts to turn and then stops. Help! What do I do?
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Might be the starter...
  3. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,181

    or simply a loose cable. You said you replaced the starter solenoid, so I presume the hot leads are all tight. How about the ground wire?
  4. randy448

    randy448 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    did you set valve lash with piston .250" past top dead center? must be set correct or will not turn past compression and will burn up starter eventually.
  5. New Bern Bear

    New Bern Bear LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I have one of these engines on a '97 MTD. Good engine.

    - Remove the spark plug and check to see if you have spark.
    - If not, Bad coil or bad plug wire or plug boot. - replace as needed.

    If you have spark,
    - try putting a bit of gas in the carb. and crank
    If the engine starts ....

    - Plugged fuel filter - replace
    - dirt in carb. - Clean

    This is just a quick and easy way to start to ID the problem.
    I'm sure there are more experienced people that will assist you.

  6. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,181

    All good advice, John, but he said it won't even crank. Rather he said starts to crank and then stops turning over. So that doesn't really sound like an ignition or fuel problem.
  7. Bill Kapaun

    Bill Kapaun LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 956

    When you adjusted the valves, did you have the piston 1/4" past TDC?
  8. fabriker

    fabriker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Thanks for all the replies. I will double check all wires and connections. Yes, I did adjust the valves at 1/4" past TDC, but will do it again. I talked to a local repair shop and told them all this. He said that it sounds like it wont break past compression or push past compression. He suggested that there might be a bad spring on the piston or crank??

    Thanks again for all the feedback.

  9. Bill Kapaun

    Bill Kapaun LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 956

    Remove the spark plug, ground the plug wire and then crank the engine.
    It sounds like the engine might be hydro locked. If so, the piston will push out a bunch of gasoline through the plug hole. You DON'T want a spark, so that's why you want to ground the plug wire.
  10. fabriker

    fabriker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Ok, what is hydro locked? That happened when I first adjusted the valves. Fortunately I did not have a battery connected.

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