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Help with Snapper 21" mower

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by danmc, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. danmc

    danmc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    I have a +-10 year old snapper self propelled mower. The thing mows fine initially then after about 1/2 hr it quits. Once I get it started again (after approximately 5 minutes) it will run again for 10 minutes then quit and won't start again. I noticed it smokes a little bit around the motor when this happens. Oil level is ok, not too much, not too little. I changed the air filter but was hoping someone could give me some advice on what could be going on.

  2. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    Sounds like the coil could be heating up and dropping spark. When it quits remove the plug and put back in the plug wire then hold the metal part of the plug to a head bolt away from the plug hole, Have someone pull the rope while you watch for spark across the plug. It should be a nice blue color.
    And of course hold the plug with pliers because it will be hot.
  3. dutch1

    dutch1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Jayhawk
    Messages: 2,249

    Read the third post down. Brand of engine and engine numbers are sometimes helpful when one is familiar with various manufacturer failures.

    Ten years is pretty much the expected life of a push mower, shorter if it isn't serviced on a regular basis.

    If it were me trying to resuscitate a 10 year old mower I'd check out the following:

    1. Check for adequate compression, cold and hot.

    2. Check for spark at the plug when it dies. You could have a failing CDI.

    3. Check carb for debris floating around that might be blocking main jet.

    Barring safety switch problems, if you have compression, spark and fuel it should run.

    There are embedded problems that I haven't mentioned, but that is the short version of what I would suggest. Your mileage may vary.

  4. danmc

    danmc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    It's a 5 hp Signature Series Briggs and Stratton...
  5. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    The two post above still applies......

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