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Older Snapper Walk Behind Dies when Drive Engaged

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by ColoRyan, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. ColoRyan

    ColoRyan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I have an older Snapper 32" walk behind model W32080 from around 1987. When I start the motor it will idle fine in neutral, but when I release the control levers to engage the drive it dies a few seconds later. The manual says to release the levers to engage the drive, but surely they don't mean to release them all the way to where the interlock plungers are completely retracted. The plungers are adjusted as far out as possible. Do I just need to adjust the drive so it engages sooner?

    Also I have an oil leak at the base of the engine, and white smoke out the carb when the motor is shut down. I also get a surging at idle sometimes because the choke plate and linkage are moving back and forth. It's an 8hp Briggs. I don't think it had these problems when I took it out of the shop but I just took it on a bouncy 1000 mile road trip so I'm thinking something could have been knocked loose.

    Thanks for any help!
  2. Merkava_4

    Merkava_4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,432

    All small engines have one thing in common: They like to be kept clean. When an engine idles fine but dies under load, it's usually not getting enough fuel. I approach these situations with a carpet bombing effect:

    The first thing I do is remove the carburetor and give it a thorough cleaning. I've found that carb cleaner by itself is not always effective; all welch plugs need to be pulled and all orifices cleaned out with torch tip cleaning wires. I then reassemble and check the float level. Any gaskets that need replacing get replaced.

    I like to pull the head and clean all the carbon from the combustion chamber and intake/exhaust ports. I also like to pull the valves and clean the carbon build up from them too.

    While the head's off, I'll go ahead and clean the carbon off the top of the piston.

    What I just described is a total top end cleaning. :)
  3. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    Sounds like you need to adjust the drive linkage and or the safety switches so it will stay running.

    On the engine, There's a good chance bouncing around on a trailer that far the carb has flooded fuel into the crankcase. Check the oil level and smell for signs of fuel, Could need nothing more than a oil change to get it back running properly.

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