Model #3M20 SHARP Misc Television

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Why won't fuel flow to the fuel filter on my Craftsman garden tractor?


Your engine uses a pulse type fuel pump that pulls fuel out of the tank and through the pulse fuel pump to the carburetor bowl. There are 3 hoses connected to the fuel pump, two of the hoses are fuel lines and one is the pulse line.

You may have a bad fuel pump or cracks in one of the 3 hoses connected to the fuel pump. See image below. The fuel from the tank is moved through the in-line filter and fuel lines by the fuel pump. On engines not equipped with a fuel pump, the fuel tank outlet is located above the carburetor inlet allowing gravity to feed fuel to the carburetor. This explains why fuel is not free flowing to the fuel filter.

Check the following:

  • Make sure the vent in fuel tank is open.
  • Make sure the fuel valve is open.
  • Make sure vacuum and fuel lines to fuel pump are secured and in good condition.

Check the operation of fuel pump.

  • Remove the fuel line from the inlet fitting of carburetor.
  • Crank the engine several times and observe flow
If fuel does flow from the line, check for faulty carburetor.

  1. If fuel does not flow from the line, check for a clogged fuel line. If the fuel line is unobstructed, check for overfilled crankcase and/or oil in pulse line.
  2. If none of the checks reveal the cause of the problem, replace the pump.

To replace the pulse pump follow these steps. Note the orientation of the pump before removing.

  1. Disconnect the fuel lines from the inlet, outlet and pulse fittings on fuel pump.
  2. Remove the two mounting screws and take off the pump.
  3. Connect the pulse line to the new fuel pump and make sure opposite end is properly connected into valve cover. NOTE: Make sure the orientation of the new pump is consistent with the removed pump. Internal damage may occur if installed incorrectly.
  4. Attach the new fuel pump using the hex flange screws. Torque the screws to 2.3 N·m (20 in. lb.).
  5. Connect the fuel lines to the inlet and outlet fittings and secure with the clamps.

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Joey S -
Sears Technician
September 18, 2009

This is exactly what is happening on my Craftsman model 917.252610 tractor, except for one thing. It will run fine for about 30 minutes, then will be starved for fuel. When I pull the fuel line at the fuel filter, there is no flow. However, if I let the engine cool and start it later, it runs again like there was no problem. I have replaced the fuel, fuel line, fuel filter, and have inspected and cleaned out the fuel tank. Should I follow the same troubleshooting procedures that you listed above, or should I be looking at some other problem area? Any ideas on why this happens only after the engine gets hot? Thank you in advance for your help.

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Robert -
May 23, 2011
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