Model #917256524 CRAFTSMAN Lawn, Tractor

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Question and Answers

Q:

Craftmans 15.5hp mower backfires 917-256524

A:

Thank You for choosing Sears PartsDirect.com and being a valued member.

I am sorry to hear of the issues you’re having with the tractor. I know how frustrating that is.

In regards to the backfiring, the most common causes would be if the intake and exhaust valves need to be adjusted, or there is an issue with the head gasket. The Briggs engine manual states the intake should be set between .003”-.005” and the exhaust should be at .005”-.007”. There are some great YouTube videos that show how to perform a valve adjustment if you haven’t done so before.

The backfiring and valves would not explain the sudden power outage though. For this, you will need to test the power circuit with a meter to see where the drop in power is coming from.

Turn the meter to check dc volts, and then hold the black lead to the black negative battery terminal for all of the voltage checks. Place the red lead on the positive terminal of the battery. The reading should be 12 volts. If you have a 12 volt reading, move the red lead to the B terminal of the ignition switch or the red wire. Your reading should be 12 volts. If you have 12 volts, have someone sit on the tractor and hold the brake pedal while turning the key for the rest of the checks. While they have the key turned to the start position, move the red lead to the white wire on the clutch/brake safety switch. The reading should always be 12 volts. Then move to the attachment PTO safety switch. If you lose the 12 volts, the problem is between the last check you had the voltage and where you lost the voltage. If you have 12 volts all the way to the white wire on the solenoid, the solenoid or the starter is defective.

To determine starter or solenoid, short the two large posts on the solenoid together with a screwdriver. There should be a spark it is normal. Once shorted the starter should run. If the key is turned to Start, the tractor should fire up.

This very likely could be: a defective battery, the fuse, a shorted safety switch, or a wire that’s shorting or grounding out.

I hope this helps and thanks for using SearsPartsDirect.com. We appreciate your business.  

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Jeff Wallace Sr -
Sears Technician
June 17, 2015
A:

Hi Jeff....thank you for replying. I did my check with the meter. I am getting 12 volts thru all the white wires. But when I get to the starter solenoid, I have 12v going in on the big post/battery side but am only getting 5-7v coming out on the big post/starter side. When I jump it with the screwdriver the starter turns but only when I jump it. I adjusted the valves and replaced the fuse so I have those things covered but still cannot get it to do anything unless I jump posts. Could the solenoid be weak? I did not keep the screwdriver on long enough to start it but the starter is good. Also my battery is new and has a full charge

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Robin -
June 18, 2015
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Q:

Craftsman Mower Model # 917.256524

A:

I am sorry that you are having some difficulties with your mower and I will be happy to help. I did some research and I was able to find a link with a similar question. Click here for the link. I hope this helps with your research while you wait for your expert response.

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Joseph P. -
June 04, 2013
A:

i completely understand your frustration over your mower failing to start, even after replacing a part. While you are waiting for your expert answer, I did some research on the unit. At this time, I was unable to locate information that would be helpful in regards to your question. Some of these questions that are asked will need specific research and will be answered by an expert with-in two business days but usually sooner.

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Julio -
June 04, 2013
A:

@Joseph P - Followed the link, the gas is good and the fuel filter was replaced before the mowing season started this year. @Julio - Is their a fee with this website?

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Paul -
June 04, 2013
A:

Thank you for your question. I am sorry you are having a problem with the tractor. In the details of your question, you did not start if the tractor makes any noise at all when you try to start it. If it acts like the battery or the starter does not have enough power to turn the engine over I suspect the problem is the valves are out of adjustment. If they are not adjusted correctly, the compression release will not work. When this happens, the starter cannot turn the engine over to start it. To cure this problem the valves need to be adjusted. I found a video that has to parts that shows a tractor with this type of problem and how to repair it. Click here to watch the video.  I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if your tractor is having a different problem.  If you do not feel confident repairing this problem yourself, then you can have it repaired at your home by a  Sears technician.  Here is a link for the website: Sears Home Services. Thank you for using Manage my life.Mark

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Mark T -
Sears Technician
June 07, 2013
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Q:

SAFETY SWITCHES ON RIDING LAWN MOWER

A:

I know how helpful it is to know the location of the safety switch on your lawn tractor. I was able to find a link that includes great information for your question. I attached the link below. I hope this is helpful.

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Jackie S -
July 09, 2012
A:

Thank you for your question.

I will be happy to assist you with the placement of the switches. The first and easiest to find is the seat switch. It is located under the seat and has two wires connected to it. The other two switches are located behind the dash and side panels. The brake switch is mounted just inside the side panel on the left side. You should see the black and whites wires connected to it. When it is mounted, the other end of the switch goes through the frame. The mower deck switch is mounted behind the dash just below the engagement lever. Look for the black and white wires and follow them to the switch.



I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you need further assistance.

Thank you for using Manage My Life!

Mark T.

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Mark T -
Sears Technician
July 11, 2012
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