Model #917387660 CRAFTSMAN Walk Behind Lawnmower, Gas

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Question and Answers

Q:

Why won't my craftsman lawn mower not start up

A:

I'm sorry about the difficulties you're having with your mower.  I have researched your model number & was unable to locate any information based on that number.  Please verify the complete model number & reply on the bottom of this thread. 

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Yadira B -
July 28, 2013
A:

I got the serial # mixed up 917.387660

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Tristen -
July 28, 2013
A:

Model #917.387660 Thank you for the help

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Tristen -
July 28, 2013
A:

Thanks for the information about your lawnmower not starting, I will be glad to assist you. The number you provided as a model number is incorrect, so I am unable to retrieve any data for your exact model.  However the symptoms you describe are typical on all small engines regardless of the model.  Based on the description there is an issue with fuel flow. First check the fuel tank and line supplying fuel to the carburetor. They must be clean and free of debris with no obstructions. If the supply to the carburetor is good then the issue is in the carburetor itself (again based on your description) I suspect the carburetor has a bad diaphragm or clogged jets. Because you have already cleaned it, the next step may be to replace the carburetor, or acquire an overhaul kit for it.  Here is a link to Sears Parts Direct for your convenience. You will need a good model number off the mower.  If you get to the point where you need to have a service technician diagnose and repair this failure, you can schedule service through this link: Sears Home Services.Ron H.

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Ron H -
Sears Technician
July 29, 2013
A:

Thank you for the help

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Tristen -
July 29, 2013
A:

Hi Tristen, you are welcome. Ron H.

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Ron H -
Sears Technician
July 30, 2013
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Q:

Lawnmower: Why Does Pull Starter Not Engage the Engine?

A:

I meant pull the starter.

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Richard -
September 15, 2012
A:

Hello Richard,

I am sorry that your replacement pull starter will not engage and I would like to assist you. There are two things that I would like you to check first. Compare the replacement pull starter to the old one and verify the engagement cup on the flywheel is in good shape. Take a look at the underside of the old and new pull starters. Is the round area where the dogs are located the same diameter? Is the new one considerably smaller? Look at the starter engagement cup for signs of wear on the stamped ramps that are inside of the cup. If these are worn badly the starter will not engage.

Does the new starter engaged at all? Can you feel or hear any contact being made by the dogs, to the cup?

Please let me know what you find and I'll be happy to assist you further.

Jerry C

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Jerry C -
Sears Technician
September 15, 2012
A:

Dear Jerry C, Great diagram. The shape, look, and size of the new starter appears to be the same. I noticed a tiny difference, which is that there is a little factory-made groove on the new one, basically a small oval shaped hole, but at the other edge, not near the engagement. Perhaps I can study it more for other differences. As for whether the engagement cup is worn, I could not tell or guess either way because I never looked at it or measured it when it was new, so for all I know, it may be the exact same depth as when it was new. I never imagined that those little ramps wore out as they are solid metal. Do they usually and how often are they replaced? What I did observe that may be helpful is that the ramps are not at markedly sharp 90 degree angles and are really no more deep at the deepest point than approximately the size of the dogs, leaving in my opinion not a significant amount of extra metal, should for example, the dogs not stretch out far enough. Because I am observing that the dogs sometimes do not stretch out or they sometimes stretch out a small amount, I am theorizing that they are not pulling out far enough to engage. Of course, with the ramps being only about the same diameter, more or less, it does not allow a lot of opportunity for weakly-opened dogs to contact, but I really do not know how to compare worn ones to new ones. Perhaps a clue on measurements or comparison sizes might help. Is the engagement cup actually called the flywheel or is it just a part of the flywheel or something else? Perhaps an important point is that on occasion, although rarely, as I am fiddling with the pull starter as I am kneeled down near the starter to study its engageability, I will notice it grab firmly onto the metal, as if it is a perfect fit. However, as soon as I stand up to pull it, it once again feels loose with no contact whatsoever except for a rare scrap against metal with little contact.

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Richard -
September 15, 2012
A:

A few other interesting observations. I noticed that, for some reason, I cannot keep in a screw in the hole that is to the right, at about 3 or 4 o'clock as you are on the pull side. If I do so, the screw wiggles out or interferes with the turning of the starter. The other screws are okay and all the holes seem to line up fine. I would like to believe that this is of little significance because I am quite sure in the past I have occasionally lost a screw on a flywheel and the other three screws still allowed it to function perfectly. Another observation is that I had a prior starter replaced because after a relatively small amount of use (like a month or so), I started to have frequent problems with engagement, to the point where it was only possible to engage after several dozen tries and pure luck. This might lend to the theory that the engagement cup is worn. However, the next point seems to question that. When I obtained this new starter, it actually engaged in the beginning, on the very first minute of the first day. It was not until after the machine stopped and I pulled it to start it again, that I had the problem resulting in my forum question. Is this the standard type starter for all pull starter lawnmowers or is there a more robust, more durable, more long-lasting, more dependable type of starter that exists on the market, and what is that type called and what brands or manufacturers make it? I am of the opinion that it is of questionable quality and durability because those two little spring-fed dogs seem to be a point of structural weakness and the cords do not reliably stay intact over short-term use (like a season or so) because they do seem to quickly get stuck and not rewind or sometimes the cords will break. With much experience with those starters over the years, they seem to be the most unreliable, inefficient, frustrating, and most brake-prone part of the lawnmower. I would love to know if there is a better quality out there.

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Richard -
September 15, 2012
A:

Hello Richard,

I think that you should be certain that the shroud, the part that the pull start mounts to , is properly secured. After that, take a look at the starter cup. I have included an image of what it should look like. The dogs not extending fully out can happen when pulling slowly, but I am not too concerned with this part at this point. I think that it is more of an alignment issue. Since the old pull start stopped making engagement, this is where we should look. Pull starts generally last a very long time, the quality is sufficient, they usually break due to difficult starting or misalignment issues.

Please let me know what you find and I'll be happy to further assist you.

Jerry C

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Jerry C -
Sears Technician
September 17, 2012
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Q:

I have a lawn mower(model#917.387660) that runs fine for a few minutes and then dies. If I push the primer bulb on the carb it will run fine again then die. ???

A:

It sounds like the fuel and air passages inside the carburetor are stopped up and the carburetor is not furnishing enough gas to the engine.

I suggest you order the carburetor repair kit, part number 49-019 for around $15.00, and clean and overhaul the carburetor.

To clean the carburetor, you need to remove the carburetor from the engine. Take a picture or make a drawing of how the governor linkage connects to the carburetor for ease of assembly.

You can see a parts diagram of the carburetor at [www.searspartsdirect.com]. Enter the model of the engine in the search window.

You should order the repair kit, part number 49-019, before cleaning the carburetor. The cost of the kit is around $15.00. You will also need a can of spray carburetor cleaner and access to an air compressor for blowing out the passages in the carburetor.

Remove the nut on the bottom of the bowl and remove the fuel bowl. Remove the pin that holds the float in position and remove the float and needle. You should take a picture of how this looks assembled before taking it apart.

Remove the seat the needle on the float seats in. Clean the inlet tube area with carb cleaner.

Remove the Welsh plug in the bottom of the carburetor body. You can drive a sharp awl or an icepick through the Welsh plug and pry it out. This will give you access to some fuel passages that meet under the Welsh plug.

Use a piece of soft wire to run through the fuel and air passages inside the body of the carburetor. Look inside the body where the throttle plate mounts for very small holes in the walls. Look also on the end opposite the throttle plate. You need to run the soft wire through each of these. After the wire spray some carburetor cleaner through each passage and then blow them out with compressed air.

Sometimes the passages inside the carburetor are stopped up so bad you can't clean them. When this happens the carburetor has to be replaced.

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Jimmy K -
Sears Technician
April 23, 2010

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