Model #917287220 Craftsman lawn, tractor

Question and Answers


lawn tractor wont start


There could be one of several possible reasons why the engine will not spin over:

  • Valves out of adjustment
  • Cylinder full of fuel
  • Faulty starter
  • Loose wiring connection
  • Weak battery (try jump starting)
  • Compression not releasing

Remove the spark plug and then see if the starter will spin the engine over. If the engine will spin over rapidly with the spark plug removed and it's not shooting fuel out from the spark plug hole then the likely cause is the valves not opening.

I recommend calling a service technician to diagnose and repair your tractor.

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Joey S -
Sears Technician
April 23, 2010

lawn tractor wont start


Your new battery could need charging. A good, fully charged battery will read 12.6 volts dc across the positive and negative terminals with no load.

It is possible the valves on the engine need adjusting. To determine if the valves could be the problem, when the engine won't start turn the flywheel backwards 3/4 turn and try to start it. If the engine turns over this way the valves need to be adjusted.

To adjust the valves on the engine, remove the 4 screws in the valve cover and remove the valve cover. Remove the spark plug(s) from the engine.

Put a clean small screwdriver into the spark plug opening so you can tell when the piston is at the top of the stroke.

Rotate the flywheel until the piston is at top dead center and neither valve has any pressure on them. The push rods will be loose in the rocker arm. If one push rod has pressure on it, rotate the engine again and when it comes back to the top of the stroke neither push rod should have any pressure.

Use a feeler gauge to measure the clearance between the end of the push rod and the rocker arm.

The clearance on the intake valve should be .003.- 005 inches. The clearance on the exhaust valve should be .005-.007 inches.

If adjustment is required, loosen the allen set screw in the center of the nut on the rocker arm and adjust the nut to obtain the proper clearance. When you are through adjusting the clearance, tighten the set screw tight .

The intake push rod is aluminum, and the exhaust push rod is steel. This will help you determine which valve is which.

You could also have a worn lobe on the camshaft inside the engine. To test for this rotate the engine by hand and watch the rocker arms move. You should have about the same amount of lift on each rocker arm. If one or more rocker arms are barely moving, the lobe on the camshaft is worn.

Check the wiring between the battery and ground and the battery and the starter solenoid. A weak connection could cause this problem.

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Jimmy K -
Sears Technician
May 07, 2010

lawn mower quits after 30 minutes


Thank you for your question.

I am sorry you are having a problem with the tractor. If the engine is not producing spark after it quits the problem is likely the armature (ignition coil). The ignition coil is located under the blower housing of the engine. If you would like to order the ignition coil it is part number 492341 and can be ordered from our parts website: Sears Parts Direct . I have added an image of the ignition coil below.

To replace the ignition coil you have to remove the blower housing of the engine first. Then remove the screws securing the coil to the engine. Next, remove the kill wire and the wire from the spark plug. Install the new coil by reversing these instructions. Once you have the coil mounted set the gap between the coil and the magnet to .012 ".

If you need further assistance, please let me know.

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 T.

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Mark T -
Sears Technician
April 27, 2011