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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2014 Craftsman 42” Riding Lawn Tractor (T2200) with auto transmission and the OEM B&S 33R877-0002-G1 19 HP engine. Original owner and well maintained with regular maintenance. I have some mechanical repair and electrical experience but not an engine mechanic.

Engine was running fine when I parked it but had to do some deck repair work (see below if possibly relative).

Next attempt to start up the engine the starter definitely clicked but nothing was turning over. Battery was apparently low as after a few attempt no response from the starter. Had the battery tested and charged at Auto Zone, reinstalled battery and the starter definitely clicked or “kicked” harder than before but nothing else was moving for the engine to turn over.

Used wrench to turn the fly wheel with spark plug in and there is definitely compression and there seems to be one spot with a little more resistance which sounds normal from what I read so far.

Pulled the plug to inspect and it had some normal discoloration from being used but I had a new one on hand and replaced the plug. I opened all the electrical wiring connectors, cleaned out with compressed air and sprayed some electrical contact cleaner on the contacts to be sure. No go. Drained the oil to inspect for any catastrophic signs of debris or metal in the oil and it was clear. I had already replaced the air filter and sprayed some engine starter in the intake and replaced the gas filter as well. Basically a complete second tune up or replacement of the seasonal regular maintenance. I did check wires for continuity with a voltage meter but I didn’t have a plug tester (ordered) and couldn’t keep leads in place while sitting on the seat to start. Yes I verified that the deck belt was not engaged.

Two things I saw mentioned on other “won’t crank” threads had to do with “setting or tightening the valves down” and something about checking the status of a “spring on the camshaft”.

I do have a set of feeler gauges I have used for confirming spark plug gap and woodworking set ups and the previously mentioned voltage meter but I am going to need a lot more technical resources/instruction than an engine parts diagram to check the valves or God forbid the crank shaft.

Q1 Any other ideas of things to check besides confirming the spark plug getting electricity?

Q2 Any recommendations on help for a non engine mechanic tearing into an engine to inspect and adjust the valves or camshaft?

(After hitting a sapling trunk of a recently cut tree the engine was still running smooth without issue. I had to replacement/repair some deck components with broken drag link, front support arm for the deck and hammer out a dent in the deck. I already had new mower deck belt on hand and replaced it as well. Utility company contractors had cut a smaller 1.5” diameter sapling near the power line and was belo the grass level height. I was able to drive the lawn mower back to the driveway in reverse with only one steering link working after disengaging the cutters and engine sounded perfectly fine.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You have to upload them to a hosting site, and then post the link to them. I use YouTube.com. See the list below...
View attachment 62810
You have to upload them to a hosting site, and then post the link to them. I use YouTube.com. See the list below...
View attachment 62810
I remember having to do that for still images (jpgs etc) 15-20 years ago and had some pic hosting site accounts back then. If someone believes the short video clips would be helpful to diagnose my issue I will do the You Tube thing. Thanks.
 

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This has some good reading related to your issue. This doesn't cover valve adjustment, just electrical related to the solenoid clicking:


Report back and we'll help you narrow your problem down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you very much Brad. I will read that shortly then upload and link the video clips I discussed earlier. The starter definitely engages the flywheel as in it moves up into position and gear/sprocket begins to turn but seems to hit a proverbial “brick wall”.

I will also be able to rule in or rule out whether the spark plug is getting current this evening when I get back to my house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This has some good reading related to your issue. This doesn't cover valve adjustment, just electrical related to the solenoid clicking:


Report back and we'll help you narrow your problem down.
This has some good reading related to your issue. This doesn't cover valve adjustment, just electrical related to the solenoid clicking:


Report back and we'll help you narrow your problem down.
In-line ignition spark tester to plug is not passing.

Although it was dark by time I could check it I did discover one end of the under the seat connector was dangling loose and hoped I had found the problem. Snapped the connector back together but still failed to pass the ignition spark test.

The part that connects to the plug fell off twice while fiddling with things so I did try just starting the mower again after removing the ignition spark tester and got same results as before.

Not sure what other safeties are on the list to check.
 

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Don't worry about the spark plug yet. Until the engine turns over, you won't get any spark.

I am leaning towards the valves out of adjustment. You could, just for fun, take the spark plug out and try turning the key to see if it will turn over when there's no compression. I see the starter gear engage, but does not drop all the way back down. Makes me think it's hitting the compression and locking up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
1) The starter gear does drop all the way down when I turn the key to the off position and
take the key out but does stay half way up after failing to turn over but key still in ignition.

2) Took the plug out and tried to turn over but no change in response with plug out.

3) Just to cover all the bases I wanted to see if I could verify that the new ignition spark detector wasn’t faulty. The same connector that has wires going to the starter also has wires going to the plug connector and I previously confirmed continuity from the connector end of the wire to the end of the plug connector. I inserted another new spare spark plug into the spark detector and used a stainless steel hemostat clamped to pug and after touching the other end to the + battery post and touched the handle to the - battery post but light never came on to confirm current passing.

Did a continuity test with voltmeter which passed.

Tried using the voltmeter cable instead of the spark plug to connect spark detector directly to the battery posts and still nothing indicated by the light bulb…
 

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1) The starter gear does drop all the way down when I turn the key to the off position and
take the key out but does stay half way up after failing to turn over but key still in ignition.

2) Took the plug out and tried to turn over but no change in response with plug out.

3) Just to cover all the bases I wanted to see if I could verify that the new ignition spark detector wasn’t faulty. The same connector that has wires going to the starter also has wires going to the plug connector and I previously confirmed continuity from the connector end of the wire to the end of the plug connector. I inserted another new spare spark plug into the spark detector and used a stainless steel hemostat clamped to pug and after touching the other end to the + battery post and touched the handle to the - battery post but light never came on to confirm current passing.

Did a continuity test with voltmeter which passed.

Tried using the voltmeter cable instead of the spark plug to connect spark detector directly to the battery posts and still nothing indicated by the light bulb…
can you red neck it & use a jumper cable straight to the starter or relay to see if you get it to turn over?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Not sure if it is relevant at this stage of trouble shooting but I forgot to post the video of hand turning the flywheel when I posted the starter attempt video. I have no idea how much effort is normally required to turn this by hand but it took more effort than expected that I assumed was due to internal compression.

While I did not video it I did try this with the plug out after trying to see if the engine would turn over without the plug and there was no change in the effort needed to turn it. Not sure if this provides any clues or not but thought I would mention it.
 

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Sure looks like a battery or starter issue in the videos... Jumper cables to a battery in a non-running vehicle to eliminate the battery as the cause.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
can you red neck it & use a jumper cable straight to the starter or relay to see if you get it to turn over?
I initially tried to do that however the battery sits right under the seat with the battery posts on top and no clearance to allow sitting on the seat with jumper cables attached. I did try using a small rechargable battery jump starter I keep in my car with much smaller battery clips and gently sitting on the seat but I think even those prevented the seat from fully engaging the safety ignition defeat.

If there is a temporary way to disable the seat safety kill switch so I can start the mower without having to sitting on the seat I would love to try that however.
 

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Battery already eliminated. I took it to Auto Zone to have it fully charged and tested. Reported as good battery with no issues.
While I would hope that would eliminate your battery as an issue, have you tested it on another vehicle? My small tractor battery can easily start my Subaru, for example.
 

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I initially tried to do that however the battery sits right under the seat with the battery posts on top and no clearance to allow sitting on the seat with jumper cables attached...
If there is a temporary way to disable the seat safety kill switch so I can start the mower without having to sitting on the seat I would love to try that however.
Remove the battery and just use the jumper cables to the terminals on the cables (suitably insulated from the frame in the case of the positive).
 

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I initially tried to do that however the battery sits right under the seat with the battery posts on top and no clearance to allow sitting on the seat with jumper cables attached. I did try using a small rechargable battery jump starter I keep in my car with much smaller battery clips and gently sitting on the seat but I think even those prevented the seat from fully engaging the safety ignition defeat.

If there is a temporary way to disable the seat safety kill switch so I can start the mower without having to sitting on the seat I would love to try that however.
Should be able to apply the parking brake to work w/o getting on the seat. Please try a jumper pack on the battery set to "Start" mode to really juice up the Cranking amps.
 
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