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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Motor: B and S 14.5 in a Sabre 1438.

So here's where I'm at. After a lot of electrical troubleshooting and finding a bad solenoid, I'm back to where I started. I get one weak crank and that's it. Battery is one year old and fully charged. One crank, then nothing. Sometimes no crank at all. And the one crank I get is weak.

Could this be a valve adjustment issue? I'm going to do it anyways because this hand me down mower didn't get a lot of attention in it's later years. She needs any help she can get at this point to keep healthy.

So my question is this. To see if the valves are out of adjustment without taking the valve cover off, do I just pull the spark plug and attempt to start it? If it turns over fine but won't fire that's my valves being out of spec right?
 

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Are you sure you have enough battery?
 

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Others will probably know more about this than me, but I would guess there is a compression release that facilitates starting. Adjusting the valves might just take care of your problem.
 

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Motor: B and S 14.5 in a Sabre 1438.

So here's where I'm at. After a lot of electrical troubleshooting and finding a bad solenoid, I'm back to where I started. I get one weak crank and that's it. Battery is one year old and fully charged. One crank, then nothing. Sometimes no crank at all. And the one crank I get is weak.

Could this be a valve adjustment issue? I'm going to do it anyways because this hand me down mower didn't get a lot of attention in it's later years. She needs any help she can get at this point to keep healthy.

So my question is this. To see if the valves are out of adjustment without taking the valve cover off, do I just pull the spark plug and attempt to start it? If it turns over fine but won't fire that's my valves being out of spec right?
yes yes YES YES
 

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Better be more specific, here. Pull the WIRE off the spark plug. Then, UNSCREW the spark plug from the motor. You will need a wrench to do this. If the engine spins easily, with no plug in it, then the valves are probably out of adjustment. If this is an Intek motor, this is a part of annual maintenance.
 

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Better be more specific, here. Pull the WIRE off the spark plug. Then, UNSCREW the spark plug from the motor. You will need a wrench to do this. If the engine spins easily, with no plug in it, then the valves are probably out of adjustment. If this is an Intek motor, this is a part of annual maintenance.
I've never been that lucky in verifying valve adjust...My engine will spin fast , with valves properly adjusted, as long as spark plug is removed,,{no compression to slow it down]
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies all. Still haven't had the time to get out there to do the adjustment but once I do I'll report back in. Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well here's where I'm at.

Valves were both out of spec. Not too bad but they were out of spec. Got those dialed in, fired right up like a champ! Put everything back together, put some fresh gas in there, got about five minutes in on the lawn and a plume of white smoke started pouring out of the exhaust. I shut it down for a minute. Got it to fire back up, no smoke.

Drove it to the garage, Checked the oil. Was fine. Tried to fire it again. Same thing. One wimpy crank then nothing. Tried to turn it a third time and got a backfire.

So here's my thinking... Last season the mower was down and I forgot to drain the gas. Besides that I overfilled the oil and ran it for a minute. My thinking is the carb is all kinds of gunked up.

The spark plug was soaking wet with gas after the backfire.

My next plan is to get a new fuel filter and see about cleaning the carb up a bit.

The only thing I can think with the white smoke (that had an odor I didn't recognize to be oil or a belt) is that I put way too much fuel stabilizer in the tank and maybe it all hit the carb at once? No idea what that was about.

So every time I fix something, something else shows itself as broken. Gotta love it.
 

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Here's what I'd recommend. Clean the carb completely and recheck the valves. Replace the air filter, fuel filter and spark plug. Make sure the correct oil and amount of oil is in the engine. Check the connections at your battery terminals, point where the ground cable is connected and on the starter to see that they are all clean and tight.

Fuel stabilizer mixes thoroughly in the fuel, it doesn't just sit in one spot in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here's what I'd recommend. Clean the carb completely and recheck the valves. Replace the air filter, fuel filter and spark plug. Make sure the correct oil and amount of oil is in the engine. Check the connections at your battery terminals, point where the ground cable is connected and on the starter to see that they are all clean and tight.

Fuel stabilizer mixes thoroughly in the fuel, it doesn't just sit in one spot in the tank.
Sounds like good advice. I'll start there and move my way up from free to not free. :)
 

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If spark plug is soaking wet, and you haven't been choking it heavy, Thinking your prob [always] has been leaking needle seat in carb...and hydro locked cylinder with raw gas causing the failure to crank....Do as Bwdbrn1 recommends..and clean or replace the needle..Try again --- Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If spark plug is soaking wet, and you haven't been choking it heavy, Thinking your prob [always] has been leaking needle seat in carb...and hydro locked cylinder with raw gas causing the failure to crank....Do as Bwdbrn1 recommends..and clean or replace the needle..Try again --- Good luck
Thanks you two!

I'm still baffled at the white smoke I got but I suppose if it doesn't come back I don't need to worry about it! Ha.
 
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