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Poulan 15hp Riding Mower Dies When Engaging Blades

8276 Views 15 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Five Points

Thx much in advance, new to the forum and tried searching. I have a Poulan Ride Along Mower with a 15hp XL/C OHV Tecumseh motor by Briggs and Stratton. The 42" cut model - Model 263-011, Serial #050499C003154, MFG HDT1542A.

This motor is super clean and never gave me a problem. the other day it was spitting a little grey smoke out of the exhaust. I checked the oil and it seemed low....when i added more i must have overfilled it.

Upon startign the engine it started chocking on oil, oil came out of the exhause and a heavy smoke/burning oil smell. The engine would not start. I drained the oil, fille dit to a good level, changed the plug, sprayed brake cleaner into the top of the carb through air cleaner and removed/cleaned the bottom of the carb by the float. I cannot remove the entire carb becuase you need the special scrwedriver to remove the threaded anchro rods that hold the carb in place.

The motor started up again and was running fine. Cut half the grass and washed off the blades, upon restarting the following occurs.

1. Motor starts right up and runds fine - no spitting or revving issues
2. Upon engaging the balds -or- trying to put the tractor in gear the motor dies. I tried messign with the choke but the motor instantly dies when you call for power....

Can anyone help? I have 3 acres to cut and i am ded without my money to bring it to a repair facility. I tried looking in my manual but that jsut tells me to go to a service center.
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First Tecumseh and Briggs are two completely different companies and motors. Were you sitting it the seat when you tried to start the blades. The seat safety switch could be your problem. Roger
Per what I found at the page below it is a Tecumseh OHV150.

AYP tr Parts Diagram Index for HDT1542A

If you have the throttle at idle and quickly move it to the fastest position, does the engine cutout or accelerate fairly smoothly and quickly? (Do this with tractor in neutral, blades off.)

You are correct, the sticker says Enduro XL/C 15.0 Tecumseh.

While motor is running, I put it into a higher gear, 4th or 5th, and as soon as the gear catches the motor dies. tried this as well while rolling down a hill in neutral...same result. The motor bogs out very fast and dies out... it isn't a sudden cutoff like it stalls but as soon as you call for power, either through gearing or blade engagement, the motor dies.


I have tried everything both ways, on and off the machine,a nd the resutl is still the same. The plug and wiring look there anyway to bypass this safety switch?

Per what I found at the page below it is a Tecumseh OHV150.

AYP tr Parts Diagram Index for HDT1542A

If you have the throttle at idle and quickly move it to the fastest position, does the engine cutout or accelerate fairly smoothly and quickly? (Do this with tractor in neutral, blades off.)
I do not think you will find any forum that will tell you how to by pass a safety switch. I think it is part of the rules here and I know personally I wouldn't want the liability or the responsibility if something went wrong because of the by pass. That is partly because I rolled my Sears SS12 3 years ago. Luckily no damage was done to me other than being stiff and sore and minimal damage was done to the tractor. Time for the roll over to happen was about 5 seconds. Roger
Stills sounds like it might just be running lean. Does it have a high speed mixture screw on the bottom of the float bowl? If so, does it seeem to make any difference when you adjust it?

This manual might be of help if it is still a carb issue.

Maybe the brake cleaner has since loosened up some more gunk that has stuck in one of the passages?
thanks everyone for the help, at this point i think i need to get the custom screwdriver so i can pull the carb completely off and see where to go from there....
One more little thing to check if you have not done so already is the vent in the gas cap. See if it runs ok with the cap off. It's a long shot but.....
Thinking outside the box, did you check the belts and pulleys to see if a belt jumped off or a pulley seized up? Sounds like when you engage the load it kills the engine. It ran fine before you stopped and cleaned the blades so check the simple things before you get too far into it. You may want to check to see if your blades can turn to verify you don't have a seized spindle.

Hopefully you are already back in the seat!
Smoking aside, the fact that when you let off the clutch, or engage the PTO, does sound like a definite seat switch problem, make sure the seat switch is plugged in, the connection is clean, and all that good stuff.

As for smoking, could have been a fluke...or it could be a sign of problems. The fact it has stopped smoking and seems to otherwise run fine without a puzzling.

If it were a briggs engine, id consider the possibility of a wiped camshaft lobe, they had alot of issues but ive never seen it in an XL/C tecumseh.
Not to stray, but Hey I'm glad you came over for a visit Red! Hope to see you over here more often, we could always use another sharp engine/mower tech over here and of course another "Friendly Face"!

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i have had the same problem on a different mower and it was the saftey switch for the pto it somehow reverses it self from how it should work and shuts down the engine when you let off the clutch. make sure it is clean and making good contact. If it still does not work try replacing it. it worked for me.
I had a 5HP Tecumseh on a Craftsman Snowblower that did something similar.

Started and ran great until you started to blow snow...... then stalled out and not so great.

Started simple, took apart and cleaned carburetor same problem

Took Carburetor apart, soaked it overnight (vinegar works great) put it back together with a rebuild kit........ same problem

Finally as I was pulling my hair out (it was boss's snowblower) I took the engine apart down to the cylinder head and cleaned and lapped the valves, smoothed the head surfaces and put it back together with new gaskets.

Ran great and had no further problems.

Hope this helps
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Sounded like a carbon issue. I know briggs recommends pulling the head off and de-carbonizing the head and piston to include the valve areas. Thanks for the tips guys!
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