Small Engines (Lawn Mowers, etc.)/Multiple Issues Found


I have a Craftsman, Briggs and Stratton, 31p777-0348-e1.  The rider has been running good for years.  I keep oil changed, filters changed, fresh fuel.  Used it last Thursday, went to start it Tuesday and no start.  It cranks, but no start. I have gone through many videos and trouble shooting $$.  I have replaced the magneto, sparkplug, air filter, fuel filter, and fuel pump and it has new fuel and still no start.  it is getting spark.  Last night I figured I would look at under the valve cover.  Low and behold, smelled gas in oil that drained out, also, the intake push rod is bent....great...  also noticed that battery is not drained and not holding charge...I watched a video on anti-fire solenoid, then looked at mine and noticed it was HOT without engine running.  So after replacing and basically refurbishing many parts, would you say that I need to now replace the bent pushrod, adjust the rockers, (they were extremely loose), replace the solenoid, obviously drain out oil and replace with new and do you think the battery is toast.  Because now it does not seem to hold a charge???

Let me know if the engine starts after replacing the push rod and adjusting the valves.  If you need to find Top-Dead-Center or 1/4 inch past, just use a drinking straw or WD-40 straw inserted in the spark plug hole and you can feel the piston come up to TDC.  Once at TDC, just mark the straw and measure a 1/4 inch above and then slightly rotate the engine to the 1/4 past TDC mark.

No need to remove the head unless absolutely necessary.


Small Engines (Lawn Mowers, etc.)

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Eric A. Jones


Lawnmower Repair . Certified Master Service Technician from B&S. Have 23 years experience on B&S, Lawn Chief, Weed Eater, Echo, Peerless, Wheel Horse, Snapper, Atlas, MTD, McCulloch, Homelite and many other numerous brands. Specialize in electrical repair.


Born and raised in the midwest. Started tinkering with engines when I was about 14 on my Suzuki RM-80. I began lawn mower repair at a small hardware store. I knew absolutely nothing. I read lots of repair manuals and met an older fellow who taught me many lessons. I continued working on small engines through high school and paid my way through college working on mowers at the same hardware store. Decided to get away from the midwest and mower repair so I joined the Air Force. I repaired air traffic control electronic equipment and ended up in Hawaii where I got a part time job at Small Engine Clinic. I gained a lot of experience from the Small Engine Clinic and had a blast repairing small engines. I then took the Briggs and Stratton Master Service Technician test and earned my MST. I then traveled to Wisconsin where I attended the factory update training seminar and received formal training. Continued working on mowers part time as I completed 20 years of military. Retired from the military on a Friday and continued in the lawn and garden industry the next Monday.

MAS Aerospace Operations BA Mathematics AAS Electronic Communications AAS Electronic Technology

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