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Small Engines (Lawn Mowers, etc.)/Craftsman riding mower wont turn over


I have 2 mowers that don't spin fast enough to start. I have a charger hooked up to the battery trying to start them. Both engines are Briggs an straton, one 15 horse think the other is 13. Both are identical. When I turn the key the engine try's to spin and does so maybe once all around but then stops again as if something is holding it back. A friend of mine thought I should try another starter so I took it all and tried it on the ground and it worked good. I have taken carburetor off and clean it up drained the tank and line put new fuel in it check to see if I had a good spark (it does), have taken a wire brush to flywheel and coil thing reassembled adjusted gap same thing. With spark plug out engine will turn over like it should but when you put plug back in it will not turn over again. Have tried another starter from another mower of mine that should be good, got the same thing. I have had this issue with numerous mowers in the past and would really like to know what is the problem.

Do a Google search for "how to measure voltage drop".

Also, make sure you dis-connect the battery cables and clean the battery terminals and cable ends with a wirebrush or sandpaper...I have fixed a lot of starter problems just by cleaning the connections even though no corrosion was visible.

FYI, I do not find very many bad cables but I have had a few.  

Let me know if the cables test good when performing a voltage drop reading across them.


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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