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Garden Tractors and Mowers Vintage lawn and garden tractors, mowers, snow blowers, snowmobiles and other old machinery that is driven by small air cooled engines.

Garden Tractors and Mowers

Briggs and Stratton Intermittent Problem


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  #1  
Old 05-09-2019, 03:54:06 PM
EddyC EddyC is offline
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Default Briggs and Stratton Intermittent Problem

We have a 20 HP B&S Intek engine (407777) in our Craftsman riding mower, from the date code seems to have been manufactured in 2002. For the last number of years we've been having an intermittent issue where it will be running along fine and then starts to run rough and usually stalls out. Sometimes it will restart right away and run fine, but usually it won't and needs to sit. After sitting it will restart and run normally. Sometimes we can get the lawn done without it happening once and other times it will happen between 1-3 times during one mow.

I've replaced the fuel pump and bypassed the fuel cutoff solenoid to no avail and do the usual maintenance at the start of every season (new plugs, air and fuel filter, etc).

My thought is to rebuild the carburetor, but before diving in wanted to see if there may be something else I could check? There were a couple of mentions about valve guides and seats with this engine, but given it starts right back up sometimes I'm not sure if that could be the cause?

Intermittent problems can be tough so any thoughts or input would be appreciated!
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:50:02 PM
Pat Barrett Pat Barrett is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton Intermittent Problem

Those pedal, seat and lever safety switches will do exactly what you describe. Figure out if the wires to them need to be up plugged to work, or conected away from the plug. Try that first.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:01:15 PM
EddyC EddyC is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton Intermittent Problem

Thanks for the reply. Had no idea those switches could do that as sometimes it will stumble for a while before it quits vs cutting off right away if you stand up while mowing. Maybe the wire in that circuit is occasionally chafing to ground?
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:10:17 PM
Pat Barrett Pat Barrett is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton Intermittent Problem

Those darn things all need to be done away with. It was the blade engage lever switch that would cause mine to just shut off. Leave it set for a while and it would start back up. HIGHLY aggravating
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:27:27 PM
EddyC EddyC is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton Intermittent Problem

Good to know. How intermittent was yours?

Looks like these switches all run through one wire to the same terminal on the ignition switch that then runs to the ignition module to ground it out and turn the engine off, so easy enough to disconnect the switches from the circuit as a diagnostic test.

---------- Post added at 08:27:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:25:59 PM ----------

And yes, VERY aggravating!
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:02:43 PM
Pat Barrett Pat Barrett is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton Intermittent Problem

Mine would be running fine, and all of the sudden go ka put. Might mow half an hour, 45 min, and then poof die in a ditch far away from the house.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:09:25 PM
FlJim FlJim is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton Intermittent Problem

The next time it quits and won't restart, remove the air cleaner and spray some carb cleaner in the intake. This should help steer you toward either fuel or ignition.
The symptoms are somewhat characteristic of an overheating coil. If you have never given the engine under the blower housing a good cleaning, now might be a good time because built up dirt and grass clippings can prevent an air cooled engine from cooling properly.
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