Craftsman Riding Mower Won't Start?

I have a Lt 2000 18.5 hp Craftsman rider lawn mower that was given to me. The previous owner said it ran great and the only problem was it needed the gas lines repaired. I repaired all of the gas lines, but it will not start. I turn the key and it cranks or spins, but then stops. If I take the sparkplug out it spins like crazy. I did it for a few minutes (figured it was flooded). I put a new spark plug in and the same thing happens. What am I missing?


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June 28, 20170 found this helpful

There is a switch under the seat. You could try disconnecting it and reconnecting it.

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May 14, 20200 found this helpful

What does the switch do?

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July 18, 20170 found this helpful

when it first happened to me I had to put a fuel filter and a shut off valve in the gas line. That fixed my problem.....

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July 23, 20170 found this helpful

The most obvious issue would be a weak/bad starter. Make sure your battery is fully charged measuring at least 12.5 volts across the terminals. Then engage the starter while watching the voltage, it should not drop below 10+ volts. If the battery is good, then the starter is the likely culprit. Also, if the unit turns over in such a way that it stops on the compression stroke and you have to bump the starter a few times to get past the compression cycle, the valves may be out of adjustment causing the compression release to not function properly.


The valve clearance should be about .003 for intake and .004 for the exhaust valve. I hope this is helpful and if you wish to save a lot of time and possible money (throwing parts at it and hoping for the best), bring it to a service shop with a good reputation.

Kevins Small Engine, 03908

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