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Repair guides and support for riding lawn tractors sold under the Murray brand name, currently owned by Briggs & Stratton.

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Why is my engine not starting

I have a 17hp techumseh engine on a Murray riding mower that tries to start but won’t. It fires enough to kick the starter out but won’t go ahead and start. I’ve cleaned carb, set valves, checked spark, (blue) and checked crankshaft key….I can’t figure it out…it was running good until I ran over a motorcycle tire in tall grass I didn’t see….it was still running for a bit after I hit the tire, (it was just the rubber) and then bogged down and died…

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@baddeal I wonder if the motorcycle tire did not throw off your timing. How did you check it? what exact engine is your Tecumseh? Something like a Enduro Ohv17 etc. Most Tecumseh ignition module depend on the flywheel key for a proper ignition timing. By your running over the tire, it is possible that this partially sheared the key, which will offset your timing. I would definitely take a look at that and replace the key.

Update (08/06/23)

@baddeal I just received this Tecumseh 4cycle OHV Engines. It is engine specific. See if that gets you a bit closer.

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I pulled the flywheel and looked at the key…,it was fine. It’s a 17hp ohv..

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@baddeal I would check to see if it starts if you spray some starter fluid around the air intake. I would check the air gap as well just to make 100% sure it is not ignition related. After that it's a fuel issue. You've checked your carb, so you know the choke is not choking your engine. Your float is working properly and the needle valve does it thing. I believe your tecumseh has a impulse fuel pump. You may need to check fuel delivery to your carb.

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Sprayed lots of starting fluid….no start…

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Like I said….it has a blue spark and timing seems to be right… hits enough with starting fluid to kick the starter out…

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@baddeal this 'Sprayed lots of starting fluid….no start…" is weird. With spark it should just kick in and at least give you a few rotations of running. Do you have fuel in the carb bowl?

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