45 thoughts on “briggs and stratton ohv hard start/crank fix

  1. I had this problem of hard-starting for 12 years on my Briggs engine. The valves were misadjusted from the factory to the tune of about .008 which would not allow the compression release mechanism to work properly. Finally, discovered this problem, adjusted the valves to the .004 spec. and it now starts like a dream.

  2. Im lookin for a new mower only wanted to spend lik 1500 1600 ever one i look at has problems anyone have any recommendations

  3. I have the same problem with mine, but I just manually turn the motor counter clockwise until it hits compression and then it gets a 'running jump' at turning over. Starts every time. "I'll fix it / get a new one next year" for the past half decade. Heh.

  4. For 12 years mine did the same thing. Repaired the ground and adjusted the valves. Works like new. My wife will even drive it now.

  5. My mower does the same thing and I thought it was the valves and I fixed them but it still won’t crank under compression so I think it is the starter.


  7. Ha! Excellent video, with good explanations. Make the How To DVD series.

    I’m having the same problem – starter replaced, solenoid replaces, valves adjusted – it’s not my mower, but the oil was sludge too – all this fixed but the motor just won’t make it over the hump. With plugs out, she rotates fine (battery is winding down now, so it’s a little slower with the plugs out). Whad da’ heck?

  8. Big help for me…mine had the same problem and I checked the rockers but I did so on the wrong stroke. Did it as you did and she came back to life!

  9. Hi,I have a Craftsman 4 years old Riding mower 21 hp Briggs & stratton engine . Motor hard to turn with starter ,new starter & battery-It make 3/4 turn & if if make 1 to 2 turn start right up. When starter can not turn it heat up ,without Spark plug engine move ok , I checked the valve clearance .004 & .006 – Do you think it is a Compression release valve ,how I can be sure of that. Please help ,what other thing it could be?

  10. Awesome video, I replaced the starter and solenoid first and it ended up being the valves. But my mower is running great now. Thank you.

  11. Thank you man! I have this exact same mower with this problem. I put a new starter on because it was bad when i purchased it off of a gentleman and it worked for 2 starts then i realized that i only had the issue when its on the compression stroke. Im excited to tear into it tomorrow and hopefully fix it!

  12. Thanks man, I had a JD L120 that I got for free. Replaced the burnt up starter, all the wiring that had melted from last owner jumping the starter off the wrong cable, bunch of other parts, but it still wont run right and would barely crank. Turned out to be the valve adjustment. Thanks!

  13. Maybe stock common valve cover gaskets that are common. Also plugs etc. A DVOM can check for high resistance between the nut and the stud. There should be 0 resistance difference the nut and stud indicating good contact. Same as on battery posts and cables. To check for leaking valves, remove the rockers and check leakdown. If a valve leaks, it's the valve or seat. Replace valve seals if it has it.

  14. Ustie1 like your videos, most of the Briggs guys say Exhaust valve is mostly reason for hard start condition. But best to do both. The also say once at top dead center on compression stroke to roll after dead center so the gauge tool, screw driver or extension move back in 1/4" then adjust valves there. I am having a similar probl with a 17.5 HP ohv . Thanks and keep the vids coming.

  15. thank you for mentioning the double starter bolt that tightens up the contacts. After swearing at my tractor for several days and doing a major tune up, tightening that solved the starting problem! 🙂

  16. Great video! I'm having the same issue with my mower and never thought to check that. Going to check the valve clearance and hopefully that fixes the problem. Thanks!!!

  17. I recently bought a Craftsman with  24 horse Intek and it's doing the exact same thing. Thanks for sharing!! Very helpful!

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