Craftsman push lawnmower wobble after hitting rocks won't start

Discussion in 'Home Repair' started by James H., Jul 5, 2010.

  1. James H.

    James H. Guest

    What is the typical thing to look for that broke when my lawnmower hit a
    stationary object?

    I've hit much tougher sets of rocks than the little things that all of a
    sudden caused my Craftsman 18 inch push mower to wobble (I think) and run
    badly and now it won't start.

    No big deal. Lawn mowers are only a few hundred dollars, and a repair
    person probably will only charge half the cost of a new one.

    But, I wonder if I take it apart, what would I be looking for?

    I've never taken a lawn mower apart but I've fixed things and have all the
    mechanics tools for my car, for example, and a lawn mower can't possibly be
    too complicated.

    What would I be looking for. What is the typical thing that breaks when a
    lawnmower hits an immovable object?
    James H., Jul 5, 2010
    #1
  2. James H.

    harry Guest

    On Jul 5, 5:31 am, "James H." <> wrote:
    > What is the typical thing to look for that broke when my lawnmower hit a
    > stationary object?
    >
    > I've hit much tougher sets of rocks than the little things that all of a
    > sudden caused my Craftsman 18 inch push mower to wobble (I think) and run
    > badly and now it won't start.
    >
    > No big deal. Lawn mowers are only a few hundred dollars, and a repair
    > person probably will only charge half the cost of a new one.
    >
    > But, I wonder if I take it apart, what would I be looking for?
    >
    > I've never taken a lawn mower apart but I've fixed things and have all the
    > mechanics tools for my car, for example, and a lawn mower can't possibly be
    > too complicated.
    >
    > What would I be looking for. What is the typical thing that breaks when a
    > lawnmower hits an immovable object?


    IT sounds like the engine is unbalanced, therefor some rotating part
    has broken off or the crankshaft is bent. Or possibly the engine has
    come loose on it's mountings.
    The obvious one would be the cutter blade. Check that it's running
    without a wobble ie not bent.
    Or, as it won't start something associated with the igntion system.
    harry, Jul 5, 2010
    #2
  3. James H.

    James H. Guest

    On Sun, 4 Jul 2010 22:15:32 -0700 (PDT), harry wrote:

    > IT sounds like the engine is unbalanced

    Yes. Something went unbalanced but I checked (visually only) the blade
    itself which seems to be all nicked up but no worse than it has been for a
    loooong time.

    > therefor some rotating part has broken off or the crankshaft is bent.

    It could be a bent crankshaft. I guess. But, I've hit far worse than what
    made this happen this time as it happened all of a sudden on me.

    How would I know if the crankshaft is bent?

    > Or possibly the engine has come loose on it's mountings.

    I didn't think of that. Will check tomorrow but I didn't notice anything
    loose as I flipped the lawn mower over to look at the blade.

    > The obvious one would be the cutter blade. Check that it's running
    > without a wobble ie not bent.

    It doesn't look bent. It doesn't look like it's wobbling. Would that
    prevent it from restarting? It ran for a few minutes "after the accident"
    but roughly - and now it just won't start.

    > Or, as it won't start something associated with the igntion system.

    Could be. I don't see how that would be associated with hitting something
    but as I said, it wasn't all that much that I hit (I've run over far worse
    with that mower) so maybe something just broke in the ignition. I can pull
    the plug and check.
    James H., Jul 5, 2010
    #3
  4. James H. wrote:
    > On Sun, 4 Jul 2010 22:15:32 -0700 (PDT), harry wrote:
    >
    >> IT sounds like the engine is unbalanced

    > Yes. Something went unbalanced but I checked (visually only) the blade
    > itself which seems to be all nicked up but no worse than it has been for a
    > loooong time.
    >
    >> therefor some rotating part has broken off or the crankshaft is bent.

    > It could be a bent crankshaft. I guess. But, I've hit far worse than what
    > made this happen this time as it happened all of a sudden on me.
    >
    > How would I know if the crankshaft is bent?
    >
    >> Or possibly the engine has come loose on it's mountings.

    > I didn't think of that. Will check tomorrow but I didn't notice anything
    > loose as I flipped the lawn mower over to look at the blade.
    >
    >> The obvious one would be the cutter blade. Check that it's running
    >> without a wobble ie not bent.

    > It doesn't look bent. It doesn't look like it's wobbling. Would that
    > prevent it from restarting? It ran for a few minutes "after the accident"
    > but roughly - and now it just won't start.
    >
    >> Or, as it won't start something associated with the igntion system.

    > Could be. I don't see how that would be associated with hitting something
    > but as I said, it wasn't all that much that I hit (I've run over far worse
    > with that mower) so maybe something just broke in the ignition. I can pull
    > the plug and check.


    Does it run?
    If not the aluminum key was probably sheared, they are supposed to do
    that so the flywheel isn't damaged and it helps prevent bent crankshafts.
    If it runs the blade was bent or a small piece of the blade broke
    off, the blade came loose(unlikely) the crankshaft was bent (I haven't
    seen that happen in a long time).
    We really need more details to help trouble shoot it. If it's running
    and the blade isn't bent it's possible the blade just needs sharpening
    and balancing.
    FatterDumber& Happier Moe, Jul 5, 2010
    #4
  5. James H.

    ransley Guest

    On Jul 4, 11:31 pm, "James H." <> wrote:
    > What is the typical thing to look for that broke when my lawnmower hit a
    > stationary object?
    >
    > I've hit much tougher sets of rocks than the little things that all of a
    > sudden caused my Craftsman 18 inch push mower to wobble (I think) and run
    > badly and now it won't start.
    >
    > No big deal. Lawn mowers are only a few hundred dollars, and a repair
    > person probably will only charge half the cost of a new one.
    >
    > But, I wonder if I take it apart, what would I be looking for?
    >
    > I've never taken a lawn mower apart but I've fixed things and have all the
    > mechanics tools for my car, for example, and a lawn mower can't possibly be
    > too complicated.
    >
    > What would I be looking for. What is the typical thing that breaks when a
    > lawnmower hits an immovable object?


    If you are lucky its a bent blade and sheared flywheel key, its a Diy
    job with a flywheel puller, if unlucky its a bent crankshaft and its
    junk, do you cut at 3.5" or more, maybe its time to remove those
    rocks. Not starting is the flywheel key hopefully it did its job,
    sheared and saved the motor.
    ransley, Jul 5, 2010
    #5
  6. James H.

    LSMFT Guest

    James H. wrote:
    > What is the typical thing to look for that broke when my lawnmower hit a
    > stationary object?
    >
    > I've hit much tougher sets of rocks than the little things that all of a
    > sudden caused my Craftsman 18 inch push mower to wobble (I think) and run
    > badly and now it won't start.
    >
    > No big deal. Lawn mowers are only a few hundred dollars, and a repair
    > person probably will only charge half the cost of a new one.
    >
    > But, I wonder if I take it apart, what would I be looking for?
    >
    > I've never taken a lawn mower apart but I've fixed things and have all the
    > mechanics tools for my car, for example, and a lawn mower can't possibly be
    > too complicated.
    >
    > What would I be looking for. What is the typical thing that breaks when a
    > lawnmower hits an immovable object?


    It's not a rock crusher.

    --
    LSMFT

    I haven't spoken to my wife in 18 months.
    I don't like to interrupt her.
    LSMFT, Jul 5, 2010
    #6
  7. Shear key between flywheel and shaft.

    --
    Christopher A. Young
    Learn more about Jesus
    www.lds.org
    ..


    "James H." <> wrote in message
    news:i0rn7u$gb3$...
    What is the typical thing to look for that broke when my lawnmower hit
    a
    stationary object?

    I've hit much tougher sets of rocks than the little things that all of
    a
    sudden caused my Craftsman 18 inch push mower to wobble (I think) and
    run
    badly and now it won't start.

    No big deal. Lawn mowers are only a few hundred dollars, and a repair
    person probably will only charge half the cost of a new one.

    But, I wonder if I take it apart, what would I be looking for?

    I've never taken a lawn mower apart but I've fixed things and have all
    the
    mechanics tools for my car, for example, and a lawn mower can't
    possibly be
    too complicated.

    What would I be looking for. What is the typical thing that breaks
    when a
    lawnmower hits an immovable object?
    Stormin Mormon, Jul 5, 2010
    #7
  8. James H.

    Harry K Guest

    On Jul 4, 10:24 pm, "James H." <> wrote:
    > On Sun, 4 Jul 2010 22:15:32 -0700 (PDT), harry wrote:
    > > IT sounds like the engine is unbalanced

    >
    > Yes. Something went unbalanced but I checked (visually only) the blade
    > itself which seems to be all nicked up but no worse than it has been for a
    > loooong time.
    >
    > > therefor some rotating part has broken off or the crankshaft is bent.  

    >
    > It could be a bent crankshaft. I guess. But, I've hit far worse than what
    > made this happen this time as it happened all of a sudden on me.
    >
    > How would I know if the crankshaft is bent?
    >


    Pull the plug (safety) and rotate the blade around: Measure clearance
    between tip and housing at points 180 degrees apart. If same, not
    bent. If different do the same check using the opposite end of the
    blade for the measuring. If it is the same, i.e., diffenent 180
    degrees apart and the difference is the same as your first check,
    then the odds by far favor a bent shaft, not a bent blade. For
    further proof put a new blade on and use that to check.

    <snip remaining - answered down thread>

    Harry K
    Harry K, Jul 5, 2010
    #8
  9. James H.

    James H. Guest

    On Mon, 05 Jul 2010 04:53:47 -0500, FatterDumber& Happier Moe wrote:

    > Does it run?

    No. It won't start.

    When I hit the obstruction, it stopped due to mechanical force I guess but
    then it started running roughly like it was unbalanced. It almost sounded
    like a multi-cylinder engine running on one cylinder - but I'm pretty sure
    it's only a one-cylinder engine to start with so that's just what it
    sounded like. Then, after a couple of minutes, it died and won't restart.
    I've tried for a week to start it.

    > If not the aluminum key was probably sheared, they are supposed to do
    > that so the flywheel isn't damaged and it helps prevent bent crankshafts.

    I see. Looking up "Lawn mower repair flywheel key replacement" I found a
    video which, to my surprise, shows you have to get to that key from the
    top. (I thought everything was accessed from the bottom business end of the
    motor.)

    > If it runs the blade was bent or a small piece of the blade broke
    > off, the blade came loose(unlikely) the crankshaft was bent (I haven't
    > seen that happen in a long time).

    The blade isn't loose and it doesn't look bent. It's all dinged up but I've
    had it for about 3 years and those dings started three years ago as the
    soil is very rocky. About every 30 seconds I hear that hard crunch of
    hitting the top of a rock. By now the rocks are mostly sheared down to the
    grass level so that's why I was surprised that it stopped all of a sudden
    on a pretty small rock, maybe six or eight inches in diameter that was
    protroding up from the ground just above grass level in a relatively benign
    rounded dome.

    > We really need more details to help trouble shoot it. If it's running
    > and the blade isn't bent it's possible the blade just needs sharpening
    > and balancing.


    I'll give you all the details you need. It's not running but I don't
    "think" it's the ignition because it was directly related to hitting this
    rock one too many times.

    I'm googling for lawn mower repair and I see a few decent videos but none
    yet for the Craftsman (I'll look up the model number in my paperwork and
    report that if it helps.)

    This video shows a briggs and stratten engine being repaired with just a
    screwdriver and a hammer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWcIiZtvbug

    I'm looking for a Craftsman one as we speak.
    James H., Jul 5, 2010
    #9
  10. James H.

    James H. Guest

    On Mon, 5 Jul 2010 04:16:38 -0700 (PDT), ransley wrote:

    > If you are lucky its a bent blade and sheared flywheel key, its a Diy
    > job with a flywheel puller


    I found a better video of a Craftsman with Tecumseh (I don't know what
    engine I have yet) which used a flywheel puller to replace the keyway.

    I was surprised there are no threaded holes for the flywheel puller, but
    once you self-tap them, you pull it up (the other guy used a screwdriver
    instead of a flywheel puller).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuI7cLa_fk4
    James H., Jul 5, 2010
    #10
  11. James H.

    LSMFT Guest

    On 07/05/2010 09:41 AM, Brent wrote:
    > On Mon, 05 Jul 2010 07:59:35 -0400, LSMFT wrote:
    >
    >> It's not a rock crusher.

    >
    > Everyone hits rocks now and then with their lawnmower, probably once a day
    > or twice a day or more if you have rocky soil like I do. A good mower is
    > designed to handle rocks and pulverize them if they're small enough, and to
    > not be damaged if they're larger.
    >
    > Notes on the Troubleshooting and Repair of Small Gasoline Engines and
    > Rotary Lawn Mowers, Version 2.19b (15-May-06), Copyright © 1994-2007 by
    > Samuel M. Goldwasser
    >
    > http://www.repairfaq.org/samnew/lmfaq.htm


    No mower is designed to mow rocks. I think they are just too lazy to
    stop and remove the rock so it will never be an obstacle again.
    Ledge rocks, it's quite obvious you need to go around.



    --
    LSmFT

    I'm trying to think but nothing happens............
    LSMFT, Jul 5, 2010
    #11
  12. James H.

    Guest

    On Mon, 5 Jul 2010 07:19:39 -0700, "James H." <>
    wrote:

    >On Mon, 05 Jul 2010 04:53:47 -0500, FatterDumber& Happier Moe wrote:
    >
    >> Does it run?

    >No. It won't start.
    >
    >When I hit the obstruction, it stopped due to mechanical force I guess but
    >then it started running roughly like it was unbalanced. It almost sounded
    >like a multi-cylinder engine running on one cylinder - but I'm pretty sure
    >it's only a one-cylinder engine to start with so that's just what it
    >sounded like. Then, after a couple of minutes, it died and won't restart.
    >I've tried for a week to start it.


    Yep. Sounds like you ate the shear pin. This is a soft pin that holds the
    flywheel onto the crank shaft. It's designed to shear and let the flywheel go
    on its merry way so it doesn't bend the crank. Since the engine timing is
    taken off the flywheel, the engine won't run after. When you hit the object
    you probably broke the shear pin but didn't move the flywheel far enough, at
    first, to keep the engine from running. However, it ran poorly because the
    timing was off. After a little time unbalanced the flywheel moved further out
    of place preventing it from running at all. With any luck, a $.25 shear pin
    will get you back to the fun of mowing.

    >> If not the aluminum key was probably sheared, they are supposed to do
    >> that so the flywheel isn't damaged and it helps prevent bent crankshafts.

    >I see. Looking up "Lawn mower repair flywheel key replacement" I found a
    >video which, to my surprise, shows you have to get to that key from the
    >top. (I thought everything was accessed from the bottom business end of the
    >motor.)
    >
    >> If it runs the blade was bent or a small piece of the blade broke
    >> off, the blade came loose(unlikely) the crankshaft was bent (I haven't
    >> seen that happen in a long time).

    >The blade isn't loose and it doesn't look bent. It's all dinged up but I've
    >had it for about 3 years and those dings started three years ago as the
    >soil is very rocky. About every 30 seconds I hear that hard crunch of
    >hitting the top of a rock. By now the rocks are mostly sheared down to the
    >grass level so that's why I was surprised that it stopped all of a sudden
    >on a pretty small rock, maybe six or eight inches in diameter that was
    >protroding up from the ground just above grass level in a relatively benign
    >rounded dome.
    >
    >> We really need more details to help trouble shoot it. If it's running
    >> and the blade isn't bent it's possible the blade just needs sharpening
    >> and balancing.

    >
    >I'll give you all the details you need. It's not running but I don't
    >"think" it's the ignition because it was directly related to hitting this
    >rock one too many times.


    The flywheel is part of the "ignition". The magneto is on the flywheel.

    >I'm googling for lawn mower repair and I see a few decent videos but none
    >yet for the Craftsman (I'll look up the model number in my paperwork and
    >report that if it helps.)


    Your Craftsman likely has either a Briggs or Techumseh engine. They're pretty
    much all the same.

    >This video shows a briggs and stratten engine being repaired with just a
    >screwdriver and a hammer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWcIiZtvbug
    >
    >I'm looking for a Craftsman one as we speak.
    >
    >
    >
    , Jul 5, 2010
    #12
  13. James H.

    Joe Guest

    On Jul 4, 11:31 pm, "James H." <> wrote:
    > What is the typical thing to look for that broke when my lawnmower hit a
    > stationary object?
    >
    > I've hit much tougher sets of rocks than the little things that all of a
    > sudden caused my Craftsman 18 inch push mower to wobble (I think) and run
    > badly and now it won't start.
    >
    > snip<


    When you get your replacement mower, set the blade at 4" - 5" and get
    comfortable with the idea that longer grass really looks better and
    healthier. And every spring rake up all the rocks that popped up over
    winter before you start mowing. That way you can save a lot of $$ and
    time.
    If you really like a lawn that shows white roots, see if a local goat
    farmer will rent you one of his close grazers on occasion.

    Joe
    Joe, Jul 5, 2010
    #13
  14. James H.

    Nate Nagel Guest

    On 07/05/2010 01:24 AM, James H. wrote:
    > On Sun, 4 Jul 2010 22:15:32 -0700 (PDT), harry wrote:
    >
    >> IT sounds like the engine is unbalanced

    > Yes. Something went unbalanced but I checked (visually only) the blade
    > itself which seems to be all nicked up but no worse than it has been for a
    > loooong time.
    >
    >> therefor some rotating part has broken off or the crankshaft is bent.

    > It could be a bent crankshaft. I guess. But, I've hit far worse than what
    > made this happen this time as it happened all of a sudden on me.
    >
    > How would I know if the crankshaft is bent?
    >
    >> Or possibly the engine has come loose on it's mountings.

    > I didn't think of that. Will check tomorrow but I didn't notice anything
    > loose as I flipped the lawn mower over to look at the blade.
    >
    >> The obvious one would be the cutter blade. Check that it's running
    >> without a wobble ie not bent.

    > It doesn't look bent. It doesn't look like it's wobbling. Would that
    > prevent it from restarting? It ran for a few minutes "after the accident"
    > but roughly - and now it just won't start.
    >
    >> Or, as it won't start something associated with the igntion system.

    > Could be. I don't see how that would be associated with hitting something
    > but as I said, it wasn't all that much that I hit (I've run over far worse
    > with that mower) so maybe something just broke in the ignition. I can pull
    > the plug and check.


    if it's got a Tecumseh engine, the normal consequence of hitting
    something is that the flywheel key shears (it's designed to do that, to
    protect the crank) and throws off the ignition timing. BTDT... the
    fact that it ran rough and now won't start sounds very familiar... went
    through this several times at a house I used to live in, yard was very
    lumpy and if you didn't mow often enough you hit a couple stealth roots.
    I could tell when I'd sheared the key by the mower starting to run
    rough from the retarded ignition timing, but it'd run for a while until
    I hit another root/rock/whatever and then I'd be done for.

    the unbalance is likely due to a bent blade; if it's not, you've likely
    bent the crank which means your mower is junk.

    nate

    --
    replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
    http://members.cox.net/njnagel
    Nate Nagel, Jul 5, 2010
    #14
  15. James H.

    James H. Guest

    On Mon, 05 Jul 2010 11:28:35 -0500, zzzzzzzz wrote:

    > When you hit the object you probably broke the shear pin but didn't
    > move the flywheel far enough, at first, to keep the engine from running.
    > However, it ran poorly because the timing was off. After a little time
    > unbalanced the flywheel moved further out of place preventing it from
    > running at all.


    Now that makes sense! I remember now, that there was a lot of oil and smoke
    too. I'll bet you're 100% right so I'll take it apart from the top and look
    for that flywheel pin and report back to the team!
    James H., Jul 5, 2010
    #15
  16. James H.

    Harry K Guest

    On Jul 5, 12:36 pm, "James H." <> wrote:
    > On Mon, 05 Jul 2010 11:28:35 -0500, wrote:
    > > When you hit the object you probably broke the shear pin but didn't
    > > move the flywheel far enough, at first, to keep the engine from running..  
    > > However, it ran poorly because the timing was off.  After a little time
    > > unbalanced the flywheel moved further out of place preventing it from
    > > running at all.  

    >
    > Now that makes sense! I remember now, that there was a lot of oil and smoke
    > too. I'll bet you're 100% right so I'll take it apart from the top and look
    > for that flywheel pin and report back to the team!


    The 'not starting' is almost assuredly a sheared pin. I worked for
    part of year in my old man's fix-it shop. Overhauled one Briggs on a
    tiller. Fired it up, ran good, next morning - no start. After a
    couple hours fooling with it, I pulled the flywheel to find the key
    only half shorn but it was enough to keep it from starting. It
    probably was shorn when I shut it off the previous evening.

    Yes, it is possible for it to have started with a partially shorn key
    and then completed the shearing later.

    Harry K
    Harry K, Jul 6, 2010
    #16
  17. James H.

    James H. Guest

    On Mon, 5 Jul 2010 07:28:10 -0700, James H. wrote:
    > On Mon, 5 Jul 2010 04:16:38 -0700 (PDT), ransley wrote:
    >
    > If you are lucky its a bent blade and sheared flywheel key,
    > its a Diy job with a flywheel puller


    It's a Briggs & Stratten 6.5 HP 21" cut Craftsman part number 917.388853
    push mower. I found the manual here:
    http://www.managemylife.com/mmh/lis_pdf/OWNM/L0505023.pdf
    http://www.hammerwall.com/Download_Manual/14875/
    http://tinyurl.com/32mzm2n

    Interestingly, the owners manual says Sears doesn't recommend sharpening
    the blade; I wonder why?

    I checked the balance of the blade using the technique in the manual and it
    seems to be balanced just fine (even though it's nicked up a bit).

    This is the published procedure to check balance:

    "NOTE: We do not recommend sharpening the blade - but if you do, be sure
    the blade is balanced. To check blade balance, drive a nail into a beam or
    wall. Leave about one inch of the straight nail exposed. Place center hole
    of blade over the head of the nail. If blade is balanced, it should remain
    in a horizontal position. If either end of the blade moves downward,
    sharpen the heavy end until the blade is balanced."
    James H., Jul 6, 2010
    #17
  18. James H.

    James H. Guest

    On Mon, 5 Jul 2010 21:52:55 -0700 (PDT), Harry K wrote:

    > The 'not starting' is almost assuredly a sheared pin.


    Hi Harry,
    I suspect you are right.
    I found the exploded diagrams for the Briggs & Stratton 6.5HP 21" push
    mower (Sears catalogue number 917.388853) on http://searspartsdirect.com

    http://tinyurl.com/32mzm2n

    But the weird thing is I can't find the "flywheel key" anywhere on the
    exploded parts diagram.

    There's just one big part (#59) called "Engine" which must contain the
    sheared flywheel key; but I think I'll have to call Sears in the morning to
    find the missing flywheel key. :(

    If anyone looks at that http://searspartsdirect exploded diagram, do YOU
    see the flywheel key?
    James H., Jul 6, 2010
    #18
  19. James H.

    James H. Guest

    On Mon, 5 Jul 2010 09:47:37 -0400, Stormin Mormon wrote:
    > Shear key between flywheel and shaft.


    > It's a Briggs & Stratten 6.5 HP 21" cut Craftsman part number 917.388853
    > push mower. I found the manual here:
    > http://www.managemylife.com/mmh/lis_pdf/OWNM/L0505023.pdf
    > http://www.hammerwall.com/Download_Manual/14875/
    > http://tinyurl.com/32mzm2n


    From the owners manual, the engine of the Craftsman 917.388853 6.5HP 21"
    push mower is a Briggs & Stratton, Model-Type-Trim of 123KO2-0444-E1.
    Model = 123KO2
    Type = 0444
    Trim = E1

    Looking at the web site for that Briggs & Stratton Model Number
    123KO2-0444-E1 engine, I can't find the owners manual for the engine
    itself.
    http://www.briggsandstratton.com/ma...e/docsearch.aspx?enginelookfor=123KO2-0444-E1

    I think I'll call Briggs & Stratton in the morning to find out WHY that
    Model/Type/Trim combination isn't shown on their web site.
    James H., Jul 6, 2010
    #19
  20. James H.

    James H. Guest

    On Mon, 5 Jul 2010 22:43:08 -0700, James H. wrote:
    >> It's a Briggs & Stratten 6.5 HP 21" cut Craftsman part number 917.388853
    >> http://www.managemylife.com/mmh/lis_pdf/OWNM/L0505023.pdf
    >> http://www.hammerwall.com/Download_Manual/14875/
    >> http://tinyurl.com/32mzm2n

    >
    > From the owners manual, the engine of the Craftsman 917.388853 6.5HP 21"
    > push mower is a Briggs & Stratton, Model-Type-Trim of 123KO2-0444-E1.


    I couldn't even find that model-type-trim on the Briggs and Stratton web
    site ( http://www.briggsandstratton.com/maint_repair/manual_and_more ).

    And, there was no exploded engine diagram on the Sears web site:
    http://tinyurl.com/32mzm2n

    Luckily, the downloaded manual contained, on page 36, an exploded diagram
    of the engine.
    http://www.managemylife.com/mmh/lis_pdf/OWNM/L0505023.pdf

    Apparently the part I need from Sears or Briggs & Stratton is "#24" in the
    center of the exploded engine diagram on page 36, part number 222698, name
    = "key-flywheel".

    I'll call Sears (800-488-1222) or Briggs & Stratton tomorrow during
    business hours to see how to obtain this illusive flywheel key.
    James H., Jul 6, 2010
    #20

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