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Riding lawn mower help


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May 20, 2020
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Craftsman DLT 3000 Intek plus 18.5hp engine
I've had nothing but problems with this POS since I bought it. Latest problem is it will run for a few minutes then die. Doesn't take a bunch of cranking to get it fired back up like it has ran out of fuel, couple seconds if not instantly but will only run for 30 seconds or so. The longer you nurse this along the shorter the run time gets to be. I put a new carb, new fuel pump, new fuel filter, and a new fuel shutoff valve onto it early this year with a gallon or so of ethanol free fuel into it. I've ran it for a few minutes here and there up until last Thursday when I went to mow, ran it for about a half hr and it was running better than it ever has super smooth no bogging or anything. Stalled on me and i figured I had just ran it out of fuel(couldnt see any in tank), 2 gallons of ethanol free fuel right out of gas station pump dumped in Friday and got about 5 minutes run time out of it. Could keep it running longer with choke on so figured I had passed shit into the carb.

I tested the anti after fire valve on the bottom of the carb and it was getting hot with extended key on time and would not retract everytime you turned the ignition on, I cut the plunger off of that today thinking that was the issue but only got about 2 minutes run time out of it after it sitting for a few hours from going through and cleaning the carb and a few other errands. Carb looked nice and clean inside.

Even when it is running it sounds like shit, has random small pops from the exhaust which seem to be more frequent at low idle. I've ran it with the hood open also trying to let heat out.

I'm thinking it is a ignition issue since I get less and less run time the longer I keep restarting it. I've got a cheap harbor freight inline spark tester but I'm not sure if it will even run with it hooked up, I'm gonna try though. Any ideas?
Did you check the fuel tank outlet for shit.
by shit, I mean a fuel filler spout and a piece of fuel filter floating around and randomly plugging supply like it did on my Ford 5000? 🤬
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I don't know about that brand, but my deere had a breaker in it. Two wires attached, about an inch or so long. Doing the same thing, but had to let sit for just a bit. Replaced and no problems.
My Craftsman (smaller though, 13 HP Kohler) had the fuel filter mounted right next to the engine block/cylinder head, and I was having a problem with it vapor locking after working hard. I could blow into/pressurize the fuel tank and it'd run fine for another few minutes, then die again. I relocated the filter and shutoff away from the engine and it runs perfect ever since, even today mowing tall stuff in 95* weather. Can only guess that it was a combination of the pressure drop through the filter and shutoff valve that let the heat be enough to boil it up before it made it to the carb.

edit: would do the same thing with the choke, run for a bit as you increased it, but eventually die. I think the fuel filter plus the heat was just restrictive; pulling th choke forced a litter more cooler fuel and kept it alive.

Just something to look at.
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They make this cool little spark tester.


Awesome tool to have, the engine will run with this inline and you can see if your spark goes away as it is dying, or if spark is still there.

It sure could be a coil but it could also be a loose connection on any of the safety devices or ignition switch.

Loose connection create heat. If it is a loose connection somewhere you will usually find a melted connector.
yes as stated the coil is most likely overheating, get that done and if it is still popping and running rough adjust the valves...
Coil, shit plugging the fuel pickup, or cap not venting. I'm lazy so I'd try running it without the gas cap or at least with it extremely loose first.

Mine was doing the same and the other site was correct when they said fuel pickup screen getting clogged
I had a LT1000, with the INTEK garbage.

I tried to make it's original carb to work with no success. china replacment carb off amazon wasn't any better. I replaced a carb on a tecumseh on a log splitter which have fully adjustable main jet, the one below bowl. I modified INTEK's carb to accept the adjustable bowl bolt/needle. I got it on and dialed in the main jet.

BEST MOD EVER. Didn't need choke to cold start in summer time, smooth idle and smooth full throttle, zero surging or popping nonsense and believe it or not power was improved dramatically.

theyre tuned very lean from factory (and nonadjustable).
Just went through this with my 17 year old Craftsman. Like mentioned, check the fuel cap. There's a pin hole at the top to vent and they get clogged. No shit, mine would run for a minute and then quit. If it sat for a minute it would start back up, only to do the same thing again... The little hole was gunked up. My tank was actually collapsing from trying to get air, lmao... Poked it with a needle and good as new. Stupidest easy fix ever
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It honestly feels like a self resetting circuit breaker popping out with how it runs for a while then starts acting up and then runs for less and less on each cycle. Only thing I saw was the starter solenoid mounted below the dash but I will take a closer look to see if I missed something.

I've got one of those testers, I will throw it on there and hopefully I will be able to see what it does.

sorry forgot to mention I have ran it with the fuel cap off to check the vent also, no change.

little fuel pump deal that seems to be powered by crankcase pressure is mounted up on the engine on the plastic cover, small plastic fuel shutoff valve is inline between the pump and the carb and is a inch or so away from the engine, fuel filter is under the battery which sits halfway under the "dash" if you wanna call it that. Fuel filter is one of those see through universal Walmart special type, when engine dies it is still half full of fuel.

Has a Amazon special carb on it like trailtamer mentioned that is non adjustable. I just tore it apart and cleaned it out, didnt need it though.
It is probably the exact same thing that is wrong with the Intek 21 hp motor in that I swapped into my Husqvarna mower.

I don't know what the problem is, so I can't help. But if you figure it out, let me know :flipoff2:
Well its fuel related. Using my harbor freight inline spark tester it holds a orange spark the whole time. Once it starts to sputter a shot of brake cleaner down the carb keeps it running.

Anybody know how much fuel one of those shitty crankcase pressure style pumps they put on these is supposed to move?
You said you changed a bunch of crap. Take the tank off and see what's in it. Might be a chunk of crap plugging the line.
Replace your fuel lines, cheap and easy. Slice one of the old ones open and see if it's screwed up. It may not be your problem but it's easy to eliminate. We had several outboard motors get gummy fuel lines. The looked perfect until you cut them open.
Be a man and pull the fuel line off the pump and blow bubbles in your gas tank, then suck it and wash your mouth out with gas to rule that out....

pull the line off the carb and crank the engine, and you can watch how much fuel the pump is pushing....

do what the other guy said and run it off a external gravity tank to prove what you are saying is correct....

if it keeps shutting off etc and you think you already did everything do a compression test or a leak down & see what you got....
I've not had great luck with chinese "to fit" carbs off ebay. Do you have the original you can clean and put back on? I would have pointed at the shutoff solenoid but I see you cut the plunger off which should have fixed it. The OEM carbs on those are pretty reliable aside from that solenoid. If you pull the bowl off, hold the float slightly lower than level, and crank the engine over, there should be a continuous stream of fuel coming out.

A gravity fed tank would be interesting to try but I think the needle/seat setup in gravity fed carbs is different than pump fed carbs so it may not work out. Those pumps are dirty cheap on amazon and I have had decent luck with those. Throw that part at it, check the pulse line while you're there.

What vintage is that engine? The early ones had a ton of problems with pushrods breaking and bending. At the very least you should pop the valve cover off and check/set the lash. I'm not really sure how that would cause what you're seeing but it should be checked.
Adjust the valves, spin the push rods while your in there, bet one is bent... Inteks do that..
Original carb was filling the crankcase and hydro locking the cylinder, no I dont have it I threw it away about a month ago:homer:.

I checked the valve lash on it about 4hrs of runtime ago if even that much. It was done when I changed the carb and fuel pump out.

I'm gonna try to gravity feed the carb while running the pump into another bottle to check its flow. I've had it off while cranking and it was moving fuel.

I'm pretty sure I replaced all of the lines when I did the carb, if I remember right a few were soft and rotten so they were replaced with oreillys e85 compatible fuel injection hose.
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Original carb was filling the crankcase and hydro locking the cylinder, no I dont have it I threw it away about a month ago:homer:.

I checked the valve lash on it about 4hrs of runtime ago if even that much. It was done when I changed the carb and fuel pump out.

I'm gonna try to gravity feed the carb while running the pump into another bottle to check its flow. I've had it off while cranking and it was moving fuel.

I'm pretty sure I replaced all of the lines when I did the carb, if I remember right a few were soft and rotten so they were replaced with oreillys e85 compatible fuel injection hose.

ok well I still say if you think you did everything, check your compression and do a leak down... something is fucked up... i still say coil but keep looking.... bad intake gasket, bad head gasket could screw up allot...
Is it too full of oil and overheating? I have a Kohler kt17 that will do almost exactly what you describe if it's 1/4" too full of oil.
Nope right at the add mark on oil actually.

carb is fucked up. Tore into and found fuel filter media had came unglued from the ends of the housing, replaced fuel filter. Fucking vatozone has fancy cocksucker deluxe glass burn your car to the ground fuel filters on aisle 6 but the cheap plastic ones are on the end of the aisle next to the batteries. How TF does that make sense? God I hate that store
anyways its gotta be the float valve, starts to sputter and tap on carb and it comes back alive for 30 seconds or so. I will be pulling it apart again tomorrow.
Carb gone through again and it ran for about 5 minutes, stalled, fired right back up and ran good for like 20 minutes. Got all but a 8ft by 20ft area mowed.

pulled fuel pump output line to carb off and cranked it over testing it trying to fill up a bottle to then run the engine off of gravity feed style, barely a dribble out of the pump. Reinstalled line to carb because I couldn't get enough in the bottle to run it off of, cranked and got it fired up and brought rpms up and pulled fuel line off again. Still barely a dribble. The fuel pump vacuum source is off of a small elbow off the oil fill tube, decided to crank it with the cap off and it damn near blew it out of the hole. Come to find out these engines are known for blowing the head gasket in a particular spot and pressurizing the crankcase which is exactly what this one did. I'm assuming a vacuum pump ain't gonna work worth a shit with pressure to it instead which would explain my stalling.


thos einteks are piles of shit.

the vangaurds seem to be much better.

but who knows now that briggs declared bankruptcy. not making me feel very good about the two year of warranty I have left on a vanguard twin.
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