Jump to content

Garden Tractors and Parts on eBay

- - - - -

New Owner With Old Questions

simplicity mower

  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 desertsteel OFFLINE  

  • New Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Member No: 48644
  • 6 Thanks
  • 4 posts
  • Location: Ypsilanti, MI.

Posted October 22, 2013 - 10:18 AM

Howdy all! I don't have much riding mower experience. I work on vehicles and motorcycles. I lived in the desert for the last 17 years and kept the grass that needed cut (if any) to push mower size to save on water.

I recently bought a Simplicity 5216H, 16hp B&S I/C twin with a 36" deck and a snow-blower as my main yard tractor. Now that i have used it for a couple of months and have gotten used to it's personality, I could really use some knowledge and insights before the snow blows please......

The first thing I'd like to deal with is the starter, it sounds like it is dragging or rubbing when I start it up. Is this starter rebuildable, could this just be debris and it needs disassembled and given thorough cleaning, is that even possible? Or is it on its way out?

2nd, how much noise is the drive belt pulleys supposed to make when your foot comes off of the pedal? Nothing appears to be loose, it has a belt that is in good shape, it just sounds overly loud to me. Everything seems to run very smoothly! I have visually looked at all of the pulleys. None appear to be bent or wobbly and they look shiny. The deck sounds smooth and does not shake or wobble.

3rd, it's now backfiring every time i shut it off, nice flame blows out of the exhaust. I pulled the solenoid off of the carb to clean it and i thought there was supposed to be a plunger of sorts, but there is nothing and I'm not seeing any adjustment screws on the carb. So i pull the choke out before i shut her down and she just puffs a bit.

4th, it won't idle down anymore. when the throttle is pushed all of the way down it sounds like the motor is still about half throttle rpm's. I have verified the throttle cable is traveling as it should to the carb and everything is free and moving.

The only issue this mower had when i bought it was the starter issue. i've been using it twice a week since i bought it so i haven't wanted to tear into it yet . I should have a bit of a break to work on it between leaves and snow...i hope.

I've wrenched enough over the years that I can figure out most things but it would be nice to able to pick other brains for a change and have an idea of what I'm looking for before I get into tear down mode.

Thank you in advance for sharing your knowledge.



  • boyscout862 and Dieselcubmike have said thanks

#2 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

Texas Deere and Horse

    RED Wild Hogs, Horses & Deeres

  • Staff Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1435
  • 14,800 Thanks
  • 15,495 posts
  • Location: East of San Antonio Texas

Posted October 22, 2013 - 10:32 AM

Welcome to GTtalk. I can't help on the first 2, but the 3rd one I can.


The backfiring is from Carbon build up in the engine and exhaust. As far as the carb goes, I'm not sure why the engine doesn't die when you turn the key off, it should stop the current from getting to the coil. I don't think you kill the engine by stopping the fuel.


On the 4th question, is the Governor and linkage moving freely back and forth? Is there an idle screw that you can adjust?


The mower deck will probably need  to have new bearing installed in the spindles.


Good Luck and be sure to post some pictures so we can better understand what you are working on.


Good Luck!!

  • boyscout862 and desertsteel have said thanks

#3 Dieselcubmike OFFLINE  

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 11127
  • 1,335 Thanks
  • 1,520 posts
  • Location: Southwestern,Pa

Posted October 22, 2013 - 11:03 AM

Hello there and welcome! :wave:

  • desertsteel said thank you



    Lost in Cyber Space

  • Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 3
  • 10,339 Thanks
  • 15,621 posts
  • Location: Pennsylvania

Posted October 22, 2013 - 11:29 AM

Welcome to GTtalk first off.


Two of the items you mentioned with the won't idle down and backfiring when you shut it off are related. Sounds like it could be a couple of things. One would be an air leak, valves need adjusted and / or the carb needs adjusted and cleaned. That is probably a newer Briggs compared to the old cast iron singles and more then likely has a non adjustable carb on it. 


The mower deck will make some noise but if it is a screeching or grinding sound than you have a bearing going out on one of the deck spindles. I replaced all the deck bearings on my Massey MF12's deck and while it is super quiet compared to before it still sounds like it is ready to take off like an airplane.


I don't know that I would worry about rebuilding the starter even if you could. I would purchase a new backup unit just to have it and run the current one till it dies. 

  • HDWildBill and desertsteel have said thanks

#5 boyscout862 ONLINE  

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 8923
  • 12,839 Thanks
  • 9,162 posts
  • Location: N.E. Connecticut

Posted October 22, 2013 - 01:19 PM

Kirk, Welcome to GTT. You have come to the right place to pick brains. Relax and enjoy the site. First, check our manuals section for the tractor and engine you have. You are allowed 3 free downloads per day. Second, pictures will help with your questions. Third, give us time to answer you. Fourth its nice to see someone else that numbers their paragraphs.

1st. The starter is rebuildable. I would rebuild it immmediately. When the bearings wear the armeture can rub against the field and eventually ruin it. Rplace the bearings and brushes now. Also check the bendix gear and ring gear. Check with our sponsors for a kit.

2nd. Check that all pulleys are turning freely. It sounds like it may be an idler pulley is shot.

3rd and 4th. You seem to have a carb/vacuum leak problem. See above.

Let us know how you make out so that we all may learn.

Good Luck, Rick
  • NUTNDUN, HDWildBill and desertsteel have said thanks

#6 HDWildBill OFFLINE  


    Freedom is not Free. Thank those in uniform for your freedom.

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 6354
  • 8,975 Thanks
  • 8,664 posts
  • Location: Ga

Posted October 22, 2013 - 03:37 PM

Hi Kirk, Welcome to GTtalk.  I think Nutndun and Boyscout862  has addressed the starter issue.  I have a friend who rebuilds alternators and starts so I just pull them and take them over to him to fix.


The solenoid you are talking about on bowl of the carburetor should have some kind of plunger, usually rubber but not always.  To check it out pull it off connect the connector to it and turn your key to "on" it should retract and when you turn the key off it should extend.  If you can't see it move then replace it. I suspect that is your problem with back firing.  Backfiring is the main reason they put them in there to have a positive cut off for the fuel.  


Once you have the Solenoid issue resolve then start it up and pull the throttle to idle.  Check to see if the throttle shaft is seated on the idle adjustment screw.  If not you may have a issue with the governor linkage.  Like Rick suggested see if there is a manual for your tractor and see if there is manual for your tractors  Here is one to help trouble shoot the B&S fuel system


Let us know what you find and the end results.

  • boyscout862 and desertsteel have said thanks

#7 superaben OFFLINE  


    Con Man

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 11204
  • 7,668 Thanks
  • 5,677 posts
  • Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA

Posted October 22, 2013 - 06:34 PM

My suspicion for the starter is that you have a bad connection somewhere.  Ground or positive.  Pull the cables at the battery and the connections and polish them up.


Ben W.

  • boyscout862 and desertsteel have said thanks

#8 crittersf1 OFFLINE  


    GT Lunatic

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 26142
  • 4,204 Thanks
  • 5,802 posts
  • Location: Newport, N.C.

Posted October 23, 2013 - 06:17 AM

:welcometogttalk: :wewantpics:

  • desertsteel said thank you

#9 desertsteel OFFLINE  

  • New Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Member No: 48644
  • 6 Thanks
  • 4 posts
  • Location: Ypsilanti, MI.

Posted October 23, 2013 - 09:37 AM

Good morning Y'all!


Thank you for the welcomes and the advice!!! Best welcome I have ever had on a forum by far!!!


I will get a couple of pics of yard queen and post them.


I will start with cleaning the starter connections. I will definitely check on the rebuild kit vs. buying a new starter but I tend to lean toward the idea of a back-up. That makes good sense to me and then rebuild the one I have.


@HDWildBill, TY for the manual, VERY nice!! I will try that trick but I need to get a plug for the carb; the fuel just pours when I pull the solenoid. The linkages all seem to move freely and the governor also seems to be functioning properly (obviously something isn't though). I will make adjustments to the idle screw, since that is the only adjustment my carb has, and see  if it makes any improvements.


I have an owners manual and a parts manual (and now a carb ts guide) but have not found a service manual yet. The owners manual is very basic and mostly worthless for the diy guy. I do need to get the model number of of the engine and go to the briggs site though. I didn't know the valves could be adjusted...... Cool, right up my alley!


Boyscout862  LOL.....comes with years of practice. Great to know it can be rebuilt! I will check for vacuum leaks, thanks! I should have thought of that.... and I will support the forum sponsors whenever possible. Think i may have found a new winter project idea.....

I'll have to pull the drive belt off to check the pulleys to the transaxle as the deck is good to go.


Dieselcubmike....WoW!!! I like it!!! great videos!!! I'm a diesel freak too..... lost my old L175 Kubota in a divorce, have a couple of dodge cummins and would love to find a diesel motorcycle, but i think a diesel garden tractor would be much cooler to play with! I can just hear the neighbors now..........


@TD&H I can pull the exhaust off and check for carbon buildup before i pull the head...Thanks for the idea....and I will check the governor linkage more closely. I've been getting at least a 12" flame blowing out of the exhaust. you would think that would blow any carbon deposits off and of course the muffler too if i don't solve the problem......lol


I'll be sure to post what I have found. It will take a couple of weeks. I've got some grass to cut and leaves to mulch this week (weather permitting), I'm picking up  interior doors this weekend for my home remodel at a cool builders supply junk yard north of Claire MI. In South Carolina for work next week so it will be the following weekend before i did back into it.


Thanks again for all of the ideas and suggestions!!!

  • boyscout862 said thank you

#10 desertsteel OFFLINE  

  • New Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Member No: 48644
  • 6 Thanks
  • 4 posts
  • Location: Ypsilanti, MI.

Posted October 23, 2013 - 01:49 PM

I went to the manuals section and noticed there was not a file for the 5216H so I uploaded my 2 manuals; the owners and parts.

  • KennyP, boyscout862 and superaben have said thanks

#11 desertsteel OFFLINE  

  • New Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Member No: 48644
  • 6 Thanks
  • 4 posts
  • Location: Ypsilanti, MI.

Posted October 24, 2013 - 12:35 PM

Quick update....i mostly resolved the idle down issue last night. There was crap at the idle screw that would not allow the stop to rest on the adjustment screw...I don't know how i missed it but i did. Now the engines idles down but it has small surges while idling. I'm sure a good carb cleaning is in order and it still backfires like a .40 cal lol.... more later as i get into it.