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Author Topic: Help. Any lawn mower repair experts?  (Read 5171 times)
asprince
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« on: March 19, 2011, 10:48:13 PM »

I have a riding mower with a 17hp B&S intek engine. It will only run with the choke on. When you move the lever off choke, the engine levels off and then starts to sputter and then goes dead. It will only restart when choked. I replaced the fuel filter but no change. The filter is clear. When the engine is running, the filter is only 1/4 full of fuel. The engine has a vacuum fuel pump, could it be defective? Since they are expensive, I would like to know before I buy one. How can I check it? Can it be rebuilt?

Steve
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2011, 11:05:02 PM »

What kind of shape is the engine ? If it has low compression it will loose the vacuum it needs. When has the air filter been changed ?
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asprince
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2011, 11:09:02 PM »

The engine is in good shape. It worked great year. The problem started at start up this spring. The air filer is not new but I blew it out with compressed air.

Steve
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2011, 11:25:45 PM »

I’m not a lawn mower repair expert, but if you suspect the fuel pump and have a spare tank around, you might try using gravity to check your fuel pump.  If you put the spare tank is above the carb, you don’t need a pump, that’s what gravity is for.  If the engine runs fine from an elevated spare tank of gas, that would suggest a problem with your fuel pump,  debris in the tank, or a vacuum leak.

As Sparky says, FIRST I would make sure I have a good vacuum to the pump.  I would remove the vacuum hose if possible, check for leaks in the hose, then reattach the hose using a dap of compatible grease at both ends to get a good seal.  Then try again.

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fish_stix
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2011, 11:36:08 PM »

Check the float bowl on the carb. If the float sticks or the needle valve is stuck due to varnish buildup you'll get the symptoms you described.  grin
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BlueBee
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2011, 11:43:30 PM »

Asprince, one more thing I would ask.  Where do you store your mower?  Does it ever get rained on?  Are there any mischievous kids around?  I ask because my rototiller often has a similar problem if (when) it is left in the rain.  All fuel caps have to have a vent and that gives water a chance to get in.  Water in the carb, acts a bit like what you are describing.  

You can check for water by dropping the bowl of the cab and dumping it in a clear plastic container.  If you have water, you can see a clear separation of fuel and water in the container.  Once water gets in, it collects in the carb bowl and the only way to get it out is to drain the carb bowl.

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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2011, 12:35:36 AM »

I suspect alcohol in the fuel has plagued a fuel passage. Go to an auto parts store and get a product called sea foam. Add this along with fresh fuel to your tank. Let it run through the system and it may help remove the gunk.It has worked in several applications for me.
 Be sure to add a fuel stabilizer to a full tank of fuel when parking it for the fall. Let it run though the system for a while before shutting it off for the winter.
Alcohol fuels are tough on small engines.
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thebalvenie
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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2011, 11:00:22 AM »

sea foam is an excellent idea....you could use isoheat and/or lucas gas treatment and techron

good luck Wink
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AllenF
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« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2011, 06:12:22 PM »

Corn gas that sat too long.   Carb needs cleaning.   See it all the time here.   
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2011, 06:25:13 PM »

Gasoline with ethonal (what we used to call Gasohol) will jell and clog the inner parts of the carberator with a shellac, it will also draw moisture.  At the very least unscrew the needle valve, clean the tip, replace it and adjust the fuel flow.  That should make a big difference on how much gasoline is getting to the combustion chamber.  If this works add a carberator cleaner to the fuel to remove the fuel while you use the machine. 
Most small engine repair places tell me that 90% of spring time engine troubles in lawn equipment is due to bad gas (unstablized gasoline left in the engine over the winter).  this often leads to a carberator rebuild. 

The problem you discribe is not due to lack of air getting to the engine but lack of fuel when the air intake is increased (choke released).
Pull Heet in the fuel to absorb any moisture in the fuel, this increases the alcohol % in the fuel but will render the moisture combustuable.
As for the fuel pump both of the check methods are good suggestions and a cheap way to do it. 
After the carberator and fuel pump then check the timing if you still have a problem.
Another good all around fuel additive is Marvel Mystery Oil.
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schawee
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« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2011, 11:59:28 PM »

had same problem with mine. took bowl off and cleaned tha needle valve and spray carb cleaner where the needle valve sit,    schawee
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2011, 10:28:48 AM »

I have this 1948 or 1949 Ford 8N tractor. After sitting all winter long I go out and hook the battery charger to it. Let it charge for awhile. Then later I go out and opened the fuel valve, turned on the switch, pull the throttle all the way open, pull out the choke, and hit the starter button.

Fired right off. Purred like a kitten.

Same gas I put in there sometime last summer.  Undecided

This thing smokes. Some how it gets oil in the cooling system but doesn't get water in the crank case. It sits outside. No shed to put it in.

I was wondering if anything built today would be starting like that in 62 years from now  huh

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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2011, 02:54:55 PM »

I have this 1948 or 1949 Ford 8N tractor. After sitting all winter long I go out and hook the battery charger to it. Let it charge for awhile. Then later I go out and opened the fuel valve, turned on the switch, pull the throttle all the way open, pull out the choke, and hit the starter button.

Fired right off. Purred like a kitten.

Same gas I put in there sometime last summer.  Undecided

This thing smokes. Some how it gets oil in the cooling system but doesn't get water in the crank case. It sits outside. No shed to put it in.

I was wondering if anything built today would be starting like that in 62 years from now  huh

I have a 1948 8N tractor also.  It sat outside all winter, often covered with snow. Thing I like about it is that it will also run on Alochol and Kerosine.  Yesterday I went out to start it up, with the same routine you discribe with the exception of the battery charger.  It was a little slow starting but it soon warmed up and purred like a kitten.  I added a little Heet to the gas to soak up any stray water in the fuel.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2011, 03:18:47 PM »

You have that front mount distributor? Is yours converted to twelve volt system? I put in one of those electronic ignition things in the distributor. Sure has helped with the burning out of points and condensers.
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rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

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asprince
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« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2011, 07:21:50 PM »

Got my mower going this afternoon. The Seafoam helped some but I finally had to disassemble the carburetor and clean the gook out of it. Runs great now. I would love to sell it and buy a zero turn. Thanks everyone.

Steve   
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« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2011, 09:14:02 PM »

I have a Dixie Chopper zero turn. It sure has brought the fun back to mowing!!
 Be sure to treat your fuels for the off season.
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kingbee
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« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2011, 04:23:30 AM »

You either have a defective fuel delivery system or you are loosing ported vacuum between the carb and the cylinder head or intake manifold.  Gasoline engines are air pumps that do not run except at a very narrow (about 14 to 1) air to fuel ratio.  Feathering the choke is a dead give away.  Cleaning the carb or air filter will likely fix you problem.
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Shanevrr
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« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2011, 07:42:16 AM »

check exhaust for bees nest lol
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Shane C.
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« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2011, 10:28:31 AM »

I have a Dixie Chopper zero turn. It sure has brought the fun back to mowing!!


Mighty strong words there Ken  grin

I have a Dixie Zero Turn too, but it still isnt fun. It did however cut my mowing time down from 3 1/2 hours to 40 minutes.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2011, 11:14:31 AM »

I have a Craftsman 5 hp Briggs and straton powered rear tine tiller. I got it from my uncle a few years back and it has mostly just sat around the storage shed. My daughter and son in law borrowed it two years ago to till their back yard. The handle broke off. It had been welded from a previous break before I got it. It sat in their garage for about two years. I brought it home the other day to repair the handle. Yesterday I was discussing with a friend how to go about fixing the handle. I decided to see if it would start. I pushed the choke lever over and pushed the throttle lever down and pulled it a couple times. The choke lever was bent a bit so I straightened it and choked it more. Pulled the cord and the thing fired off and sounded great.

You would think the gas in it was bad as some of it has been in there for several years and the other was put in two years ago. Mybe gas just doesn't go bad in Texas  rolleyes
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