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Old 08-28-2015, 05:54 PM
#41 #41 started this thread
 
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I have a toro that is ~6 yrs old or so. Today, it started like normal (3 or 4 pulls) and I cut the back yard. Went to the front to weedeat/edge. Tried to start the mower to cut the front and...nothing. Plenty of fresh gas in it. Air filter is dirty but I banged off as much dust as I could so it's OK. Spark plug looked black but not much grime and nothing in the gap. But still, i soaked it on gas for a few minutes. Dried it off, etc. Mower still won't start.

So, I'm out of ideas. Borrowed a mower and cut the front. Went to Home Depot just for the heck of it and bought a plug. Mower started on the first pull. I let it run ~30 seconds and killed it. Had a few other things to do for ~10 minutes. Tried to start it again and...nothing.

It almost felt like it had more compression but that could be because I think I pulled my should out a bit for yanking on it earlier.

I'll try it again in the morning but does anyone have any ideas on what might be going on before I take it to the shop?
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Old 08-28-2015, 06:01 PM
 
Location: TX and NM on the border of the Great Southwest.
11,776 posts, read 15,796,948 times
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Do you know what the cylinder compression is? What did the new plug looks like after you ran it? Sounds like you may be fouling plugs.
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Old 08-28-2015, 06:07 PM
#41 #41 started this thread
 
126 posts, read 139,771 times
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Sorry, Not sure what you mean with your first question???? It does have good compression though.

I didn't take the new plug out but I can tomorrow. What typically is wrong if you keep fowling plugs?


Thank you for the help.
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Old 08-28-2015, 06:12 PM
 
Location: TX and NM on the border of the Great Southwest.
11,776 posts, read 15,796,948 times
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Cylinder compression is measured with a compression gauge but reading your message again that you only ran it with the new plug for 30 seconds, you would have to be seeing smoke (white or blue/black) coming from the muffler to foul a plug that quickly.

No smoke I assume? It is a 4-cycle engine where you don't mix oil and gas isn't it?
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Old 08-28-2015, 06:13 PM
#41 #41 started this thread
 
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No smoke. It is a 4 cylinder.
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Old 08-28-2015, 06:18 PM
 
Location: TX and NM on the border of the Great Southwest.
11,776 posts, read 15,796,948 times
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I'm sure you mean 4-cycle. Four cylinders would mean 4 pistons.

If it seemed more difficult to pull the second time, check for (wet?) grass clogging the blade. DISCONNECT YOUR SPARKPLUG WIRE before messing with the blade though.
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Old 08-28-2015, 06:44 PM
#41 #41 started this thread
 
126 posts, read 139,771 times
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Yes, sorry. 4 cycle. It's been a long day.

I really shouldn't have said it's more difficult to pull. It's more likely my arm/should (that's already been giving me issues) just thinks it's harder.
Earlier I looked underneath to make sure the bade wasn't caught up on something. It's good to go under there.

i went back out real quick and gave it another pull. It wants to start. I wish I could describe it. It half way starts and then dies off sloooooowly to nothing.
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Old 08-28-2015, 07:18 PM
 
Location: TX and NM on the border of the Great Southwest.
11,776 posts, read 15,796,948 times
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Okay. It's starting to sound like a carburetor problem, i.e., flooding or starving for fuel. Flooding seems likely with a blackened spark plug. A carburetor rebuild kit ($8.00 to $15.00) would probably fix the problem but maybe not. If you are inexperienced at cleaning the carburetor sufficiently, sometimes a kit doesn't work. There are tiny passageways in most of these small carbs. I use an 6th E string off a guitar to run through the passages but sometimes you have to "pop" a Welch plug to get at them. Sometimes it's better just to go get a new carburetor and put it on.

Just a note. These lawn mower carburetors can be relatively expensive (+$100) or they can be very inexpensive ($15.00). I just bought a carb (online eBay) for an old Briggs & Stratton sidewalk edger that was $13.00. Normally push mower carburetors are fairly simple to remove and replace. Just take note (take a pic) of your linkage hookups before you disconnect them and make sure your gaskets remain good, or are replaced.

BTW, I am not a lawn mower mechanic. I restore antique small tractors in my retirement. However, I did get a 40-year old Craftsman lawn mower going this past week as well as four other push mowers this summer. Long and boring story as to why I had five lawn mowers.

I was a biologist by trade but I've always been a mechanic at heart. I admire your desire to try and fix the problem yourself. If you can learn of other clues, I will help as I can.

Last edited by High_Plains_Retired; 08-28-2015 at 07:33 PM..
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Old 08-28-2015, 08:20 PM
#41 #41 started this thread
 
126 posts, read 139,771 times
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Thanks. I see I can get a new carb. for ~$33. Youtube shows it's not that difficult to replace. I would just hate to replace it and it still not work.

I'll sleep on it but any other ideas or ways to narrow the issue down?
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Old 08-28-2015, 10:04 PM
 
Location: TX and NM on the border of the Great Southwest.
11,776 posts, read 15,796,948 times
Reputation: 22443
Before you pick up a new carburetor, perhaps you can try something else? Your carburetor probably has a "bowl" at the bottom of it that is made of aluminum. Right in the bottom center of that bowl should be a brass nut (3/8" or 7/16"). Remove the nut and carefully remove the bowl by dropping it down. Be careful to try and leave the large rubber O-ring gasket in place on the bottom of the carburetor although it may come off with the bowl. If the gasket completely falls off and it is stretched out of shape, you'll probably need to replace it. Also watch that, as you pull the bowl down and away, the float will drop down. Here just make sure your needle doesn't fall out and get lost.

Once you have the bowl off, take some spray carburetor cleaner ($2.00 at Walmart) and liberally spray the exposed area especially the pin area that the float rotates on, the needle and the seat area it sits in. Also, clean any "crud" out of the bottom of the bowl. The small brass nut may have tiny holes in it that should be cleared as well. The small wire found in bread bag ties (stripped of the plastic) works well if you don't have guitar strings. After cleaning with carb cleaner, reinstall the bowl making sure the smaller gasket that sits under the brass nut and the large O-ring gasket between the carburetor and the bowl are in place.

The problem could be just a case of where the needle is occasionally sticking open and allowing too much fuel to flow into the carburetor. Or the needle could be sticking closed and not allowing gas into the carburetor at times. It's a little more work but probably worth it.

Good luck. Let us know how it comes out.
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