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Old 08-15-2013, 10:29 PM
 
Location: Hot Springs, Arkansas
389 posts, read 1,055,071 times
Reputation: 456

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I'm not aware of the gas tank problem but I do know for a fact that their carbs are very troublesome; just about guaranteed not to run after any period of time. A parts man I spoke to referred to them as Briggs and "scrap iron." I never had any problems with the carb on a lawn tractor by John Deere (from a John Deere dealer) that used the Kawasaki engine over nearly 10 years. And a Scag commercial mower also had the Kawasaki engine and never a problem. I have two quality trimmer and blower units and they always start. But the brands one buys at the department stores should be taken out of the box and immediately thrown into the trash. Pure junk.

For example, I had an Echo chain saw I bought in 1992. I never had a problem starting this engine and the original spark plug was still in it when I let it go in 2011; nearly 20 years.

I'll almost guarantee a new carb for the B&S or a thorough cleaning will get it up and running. But after a short period of inactivity it will be the same deal. And to make things worse the linkage at the top is made out of plastic which can and will break. So one really has to be very careful. However, the engines themselves can be reliable and are not junk although all the inexpensive mass produced aluminum engines are unlined and eventually will wear out as the cylinders and pistons are both aluminum and like materials will eventually fail to seal properly. They need to have a cast iron liner as the quality units do. Properly maintained they will last decades.
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:50 PM
 
Location: USA (North Springfield, Vermont)
219 posts, read 422,959 times
Reputation: 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post

On the Weed Eater; the filter in the tank broke off the fuel line. The line also had a hole after the tank. It would run and then turn off. However; I could keep it running by giving it more choke. .
Similar to a weed whacker I was using, lacks torque until I choke it more! Different issue than the previous 4-cycle motor issue. 2-cycle motors seem to have issues with the air-fuel mixture ratio.
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:13 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
15,887 posts, read 12,688,358 times
Reputation: 11928
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmissourimule View Post
I'm not aware of the gas tank problem but I do know for a fact that their carbs are very troublesome; just about guaranteed not to run after any period of time. A parts man I spoke to referred to them as Briggs and "scrap iron." I never had any problems with the carb on a lawn tractor by John Deere (from a John Deere dealer) that used the Kawasaki engine over nearly 10 years. And a Scag commercial mower also had the Kawasaki engine and never a problem. I have two quality trimmer and blower units and they always start. But the brands one buys at the department stores should be taken out of the box and immediately thrown into the trash. Pure junk.

For example, I had an Echo chain saw I bought in 1992. I never had a problem starting this engine and the original spark plug was still in it when I let it go in 2011; nearly 20 years.

I'll almost guarantee a new carb for the B&S or a thorough cleaning will get it up and running. But after a short period of inactivity it will be the same deal. And to make things worse the linkage at the top is made out of plastic which can and will break. So one really has to be very careful. However, the engines themselves can be reliable and are not junk although all the inexpensive mass produced aluminum engines are unlined and eventually will wear out as the cylinders and pistons are both aluminum and like materials will eventually fail to seal properly. They need to have a cast iron liner as the quality units do. Properly maintained they will last decades.
I do admit that I have been out-of-business since 1975. But I was a registered B&S, Tecumseh, and Kohler serviceman back then. Kawasaki and the others were not even competing that many years ago - at least not in the US.

B&S did not make an engine with the quality of a Kohler - but it was affordable. They were also the largest manufacturers of engines in the world back then. In the five years that I was in business; I cannot recall replacing one B&S carburetor. I did replace fuel tanks that warped. The only issue with stale/gummy gas was the little pickup tube that went into the fuel tank. It had a small screen on the bottom and that would clog.

There is a chance that I could have replaced carburetors for a different reason than poor design. Some owners would tighten down the carburetor adjustment screws too tight. They are needle valves and the tip of the needle will stick in the orifice and then breakoff when you try to open it up.

I really liked B&S better than Tecumseh back then. Tecumseh would constantly change parts - I had to stock more to service all of their motors and there was a greater chance that I would be out-of-stock on the parts needed. When B&S had a good design; they stuck with it - fewer parts needed to service more motors.

I had a great part's cleaner that I used when in business. I think that it is now on the EPA's list of most hazardous chemicals? But; I could put an old gummy carburetor in it and the solution would eat gum, paint, and even rubber parts. The body of the carburetor would come out just like new. I just had to rinse it off and blow it out and replace the rubber O-rings/needles and seats. Sometimes I would have to pop out the Weish plugs.

I have two Poulan chainsaws that I have used since 1975. I was also an Echo and Poulan dealer and service man. I also like the Echo's.
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:28 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
15,887 posts, read 12,688,358 times
Reputation: 11928
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJARRRPCGP View Post
Similar to a weed whacker I was using, lacks torque until I choke it more! Different issue than the previous 4-cycle motor issue. 2-cycle motors seem to have issues with the air-fuel mixture ratio.
When you have a full tank of gas; do you see any gas seeping out of the top of the fuel cap? Have you tried loosening the gas cap while it is running? The pinhole in the top of the gas cap is one of the easiest things to check. If the tank cannot breathe; the motor will stop.

One of the biggest problems with the 2-cycle air-fuel mixture is the vibration produced by these small, fast, motors. Yes, some of them have problems with adjustment screws turning themselves out of adjustment.

How old is the equipment? If it is old; there is a chance of problems with your fuel line. Fuel line replacement can be challenging for those that have not done it before. The line itself could be difficult to get at. Also many 2-cycles have gas tanks that the line is so tight (where it goes into the tank) that it seals itself from leaks. You have to buy a little longer piece of fuel line and make a long taper on the end; so you can fish it through the hole and grab it with needle nose pliers. Take a piece of the old fuel line with you when you buy new fuel line (if you think this is the problem). Look at how difficult it is to get at the fuel line before you attempt this.

Anyway; good luck and let us know how you make out.
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Hot Springs, Arkansas
389 posts, read 1,055,071 times
Reputation: 456
Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
I do admit that I have been out-of-business since 1975. But I was a registered B&S, Tecumseh, and Kohler serviceman back then. Kawasaki and the others were not even competing that many years ago - at least not in the US.

B&S did not make an engine with the quality of a Kohler - but it was affordable. They were also the largest manufacturers of engines in the world back then. In the five years that I was in business; I cannot recall replacing one B&S carburetor. I did replace fuel tanks that warped. The only issue with stale/gummy gas was the little pickup tube that went into the fuel tank. It had a small screen on the bottom and that would clog.

There is a chance that I could have replaced carburetors for a different reason than poor design. Some owners would tighten down the carburetor adjustment screws too tight. They are needle valves and the tip of the needle will stick in the orifice and then breakoff when you try to open it up.

I really liked B&S better than Tecumseh back then. Tecumseh would constantly change parts - I had to stock more to service all of their motors and there was a greater chance that I would be out-of-stock on the parts needed. When B&S had a good design; they stuck with it - fewer parts needed to service more motors.

I had a great part's cleaner that I used when in business. I think that it is now on the EPA's list of most hazardous chemicals? But; I could put an old gummy carburetor in it and the solution would eat gum, paint, and even rubber parts. The body of the carburetor would come out just like new. I just had to rinse it off and blow it out and replace the rubber O-rings/needles and seats. Sometimes I would have to pop out the Weish plugs.

I have two Poulan chainsaws that I have used since 1975. I was also an Echo and Poulan dealer and service man. I also like the Echo's.
Tecumseh was bad mouthed and probably with good reason. But one of the last mowers I had had a Tecumseh engine and it was pretty reliable. The very last mower I had was a single cylinder Kohler engine that I purchased from Home Depot. That did a remarkable job and started easily even though it had sat over the winter months. But I could virtually guarantee that a B&S engine's carb would clog if left that long. The Kohler line of engines was considered at one time to be the best. Today I would argue the Kawasaki engines are the engine of choice and they are as bullet-proof as I have ever seen. I never had any problems with their carbs and they never broke. Some of the Kohlers I had were old and probably needed to have the carbs rebuilt due strictly to old age.

Your Poulans must have been from some time ago. I think they have probably been bought out and are relegated to the chain stores. As to the two cycle engines, hard to beat the Echos, the Stihls, the RedMax and those premium brands. But the cat's meow is the Shindawai line. If there is a better trimmer out there I haven't seen it. And they are a full line company. For the average person who wants a lifetime chain saw any of these would fill the bill quite nicely. Stihl now has a nifty "wind-up" way to start a chain saw and even has four cycle engines to fight pollution.

But as to the B&S line, I'm unaware they make chain saw engines. Mostly cheaper unlined cylinder lawn mowers. (What can one expect for $75 or $100 for an entire mower?) Yet the innards of the engine are actually well made. It is just their carbs. When I broke that plastic part holding the butterfly valve I swore off them forever. And to compound the problem is that the butterfly valve isn't even secured by a screw but crimped on at least the later models.

I agree completely with your last post.
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:45 PM
 
10,066 posts, read 10,666,967 times
Reputation: 7574
When my mower did this early in the season I tried everything , many trips to Home depot, I finally saw this tiny wire that had come uhooked that holds open the choke I guess, running it under bushes will do this every time.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
15,887 posts, read 12,688,358 times
Reputation: 11928
Quote:
Originally Posted by thriftylefty View Post
When my mower did this early in the season I tried everything , many trips to Home depot, I finally saw this tiny wire that had come uhooked that holds open the choke I guess, running it under bushes will do this every time.
You actually brought up a very good point - be observant. Sometimes you can spot little problems that can become big problems. Like the yellow jackets that built a nest under the hood of one of my tractors! By spotting one bee go under the hood I saved a lot of pain.

Many times I have started or tried to start equipment that had been sitting for some time. On the first pull I would spot insulation or cotton come out from under the cowling. Mice love to build their nest under these cowlings. It would not be too bad if the mice just built their nest - but mice like to chew. They will chew right though the insulation on the wires. The nest could also be a fire hazard for your motor.

You mentioned that your bushes pulled off the wire (cable) off your choke. Branches can get stuck on the top of the mower deck of our riding tractors. Sometimes the branches will damage the belts.

Always keep your eyes open for oil, gas, smoke, or anything that looks out of ordinary - it can save you money at the repair shop.
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:12 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
24,214 posts, read 31,238,476 times
Reputation: 48536
You've probably ruined the engine by using gasoline containing ethanol.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:39 PM
 
339 posts, read 868,907 times
Reputation: 342
Well, it happened again. Started for a few seconds and died. Repeat. Repeat. After trying a few things that didn't work, I dumped the gas (Chevron), sopped up the remaining moisture in the gas tank with a paper towel, added new gas (Texaco), and I was good to go. I added the same brand of fuel stabilizer with both brands, so I don't think that was an issue.

I had a problem years ago with Chevron - the lawn mower repairman said he found water in the gas. Guess I'll stick with Texaco. My Toro seems to like the Texaco gas mixture.
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
16,760 posts, read 42,346,248 times
Reputation: 9292
It amazes me that this 3 year old 6 page thread keeps sputtering back to life. The lawnmower that wouldn't die.
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