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element009
04-04-2011, 05:33 PM
So this is my first year on my own. I haven't started cutting yet, just clean-ups. I bought a used 36 inch SCAG walk behind off craigs list about 4 months ago. It's about 12 yrs old, but in decent shape. Kawasaki engine. It was about 30 degrees out when I bought it, so we had to use ether to get it started. However, once it started, it was running fine. Since then, I've started it a few times on warmer days (40+) and everything seemed to be okay. However, today I tried starting it with no luck.

It started after a few pulls, but about 2 min. later it stopped. I realized the fuel valve was off, so I opened it, assuming this would solve my problem, but after this it still wasn't starting.

I gave it about 15 minutes to rest and went back to try again. Eventually I started spraying ether. The engine is going, but I have to keep spraying the ether or else it just dies. I'm not too experienced with engines, but I believe this means the gasoline is not getting to the engine. I checked the hose that feeds the gasoline, and it's all clear. Now I'm thinking it could be the carb. Any suggestions on what to do next?

jklawncare
04-04-2011, 05:38 PM
GET SOME START YOUR ENGINES! :D

ahaha

id try getting something to dump in the tank
my guess is the carb is gummed up if it fires and isnt locked up
you might want to check the spark plug first to see if thats gummed up

jymie
04-04-2011, 05:44 PM
If thats the gas from last year, its probably the gas. Try changing the gas and putting fresh gas in.

element009
04-04-2011, 05:47 PM
The gas is a few months old, but I used fuel stabilizer, which claims to keep the gas good for up to 12 months. Maybe I'll mix in some fresher gas and give it another go.

jklawncare
04-04-2011, 05:56 PM
The gas is a few months old, but I used fuel stabilizer, which claims to keep the gas good for up to 12 months. Maybe I'll mix in some fresher gas and give it another go.

I wouldnt waste the new gas with it if its 4 month old gas..fuel stabilizer works but I honestly wouldnt trust it for everything in the lines.

id check the plug see if its clean
replace it if it needs to be
same with the filter

if that dosnt work
dump the gas and put new in

if that dosnt work

get some start your engines or other small engine cleaner and run that through it..if not

i dont know how comfortable you are working with engines but i would take off the carb and clean that out..

and if all that is clean and working fine..id check it for compression and finally check the piston rings..

Sabina Lawn Care
04-04-2011, 06:27 PM
Jets in carb are probably plugged up... pull apart and clean, run a sewing needle thru the jets.. clean out gas tank and replace or install inline fuel filter:)

WilliamsLawn
04-04-2011, 07:49 PM
pour some Seafoam in it

bruces
04-05-2011, 12:40 AM
pull the bowl off the carb,check the needle attached the the float [my guess is that its stuck closed ],clean any and all of the green gunk out of everything,replace the bowl ,then start it up

wandfsmall
04-05-2011, 08:58 AM
first off NEVER use ether in a small engine. It WILL damage the engine it doing that. spray a little carb cleaner in it and you will have the same effect without damaging the aluminum head. Ether is designed for larger applications and is dangerous in a small engine, it may even shoot the spark plug out of the head like a bullet. Second I agree with the others about the gas and carb, drain the tank, clean your carb running fishing line up the jets to clean those before you put it back together. and you try it again.

element009
04-05-2011, 10:44 AM
first off NEVER use ether in a small engine. It WILL damage the engine it doing that. spray a little carb cleaner in it and you will have the same effect without damaging the aluminum head. Ether is designed for larger applications and is dangerous in a small engine, it may even shoot the spark plug out of the head like a bullet. Second I agree with the others about the gas and carb, drain the tank, clean your carb running fishing line up the jets to clean those before you put it back together. and you try it again.


Wow, good to know. I know a few people that do this, so I'll make sure to pass the message along.

Anyway, I checked out the carb, which was clean. So that wasn't the problem. Then I was looking at the throttle and choke lever and noticed it wasn't functioning properly. In fact it was functioning completely backwards. ("Stop" was actually choking, and "slow" was at full throttle, and vice versa) So apparently I was trying to start the machine when it was at the "stop/off" setting.

I know the guy I bought it from had some work done to it. For example, he rendered the key mechanism useless (it starts without one). It is just constantly on the "on" switch (this is something i may try to change when I can justify the investment). And I guess he also had problems with the choke/throttle switch.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that I figured out the problem without spending any money. I just used the machine for 3 hours, and it worked like a gem. Thanks to all for your help! On top of having a functional mower, I think I learned a few things out of all this :-)