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Old lawn mower will run for 15-20 seconds, then stops. Won't restart for 5-10 minutes, then runs and quits again. Over and over...help!

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Hello:

It Sounds like the Carburetor may Require Cleaning or the Carburetor Solenoid Requires Replacing.
The Following is a Basic Instruction File I made for Cleaning the Fuel Systems on Small Engines. The Following Diagnostics Sound like a Lot of Time. The Time is Really in the Soaking Process. Cleaning the Tank is a 15 to 30 Minute Repair. Check the Gas Tank Cap and Make Sure it is Venting the Tank Properly. Is the Gas Tank Clean? Any Water, Dust Particles, Dirt or Rust Particles will Slowly Restrict the Gas Flow to the Carburetor During Operation. When the Engine Stalls/Quits, a Small amount of Gas Back Flows to the Tank and Flushes this Debris Back into the Tank. The Action of Starting the Engine Shakes the Tank and Mixes these Particles Back into the Gas and the Unit will Run for Anywhere from 45 Minutes to 2 Hours and then Stall. Also, if the Carburetors Internal Passages are Slightly Restricted, and a Slightly Extra Load is Added to the Normal Load of the Generator, the Restriction Causes the Engine to Stall Due to Lack of Proper Fuel to Compensate for the Extra Load. If you Use this Regularly, then I Suggest you Do a Complete Fuel System Clean. Remove the Tank, Tank Outlet Port Valve, Fuel Lines and Carburetor. Then Soak the Carburetor and Tank Outlet Port Valve Overnight in Cleaning Solution. While the Carburetor is Soaking, Clean the Tank. Leave a Small Amount of Gas in the Tank and then Use a Lint Free Rag and Put it in the Tank. Use a Long Screw Driver and Move the Rag Around Inside the Tank and Move any Particles Towards the Fill Hole. You can Use a Shop Vac to Vacuum the Particles Out of the Tank. Use Compressed Air and Blow the Tank Out as Best as Possible. Leave the Tank Open to Air Until the Carburetor is Assembled and Ready for Installation on the Engine. Check the Fuel Lines and make Sure they are Not Rotten and Breaking Apart on the Inside. Replace them if Required. Replace the Fuel Filter if Required. Using a Breakdown of the Carburetor at the Site I Provided, Most People can Disassemble and Assemble the Carburetor (and other Engine Components) with Little to No Problems. The Cost of the Cleaning Solution I Use is $30.00us @ Gallon (I Use Gunk). The Gallon Can Comes with a Tray for Small Parts and the Carburetor Fits Nicely. Most Times a Carburetor can be Soaked and Cleaned and with the Float, Needle Valve and Other Carburetor Components being Soaked in the Cleaner with the Carburetor Body; there are No Parts to Replace on this Carburetor. If you Soak and Clean this Carburetor and the Float Needle Valve Still Does Not Stop the Gas Flow Properly, then Purchase a Needle and Seat Kit and Replace it. The Following is a Basic File I Made for Cleaning Carburetors. Any Input is Appreciated. Even though the Carburetor Looks Clean, the Internal Passages May be Restricted with Varnish that Gas Causes to Build Up over Time. Spray Cleaners Remove this Varnish in Layers, so Soaking is the Only Sure Way to Remove ALL this Varnish. I Suggest you Make Sure the Gas is Free Flowing to the Carburetor Inlet Port (if the Model does Not have a Fuel Pump). If the Gas is Free Flowing to the Inlet Port, then **Remove, Disassemble and Soak the Carburetor Overnight in Carburetor Cleaner (I Use Gunk). I have Found that Most People can Use a Breakdown/IPL and Disassemble the Carburetor Enough for Proper Cleaning. You Only have to Remove the Bowl (if Applicable), Float Pin (if Applicable), Float (if Applicable), Needle Valve and Needle Valve Seat if Applicable. This is a Flat O-Ring Located in the Inlet Port the Float Needle Rests in. Use a Strong Wire with a Slight Bend to Remove the Old Seat. Sometimes a Small Pocket Screw Driver can be Use Also. The New Seat will have a Slightly Beveled Side and a Flat Side. The Flat Side goes Towards the Carburetor Body when Inserted into the Inlet Port. Spray the Seat with Spray Lubricant to make Installation Easier. The End of a Drill Bit that is Slightly Small than the Seat can be Use as an Insertion Tool. Wear Gloves or Use a Rag when Handling the Sharpened End of the Drill Bit. Remove Any Adjustment Screws that Go Into the Carburetor Body. The Welch Plugs Do Not have to be Removed. If you are Able to Remove and Disassemble the Carburetor and Keep the Gaskets Intact, then Usually these Gaskets can be Reused. Even the O-Ring Around the Bowl can be Reused if it is Not Broken. The Only Parts you May Need to Replace is the Float Needle Valve (and Seat if Applicable). The Float Needle Usually is Not Replaced Unless it is Not Operating Properly (the gas flow not shutting off and the carburetor is Flooding). Do Not Remove the Main Nozzle. This is a Pressed Fit and Removal is Not Required for Cleaning. Soaking and Blowing the Carburetor Out After Soaking will Clean the Nozzle. Once Disassembled, then Soak the Carburetor Body and Parts in a 1 Gallon Can of Gunk Carburetor Cleaner Overnight. The Can has a Parts Tray Inside it for the Small Parts. Once the Carburetor and Parts are in the Cleaner, you can Replace the Lid for Safety and to Prevent Accidental Spillage. Then Blow Out the Passages with Compressed Air.*** (Do Not Use High Pressure Air for the Zama Carburetors, they have Check Valves for the Primer and these are Usually Blown Out of the Carburetor if Not Careful. Allow the Zama Carburetor to Set on a Drip Pan and Dry)***. ****All the Carburetor Adjustments are the Same for Lawn Mower and Trimmers. There are Several Location for the Air Mixture Screws. The Idle Air Mixture Screws are Usually Located at the Top of the Carburetor Bowl and the Top of the Carburetor Body. If the Main Air and Idle Air Mixture Screws are Side by Side on the Side of the Carburetor, then the Idle Air is Nearest the Engine. The Main Jet Air Mixture Screw is Located in the Bottom of the Carburetor Bowl or Beside the Idle Air Screw on the Side of the Carburetor Body. Some of the Older Model Carburetors have the Main Jet Mixture Screw Straight in from the Top of the Carburetor Body (this is Rare anymore). If you have Cleaned the Carburetor (Disassembled and Soaked Overnight in Carburetor Cleaner (I Use Gunk). Then Blow Out the Passages with Compressed Air and Install a New Kit if Required. Now Setting the Air Mixture Screws: ****Turn the Idle Air and Main Air Mixture Screws In Until SNUG **Do Not Jam** Then Reverse Both Screws 1 1/2 Turns. Holding the Throttle Full Open, Start the Engine. Turn the Main Air Mixture Screw Clockwise Until Proper Revs are Obtained. Occasionally you May have to Turn this Counter Clockwise to Achieve the Proper Revs. Now Allow the Engine to Idle. Set the Engine Idle Screw (Not Idle Air) so the Engine will Stay Running if Required. Now Set the Idle Air Mixture Screw so there is No Hesitation when Throttling from Idle to Full Throttle. Reset the Engine Idle if Required.**** If This Carburetor has a Single Air Adjustment (Except Tank Mounted 9200 Model Carburetors), Use the Section Above that Pertains to Full Throttle RPM Air Mixture Screw and then Adjust the Screw if Required to Eliminate Any Hesitation when Throttling from Idle to Full Throttle. For the 9200 Model Tank Mounted Carburetor Adjust the Air Mixture Screw Full In, then Reverse 1 1/2 Turns. Set the Throttle Lever to Full Throttle and Start the Engine. Now Carefully Use 1 Finger and Open the Throttle Plate and Over Rev the Engine Slightly. If the Engine Over Revs and Does Not Struggle to Over Rev, then the Carburetor is Set. If the Engine Struggles to Over Rev, then Turn the Adjustment Screw In 1/4 Turn and Repeat the Over Rev Test. If you Adjust to 1/2 Turns In and the Engine Still Struggles to Over Rev, then Return the Adjustment Screw to 1 1/2 Turns Out from Snug and Turn the Screw Out 1/4 Turn. Do the Over Rev Test. Continue this Process Until you have the Engine Over Revving without Struggle. By Adjusting the Carburetor on this Style Carburetor Until the Engine Over Revs without Struggle, you have Adjusted the Air Mixture to the Best Possible Setting. This file was Intended to Give you the Basic Carburetor Cleaning Instructions and May Not Reflect Your Carburetor Components. If you have Questions, Please Ask. The links above Provide Good Directions on Cleaning the Carburetor. Make sure you use an Compressed Air to Blow through all the Carburetor Passages to make sure they are Clear. http://www.repairfaq.org/samnew/lmfaq/lmclctc.htm 2- http://www.cpdonline.com/692509.pdf .
>>Please, Do Not Hesitate, If I Missed Something or you Hit a Snag or this Does Not Correct the Problem, I am Here if You Require More Assistance.
Hope this Helps. Let me Know What Happens, Please. May the All Mighty Bless You and Yours. Be Safe and Be Happy. Thanks.


Good Luck


Respectfully


jbridger (John)


Posted on Sep 13, 2009

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