Question about Mantis 2-Cycle Tiller

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Starts hard; won't stay running

I have to pull many times to get it to run even a little; has to be choked heavily. When I do get it running, I have to run it partially choked and keep it running wide open or it will quit running again. I have exhausted myself over this thing! I noticed there are air bubbles in the see-thru bulb. Don't know if that is significant or not. It just seems it is not getting the proper amount of gas to start and stay running. I have not used it much at all. It is like new, but it is 2 years old. It ran good when I first got it, but each time I had more and more trouble starting it and keeping it running. I just gave up trying.

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There are 3 things that you need to check with any 2cycle machines. 1. Spark Plug - Make sure that it is clean and dry...Buy a box of what type you need and change them fairly often. 2. Fuel Filter - Keep of couple extras on hand, it doesn't take much for them to need changed also.
3. Exhaust port... Pull the muffler and make sure the exhaust port is clean on both the engine and muffler.
Buy a can of carb cleaner to spray out the carb and exhaust port every now-n-then. Put in a new fuel filter and plug...should start right away and run very healthy.

Posted on May 30, 2010

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  • djb514 May 30, 2010

    I can change the spark plug and I can change the fuel filter; BUT...the machine is very new. It has only one and one half tanks of gas run through it. Like I stated earlier, it has to run on partially choked, which has nothing to do with a spark plug. And it only runs wide open (using the most gas) and it will not idle at all. So if it doesn't idle but will run wide open, the fuel filter should not be the cause either. As for the muffler, it is still so new there cannot be enough carbon buildup there to cause a problem. So I believe the problem runs deeper. Do the air bubbles in the primer bulb, while it is running, concern you at all?

  • Jayant Jha May 30, 2010

    I think it's the carb(?) that has 2 "straws" going from it into the gas tank. One short, one long. There are holes in the bottom of the carb and these straws appear to push in to those holes snugly and just stay in there. Every time the tiller dies, you should take this all apart and find the longer of the two and check straws has fallen out of the hole.

    Getting it corrected should fix the problem.

  • djb514 May 30, 2010

    There ARE 2 straws; only one goes to the bottom of the carb, the other is like a dead end, which is attached to a little white cap of some sort and is positioned up in the engines plastic cowel. The one that is attached to the carb is attached to a plate with 4 screws in it and appears to have a gasket or diaphram under the plate. What would be under this plate that might cause a problem that I discribed?

  • Jayant Jha May 30, 2010

    Sounds like a thorough carb cleaning is a logical next step. Hope there's nothing major wrong, like leaking crank seals or poor compression. You might want to check the carb/manifold/engine connections, because anything loose there will cause an air leak that could give similar symptoms.



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There are 2 wav (sound - idle & full – may not be highlighted) files that I find most helpful, I think you will too.

I think your starting procedure may be the cause of flooding. Flooded is the #1 cause of hard starts in 2-cycle engines. Read carefully the recommended start in your manual. most miss the second note. It should be similar to this (read 3, read it again):
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  5. Push (open) choke pull starter until it starts (usually first pull).
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  4. Push (open) choke, pull starter until it starts (usually first pull).
If you still have trouble reply as you did before. I will get back to you. HTH

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