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4 1/2 HP B&S motor on lawn mower. Starts and runs fine for a minute or so. Then it begins to "hunt" ie: to surge and drop off and surge and drop off, blowing black smoke as it does this. The air vane governor is either the cause or it is being affected by the problem as it moves with the change in rpm. I've cleaned the carb. Gas is fresh. I bought the mower in this condition so I don't know how long it's been like this.

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You should check the vacu jet carb on this mower for either a vacuum leak where it mounts to the gas tank, a blocked or split intake tube in the the gas tank or a weak/worn out diaphragm.

You can spray a little carb cleaner at the base of the carb while its hunting and see if it smooths out. If it does you have a warp between the carb and tank. Either the tank is bowed or the carb *(nowadays made of plastic) is not flat anymore.

You can either buy a new carb or gently sand the warped one a little and see if that works.

Be sure to take pictures of your carb setup before removing it so you can reassemble later.

Posted on Aug 23, 2010

Testimonial: "I will try these solutions. I hadn't thought of a vacuum leak or worn out diaphragm because the mower's not very old. Thanks much."

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