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23HP B& S Inetk on a MTD (Huskee) riding mower that I just bought to give to my daughter and Son-in-law. Runs fine the whole time when it is under load, but taking the load off to drive it to the shed, it starts popping. Not really a backfire, just popping. The couple I bought it from said they had a tune up a year or so and had the plugs, filters, blades etc replaced, and he adjusted the valves. I am wondering if you might think it could need a valve adjustment. A friend of mine who has worked on engines all his life, thinks it might be a fuel issue. It does seem to run a little better with the choke slightly pulled out. Thanks, Errol

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  • Errol01 Apr 06, 2011

    According to the couple I bought it from, this has been going on since right after they had it tuned up over a year ago. fuel filter has been changed, and I see no water in the new filter. Could it be some water build up in the fuel bowl on the carb?

  • Errol01 Apr 06, 2011

    Would running something like "Heat" through it help if it is water?

  • Errol01 Apr 06, 2011

    drained tank, replaced filter again, added 2 gal of non-alcohol regular, and 1/3 bottle of STP gas treatment. It is running now with mower engaged. Will run it for an hour or so before using it. Will see what happens over the long run.
    Thanks,
    Errol

  • Errol01 Apr 07, 2011

    Valve out of adjustment was my first thought, but I am used to working on large engines, not twin cylinders. I will check the adjustment as well as adding the STP which I did yesterday, and ran it for about 30 minutes, also drained the tank, and filled with non-alchol gasoline along with the STP. Will see what happens, but I will check the valve adjustment. Thanks for the ideas.

  • Errol01 Apr 07, 2011

    Gas,
    My book shows the top valve on either side as the exhaust valve, and that the setting should be.009-.011, and the intakes at .004 to .006. Are those right?, and how do I rate your responses?
    Thanks,
    Errol

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It may be a fuel problem Inspect the fuel delivery if its constant and the quality of the fuel. It may be a bad fuel filter or the fuel tank may be dirty. Inspect also the fuel lines if it is in good shape and no dents or bends on it.

Other than that it could be the fuel mixture. The carb may need cleaning or you may have to adjust the fuel mixture.

Posted on Apr 08, 2011

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Errol, from what you have described it sounds (literally) that the exhaust valves need adjusting. I suspect, that without adjusting them or having them adjusted, sometime very soon, the engine is going to backfire when it's being turned off and it won't start the next time. It will probably crank, but it won't start. ,you have the right tools and know what the gap should be, it's not really a DIY project.

Now, I'm not discounting what your friend suggested. Bad fuel or a clogged carb may be an issue. But, it will tie in with the other one I pointed out. Maybe your friend, who has worked on engines all his life can help you tighten and re-gap the exhaust valves.

Good luck to you. You're a good father and father--in-law, to make a purchase like this for them. I hope they appreciate it.

Posted on Apr 07, 2011

  • Rich Landrum Apr 07, 2011

    Yes, it could be water water buildup in the carb. But since it's been ongoing for over a year now, I doubt it. Rather than running HEET thru it, I'd use a good quality carb cleaner. But, I must warn you, if the backfiring continues, the exhaust valves will become unseated, if they aren't already.

    if you don't mind, I'd really appreciate you taking a moment to rate my responses to your questions. Thanks

  • Rich Landrum Apr 07, 2011

    Sounds like a plan to me, Errol. Hope it works out for you. Exhaust valves can cause a problem.
    I know from own personal experience. Would appreciate it, if you rate my help and responses to you. Thanks.

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It almost sounds like condensation(water/moisture in fuel) and maybe a clogged or varnished fuel filter. Run a good fuel system cleaner through it and change fuel filter is where I'd start.

Posted on Apr 06, 2011

  • Mical Caterina
    Mical Caterina Apr 06, 2011

    Don't use HEAT, that will dissolve gaskets. Use STP gas treatment or any version of Isopropyl Alcohol fuel system cleaner. Besides moisture, it will dissolve any varnish build up.

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