weed whacker won't start

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  #1  
Old 11-24-99, 01:31 PM
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My fairly new (December) Craftsman 31cc weedwhacker won't start. For a while, it started great, but once you stopped it, you couldn't restart it. Now it won't start at all. It seems to be flooding - gas comes out the exhaust and the plug was fouled. I've only run it for a few hours. I don't want to take it back to Sears because they'll just send it off somewhere for 2 weeks. Any tips?
 
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Old 11-24-99, 01:33 PM
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I have had the same problem with mine. :-)maybe we shouldn't buy craftsman any more:-) Mine seemed to be flooding really easily, try starting it without holding the grip on, and try it with the grip on, but the choke off. Let me know if you find a better way, I hate trying to restart that all the time!
 
  #3  
Old 11-24-99, 01:34 PM
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I too have a new Sears weed wacker. Just got it. No probs. I generally do not shut it off if moving to another part of the yard. Try restarting with no choke, no priming and do not squeeze the throttle. Mine starts ok in this instance. Good luck. PS I find Sears quite receptive on returns and requests for repair at no cost.

 
  #4  
Old 12-12-99, 01:40 AM
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Talking

By all means do return any gas powered equipment purchased at Sears back to Sears.

Especially if it's NEW.

This will always be a free repair. It's also one way Sears can notify their supplier of a problem.

The weeds will wait the time needed to make the repairs, trust me. :-)

Good Luck
TomBartco


 
  #5  
Old 12-27-99, 02:54 AM
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2 Tips:

I had a Sears Craftman chain saw for a little over a year that I was having problems with. I took it back to Sears and insisted on an immediate replacement.

In short, the manual that came with my saw, stated that I had the choice of sending it in for service or having it replaced!

Tip # 1: read your warranty!

I had a Toro (gas) weed whacker that I used infrequently, and also had problems starting it and flooding, etc.

Tip # 2:

It turns out that here in the Calif Bay Area where we live, they were putting an additive into the gasoline (for cleaner air).

Well, I was told that this additive makes the gas turn stale, which in turn causes small machinery to be hard-starting. (no problem with normal vehicles)

The recommendation is to drain the gas after each use when the machine will not be used for a while.



------------------
Coach
 
  #6  
Old 12-27-99, 08:24 PM
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To All Concerned Parties, In This Forum, Who Are Having Small Engine Hard RESTARTING Problems Or Any Small Engine Problems.

If your having difficulties RESTARTING your gasoline powered small engine after just using it, it is NOT caused by the gasoline additive MTBE.

MTBE however, is in fact going to keep YOU from restarting someday...:-( It is a known toxic and is causing air and water pollution.
This is NOT opinion. This is FACT.

MTBE won't cause hard RESTARTING problems.
A long time span of weeks between startups will cause ANY two cycle engine to be hard starting. Fact is: It may not start at all. ALL gasoline will go sour with enough time.

<The tips here are to always use fresh gasoline and start that engine and run it weekly if you do not run it dry. Do not store the fuel and oil mix any longer then one month. If you use a small amount, mix only what you can use in a month.>

Therefore, if your problem is difficulty RESTARTING a small engine and the item is NEW, do return it. It's worth the wait for it to be serviced. It's most likely a simple carburetor and / or timing adjustment.

If the item has been running fine and suddenly quits or refusses to easily START or RESTART, post your questions in the NEW FORUM called SMALL ENGINES on this site in the section called Outdoor. <Two sections below this forum.>

Smokey will be happy to help you.

Regards,
TomBartco
 
  #7  
Old 08-05-04, 02:45 PM
handyjack
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Cool weed whacker wont start

same problem here...must have lost 10lbs perspiring away trying to start this bad boy. To begin with the unit was in active service and working fine. Prior to loaning a friend the whacker I decided to add some gas and mixture from half of a tank to a full tank, I then tried to start it but was unsually difficult to start. It started several times without becoming fully warmed up, but I really didnt have the time to mess around with it at the time, so I went ahead against better judgement and loaned it to my friend, thinking that he would be able to get it started. Unfortunately, he had no success at starting it and return it several days later. Now, to my horror, I have come to the realization that this guy decided to play mechanic with my whacker. The fuel line was ruptured, and I suspect he when about trying to adjust the carburator. I have since replaced the fuel line (the intank fuel filter appears good) and took off the carburator, and blow out the lines with high pressure air. After reassembly there was no success in starting this bad boy. It started only when I primed it with gas down the throttle body. Does anyone know how to adjust this carburator? This is a craftman 17" cut 32cc auto feed, auto clutch weedwhacker.
 
  #8  
Old 08-06-04, 02:06 AM
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Hello HandyJack!

Back both high and low speed mixture screws out 1 1/2 turns and you should be able to start it. Fine tuning will be needed after starting, but I think you have other problems. Does yours have a primer bulb? Has it been a good while since it was last used? Sounds like a carb cleaning might be in order.
 
  #9  
Old 08-06-04, 10:19 AM
handyjack
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Cool weed whacker wont start

Hello Cheese,
I thank you for your input, I will try your suggestion later on this evening. By the way, I did take the carb off and cleaned it with carb cleaner and blew out lines with high pressure air. Mine doesn't have primer, and it was in active service. Do you have spec on spark plug gap? I did replace the plug but didnt make any adjustment to plug gap. This bad boy is becoming a pain. I crank it so much until the pulley cord broke from inside unit. I Have repaired that too, now its just a matter of getting it started.
Again, thank you for your help. I will keep you posted.
 

Last edited by handyjack; 08-06-04 at 01:12 PM.
  #10  
Old 08-12-04, 07:17 AM
handyjack
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Wow! this is insane....I have done everything....this bad boy just dont wanna start...cleaned carb, replaced plugs, replaced gas....still no good. Coil is good. Will start and rumble for a few seconds, but wont maintain
 
  #11  
Old 08-12-04, 10:38 AM
Azis
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When it rumbles does it spit fuel out of the carb? Check to see if there is a spark arrestor in the muffler. Without a model # I cant look at a diagram to see what type you have, but it should be a screen of some sort in or on your muffler. If you find this plugged, clean it, soak or spray it with cleaner then scrape it clean or poke the holes clean or replace it.
 
  #12  
Old 08-12-04, 05:33 PM
handyjack
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Unhappy

Hey Azis,
I really do appreciate your response...man, if you only knew...the grass seem to be winning out here....it need to be cut, and my whacker is out of commision. This bad boy happens to be 17" 32cc craftman # 358-797150.

I received this post late in the evening, but I will take a look and see what's the deal with the spark arrestor.And, to answer you question, no it does not spit fuel. Sometimes it wont even rumble, until I tweek the high or low adjustment screw on the carb. I realized that with improper adjustment it might cause carb to overflow so, I usually give it a few minutes to evaporate any excess fuel from plug and then it would rumble as if it want to start, but there's no fuel spitting from nowhere that I can see.
Thanks, I will keep you posted.
 

Last edited by handyjack; 08-12-04 at 05:45 PM.
  #13  
Old 08-14-04, 03:45 PM
TileguyTodd
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This may sound too simple,but Check to be certain there is nothing in the muffler itself.
Sand flies got into mine once and clogged it up causing me to cuss a maelstrom.cleaned out the muffler with a piece of wire and some tapping while upside down. Started and ran perfect after that.
Sometimes ya just get lucky and its nothing extreme,just something easily overlooked
 
  #14  
Old 08-16-04, 06:30 PM
handyjack
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Cool

hey Todd, thanks for your input. I've not gotten around to try restarting the bad boy, but rest assured that when I do I will be certain to check out the muffler and spark arrestor as did mentioned earlier by Azis. I just had to take a break from it before I ended up breaking it
I will keep you posted
 
  #15  
Old 05-15-05, 02:32 AM
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Same Whacker, same symptoms, I found the problem

I have the same Craftsman 17" 31cc weedwhacker, and it started doing the same thing after last season. I put in fresh gas, changed the plug, snapped and replaced the starter rope, rebuilt the carb, all to no avail. Sputters but no starts beyond a second or two. So I knew it wasn't ignition, it had to be fuel, but I basically had a new carb. I could see fuel in the line, so why wasn't it getting enough?

Thanks to your posts eliminating everything else I tried, I moved on to checking the weighted fuel pickup filter (even though I had done so at the end of last season) inside the tank. Bingo. It was no longer attached to the fuel line, having rotted off, so my fuel line was now sucking air at the surface, rather than picking up gas from the bottom of the tank. A replacement fuel line from the carb, through the hole into the tank, and onto the fuel pickup filter did the trick.

This never would have happened if I would have followed best practices and emptied out the fuel for the winter. Even better, dump the fuel back into the 2-cycle gas can at the end of the day, and fill it again fresh at the next workday. Any plastic eventually deteriorates from exposure to gasoline, and gas cans are a lot cheaper that weedwhackers. My fuel line had clearly deteriorated from being submerged in gas over months or years, and stale winter gas didn't help matters.

When the manufacturers recommend draining the tank, it's usually for a reason and should be heeded if you want to avoid frustration and keep your tools running like new. I have definitely learned my lesson.
 
  #16  
Old 05-27-05, 01:16 PM
KPatton
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MTBE BTEX gas additives and myths...

TomBartco is wont to perpetuate the myths of environmental wack jobs.
MTBE Methyl Tertiar butyl ether is a gas additive to oxygenate gas for better burning. It was the sweet cloying smell in the gasoline for a while. The stuff was foisted on the public by the EPA and California. Trouble is it is very soluble in water. So in short order it was found in drinking water wells in S. California miles from where there should have been any. Joke was on them.
Contrary to Mr. Tombarco, it is not toxic, an often misused term. This term should be reserved for chemicals with a median lethal dose of 50-200 miligrams per kilogram of body weight. BTEX (Benzene, Touluene, Ethylene and Xylene) is also an additive that has been around for decades. It is the reverse gold standard for groundwater tests. All this stuff fractionates in the ground, meaning one of the component parts might diffuse faster in ground water than the others and show up first away from the source. Such was the case with MTBE.
The EPA standards for drinkng water are conservative like levels that statistically could cause one case of cancer per 1 million people. There are a lot of other risks that are greater, like second hand smoke for one since inhalation is a much more efficient and direct exposue path than ingestion or skin exposure. I did environmental monitoring at Global octanes, the largest manufacturer of MTBE before it was pulled by the EPA, I still get a good laugh at that, if it didn't cost us tax payers fo much when the politicos in Washington screw up trying to protect us. I have siphoned gas by mouth most of my life and pumped gas as a kid. I am plenty more worried about other exposures than gasoline. So unless you sniff it, gargle with it or drink water laced with it, you have bigger things to worry about.

About the engines, I got two whackers off the curb here in Houston, disposed of by a frustrated owner. I cleaned the tank screens, and added new gas and they started. I had to play with the high low needle valves and idle setting.
Remember that two cycle oil can leve a gummy residue if left to evaporate over the winter. Since we aren't dealing with the Allison engine of a P-51 or a Dodge Viper, I don't thing enough volitiles are going to evaporate from a sealed gas container to alter the octane enough to matter. Just don't over mix the oil. If it is smoking like a green wood fire, try adding a little more gas or it will probably load up from too much oil.

Keith
 
  #17  
Old 06-27-05, 12:45 PM
nishboo
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i have a problem with my 32cc Craftsman WeedEater Trimmer. The fuel does not seem to make it to the pump that you press. What could cause that? I am not very mechanical, but i think it might just be a hose?

any help is appreciated.
 
  #18  
Old 06-27-05, 01:55 PM
Azis
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The fuel comes from the tank through a filter usually in the tank. Then goes to the carb via fuel line, thru the carb to the primer bulb, thru the bulb back to the tank.
Fuel cap or tank vent could be plugged. Fuel filter or inlet line, or the carb itself. If there is a line between the carb and primer, make sure it has no leaks.
 
  #19  
Old 07-01-05, 01:38 PM
MolimOrion
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I hadn't started my weed eater in over 2 years, and had been trying for the past couple weeks. It started the first time I tried a couple weeks ago, but every try since had failed.

Thanks for the earlier posts recommending not holding down the throttle at all. That's one thing I hadn't tried, and it had been a few days since I tried. Just pulled out the weed eater, no prime, no throttle, and pulled the cord and

I was weighing cost of repair to cost of new one, was on Lowe's site, but thought I would try google first.

Thanks again.
 
  #20  
Old 07-01-05, 11:03 PM
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Glad you found some useful info!
 
  #21  
Old 07-02-05, 03:47 PM
vwbr
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Well I just went throught the same exact thing with my 32cc craftsman Blower. Same exact symptoms you had. So yesterday I took the whole thing apart sprayed carb clean in the muffler, took apart the carb cleaned it out, new plug, new filter. Put everything back together and it did the same exact thing. So I said screw it and I left it alone. The next day, I'm all ready to buy a new one, I go to start it and bam it started right up.

So my advice, let it sit for a little while after you clean it out. What I think is that the carb cleaner was able to set long and really break up everything.
 
  #22  
Old 07-02-05, 05:33 PM
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Burn baby burn

Put a new muffler on it. Then take your propane torch and try burning the residue out of the old one. This way you have a spare when the new one gets clogged. Or just clean/burn the one you've got
 
  #23  
Old 07-20-05, 06:43 AM
SNS
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How do you thread the fuel filter?

My friend and I were taking turns trying to start up my Craftsman when the cord popped out. I started to take it apart to "retie" the cord when the fuel line just started to crumble (likely caused by not removing the fuel after each use).

I now have a new fuel line, but I can't seem to remove the old fuel line from the fuel filter. Looking at it, I can't tell whether the line goes inside the filter (in which case - how do you open these things?), or if it's just pushed on (in which case - since it's really stuck on there, should I just rip it off?).

So the question really is: can i just yank off the old line and push on the new one, OR do i somehow have to open the filter (which I don't readily see a way to do), in order to remove and then replace the line?
 
  #24  
Old 07-20-05, 07:52 AM
Azis
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I am fairly certain that it should just slide off. If you are installing new fuel line why would you want to attatch and old crumbling dirty probably plugged fuel filter to it? You'd be money and time ahead replacing it now.
 
  #25  
Old 07-20-05, 08:38 AM
ALADOVASIO
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Craftsman will start but dies after a few minutes

What is it with these weedwackers this year? Mine worked great for the first month and now it has a tough time starting and once fired will only work for about 10 minutes before it dies. Forget trying to start it after that!

I am going to tear the whole thing apart this week and clean it out. If that does not work I am going to dump it off at Sears and go buy something else!

Any other suggestions???
 
  #26  
Old 07-20-05, 12:16 PM
SNS
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Azis - I went to buy the part (it's less than $3 and Sears was quoting me a minimum of $85!! to fix it!). I'm sure it'll work - thanks.

BTW - the fuel line for the old one is really stuck-on and probably not usable anyway (from the looks of it compared to the new one).
 
  #27  
Old 07-21-05, 08:27 AM
Azis
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Good decision
Your Sears service center must be generous. Have had some of my customers tell me the Sears service here has a 2 week wait and 2 hr min @ $60.00/hr
 
  #28  
Old 09-25-05, 09:55 AM
N LAMBERT
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craftsman 17" weedwhacker

I purchased a craftsman 31cc 17" weedwhacker at an action very cheep
because it would not start. It had the same problem you are experiencing.
I replaced the sparkplug with Champion 5861 that I purchased at a NAPA
parts store. It now starts easy, even my 13 year old grandson starts it
on the second or third pulll. Forget the carb it's not the problem, just be
sure you get it put back together correctly. I believe the weedwhacker
just have a weak spark
 
  #29  
Old 06-20-12, 03:42 PM
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Lightbulb Weedeater no start


I go frequently to auctions and dozens of in operative weed eaters.all seem to have the same problem. Don'ts--mix oil with methonal gasoline. Hardens the carb diaphram.Use high test octane and only 20ASA motor oil
Does: Finish cutting-empty gas and restart dry. Check filter bulb--some have aluminium housing whitch ALO2 forms and bloocks the fine screen. Check the hose collar on the tank not to crimp the hose. Blow reverse the hose and filter. Blow compressed air into gas inlet.
Hardned diaphram pass brake fluid into carb gas inlet and let set over nite or take apart and soak into brake fluid

If pouring small amounts of gas into throat of carb--it runs and stops most likely bad diaphram. Some 2 stroke companies have adopted non attacking ethanol diaphrams.
You can smell ethanol--it is 2/3 BTUs than gasoline--you are getting taken. Also chain saws by the dozens appear at auctions--dead :^(
 
  #30  
Old 06-20-12, 08:16 PM
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Hello Geo1671, and welcome to doityourself.com.

I debated on whether to just delete your post, or leave it and reply with corrections. Either way, I risk coming across badly. Also, the most recent activity on this thread is 7 years ago. I decided to reply. If you would rather I delete it and my reply, message me and I will.

I don't know what 20ASA motor oil is, and do not recommend using motor oil in any 2-stroke. I can only assume you mean SAE20. These days, we have highly specialized synthetic ash-less oils made specifically for 2-stroke engines. Using other oil is borrowing trouble.

While ethanol fuel is causing problems in today's equipment, you can mix it with oil and use it in 2-strokes. High grade gas is not recommended for use in most small engines. Some companies specifically state that only regular gas is to be used.

Brake fluid is detrimental to rubber. It will swell, shrink, dissolve, and/or otherwise damage rubber parts, and the internals of a 2-stroke carb often include rubber parts and check valves. Not recommended. Also the statement about it being the diaphragm if the engine runs by putting gas into the throat... incorrect. If you put gas in your carb and it runs and shuts off as soon as the gas is gone, in most cases it will need more/other than just a new diaphragm. In fact, the existing diaphragm may be just fine, and often is.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, but people come here for accurate and understandable information that they can count on. My job is to see to it that this is what they get, hence my reply.
 

Last edited by cheese; 06-20-12 at 08:33 PM.
  #31  
Old 10-12-12, 08:54 PM
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Now I know what to do!

The fuel is old * My fuel Has been sitting for a while.
Fuel Valve (Lo)and Air Valve (Hi) have not been touched
But in case Screw both screws in lightly, and out 1.5 turns.
The fuel valve screws out to add more fuel for idling. (Out Rich, In Lean).
The hi valve screws out to add air to the mixture. (Out Lean, In Rich). The Spark Plug Gap is .025
The mixture is 40:1 or 2oz. to a gallon.
 
  #32  
Old 10-12-12, 09:03 PM
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@ Cheese

Very well put Sir. I usually forget to look at date's, but I like writing. I am also aware that most people do not get this far down the list.
Darn! I left out to only use regular fuel.
 

Last edited by MRS58; 10-12-12 at 09:05 PM. Reason: Addressing!
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