Engine starts runs quits


Old 05-19-07, 06:37 PM
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Exclamation Engine starts runs quits

I have a B&S tiller that would not start at all the other day. Found quite a bit of water in the gas tank!

In the mean time, I cleaned the carb, drained the bowl and tank of the bad gas. I also added a little gas treatment.

It starts now, but will only run for a minute, then stalls.

The gas cap is loose.

If I let it set for a while, it starts right up again. But only with the choke at one notch?

Wondering if I still have bad gas that gets mixed up and flows into the carb?

I didn't take the tank off, just put the sump down hill and drained the bad stuff into a bottle.

Any other ideas?


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Old 05-19-07, 09:39 PM
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If your tiller has a fuel/air adjustment screw on the carburetor,turn it out (CCW) 1/4 to 1/8 turn and try it.If not take the carb.back off the tank and the part that goes into the sallow well on top of the fuel tank has a tiny hole in the end of it that is clogged up--clean it,run a tiny wire through it,then re assemable and crank.

That should do the trick,if not reply back
Old 05-19-07, 11:53 PM
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You should be in business after taking the Repair-Guy's advice.

If Not and depending on the model of the tiller and it's age...are you sure you attached the valve to the float properly when you cleaned the carburetor? If the two are not attached then the valve is probably riding on top of the float arm, is stuck closed or nearly closed and restricting the flow of gas. That could account for the engine quiting after the gas in the bowl has been exhausted?

I think I would clear the gas out of the system again. Maybe the other guy's with a lot more experience can chime in but I never use gas treatment. I see a lot of rusted bowls and as a result clogged jets here in Florida and almost always the owner has used gas treatment (Mostly over the winter, however) seems the moisture collects in the bowl and causes the problem??? There is one treatment I've learned can be used sparingly and that's Sea Foam. I think Cheese put me onto the stuff a couple years back?
Old 05-20-07, 01:35 AM
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I'd suggest draining the gas again also, and drying out the tank. When you drain the tank, water will remain even after the gas is out. I usually blow the tanks out with the compressor until no more drops are present.

I don't have a problem with sea foam, and I like stabil, but most fuel treatments aren't worth the time or money. I never use any treatments but I do take the time to run my equipment once in a while to keep fresh fuel circulating.
Old 05-20-07, 08:36 AM
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Cool Airfilter


Thanks for the advise. Another thing I forgot to mention. I was squirting gas in the carb and it was running for short bursts. It was getting ready to rain, so I put the air filter back on. Tried it again and it ran for the longest time yet? Wondering if the air restriction is symptomatic of the carb adjustment? I'll try the screw first, then drain the tank again.


Not sure what the sallow well is? Can you clarify?

Last edited by base363; 05-20-07 at 08:40 AM. Reason: clarification
Old 05-20-07, 09:20 AM
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Hello: Colin

Your question: "Not sure what the sallow well is? Can you clarify?"

I suspect the word is misspelled.

The correct spelling is "Shallow."

Shallow as in not deep.

Do a fuel flow test.

Remove the fuel hose from the carburetor. Allow the fuel from inside the tank to freely flow into a fuel safe container through the fuel hose. Fuel should flow full volume, flow freely and continue to do so until tank is empty.

Possible the fuel flow out of the tank is restricted. Which will reduce the flow to less then full flow. Which indicates there is still a restriction in the tank, fuel filter inside or outside (in line filter in the fuel hose) the tank or within the fuel line.

Less then full fuel flow will cause the engine to start and run for a short time, then die out, once the fuel bowl empties or is not kept full during engine running time.

Air flow restrictions, do to restricted air filters, usually cause engines to run fuel rich, not fuel lean or to die out shortly after starting as a result of a lack of fuel. Usually the engine will exhaust black smoke which is unburned fuel.

Another possibility could be still a clog within the carburetor. The carburetor must supply fuel through all jets and passage ways during engine running above an idle. If the engine will not run, will not run well or dies shortly after running at normal speed, suspect the carburetor to still have a fuel restriction within it.

Should cover just about every possible cause for the described condition.

Regards and Good Luck.
Old 05-20-07, 09:59 AM
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dont want to show my ignorance but , if your unit has an in tank fuel filter it may be time to replace it. if nothing else kit the carb.
Old 05-20-07, 11:23 AM
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latest update

Drained the tank and put in clean fuel.

I think I have a problem with the carb?

Good fuel flow to the elbow. Then I think there is a restriction between the elbow and the needle valve.

The engine is a B&S 5.5 HP. Not sure of the model number?

The numbers on top of the carb are 6474 and 3231.

Is there a kit that would fix this?

Should I buy a new carb?

I tried to clean it out with air and a wire, and I think it's a little better.

It runs quite a bit longer now, but stalls when the bowl runs dry.

That's my theory anyway.
Old 05-20-07, 03:08 PM
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You need to find the model, type and code numbers of the engine so we can better advise you. Do you have a bowl type or diaphragm type carburetor? And, related to the air filter improving performance, I'd say the air filter is plugged and restricted thereby improving fuel mixture. It doesn't make it right though, you want to have a clean air filter with a well tuned carburetor. I'd say you need to remove the carburetor and soak and recondition it using the proper Briggs rebuild kit. Again, post back with the engine ID numbers. One thing to bear in mind is that you have had water in the fuel system and could possibly have irreversible carburetor body damage if the water and fuel have been in contact for too long. There is a chemical reaction on aluminum when the two are combined.
Old 05-20-07, 04:39 PM
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Where on the engine will I find the numbers?

It's a float type carburetor.
Old 05-20-07, 05:09 PM
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Either on the rewind starter housing assembly (likely stamped into such) or, if overhead valve, on the rocker cover, again likely stamped in. Most likely it will be an overhead valve since it is a bowl type carb and is a 5.5-horse. In which case it sounds as though you need to at least clean the main jet on the carb and possibly the entire carb. And, again, check for any possible water damage to the carb body!
Old 05-20-07, 05:35 PM
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model number

The engine is a 126402-0206

I check the B&S site, and downloaded the parts manual.

It includes a couple carbs.

Coundn't find a kit online that specifically matched this model.

Any reccomendations as to where to look?
Old 05-21-07, 02:06 AM
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Don't you have any local small engine/outdoor power equipment shops in your area? These would be a great source for parts, service and information.

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