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Homelite trimlite trimmer is seized


Capt'n Morgan's Avatar
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06-13-07, 06:57 PM   #1  
Homelite trimlite trimmer is seized

I have a Homelite trimmer (UT20006) that is 1 YR and 3 days old. It's been working great for light use around the house. I let my dad use it, he's new with trimmers, and I guess it stallled out and now it won't start. I can't pull the rope starter at all. I pulled it apart to make sure it wasn't just a jammed starter rope, but it moves fine on it's own. It appears that the whole motor is seized up.

Why could this happen? It had the proper fuel/oil mixture, so it's not a case of no oil. I used it a good 7-8 times so far this season, and maybe 30 last year.

How can I go about repairing this?

I mention that it's 1 Year and 3 days old, because I paid extra for a replacement warranty, that was only good for 1 year.

 
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06-13-07, 07:03 PM   #2  
If your Dad was new to the trimmer it is possible, when trying to get the line to feed he bumped it in the wrong sequence and the new line is wrapped around the trimmer head, locking everything since it is not a clutch driven trimmer. Post back. Have a good one. Geo

 
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06-14-07, 02:19 AM   #3  
Was the fuel mixture he used relatively new and fresh? Old, stale fuel will have the same effect as running straight fuel in a two stroke.

 
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06-14-07, 03:44 AM   #4  
It was fuel left over from last year, but like I said, I've used it 7-8 times this season.

 
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06-14-07, 10:49 PM   #5  
Lack of lubrication would be the only explanation without grasping at straws for an unlikely explanation (like a defective part or some freak failure).


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06-15-07, 04:03 AM   #6  
I got a few different stories from the good people at Home Depot as far as getting it serviced.

The store told me that the ESP covers replacement on the item for 1 year, while it's under manufacture warranty.

The customer support line told me that the the ESP replacement policy doesn't kick in until the factory warranty expires. However they are telling me that the factory warranty it 2 years, rather than 1 year, like the owners manual says. This is one time I would prefer it be shorter than longer!

I have to take the unit to an authorized service center, and it will only be covered if it's found that there is a factory defect. Plus, it will take 2-3 weeks for them to fix it!

Hopefully they can give me an idea on what it might be when they look at it. The unit only cost $70, and I have to think that parts and labor are going to easily cost more than that! The damn thing is only 1 year old and looks brand new! I can't believe I might have to junk it!

 
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06-15-07, 06:10 AM   #7  
Well, you really do get what you pay for. Spend another $100 and get an Echo or Stihl. I guarantee you'll be much more satisfied.

 
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06-15-07, 06:14 AM   #8  
I have a Stihl I use for heavy duty stuff at the farm. It's overkill for my yard though. The Trimlite was perfect. Lightweight and easy to balance when flipping it over for edging. I tried to do that with a few of the other brands at Lowes and they weren't balanced very well for that.

 
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06-15-07, 10:01 AM   #9  
Just an update, and proof that it pays to be diligent;

I called Homelite and found that the Trimlite has only a 1 year warranty, even though Home Depot insisted it was 2. When I called Home Depot back, this time they said it was a 1 Year warranty, and that they would send me a gift card for the full replacement cost of the product.

Now I'll have to decide if I get another Homelite or not.
The only other ones in my budget, it appears, are trimmers from Echo or from Cub Cadet.

 
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06-16-07, 09:36 AM   #10  
An Echo would be my choice.

 
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06-16-07, 09:50 AM   #11  
To determine why it seized up, pull the muffler off and look at the piston. If it is scored or scratched up, then your oil was separating out in you fuel and was slowly taking out your engine. I also had a unit in this year where the rod was seized to the crankshaft and could only tell that by pulling the rear cover on the engine. There is not any brand out there that will not seize up if the oil starts to separate out of the fuel. Your best bet is to only use fresh fuel that was mixed with in the last couple of months.

 
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06-16-07, 11:39 AM   #12  
Just remember when you buy a new trimmer that Cub Cadet is made by MTD.

Basically any trimmer that has the starter on the back instead of in front of the engine is a good trimmer.

And don't let CC count be a deciding factor. I have a John Deere trimmer with only a 19.2 CC engine and it has plenty of power.

 
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06-16-07, 07:46 PM   #13  
Great info, thanks guys!

I wasn't sure how to to get to the piston or cylinder to see what was going on. I didn't have the proper spark plug remover to see what it looked like on top.

We've always used gas from the previous season. That means it was stored 5-6 months. I sometimes stir it up a bit and pour it in. Never experienced any trouble before, but I can see how it could effect the engine if the fuel and the oil seperate. Our Stihl did seize up one year, but it was mid-season. I think it was a poor mix. I was able to dissasemble that, lube it up, and it ran okay after that.

 
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06-17-07, 08:46 AM   #14  
Forgot one thing about a trimmer that came to the shop where I work. When I got to work the other day and had the owner of the shop tell a customer, with a Homelite trimer that was seized up, that it was not worth fixing. The customer proceeded to throw it in the shop dumpster. When I got there, I saw it sticking out and thought about raiding spare parts off it. Anyway, I found the engine looked okay and on further investigation found the flex shaft had seized to the internal spacer. After working on getting the spacer out with the flex shaft, freeing up the flex shaft and lubing the flex shaft, that Homelite is now working fine. So much for spare parts. Since the unit did not have a clutch and the trimmer shaft ran all the time, with the flex shaft seized, the engine could not be pulled over. My boss could not believe it, so now he saves them for a good look at before telling the customer that it is not repairable.

 
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06-18-07, 03:52 AM   #15  
Is the flex shaft the 1/2" thick sort of grooved and squared off shaft that protrudes from the shaft when pulling the engine off? Should I be able to grab that with a pliers and turn it freely when the motor is removed? Where was the spacer that it seized on, top or bottom?

I can't budge the flywheel(?) with the shaft motor removed, but those are pretty hard to turn manually anyway, aren't they? I know on bugger engines they are.

 
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06-18-07, 05:10 PM   #16  
The flex shaft should turn with you pliers or fingers. The flywheel should turn pretty easy, especially if you pull the spark plug out but you should be able to rotate with it in. Sounds like the engine has scored the piston and stuck it to the cylinder wall. With the lean fuel mixtures that are run now days for emmision reasons, old fuel and oil mixtures can do a job on the engine in a hurry.

 
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06-18-07, 06:43 PM   #17  
Yeah, the piston is siezed up in there. I took off what I could to get a look. There was some loose oil flowing around the crank. But the crank and piston wouldn't budge at all. I think it's a goner.

 
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