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Lawn tractor engine sputters and dies when fuel tank gets down to 1/2 full.


tlemler's Avatar
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04-28-08, 01:20 PM   #1  
Lawn tractor engine sputters and dies when fuel tank gets down to 1/2 full.

I have a 2001 or 2002 Weedeater lawn tractor with a 16.5 HP Tecumseh engine that runs great when the fuel tank is between the full and 1/2 full. Since day 1, it sputters and dies when the fuel level drops below 1/2. Filling the tank back up solves the problem and the mower starts right up.

Any ideas as to why this does this? It seems to me like it must be some sort of "pressure flow" problem. I've changed fuel filter and fuel line with no benefit. Weedeater says they had no issues with that mower, but obviously something began wrong. I know it has been a long time, but as I am doing some spring maintenance on the tractor, I thought it would be nice to try to resolve this old issue as well.

Thanks!


Last edited by tlemler; 04-28-08 at 03:33 PM.
 
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04-28-08, 06:42 PM   #2  
Post the unit model number from under the seat and the engine model and spec numbers from the top cover just above the spark plug so we can see what you have there.....

 
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04-28-08, 06:58 PM   #3  
The tractor is a Weedeater model # S165H42A and the engine is a Tecumseh OHV165 spec # 204413G

 
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04-28-08, 07:32 PM   #4  
Here's what I suggest, Remove the fuel line from the carb and hold it over a fuel can and watch the fuel flow until the tank is empty with the fill cap on. Make sure it flows well all the way down to the bottom. Since this is a gravity feed system I'd want the fuel line as short as possible with little to no drop in the line below the carb float bowl level.

If the above seems fine move to the float needle valve and seat, There could be a restriction in the carb fuel inlet passage which I just ran across today on a unit. A higher fuel level is more weight to push fuel past a restriction as where a half tank is less weight.

That pretty much sums up a gravity feed system so you should find what ever is causing this problem.

Good Luck

 
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04-29-08, 07:45 PM   #5  
31YTech,

Thanks!

I disconnected the fuel line from the carb and had good flow through the entire tank of fuel so I will move on to the carb in the next day or two.

I will work my way into the carb bowl and see how the float and needle look. Hopefully a good cleaning will resolve this -- although it has enough years on it, I may just get a new bowl kit for it and see what that does.

Thanks again for pointing for giving me some steps toward hopefully resolving this.

 
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03-29-09, 06:14 AM   #6  
Same symptom

Wow, I thought MY Weedeater S165H42A was the only one having that prob. EXACTLY the same!

So what did you ever figure out?

 
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03-29-09, 08:53 AM   #7  
That problem sounds like a blocked gas cap vent.

 
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