Honda GX160 - engine dies under load

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  #1  
Old 10-20-08, 08:35 AM
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Honda GX160 - engine dies under load

I have an 8 year old Honda GX160 on a log splitter. The last three times I've used it, the engine starts on first crank and appears to run smoothly until the splitter is under load. It then, cough, sputters, pops and will die completely. I have tried WD40 on the linkage from the carburetor and with time, & approximately 45 minutes of aggravation and restarting, it heals itself until the next time I try to use it. Then I have the same problem again. This last time, I tried just letting the engine run without any load on it, but it would run for 2, 3 or 4 minutes and exhibit the same problem and finally die. This happens at various RPMs. A small amount of black can be seen in the exhaust when the engine is dieing out.

Any ideas or shared experiences would be appreciated. I am also in the market for a good shop manual on this engine.

Bill
 
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  #2  
Old 10-20-08, 09:14 AM
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I would try a new spark plug and air filter. Sounds like your spark plug is fouling, and the most common reason a spark plug fails is a dirty air filter. Honda's filter media filter better and tend to plug up faster, so even if it does not look that bad it may be restricting air flow. You can try running without the filter to see if the running improves any, just don't use it without the air filter. I would certainly try a new spark plug.

If the plug and filter does not make any difference, then I would look at the carburetor as the possible source.

One last thing, try running with the fuel cap loose and see if this makes any difference, a plugged vent in the fuel cap could cause this, but in your case I don't think this is your problem.
 
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Old 10-20-08, 03:15 PM
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Thanks for the input. Unfortunately I have already investigated the air filter, spark plug, & gas vent opening with no noticeable improvement. I have done nothing to the carburetor at this point and will work on this next.

Any recommendations on a good shop manual?
 
  #4  
Old 10-21-08, 11:00 AM
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Well it does not appear to be the carburetor. It was removed, cleaned under pressure, blown out with compressed air. All functions appear to be working. The engine will run smoothly for continious periods and will just die, always at the end of the log splitting piston stroke when the engine is under load. It appears, again, appears to be influenced by the linkage arm coming out of the engine head linked to the carburetor. I am not sure. Could this be causing the problem?

I have by passed the low oil switch, & the on-off switch and the problem is still there.
 
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Old 10-21-08, 12:24 PM
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Unless the linkage is rubbing against a wire from the kill switch or low oil switch, I doubt that this is your problem. You might want to try using an inline spark tester to see if you are loosing spark when the engine dies. This could indicated a problem with the module.
 
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Old 10-21-08, 10:55 PM
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Almost sounds like the pressure relief on the hydraulic pump is set too high, and it is bogging the engine down under full load....or.... the high speed circuit in the carb is a bit lean causing the engine to die when the throttle dumps suddenly under a load, instead of rev up. If this is the case, the effects usually lessen once the engine has warmed up.

Try this, set the carb to low idle speed, let it run there a few, then reach down to the throttle shaft on the carb and manually dump the throttle suddenly. Does it die? Does it hesitate before revving? Does it respond by instantly revving up to the throttle position?
 
  #7  
Old 10-24-08, 03:17 PM
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Thanks for the input!

Turns out the problems are two fold. I am not an engine mechanic. After directions from a mechanic, I removed the carb again, and removed 'both' jets to find one very gummed up. Cleaned & reinstalled and, the engine runs good under load. But while running continuously, it would die at random. I replaced the spark plug, that was new, and this problem disappeared. Verified by reinstalled the problem plug and sazaam, the problem is back.

Thanks again for the help.
 
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