Honda GX160 carb replacement question

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  #1  
Old 11-07-08, 04:45 PM
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Honda GX160 carb replacement question

Hi....brand new here. I have a gas airless sprayer that has a Honda GX160 motor that isn't very old, and started surging recently......like it's running out of gas, but it isn't. An airless repair place that is an hour away suggested running some carb cleaner through it, and if that didn't clean it,I could bring it in, and he's take the carb off and soak it overnight in cleaner. If that didn't do it, he'd just put a new carb on it. Well, it would cost me either $75 or $150, depending on whether or not the cleaning worked, or he replaced the carb.Plus, I have to drive an hour each way.....twice. I started thinking, why don't I just cut to the chase and replace the carb? I called a Honda dealer a few blocks from my house, and I can get the carb for about $30. Someone told me it's a piece of cake to replace one, but I'd like to confirm how easy it is or isn't before I order the carb. I'm pretty mechanically inclined, so I'm not afraid to do it, if it's not someting I can easily screw up.I hope someone here can tell me or direct me to instructions. Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 11-07-08, 04:52 PM
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Well I can say it's a piece of cake only because I have taken a few hundred of them off over the years. If you have never done it, there is a little effort involved. If you are somewhat mechanically inclined, it should not be hard for you to do.

You could possibly save the $30.00 and go to your local auto parts store and purchase a can of spray carburetor cleaner for about $2.00 and take a stab at your carburetor yourself. You don't have much to loose and if you find that this is over your head, you can always just purchase a new carburetor and install it on your engine.

If you decide to tackle the carburetor, and have any questions, just post them here and we will walk you through it.

Best of Luck....
 
  #3  
Old 11-07-08, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by 30yearTech View Post
Well I can say it's a piece of cake only because I have taken a few hundred of them off over the years. If you have never done it, there is a little effort involved. If you are somewhat mechanically inclined, it should not be hard for you to do.

You could possibly save the $30.00 and go to your local auto parts store and purchase a can of spray carburetor cleaner for about $2.00 and take a stab at your carburetor yourself. You don't have much to loose and if you find that this is over your head, you can always just purchase a new carburetor and install it on your engine.

If you decide to tackle the carburetor, and have any questions, just post them here and we will walk you through it.

Best of Luck....
Thanks for responding! I forgot to mention that today, I put a full bottle of gumout carb cleaner in the tank with a quart of gas, which is what I would assume is a strong mixture......ran it for about 15-20 minutes, drained the tank via the drain on the carb, and put a quart of fresh gas in, ran it, and there was absolutely no change. I don't like to let it sit there and surge like that, or I'd run it a lot longer, and the only way to stop the surging is to choke it almost all the way. The guy at the airless repair shop said it isn't the best thing to run it like that for very long, so I basically let it run, and surge. If I try the spray carb cleaner, where exactly do I spray it.....take the air cleaner off, and through the top or???? Thanks!
 
  #4  
Old 11-07-08, 11:32 PM
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You'd take the bowl off and spray out the jets and passages you can access, and if that doesn't do it, remove the carb and do a more thorough job of cleaning it.
 
  #5  
Old 11-08-08, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by cheese View Post
You'd take the bowl off and spray out the jets and passages you can access, and if that doesn't do it, remove the carb and do a more thorough job of cleaning it.
I'm assuming the jets will be obvious to me when I take the bowl off, yes? These are sort of similar to oldschool throttle body carbs on cars, right?
 
  #6  
Old 11-08-08, 05:53 PM
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Would I just be better off removing it and cleaning it? I found this guide online
Removal of Carb from Honda GX390 QA2X Engine
......it's for a different model engine, but correct me If I'm wrong, but aren't the carbs on all these small honda engines basically the same? If so, then I could follow the guide and remove it, correct? Then I'm not sure where the jets are, and anything else I'd need to clean......would it be self explanatory. Thought I read somewhere to remove any rubber parts before doing this......not sure what those would be. Any advice appreciated, and please tell me If I should just try to clean it while still on the engine, and where the jets are. Thanks in advance!
 
  #7  
Old 11-09-08, 07:48 AM
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The guide is not exactly for your model engine, but the basics are pretty much the same. You could remove it and clean it out and then give it a try. Pay special attention to the pilot jet in these carburetors, a plugged or restricted pilot jet will cause surging like you described. Running any additives through the fuel rarely if ever cures any carburetor issues. You usually have to take them down and manually clean them out.
 
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Old 11-09-08, 08:33 AM
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When you clean the carburetor clean it THOROUGHLY then go back and clean it again.

My favorite carburetor cleaner is sold by Auto Zone parts store. It is their brand, “Valucraft Carb Cleaner” Part Number: AZ-4, 13 ounces in a yellow and black aerosol can with a red plastic cap. It sells for around $2.50 per can. I have been very successful in cleaning carburetors with this cleaner. Beware - It will damage rubber as well as skin and eyes.


Here is something to go by:
http://www.honda-engines-eu.com/en/images/59138.pdf
 
  #9  
Old 11-09-08, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Airman View Post
When you clean the carburetor clean it THOROUGHLY then go back and clean it again.

My favorite carburetor cleaner is sold by Auto Zone parts store. It is their brand, “Valucraft Carb Cleaner” Part Number: AZ-4, 13 ounces in a yellow and black aerosol can with a red plastic cap. It sells for around $2.50 per can. I have been very successful in cleaning carburetors with this cleaner. Beware - It will damage rubber as well as skin and eyes.


Here is something to go by:
http://www.honda-engines-eu.com/en/images/59138.pdf
Thanks! I downloaded that diagram yeserday. The part I'm a little confused about is, what parts are rubber that I have to watch out for. Also, is this cleaning all done by spraying cleaner on parts just the way they sit or??? There is talk of removing and replacing the pilot screw??? And, can I reinstall it with the same gasket, if it doesn't get ruined removing it? Reason I ask is I may attempt this today, and it's sunday. I don't have a honda dealer open today. Thanks again.
 
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Old 11-09-08, 10:08 AM
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Also, cheese suggested I take the bowl off and spray any jets I can access to see if that cures it. Obviously I should try that, and see If I can avoid taking the carb off, correct? This is brand new to me, that's why so many questions.....sorry. To take this sprayer into a shop is a hassle.....just getting it in my truck takes 2 people, then I have to drive an hour each way, and again to pick it up. To pay a guy $75-$150 to do what I know I can do.......even If I end up replacing the carb. Oh yeah, I don't have to drain the gas tank to do this, right? Just turn the gas off?
 
  #11  
Old 11-09-08, 11:21 AM
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The best way to make sure everything is cleaned out thoroughly is to remove the carburetor and disassemble it, otherwise you may be doing it more then once, but you can try just spraying out the float bowl and jets and see it that works.

As long as any gaskets or O-rings are not damaged, you should be able to reuse with no ill effects. If you have compressed air it's also good to blow out all the orifices after spraying with cleaner.

Shutting off the fuel should be all that is needed, unless there is moisture or other contaminates in the fuel tank.
 
  #12  
Old 11-09-08, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by 30yearTech View Post
The best way to make sure everything is cleaned out thoroughly is to remove the carburetor and disassemble it.
O.k. I have it off, but what exactly do I disassemble and clean? I know nothing about this. When I disconnected the fuel line, gas poured out and I had to get a can to catch it, so just turning off the fuel isn't quite enough lol! Anyway, do I soak this thing, or just use the spray? Let me add that this engine only has maybe 60 hours on it, so this carb isn't old, just obviously has something stuck in it. Thanks!
 

Last edited by acillatem; 11-09-08 at 01:50 PM.
  #13  
Old 11-09-08, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 30yearTech View Post
The best way to make sure everything is cleaned out thoroughly is to remove the carburetor and disassemble it, otherwise you may be doing it more then once, but you can try just spraying out the float bowl and jets and see it that works.

As long as any gaskets or O-rings are not damaged, you should be able to reuse with no ill effects. If you have compressed air it's also good to blow out all the orifices after spraying with cleaner.
O.k. there is talk about removing the pilot screw and cleaning it.......does it simply unscrew and screw back in, and how do I get to the jets???? Nothing in that doagram shows a thing about disassembling the carb.
 
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Old 11-09-08, 04:07 PM
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You should take off the float bowl, remove the float and float needle / seat as well as the main jet and nozzle. Remove the screw covering the pilot jet and clean everything.

I think I have a carburetor similar to what you should have, I will take some pictures and post them for you.

Oops, my mistake, The carburetor I have is for a GC not a GX.
 

Last edited by 30yearTech; 11-09-08 at 05:18 PM. Reason: link added
  #15  
Old 11-09-08, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 30yearTech View Post
You should take off the float bowl, remove the float and float needle / seat as well as the main jet and nozzle. Remove the screw covering the pilot jet and clean everything.

I think I have a carburetor similar to what you should have, I will take some pictures and post them for you.
Well, I've almost got to the point you're talking about since my last post. I removed the float bowl and the float. I took that pin out that holds the float on, but does that other plastic piece that the float basically hinges on come out also? Must be pressed in if it does. Didn't mess any more with that for now. I have the main jet and nozzle out.......they're one and the same, correct? You can see light through all the holes, though I will still clean it. I would imagine my problem is in the pilot jet, as things start getting small there, but that's where I'm stuck. There is talk in that dia gram of removing the pilot screw, cleaning it and putting it back. There is a screwdriver slot in that screw, but it deosn't unscrew. What am I missing here? Also, how do I get to the pilot jet? Thanks very much!
 
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Old 11-09-08, 05:09 PM
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Now I see the instructions for the pilot screw.......I guess you break it at the neck, and remove the remaining screw and then you have to install a new one, which I don't have. Is it necessary to remove the pilot screw?
 
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Old 11-09-08, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by acillatem View Post
Now I see the instructions for the pilot screw.......I guess you break it at the neck, and remove the remaining screw and then you have to install a new one, which I don't have. Is it necessary to remove the pilot screw?
I did not have a carburetor like the one on your engine, so I will just try and explain as best as I can.

No, you do not need to remove the pilot screw. You do need to clean out the pilot jet though. It's located in the plastic piece that snaps into the carburetor directly underneath the idle stop screw. Remove the idle stop screw and carefully pry the pilot jet assembly up out of the carburetor body. There is a small O-ring that seals this assembly in place and it has a tiny orifice in it that must be cleaned, this is most likely where your problem is. Also you will want to clean out the passages leading into and out of the area in the carburetor body where this snaps in.

The seat where your float pin hinges the float does not come out, so do not try and remove it.
 
  #18  
Old 11-09-08, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by 30yearTech View Post
I did not have a carburetor like the one on your engine, so I will just try and explain as best as I can.

No, you do not need to remove the pilot screw. You do need to clean out the pilot jet though. It's located in the plastic piece that snaps into the carburetor directly underneath the idle stop screw. Remove the idle stop screw and carefully pry the pilot jet assembly up out of the carburetor body. There is a small O-ring that seals this assembly in place and it has a tiny orifice in it that must be cleaned, this is most likely where your problem is. Also you will want to clean out the passages leading into and out of the area in the carburetor body where this snaps in.

The seat where your float pin hinges the float does not come out, so do not try and remove it.
O.k. I was just about to post pictures of my carb, as it is slightly different. I wondered if that was where it might be. So, any tricks to taking the idle stop screw out.........count how many turns until it comes out???? Thanks!
 
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Old 11-09-08, 05:34 PM
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That's what I do when I take them out, but you may need to readjust for proper idle speed once you get everything working again.
 
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Old 11-09-08, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by 30yearTech View Post
That's what I do when I take them out, but you may need to readjust for proper idle speed once you get everything working again.
O.k. thanks for all this help. So basically everything in your pictorial guide, plus this pilot jet thing, and that's pretty much it? If That doesn't work, order a new carb lol! Just out of curiosity, I pulled the spark plug earlier, and took a few pics......does this look normal to you?
http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j1...6/DSCF0586.jpg
http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j1...6/DSCF0585.jpg
http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j1...6/DSCF0584.jpg
 
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Old 11-09-08, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by acillatem View Post
O.k. thanks for all this help. So basically everything in your pictorial guide, plus this pilot jet thing, and that's pretty much it? If That doesn't work, order a new carb lol! Just out of curiosity, I pulled the spark plug earlier, and took a few pics......does this look normal to you?
http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j1...6/DSCF0586.jpg
http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j1...6/DSCF0585.jpg
http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j1...6/DSCF0584.jpg
Yep, that's pretty much par for the course on the plug. I have confidence in your ability to make your carburetor work, and I think just some spray cleaner and you should be good to go....
 
  #22  
Old 11-09-08, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by 30yearTech View Post
Yep, that's pretty much par for the course on the plug. I have confidence in your ability to make your carburetor work, and I think just some spray cleaner and you should be good to go....
Well, it's dark now, and spraying that carb cleaner in the garage wouldn't be a hit with the wife.....she's already hating the gas smell, so I'll clean it out tomorrow, and hopefully be able to post back that it runs fine. This airless only has maybe 60 hours on it, and it just went from running fun to this surging the next time I started it. Thanks, ands I'll let you know!
 
  #23  
Old 11-09-08, 06:04 PM
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Oh, one more thing.......just took that idle stop screw out,and pulled that pilot jet out. Since that o-ring is rubber, should I remove it before spraying that plastic piece with cleaner......that is what I spray, along with the orifices that it slpis into, right?
 
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Old 11-09-08, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by acillatem View Post
Oh, one more thing.......just took that idle stop screw out,and pulled that pilot jet out. Since that o-ring is rubber, should I remove it before spraying that plastic piece with cleaner......that is what I spray, along with the orifices that it slpis into, right?
You can, but I usually don't. If you leave it on, just don't let the cleaner stay on it for a long time, wipe it off or blow it off with compressed air. There is a very tiny orifice in the bottom that feeds into the larger hole on the side of the assembly, this is what needs to be cleaned as it does not take much to restrict this.
 
  #25  
Old 11-09-08, 06:12 PM
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Gotcha! Thanks again for all the help! I sure hope this does it......it's so new it seems weird. That's about the only thing that can cause the surging like I had, correct? Everything else is set on these carbs, and doesn't just change like that, or so I've heard.
 
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Old 11-09-08, 06:15 PM
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99 out of 100 times, I would say cleaning the pilot jet clears this type of problem right up.
 
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Old 11-09-08, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by 30yearTech View Post
99 out of 100 times, I would say cleaning the pilot jet clears this type of problem right up.
O.k. cool! Well, I'll know soon enough tomorrow!
 
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Old 11-10-08, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 30yearTech View Post
You can, but I usually don't. If you leave it on, just don't let the cleaner stay on it for a long time, wipe it off or blow it off with compressed air. There is a very tiny orifice in the bottom that feeds into the larger hole on the side of the assembly, this is what needs to be cleaned as it does not take much to restrict this.
I see a hole on the bottom that goes somewhere, but looking into the hole that is on the side,that actually goes right through the pilot jet, I don't see an orifice coming into that. Is it something I should be able to physically see?

EDIT: Nevermind, I can feel air coming out the side when blowing it up through the bottom......it must be extremely tiny, because I sure can't see it!
 
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Old 11-10-08, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by acillatem View Post
I see a hole on the bottom that goes somewhere, but looking into the hole that is on the side,that actually goes right through the pilot jet, I don't see an orifice coming into that. Is it something I should be able to physically see?

EDIT: Nevermind, I can feel air coming out the side when blowing it up through the bottom......it must be extremely tiny, because I sure can't see it!
Yes, it's a very small hole, you can barely see it if you shine some light up through it.
 
  #30  
Old 11-10-08, 02:55 PM
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Good news......it started right up, and no surging! Seems to run just fine. Thank you so much for your help. It's funny, because it's so new, I was thinking there is no way something could clog that up already, but obviously it did. I remember loosening the 2 carb bolts and it didn't take much for them to turn.........it would be funny if maybe it was a vacuum leak around that gasket........wouldn't that cause basically the same symptoms, and choking ot 3/4 would clear it up as well? Oh well, never know now, just something I thought of because it is so new. It runs, that's all that matters. Oh, I screwed that idle stop screw back in the same number of turns that it took for it to come out, but how would I know if it's correct? Seems fine, but I don't know the rule of thumb. With the throttle all the way off it still runs, is that good enough or??? Also, my Honda manual says that either using a fuel stabilizer or draining the system should be done for long term storage. Last winter I just drained it completely....float bowl, sediment cup, gas tank. That seems easy to me, and the best way, but the guy at the airless repair place is a believer in keeping the gas tank full with the stabilizer for winter storage. Obviously it's his preference, or maybe not. What is your opinion, and what do most people do. Seems like in draining it that a small amount of gas almost has to stay in some nooks and crannies in the fuel system and carb, and maybe that gets gummy??? Maybe that's what cused my problem, but I don't have a clue. Thanks in advance, and thanks for the carb help also. Just one more thing I now know how to do!
 
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Old 11-10-08, 04:09 PM
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Fantastic, glad to hear it's going again. An air leak could cause a similar effect on the running, but usually won't idle and will lean out and die not surge, but that's always a possibility.

The idle stop screw should just be adjusted for a smooth no load idle speed.

I also prefer to leave stabilized fuel in the tank, and periodically start and run the engine for a few minutes once a month. For longer term storage, I would drain and run dry, the issue with this, is that sometimes, O-Rings and gaskets will shrink and crack, but not all the time. It's kind of a catch 22, I have tried both ways and had mixed results, so what ever you have the best experience with is what you should just keep doing.

The little orifice in the pilot jet does not take much to get plugged up, and I have seen brand new equipment need carburetor maintenance right out of the box, so it's not that unusual for to happen after a short time of use.
 
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Old 11-10-08, 04:44 PM
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O.k. cool.......thanks again for all the help! Maybe I'll go with the stabilizer this winter......says it's good for 12 months. This sprayer will sit for the next 4-5 months for sure.
 
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