Craftsman Blower Won't Start


Old 11-09-08, 06:45 PM
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Craftsman Blower Won't Start

I need help with 2 year old, 2-cycle Craftsman 205mhp leaf blower/vac. I use the blower 2-3 times weekly to blow grass off driveway and mower, about 5-10 mins. But in fall I'll use it 4-6 times a week for 15-30 mins at a time. I used it everyday this week, but on Saturday it would not start.

I checked other threads and followed suggestions to check compression, gas and spark. Since I need this to work ASAP (it's fall time in Indiana and I live on a wooded lot) I ran out and bought a new spark plug from Sears (same place I bought the blower). Seemed the easiest & quickest solution for today .... no good.

I checked the spark as suggested by removing the new spark plug, attaching starter coil and grounding to metal - I used screw driver to exhaust muffler. Since I was in the basement I turned off all lights to help visually. I could see several sparks as I pulled the starter rope but they didn't appear very strong - but I don't know how strong a spark should be. Is any spark good enough for this test?

I checked compression 3 ways. I stuck my finger in the spark plug hole and it seemed strong - to the point that it felt like it was sucking on my finger. I also held a ripped paper napkin in front of the hole and the air coming from the cylinder blew the napkin, even as far away as 10" from the opening. Last, I replaced the spark plug and removed the carburetor, exposing the piston in the cylinder. As I slowly pulled the rope I could fell air on my face and the compression sound seemed strong. Again, I have no idea how much compression is enough for this test to pass.

I also checked the piston. It looked shinny & smooth, no scaring (except very end where spark ignites fuel was black - but I was able to use Q-Tip and carb cleaner and black carbon cleaned rather easy) - but I could only see a very limited area.

I have a 1 gallon container that I mix at correct 40:1 ratio. Same container & oil mixture I've used for 2 years. Gas is relatively fresh at 2 weeks old. Again, I used the blower 8-10 times in two weeks and I'd already used 1/2 gallon of the 1 gallon container. So it would appear the gas shouldn't be an issue.

Lastly, I removed the spark plug - used an eye dropper to pour a few drops of fuel directly into the cylinder, replaced spark plug ... still unable to start. I didn't have starter fluid to spray into carb or cylinder but will buy tomorrow. I checked the fuel lines and the primer bulb. I could see fuel moving though both tubes. The primer bulb would fill and it had resistance after 4-5 pushes. I even removed carburetor and then removed what a assume was the diaphragm with 5 tiny screens - (assume those were fuel filters) from the bottom. I discovered a tiny lever that when I pushed down dispensed about 1/4 teaspoon of fuel. Then I pushed the primer bulb 5-6 times and hit the tiny lever again and again 1/4 of fuel spilled out. So I guess this is OK.

Any other thoughts? My 93 year old father-in-law thought maybe magnet(s) on the flywheel may be out of alignment or some foreign material is between magnet and flywheel preventing ignition. I assume this is similar the brushes on an alternator. But if this is a possibility would I have gotten sparks as tested earlier? Thank You for response and for putting up with such a long posted message. RookJ
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Old 11-09-08, 11:48 PM
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It sounds to me like you've checked the obvious things, and by your description, I don't see any red flags. I would suggest checking the bolts that hold the cylinder to the engine block. I'm thinking they may be loose, creating a vacuum leak into the engine.

If the cylinder is tight to the block, then I might suspect the engine is flooded.
Old 11-10-08, 05:50 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Craftsman Blower Won't Start

Thank You for your response. I'll give your suggestion a try - although as you can see I'm not very mechnically savvy. All my tests were fairly simple. I don't know what to look for as far as the bolts you want me to check but I try.

I'll buy some starter fluid today and may just buy new gas anyway. Assuming I get the blower working I'll need more than the 1/2 gal I have left to finish this season and it will cost me about $2.00 to fill the container.

Thanks again.
Old 11-30-08, 10:27 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: western N.Y.
Posts: 66

i've had several of these leafblowers. They definately wear out. If you put gas into the cylinder and have spark, it should fire. If not the compression is low. Trust me been there. Check the compression with a gauge. You need about 80 or more pounds. You've probobly got less than 60. If you look on the tag on the engine you'll see that it says that these blowers are good for 50 hours.

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