Mantis tiller

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  #1  
Old 04-28-00, 11:32 PM
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Have a small Mantis rototiller w/pull cord starter. That thing is a BEAR to start. It's just a little one, like $200-$300 - my mother-in-law's. She's had it probably 5-6 yrs. Anyway, the cord almost seems to wind incorrectly, no matter how fast or slow you let it recoil. When you pull on it, it like stutters or jerks a number of times - it's really hard to get a smooth pull, so, of course, it takes forever to start. Really kills the fingers. Also, once it does start, most of the time it dies out 'cuz you can't get to the choke fast enough to play with it to keep it going, or the throttle. Just not enough hands! The spark plug is right in the front, and once my son put his finger on the rubber cap and it stalled out. Does all this mean it needs a new spark plug? Is it something we can do ourselves, or should it get a tune-up? Problem is, I need it and most every place is 2-3 weeks ETA. Any suggestions??
 
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Old 04-29-00, 01:24 AM
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In the past 10 years I have had 2 Mantis. I wore the worm gear out in first one by not getting regular maintance. My dad bought one at my suggestion 8 yrs ago and his is still going strong. We have never had the same problems you describe, however if you let the gas run completely out they can be awful to start when you refil them. Touching the plug should not cause the engine to stop that sounds like a loose connection. A very common problem with the small tillers is that they are often not stored level, this can also present a problem when trying to crank simular to flooding the engine. I suggest you get a good tune up. <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Adrianne:
Have a small Mantis rototiller w/pull cord starter. That thing is a BEAR to start. It's just a little one, like $200-$300 - my mother-in-law's. She's had it probably 5-6 yrs. Anyway, the cord almost seems to wind incorrectly, no matter how fast or slow you let it recoil. When you pull on it, it like stutters or jerks a number of times - it's really hard to get a smooth pull, so, of course, it takes forever to start. Really kills the fingers. Also, once it does start, most of the time it dies out 'cuz you can't get to the choke fast enough to play with it to keep it going, or the throttle. Just not enough hands! The spark plug is right in the front, and once my son put his finger on the rubber cap and it stalled out. Does all this mean it needs a new spark plug? Is it something we can do ourselves, or should it get a tune-up? Problem is, I need it and most every place is 2-3 weeks ETA. Any suggestions??<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

 
  #3  
Old 04-29-00, 06:25 AM
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Hi:Adrianne

I too have one of these tillers. Best of the bunch in my garden shed. I have not noticed any problems with my pull starter.

Hard starting is common with ANY engine if left setting for a long period of time with fuel in the tank.

Besure to store the machine level and with an empty tank if not used for more the a month. Run the engine until it total dies to clear out any remaining fuel.

You can also use a fuel storage additive without causing any harm to the engine. Add this stuff to the main storage can and then into the tiller fuel tank.

For the time being, try replacing the old fuel with a fresh batch both in the tank and in the fuel can. Check the fuel primer bulb and be sure it fills when pumped.

Try starting the engine with the choke closed and in the idle position. &lt;No throttle&gt; Then with the choke half opened and the throttle fully opened.

After several rope pulls, if this fails, the carb will need to be flushed out and or rebuilt.

Also try replacing the old spark plug with a new one and be sure the plug wire is firmly pressed on to the plug.

Good Luck


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TomBartco
Trade:Natural Gas Energy Consultant & Technician.
Appliance Service & Repairs Rep.
Vocations:Saw & Tool Sharpening. Small Engine Repairs.
Accurate Power Equipment Company.
Personal Quote:
"Drive Safely. The Life You Save, May Be Your Own."
 
  #4  
Old 04-29-00, 08:59 PM
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Thanks for your help. Will get that tuneup, see if it takes care of the problems. Adrianne
 
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Old 05-15-00, 06:09 PM
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I have a Mantis and I've noticed the same thing about the pull start. Ours sits over the winter, and I've found that removing the spark plug and cleaning it (or getting a new one) just before tilling in the Spring makes it start right up, though it never pulls smoothly.
 
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