difficulty starting Troy Bilt push mower

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  #1  
Old 03-15-12, 04:22 PM
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difficulty starting Troy Bilt push mower

Apologies if this ends up duplicating. I posted earlier today, and coming back to check for responses, can't find my original.. still learning to navigate this site.

I have a 21" Troy push mower. Takes several to many pulls to get it to even catch and start. First several times of that it surges and dies in just a couple of seconds. Eventually it will hold, but continues for several minutes to surge and almost die before somewhat smoothing out. Even then, it is running low rpms and low power, easily bogs down to a stop once it hits grass. This model has no consumer adjustable controls - no primer, no choke, no throttle. Owner's manual touts that 'all was set at the factory'. Riiighht . . . .

This unit was new last season, has less than 20 hours on it.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-15-12, 06:13 PM
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Get a bottle of sea-foam from your local auto parts store and put it in the gas by the instructions on the back of the can, then use the mower and see if it goes away. If so, done deal. If not, you need to clean the carburetor. The low RPM may be because the governor static tension spring arm got bent. Look at the right front corner of the engine (left front if you are facing the mower from in front of it) near the carburetor behind the air filter box. There will be a spring hooked onto a loop of metal. Pull the metal loop towards the front of the mower to speed up the engine, push it back to reduce speed.
 
  #3  
Old 03-15-12, 08:18 PM
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You might also check your Air Filter and it's Pre Cleaner. I have a new Snapper. And if it's Pre Cleaner isn't kept clean? It certainly runs the way you describe your Troy, as running.

Good luck to ya!
 
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Old 03-16-12, 07:52 AM
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Mower

Remove the air filter and see if it will start and run any better. If so, replace the air filter with a new one.
 
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Old 03-16-12, 09:25 AM
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That's right, check the air filter. It might be the problem.
 
  #6  
Old 03-16-12, 10:31 AM
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Sometimes starting is a function of what happened at the end of last season. It's pretty common to have difficulties starting a mower like this if it hasn't run in 6 or 7 months. If at all possible run only ethenol-free gas in you power equipment and put some Stabil (brand name) in some gas and run the equipment for 5 to 10 minutes before you put it away for the season. At the start of the season, pour out the old gas and buy fresh. If all else fails, some take off the cleaner and use a little starting fluid. Good Luck...........Larry
 
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Old 03-16-12, 11:26 AM
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You got that right, Larry! I use ONLY the most Premium Fuel (92 Octane) that is advertised as; Ethenol Free and I add; Fuel Stabilizer to every Fuel Container, before filling up. The Higher Octane fuel and the Fuel Stabilizer have certainly been worth the tiny bit extra, that they cost.

One of my prized possessions is; a 1974 Model Troy Built Tiller, that my Uncle gave me. He bought it brand new. And it continues to run, like brand new. I also have a 1972 Model Sears Garden Tractor (Before there was Craftsman). It too, runs like new.

I'm a firm believer that; a CLEAN Engine is a HAPPY Engine. And too often, folks don't consider, how clean a Engine is, on the INSIDE!
 
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Old 03-16-12, 02:08 PM
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OK, I bought a can of Sea Foam, mixed it per instructions and added to the gas tank. Fired it up - again a few tries, but actually it was a lot worse last season. I had added some Stabil to the tank at the end of last season, in Oct. Same cycle of surge-almostdie-surge-almostdie, etc. Of course it will take a while for the treated gas to go through and do its thing. Removed air filter, and that made no difference. The throttle mechanism seems to be a real Rube Goldberg setup. A plastic arm on a pivot connects through a secondary linkage to operate a throttle valve just inboard from the air filter. This arm extends under some shrouding and is actuated by a very light spring. I couldn't find what the counterbalancing force might be. There is another slightly heavier coil spring that runs perpendicular to the first, attaching to a metal tab on the front frame, actuating what appears to be a second throttle valve, and from there a stiff wire/rod extends reward back under some shielding. Watching these actuate through the surge/die cycle was interesting but I coudn't draw any conclusions from it. If I held the first throttle open, the engine would sustain high rpms, but shortly after releasing it would resume the cycle. I couldn't determine any effect from manually manipulating the second. Things seem to be somwhat better after holding the first throttle open for several minutes, but I need to try it again with a cold engine and let the treated gas go through some more.
 
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Old 03-16-12, 02:14 PM
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Correction - I said it was *worse* than last season. I meant it was *better* than last season. Far fewer efforts to get it going in the first place. Don't know if that was a result of running some Stabil treated gas through at the end of last season.
 
  #10  
Old 03-16-12, 03:56 PM
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If you would post the "engine" info, mfg, type, code etc, usually found stamped in the engine shroud by the spark plug or on the valve cover for OHV or on a tag by the muffler, you will get better guidance to better solve the problem. It shouldn't take over 1 or 2 pulls to start a mower. Have a good one. Geo
 
  #11  
Old 03-19-12, 04:08 PM
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Sorry for the delayed response ... was out for the weekend. The engine is a briggs, number stamped on a tag next to the muffle is 126T02-0675-B2.

Today engine started from dead cold on the second pull. Still running a cylce of 'surge-low idle-surge, etc'. Though it seems to be moderated a bit - the extremes aren't as extreme and it seems to hold a few seconds (5 to 10?) longer before dropping then surging again. I'm guessing the Sea Foam is helping some. I'm going to get a new spark plug and put in tomorrow.
 
  #12  
Old 03-19-12, 04:55 PM
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The bowl nut is the main jet on this carb, you might get lucky and not have to remove the carb. Clamp off the fuel line, remove the bowl nut, refer to the pic below for all the holes to clean, with a can of brake parts or carb cleaner(with the straw) spray up through the hole where the bowl nut was to remove any residue, clean the bowl nut, reassemble, if that doesn't solve it you will need to remove and clean the carb. Have a good one. Geo

 
  #13  
Old 03-20-12, 12:29 PM
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That did it! A couple of shots of carb cleaner through the bowl nut, plus replaced the spark plug. Old one was a bit oily. After buttoning it all back up and letting it set to 'air out' (a fair amount of spilled gas) it started on the second pull and smoothed out in just a few seconds.

Thanks to everyone for your patience and assistance.
 
  #14  
Old 03-20-12, 04:13 PM
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Success is a wonderful sound. Have a good one. Geo
 
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