Toro Recycler push mower starts, dies after a few minutes, and starts

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  #1  
Old 04-28-12, 12:00 PM
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Toro Recycler push mower starts, dies after a few minutes, and starts

I have a Toro Recycler Model 20332 7 HP push lawnmower. It's only 2 years old, but I had issues last season with it so I brought it in for service prior to this season. Admittedly, I didn't really keep up with the oil change maintenance schedule and didn't properly store it through the winter (although I do think I ran it out of fuel before storing it). In retrospect, my description was not that good, but basically the description I gave was pretty close. I mentioned occasional puffs of smoke, the lawnmower dying, and being tough to restart. I got the lawnmower back and they replaced the spark plug, thermostat, and rebuilt the carb.

I filled the lawnmower with gas that I think might have actually been leftover winter blend gas from the snowblower which I realize now was a stupid decision, but that same gas worked fine in my power tiller I had recently used. Lawnmower started up and within the first few rows, the problem presented itself again. I now realize I should have described it better rather than tough to restart. Sometimes it does take multiple pulls to get it to restart, but then it does start. However, it doesn't start and run in the way it should. It starts at a low operating speed and then eventually sputters itself back into a normal operating speed. It did this at first only in tall grass, but was fine after. It then didn't like going over some dust/dirt area that it never used to have a problem with. It has now degraded to the point that it will do this even if I am not mowing anything at all and basically it is not possible to cut my lawn anymore. I tried to put some gas stabilizer (which in and of itself was old) in the old gas, but that didn't help.

The lawnmower did come with a note to not tip it so oil and fuel don't mix. From searching, I don't think either of these things would qualify, but I might have momentarily tipped it when loading/unloading into my vehicle and my lawn is fairly sloped so I tip it to cut some of the odd areas sometimes. I don't think that has an effect, but I just wanted to get all the details out there.

So after the repair, the lawnmower had two tankfuls of old possibly winter blend gas. I have now put fresh 93 octane fuel in it and the same issue happened. I bought a tune up spray that I put in the spark plug hole. That blew a whole lot of smoke, but didn't fix the problem. I replaced the air filter and ran it without the air filter spraying some of that tune up spray in the carb which didn't help. I replaced the spark plug to no avail. I put a fuel treatment in the fuel which hasn't been run fully through (since I can't get the lawnmower to run for long enough), but it hasn't helped. I tried running it without a gas cap which didn't help.

After all the above, right now the lawnmower will start running at full speed. It will then start to shake, make some unusual noises, and then basically just pop out (literally it sounds like a pop). Sometimes it won't die, but will go into that lower operating speed. If I restart it, it runs at that lower operating speed sometimes then kicking into the normal speed or sometimes just staying at that speed. If I let the lawnmower sit for a while, it will start back at the full speed, but it will pretty much repeat the above.

My two basic questions are, from my description, did I do anything that negated what they did? I know running with old possibly winter gas was not smart, but could I have caused the problem to occur in less than 10 minutes of running? Second, is there anything else I can try to do on my own at this point? It's a pain to get the lawnmower to the service place so I'd like to just be able to fix it and mow my out of control lawn.
 

Last edited by DIYnewbie9; 04-28-12 at 01:13 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-28-12, 11:06 PM
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Post the engine make and model, but since you said it had a thermostat, I would guess it has an auto-choke carb on a Briggs engine. I'd start by checking to see if the choke is shut.
 
  #3  
Old 04-29-12, 08:47 AM
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It's a Briggs and Stratton 7 HP with a build date in 2009. Looking up the Toro parts list online, it's a Briggs 128T02-3125-B1

Where would I find the auto choke?

I took a couple of pictures of the engine.

 
  #4  
Old 04-29-12, 10:25 AM
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When you take the air filter out, you can see into the throat of the carb. There is a valve that should be shut in the throat of the carb, but once you start the engine, it should slowly open. See if this happens, or if the choke plate/valve stays closed.
 
  #5  
Old 04-30-12, 05:56 PM
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So I definitely think something is going on with the choke. I'm not sure what position is open or what is closed. However, it pretty much springs to the position opposite from the cold rest position and then never moves. Once the mower stopped running I tried to see if I could move it with a screwdriver (an easy task before starting) and it wouldn't budge. I started it a couple times after that and, unlike before, it sputtered up to full power relatively quickly, but still eventually puttered itself out. As far as I can tell, the choke stayed in that full open or close position (not sure which) that it moved to after that first starting. On the last start, it looked like white smoke puffed out that area before the motor died.

Is this something I can fix myself?

I took a video of the cold start and then the demise http://s737.photobucket.com/albums/xx13/DIYnewbie9/?action=view&current=LawnmowerColdStart.mp4 This is the start after it died
http://s737.photobucket.com/albums/xx13/DIYnewbie9/?action=view&current=LawnmowerSecondStart.mp4 This is the last start where you can see a puff of smoke at the end
http://s737.photobucket.com/albums/xx13/DIYnewbie9/?action=view&current=LawnmowerLastStart.mp4
 
  #6  
Old 04-30-12, 06:42 PM
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Seems to be running out of gas. Check fuel flow through the fuel line to the carb. If it is a full, fast flow, then check flow into the carb bowl. I suspect there is a blockage somewhere. It may have a collapsed fuel line.
 
  #7  
Old 08-12-12, 08:21 PM
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Did you ever find out what was wrong? I have the same mower doing the same thing. Good old briggs and straton :lol:
 
  #8  
Old 04-09-14, 09:46 AM
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I now have the same mower same problem were you ever able to correct this? Checked fuel line (did a full tune up it was my father in laws who always kept it running good) I got it in the fall of '13 now trying to get it running (55 degrees today) and not working out very well. I am getting spark, and fuel to the plug.
 
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