Mower sputters/backfires and won't start


Old 05-24-14, 05:54 AM
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Mower sputters/backfires and won't start

I have a Troy-Bilt TB230 push mower. I left gas in it throughout the winter and went to crank it and it would not turn over. I've put in new gas, replaced the fuel line, changed the oil and air filter and it still will not start. I have also cleaned out the carburetor.

I do not know much about engines and took a lot of it apart at the beginning, but I believe everything is where it should be, minus one piece (looks like a type of guard). I know I did something right because now it at least backfires and tries to turn over where as before it wouldn't even do a thing.

Any suggestions of what else could be keeping this from not turning over?

These are some of the specifications of the mower from Lowe's website.

Engine Brand Briggs & Stratton
Engine Torque (Ft/Lbs) 7.25
Engine Displacement (Cu. Centimeters) 190.0
Cut Width (Inches) 21.0
Transmission Type Self-propelled
Start Type Pull start
Drive Type Front wheel drive
Speed Control Variable
Series Name TB230
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Old 05-24-14, 06:05 AM
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Welcome to the forums! You interchangeably use the terms "turn over" and "start". We are assuming it is turning over but just won't start. One step you failed to mention. Did you drain the tank of fuel before adding fresh? How did you "clean" the carb? Did you remove it, explode it clean and reassemble?
Old 05-24-14, 07:39 AM
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That is correct, the blade spins, tries to start, backfires and then nothing. I did drain the old fuel. I used a carb cleaner called Gumout which is a carb + choke cleaner. Took the carb out and sprayed it big time and sprayed through all the small holes as well.
Old 05-24-14, 09:19 AM
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Cheese will be along with more in depth ino shortly, but in the meantime be checking spark. Pull the plug, reattach it to the wire, move it away from the cylinder opening and pull the cord. Are you getting consistent spark? Several things could be in the offing. Rust on the flywheel, bad plug, incorrect plug gap. All should be checked too.
Old 05-24-14, 10:00 AM
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Based upon your problem description, engine is fuel starved. The carb would need to be fully disassembled to get any gunk out of all the fuel flow places. Anything less will not work.

Unless the two fuel screws where not removed. If they where, did you first screw them fully inward counting the number of turns it took to lightly bottom them each out. And write those numbers down. Then reinstall them to fully bottomed out position then turn them each outward same number of turns they where originally set to. If you didn't you missed an important step in the carb take down process.

Have you tried a shot of quick start shot into the spark plug hole? Try it. Shoot small bit of it into hole. Reinstall plug and attempt to start.

If all else is right, engine should start up and run briefly. It will then die. Tells you engine will run if it gets enough fuel. Engine quickly dies again it's fuel starved. Carb still plugged up.

More Info Here:
CARB PROBLEMS After Rebuilding or Cleaning Excerpt

Based on the information provided, the internal carb fuel ports and passages are plugged up.

Remove and disassemble the carb again and look for tiny holes in the center brass screw. Possibly 2 holes in the pot metal center extension that the screw threads into.

Also clear the center extension orifice and any other ports in this location. Use the plastic extension tube provided with a can of automotive carb cleaner.

Place the plastic tube into or up against any other port {Hole} and allow the pressurized canned cleaner fluid to clear the ports. Spray under the caps in the carb body. There are fuel passages under them.

Check and clear the air intake vent hole on top of the carb bodies upper half. The hole is extremely tiny but must be opened. It allows air to enter the carbs fuel bowl or diaphram area depending upon which type of carb it is. All carbs have one.

Use EYE PROTECTION during this procedure.

Also check and insure the needles seat is correctly installed in the fuel entry port and the needle is correctly installed on the float. The float must be level to the carb body when the carb body is inverted upside down.

Check the float and be sure it does not have fuel inside it. If it does, it has a hole in it and it must be replaced.

Most likely I have not covered all of the potential problems. The resident small engine service and repair professionals may offer additional suggestions, advice & help. Check back several times for additional replies.

Old 05-24-14, 11:02 AM
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Thank you very much for this advice. I'll give that all a try and see what happens. If it doesn't get going, I'll let you know.
Old 05-24-14, 06:24 PM
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I'd start with a new spark plug. The backfiring is why I'd go there first.

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