Tiller dies after 20-25 minutes


Old 05-11-15, 08:31 AM
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Tiller dies after 20-25 minutes

I have a front tine Craftsman 5.5hp tiller. Its difficult to start, but when it gets going, I can till for about 20 minutes, then I can hear the engine slowing down (as if its starving), then stops. I would let it cool down, still hard to start, but now it will till for less than 20 mins, and dies again. This would continue, but the tilling time seems to be less (or maybe I am exhausted by the 5th or 6 time I have to repeat the process). Model # is 917-292403. Your help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-11-15, 08:40 AM
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One more item, as the tiller is running, its revs and then back to normal, repeatedly, and this continues while tilling, although it seems less.

I have changed the oil, spark plug, air filter and air cleaner.
Old 05-11-15, 09:13 AM
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Try running the tiller with the gas cap loose and see if the problem continues. If the cap does not vent properly a vacuum will eventually develop in the tank which stops the flow of fuel to the carb. Letting it sit a while lets air leak back in so the engine will run until the vacuum stops the fuel flow again.

If the engine is surging it usually indicates a carburetor problem. Either a jet is partially clogged or it's out of adjustment.
Old 05-11-15, 09:47 AM
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I'm not familiar with that specific B&S Engine; but I have a suspicion that you have a carburetor that relies on an up-dated "Pulsa-Jet" fuel supply inside the gas tank which has a pick-up tube at the bottom of the tank with a screen that gets clogged with dirt and fuel deposits, and this clogging occurs when you get down to less than 2/3's of a tank . . . . exactly when you begin to rely on the pick-up tube.

If you can clean the screen on the pick-up tube, that would be helpful. Just getting the debris from the bottom of the tank may buy you some time . . . . and keeping the tank close to full will give you an awkward, but effective, workaround.

Or I could be wrong. I'm more familiar with the older versions of the Pulsa-Jet.

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