Honda HRX217 lawnmower won't start.


Old 03-22-16, 12:55 PM
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Honda HRX217 lawnmower won't start.

I've got an HRX217 with a GCV190 engine. The mower was stored for 3 years and not properly prepped. I drained out the old gas and replaced with high octane fuel from Home Depot. I then cleaned out the carburetor with cleaner but the mower would not start without fuel being poured directly into the carb. When it did start this way, it would only run for a few seconds then shutoff. I decided to replace the carburetor and spark plug. The fuel line that connects to the carburetor also had a slow leak so that was replaced. Still, the mower starts only after I pour fuel directly into the carburetor. Even though it starts, it only runs for a few seconds then stalls. New carb and plug had no impact.

I've verified that fuel is flowing out of the hose end which is connected to the carburetor. I thought about changing the fuel cutoff valve and the other fuel hose. I've also made sure the safety cutoff isn't impacting the mower's operation.

I'm going to change the fuel valve and the other hose. Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated...I'm obviously not on the right track since I've had no impact.
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Old 03-22-16, 03:01 PM
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When you replaced the hose, are you sure that you replaced it with a hose that was rated for fuel? It could have collapsed internally.
Old 03-22-16, 04:51 PM
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How (specifically) did you clean the carburetor? Did you remove it from the engine and disassemble it or did you just spray cleaner at it?
Old 03-22-16, 05:31 PM
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@pulpo - I ordered a honda replacement part from an online shop
@pilot dane - I did both although I didn't remove the carburetor and soak it. I stopped short and decided to just order a new carburetor (which didn't fix the problem).

Old 03-22-16, 05:41 PM
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Is there a fuel pump?
Is there a fuel filter, may be in the gas tank.
For sure you still have a fuel issue.
Main red flag was you said you bought high test fuel at HD.
Only fuel I've ever seen at HD was premixed 2 cycle fuel.
It's not high test and it's mixed with oil.
Old 03-22-16, 06:29 PM
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Does the choke close completely?
Old 03-22-16, 08:21 PM
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@joe - no fuel pump. I pulled the fuel filter and blew thru it. Air flowed. Here is the fuel I bought at HD: TruFuel 4-Cycle Ethanol-free Fuel-6527238 - The Home Depot

@marbobj - what's the best way to test this?
Old 03-22-16, 08:59 PM
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Put a champion or autolite spark plug in it and see if it runs. It sounds crazy, but there is a whole huge thread here somewhere about that and I have run into this problem before. It seems like a fuel problem but this engine does not do well with NGK plugs and that's what it comes with.
Old 03-23-16, 03:01 AM
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I agree with Cheese as I have also run into this.
Old 03-23-16, 01:46 PM
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If you have a choke plate, you'd see it through the carb throat. One plate would be the throttle and the other would be the choke. If it has a primer it may or may not have one.
Old 03-23-16, 05:21 PM
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Check to see if you can see gas squirting in the carb throat when you push the primer. I don't know what type of primer may be on there but the tube from primer to carb could have a leak or the gasket isn't sealing around the primer plate to get a prime going.
Old 03-25-16, 11:34 AM
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The auto choke not working correctly or closing all the way could be part of the problem, but I think not the only problem.
This engine likely has 3 gaskets and an insulator block between the carb and intake. If any or one of them is damaged, not assembled correctly, missing, etc. it can cause this. These are a PIA to assemble mainly due to the air filter housing blocking all access to the carb and being mounted with the same studs/bolts as the entire assy.
Old 03-25-16, 03:02 PM
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Pulled it apart again to make sure everything was right. Carburetor is getting fuel. However, I noticed the carburetor gaskets were slightly different than the Honda diagram I was viewing. Looked at my parts order and they are wrong. The little relief holes are in the wrong position on each gasket. I've ordered the correct ones from Honda and will try again Sunday. Thanks for the reference BFHFixit! Maybe better luck this weekend!
Old 03-27-16, 07:05 PM
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Success! Amazing what happens when you put the right parts on the mower. Started first pull and ran great. I'm glad I went ahead and replaced the carburetor since I'm pretty sure it was really gunked up after sitting for 3 years.

Thanks everyone for the help!

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