Honda HRX 217 HXA hard to start

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  #1  
Old 11-13-16, 01:33 PM
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Honda HRX 217 HXA hard to start

Hello,
Since this summer the mower got much harder to start.In warm temps usually between 3-4 pulls but now in the mornings between 6 and 10 pulls.Once started the mower runs great and the second start(if needed) doesn't take a full pull.
What i have done till now:
in august cleaned the carburetor
replaced spark plug and air filter
drained the fuel, replaced the inline fuel filter.
Last weekend
cleaned the carburetor the second time
tried another sprak plug
checked valve clearence
Changed oil (0W40) easier to pull.
Sadly still the same cold the mower needs a lot of pulls to start once warm running great starts easy.Most of the time my father in law is using the mower he is in his eighties and for him it's not that easy.
The second thing i noticed when trying to mow thick grass or a pile of leaves the blade is stopping, seems there is something wrong with the clutch. I checked the Blade Lever travel till engaging and that is ok.
Could anybody tell me at what should i look next? AMybe a carburetor change?
Thank you for your help!
Michael
 
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  #2  
Old 11-13-16, 01:50 PM
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It would be the choke isn't closing. Cold starts need that to provide a richer mixture.
 
  #3  
Old 11-13-16, 02:37 PM
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Thank you for your reply, you are right about the choke. I forgot to mention the second time i've cleaned the carburetor i replaced all the gaskets and verified the choke butterfly. If i move the lever on the handlebar to the choke position the butterfly is closed, so that should be ok for starting.Thank you again!
 
  #4  
Old 11-13-16, 03:17 PM
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When it's cold and you would expect a hard start, put half a teaspoon of gas down the plug hole and try it with half choke. If it starts right off, the choke circuit may be plugged.
 
  #5  
Old 11-13-16, 04:42 PM
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How is the compression? I recommend not using 40 weight oil of any kind in an air cooled engine.
 
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Old 11-14-16, 08:39 AM
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Thank you marbobj and cheese!
Before the compressions test i put some gas in the sprak hole, on the first pull it sputtered and the engine started on the second pull.
The compression readings wehre 67,65,68 psi, seems a bit low?
Marbobj could you please tell me which is the choke circuit or how to clean it ?
 
  #7  
Old 11-14-16, 09:31 AM
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The readings you have would indicate low compression. That could be either valves or piston rings. Redo the compression test with a little oil down the spark plug hole. Give it time to spread out into the piston rings, then recheck. If the reading jumps up the rings are worn, if not the valves may need attention.

With low compression you may have an air flow deficiency through the carb throat. Then you wouldn't have the pull to get the richer cold start mixture into the cylinder. It gets alittle involved to explain all that.

Once the compression issue is worked out, the choke circuit is best cleaned with a thorough carb cleaning and blown out with compressed air. That usually does it.
 
  #8  
Old 11-14-16, 11:45 AM
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I found a syringe and put 30ml of oil in the cylinder waited around 10 mins but the readings are aprox. the same 67 68 psi.
 
  #9  
Old 11-14-16, 12:12 PM
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Given the compression tester is OK (sometimes they are at fault), the problem is likely in the valves/valve train. What happens the two strokes up are compression and exhaust. On the exhaust stroke the blowby on the intake valves creates a backwash through the carb and kills the vacuum that's needed to pull the gas through from the carb.

The engine may need work, but I would verify the accuracy of the tester, as a precaution prior to tearing it down.
 
  #10  
Old 11-14-16, 01:33 PM
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thank you for your help, slippting the engine would be too complicated for me.OVer the weekend i will try another compression gauge.
What are the chances that a new carburetor would improve the start problems?
 
  #11  
Old 11-14-16, 01:41 PM
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Should the compression readings prove accurate a new carb, IMO, wouldn't do any good. I would spend the money on engine repair.
 
  #12  
Old 11-14-16, 03:52 PM
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I doubt a new carb will help, if it was plugged it would not run well when it does run, even if it was just the idle circuit plugged. These particular carbs don't run well if any part is clogged, so yours running great after it starts tells me that's probably not the problem. The only carb problem I would suspect is that the choke is not closing all the way, but you checked that. Check the valve clearances again. Does the engine smoke?
 
  #13  
Old 11-14-16, 04:09 PM
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The engine smoked from time to time after the start for 2-3 seconds, it was a black smoke the last days i didnt see it but in summer before cleaning the carb the first time ,and it also smokes for 1-2 seconds when the blade is engaged.The kind i smoke i saw today after putting the oil in the cylinder is something i have never seen before on this mower.
 
  #14  
Old 11-14-16, 05:24 PM
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Black smoke? I was suspecting white/blue smoke. If it's black, try starting the mower at full throttle without choke next time and see if it starts easier. If not, try starting it without the air filter and see if it goes better.
 
  #15  
Old 11-16-16, 01:31 PM
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Hello cheese,
no improvement in starting, didn't start easier needed 8 pulls without the air fillter and full trottle(no choke).It is definitely black smoke but for a very short time 2-3 sec on start and again 1-2 seconds when the blade is engeged.
2 hours after the first start of the day my neighbour sprayed some brake cleaner in the carb , the air filter was still removed and it started right away.
I think i will drill a hole through the cover and the filter and insert a tube so that my father in law can start the mower easier.In february is his 86 birthday and his present will be a new mower this time with electric start.

Thank you for your help!
 
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