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help removing fuel strainer cup


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12-06-16, 10:54 AM   #1  
help removing fuel strainer cup

I've been trying to remove the fuel strainer/cup as pictured below (in the background) on this 1989 Honda HS928 snow blower engine. Most if not all the nuts/bolts on the machine are metric, as far as my experience with it goes. The nut on the bottom of that strainer cup seems to begin to strip out (corners begin to round) if I put a 10mm socket on it, and a 9mm socket won't fit, too small. I was able to get a 3/8 closed end wrench onto the nut and try turning it but I still can't get the cup to begin to turn, won't budge and almost begins to round the corners again. I don't know why it seems to be so tight on there and won't turn with reasonable grip onto that nut. I was thinking of putting vice grips onto the cup itself and try unscrewing the cup that way to get it off but not sure if that's a good idea, don't want to risk cracking the cup or something. Any comments/suggestions appreciated.



Edit: The symptom I'm having with snow blower engine is that it stalls out and quits after about 10-15 minutes of running while I'm blowing snow. It starts right up after sitting 20 minutes or so after such stalling out, and I can again blow snow for another 10-15 minutes before it stalls out again. Then, after sitting I can repeat the cycle as just described. The gas tank was filled with gas before storing after last season, with gas stabilizer added to the gas. Following one suggestion I tried running it with the fuel tank cap removed for a while to see if that remedied the problem (if cap clogged or not venting) but that didn't help. I did removed the carb float bowl (sediment cup) and examined/emptied it but there was no sign of sediment or foreign matter there either, and after doing that I still have the same symptom. I was going to change out the fuel filter next but they don't have that part anywhere locally and I had to order out for it (will be here next week). So meanwhile I was going to at least try removing the fuel strainer cup (per this post) and see if it needs clearing or what. But so far can't get it off (per this post). It's long overdue for a fuel filter change, probably never been done. The machine/ engine is 1989 model and the machine has been used with about 3 tanks of gas per each snow season since new. I'm hoping if I can get the fuel strainer cup off and clear it, if I can, that should help the symptom and if not I'm hoping a fuel filter replacement will do the trick. I am not a small engine mechanic but know I can at least change out the fuel filter if I had a new one. Any comments/suggestions about the symptom as I've described and whether the fuel filter is the likely culprit here would be appreciated.


Last edited by sgull; 12-06-16 at 12:07 PM. Reason: symptom info
 
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12-06-16, 12:09 PM   #2  
I would try a six point socket, either metric or SAE whichever the smaller you can get on it. When you start to turn the nut, grab the filter case by hand and turn it the same direction. That may help.

 
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12-06-16, 12:36 PM   #3  
I had been trying a six point socket but to no avail. It's a 10mm nut. So I went ahead and carefully tried applying a vice grip to the cup itself then turning. Got it to begin unscrewing that way. Which is good. Now my question would be whether I need to drain the fuel tank first. Will the fuel will run out of the tank if I take off this cup/strainer even if I have the fuel valve turned shut? Or with the fuel valve shut will that prevent the fuel in the tank from running out if I remove the cup? thanks

 
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12-06-16, 01:36 PM   #4  
You said you had the float bowl off? Did the fuel run freely from the float valve? If so, the filter isn't the likely problem. It wouldn't hurt to change it, but if the problem is still there after changing it, don't be surprised.

 
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12-06-16, 01:54 PM   #5  
Yes I did take the float bowl off, but had the fuel valve closed when I did so. I suppose I should try taking it off again, then open the fuel valve to see if fuel runs out freely?

Also, the float bowl itself has a valve and spigot on it (as can also be seen in my photo). I went ahead just now and drained the gas tank though that hose I have attached to the spigot. Seems like it took quite a while to drain out and wasn't a steady solid flow but rather spurty and intermittent, even though I loosened the gas tank cap. Does that seem normal or perhaps indicate a problem with fuel flow??

 
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12-06-16, 02:38 PM   #6  
Okay I took the float bowl off again, opened the fuel valve from the tank, and began pouring fuel into the tank. Fuel flows freely from the float valve; runs right out.

Also I managed to get that fuel strainer cup removed but the cup didn't have any strainer within. Just a cup. I looked up in there and didn't see any strainer either. So just screwed it back on.

 
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12-06-16, 03:30 PM   #7  
The flow from the float valve pretty well says the fuel flow is OK. Check for spark right when it dies. Use a grounded plug in a shed, works best to see it. The spark should be bright blue. Maybe there's a short in the kill circuit or the coil may be heating up.

 
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12-06-16, 03:41 PM   #8  
What is the routing of those fuel lines? The filter canister you're working on isn't on the line going to the float bowl. What line feeds the carburetor and is that filter can in that fuel flow.

I don't see why they have the fuel line going to the bowl unless that's a drain for the float bowl. If that's what it's for maybe it's letting gas out of the bowl when it's running and starving it.

 
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12-06-16, 04:43 PM   #9  
Yeah the symptom is like I explained. Runs good/smooth blowing snow for 10 minutes or so, then starts sputtering losing power and stalls out. So if I try starting it again right away after that it just sputters badly. But then if I wait 15-20 minutes (for it to sit/cool, I guess) then start it, it runs good /smooth and can blow snow fine again, for about 10 minutes. So, per your suggestion, it could be that maybe it takes that long for the coil to "heat up" which is causing this??

Not sure how I'd go about checking for spark "right when it dies". I'd need to be in a darkened shed with a grounded plug right when it dies (after running for 10 minutes)?

 
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12-06-16, 05:17 PM   #10  
What is the routing of those fuel lines? The filter canister you're working on isn't on the line going to the float bowl. What line feeds the carburetor and is that filter can in that fuel flow. I don't see why they have the fuel line going to the bowl unless that's a drain for the float bowl. If that's what it's for maybe it's letting gas out of the bowl when it's running and starving it.
In my first picture this thread I happend have a drain line (clear hose) attached to the drain spigot for the float bowl. Below is a screenshot of a diagram of the carb. (Normally that line is not attached to the float bowl drain spigot.) #24 in the diagram below is the filter canister I was working on and posted about originally here.



Last edited by sgull; 12-06-16 at 06:21 PM.
 
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12-06-16, 06:06 PM   #11  
I see. You just had the line hooked to the bowl to drain it into a container, etc.? That spigot apparently isn't leaking, then? Back to checking the spark.

It's just easier to see the spark. All you do is ground a good plug to the engine and spin it over. Watch for spark at the end of the plug.

 
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12-06-16, 06:20 PM   #12  
Right just had a line hooked up to drain it into a container, and spigot isn't leaking.

So, my plug is a good plug. Ground it to the engine and spin it over and watch for spark at the end of the plug but do this right after the engine sputters and stalls as I explained it will do after operating 10 minutes or so?

Edit: Haven't yet done the above with the plug, but was googling a little and came up with the following info:

"Problems with the ignition coil can make an engine impossible to start when warm (or even stop running when it warms up), apparently this happens on motorbike engines quite often and is caused by a break in the HT coil.
A carbon track forms inside the coil where the wire is broken. When the engine is cold the carbon track has a low resistance and it conducts well enough so the spark is strong enough to start the engine, when the engine is warmer the track resistance is greater and the spark less strong. This problem gets worse over time as the carbon track gets bigger and bigger, the only remedy is to change the coil or electronic ignition module."

Maybe that's what's happening? Maybe I should think about replacing the coil?


Last edited by sgull; 12-06-16 at 07:07 PM.
 
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12-07-16, 03:43 AM   #13  
Yes on the coil, but don't just throw parts at it. Check for spark right when it quits. It could be some different things.

Since you have that bowl drain, when it quits on you, check for fuel in the carb bowl. That would be pretty easy to do.

 
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12-07-16, 07:37 AM   #14  
Maybe have a spare plug in your pocket so when it dies you can just hook it up to see if you have spark?

 
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12-07-16, 09:55 AM   #15  
Okay I have this doo-hickey spark checker. I guess I can plug it into the spark plug wire (right after the engine dies on me like it does) then clip the clip onto a particular place (not sure where) on the engine then see if I get a nice bright blue spark between that inside contact and the end of that threaded section on the doo-hickey while trying to spin the engine?


 
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12-07-16, 10:30 AM   #16  
There ya go, I'm gonna buy one of those doo-hickeys.


 
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12-07-16, 11:19 AM   #17  
Guess first I'll run the machine until it quits, then, per marbobj, open that drain valve on the fuel bowl and see if any fuel comes out of the carb bowl. If it does, I suppose that means it was getting fuel okay? Then,

I guess I can plug it into the spark plug wire (right after the engine dies on me like it does) then clip the clip onto a particular place (not sure where)

on the engine then see if I get a nice bright blue spark....

 
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12-07-16, 11:51 AM   #18  
That should do it just fine.

 
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12-07-16, 07:17 PM   #19  
Check for spark FIRST then worry about fuel.


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12-07-16, 07:47 PM   #20  
Check for spark FIRST then worry about fuel.
Will do. Thanks. I'll try to check the spark right after the engine sputters out, which it always does now after running (blowing snow) for 10 minutes or so.


Last edited by sgull; 12-07-16 at 09:23 PM.
 
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12-07-16, 07:57 PM   #21  
Do you know how to use your doohickey?


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12-07-16, 08:14 PM   #22  
Not really, no.
I guess I plug it into the spark plug wire and try to make sure I've got it clipped onto a "grounded" part of the engine (I suppose the head of an engine bolt or something if I can find one close enough to where the wire will reach). Then I guess I would set the gap at the end of the threaded portion of the doohickey and that contact (or whatever it is) within the doohickey to whatever the spec is for that engine. Then, "spin" the engine (try to start it) and observe the spark, if any, at that gap. Just guessing though

 
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12-07-16, 08:39 PM   #23  
Yep

Try and clip the clip on a cooling fin on the head as close to the spark plug hole as you can.
Indeed setting the gap is important. I don't see a jam nut or way to lock the threaded part of your doohickey so....I would aim for .025-.030 for the gap.
Maybe make a trial run before you start so you can check as quickly as possible once it quits.

Good luck, we're all counting on you....


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12-08-16, 06:14 PM   #24  
Ok I had good luck attaching and checking for spark with the doo-hickey. I made a trial run with it before I started, with a cool engine, so I could observe the spark then. It made good spark. Then I ran the machine and blew snow for 8-10 minutes before I again got the sputtering and then died symptom. I immediately attached and spun the engine and checked again the spark with my spark tester doo-hickey. It made good spark then too. So I reattached the spark plug wire to the plug and tried restarting the engine but it would not start. I waited about 10 minutes then tried again. It started then, as I expected. This time, however, I tried something different. Instead of running at full (fast) throttle like I always had been before, I ran it at low-mid throttle instead. I ran the engine and blew snow at that throttle speed for maybe 20 minutes and it never sputtered nor died. I ran out of snow to blow so I just turned off the machine after that. It seems possible to me that with running at the full throttle speed all the time like I was before might have been flooding the engine with too much gas? In previous seasons with this machine I always just habitually ran it at full throttle while blowing snow, with no issue. But it does now seem to work fine, so far, blowing snow without sputtering and dying at the low-mid throttle position now. It would be nice to get it to operate again at full throttle without issue again, if I could. Might need to remove the carb and give it a “once over” of some kind (cleaning/checking/rebuilding, whatever?) Any comments appreciated. Thanks.

 
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12-08-16, 06:56 PM   #25  
If you can do it safely, run it wide open with the gas cap loosened. There may be a partial restriction in the cap which allows it to run at low speed but creates a vacuum at wide open throttle.


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12-08-16, 07:06 PM   #26  
Actually I tried doing that before any of the other stuff (the draining the bowl, the checking for spark etc), and it still would have the same symptom...

 
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12-09-16, 09:28 AM   #27  
So any thoughts/comments on why it is dying out, per my description/explanation, when I run at full throttle after 10 minutes or so. Carb issue, choke problem?

 
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12-09-16, 10:28 AM   #28  
That would be fuel flow. You checked the fuel in the carb bowl right at shutdown and it was full? The fuel level in the bowl is critical when it drops past a certain point. The lower it gets, the leaner the mix gets, then shut down.

Based on your description, it sounds line a restriction before the carb, either in the lines or tank.

 
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12-09-16, 10:44 AM   #29  
I'll double check whether the fuel in the carb right at shutdown is indeed full. One person mentioned to me they thought it seems like it smelled like gas while it was operating at full throttle (although I didnt smell it) but while sputtering to shutdown it does seem to spew out gas/exhaust fumes a little brown smokey for a bit from the exhaust. Thus the idea that maybe it is flooding out. But like I say I'll double check as above. thanks

 
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12-09-16, 12:42 PM   #30  
Okay I ran it again at full throttle until it shutdown. Hooked up the drain hose to the drain spigot on the fuel bowl, shut the fuel supply valve from the tank, then opened the drain spigot on the fuel bowl. A little more than 1 fl oz of gas flowed out into my graduated measuring container. Any further comments appreciated.

 
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12-09-16, 01:31 PM   #31  
If you did everything in the order you posted, you have a fuel flow problem before the float valve back towards the tank, I believe.

I would take out the float valve and work your way back to the tank. Catch all the gas that comes out of the float valve seat. You'll probably get something to come out.

 
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12-09-16, 02:40 PM   #32  
Ok. Took out the float valve and caught all the gas into my cup that came out of the float valve seat. Gas trickled out fairly fast rate, but nothing else(no foreign matter). Not sure how freely the gas should trickle/flow out Next step? The fuel filter is one of those kind located within the bottom of the gas tank at the outlet. Would need to remove the gas tank to replace it, if I had a replacement.


Last edited by sgull; 12-09-16 at 02:59 PM.
 
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12-09-16, 03:32 PM   #33  
I admit to not having read every post in this thread; but has anyone mentioned the possibility of the vent in the gas cap being clogged . . . . and it takes 10 minutes of running to create such a vacuum that the fuel ceases to flow freely to the carburetor and the engine dies ?

A clogged gas tank cap vent used to be a common problem.

 
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12-09-16, 03:48 PM   #34  
Vermont please see post #25 and #26 this thread.

 
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12-10-16, 08:27 AM   #35  
you have a fuel flow problem before the float valve back towards the tank, I believe.
So if gas trickled/flowed out of the removed float valve the seat (such as I described in post #42), would that rule out a fuel flow problem or not necessarily? I'm just not clear on how "freely" the gas flow should trickle/flow out. If not necessarily, then what might be next step(s)? Look for any sign of fuel flow restriction before the carb, such as in the line from the tank to the carb?? Or just go ahead now and replace the fuel filter (which is within the tank). Or start assuming something else?

 
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12-10-16, 01:55 PM   #36  
It has to do with flow rate and that's difficult to determine by description. Generally it gets assessed as adequate or inadequate. By what the engine is doing and the fact the spark is good, I lean toward the insufficient flow of fuel.

The filter in the tank is likely just a screen and not something you would normally have to replace although cleaning out the tank may help. Since it's an '89 I would do that and replace the fuel lines. The filter for the canister you've gotten off may be something that was there and removed at some time due to availability or simply because a blower doesn't get used a lot.

Instead of taking things apart, if you wanted to try something, I would put about 4 ounces of Sea Foam in a quart of gas and run that in it. That may clean it up for you. There's probably a fair amount of varnish built up in the fuel system. It there's solids, like rust in there, you'd have to dismantle it.

 
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12-10-16, 02:08 PM   #37  
Thanks marbobj, I'll try the 4 oz Sea Foam and a quart of gas. I got a can of Sea Foam already and a quart of gas too so I'm set to try.

Edit: Also, the operators manual, for what it's worth, mentions as part of the maintenance schedule to change out the fuel filter every five years. If the Seafoam treatment as per above seems to not help, I'll proceed with cleaning out the tank, and replacing fuel lines and the filter I suppose...

 
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12-10-16, 04:42 PM   #38  
Did the Sea Foam treatment per my previous post. Will see how it the snow blower engine performs now as compared to before, when we get more snow to blow. I noticed when looking down inside the gas tank with a flashlight I can see that the fuel filter inlet is positioned about an inch or so from the actual bottom lowest point of the tank. And can also see some, but not particularly a lot, of small black (or dark anyway, not what I would call rust colored) flakes sitting down at the bottom surface of the gas (likely "varnish" flakes). Is that rather normal and not terrible, or should the gas be absolutely clear with no sign of such flakes or foreign material?

 
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12-11-16, 06:34 AM   #39  
If you turn off the fuel valve, remove the bowl, let the float hang then turn on the valve. You should have enough flow to fill the bowl in 20-30 seconds.
Since it seems to run with out problem for some time I doubt the problem is in the carb if it is indeed a fuel issue.
In that strainer, settlement bowl under the fuel valve, item # 23 in the diagram in post #10 is a rubber gasket/oring affair. I have seen these get dried out and deteriorate and can cause some clogging. If you check it and it looks like it may need replaced, you can remove it for testing, however this will leave your valve inoperable and fuel will flow all the time.


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12-11-16, 09:49 AM   #40  
I will remove the bowl, again, let the float hang then turn on the valve while trying to hold the bowl under it carefully and see if within 20-30 seconds it fills. It seems with what I've observed already, removing the float valve and watching gas trickle/flow out (into a bigger container at that time), it probably will, as it seemed like a fairly good rate of flow to me that would indeed fill the bowl within that time.

If I can figure out how to access that part to remove/inspect the part #23 in the diagram, I will. Apparently it is called the petcock gasket: 16957-ZE1-812 GASKET, PETCOCK $2.19
Thanks BFH.

 
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