Engine Starting Problem


Old 04-17-02, 10:56 AM
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Tecumseh won't start

I'm trying to start an MTD chipper/shredder powered by a Tecumseh 8hp XL engine. It worked OK last fall.

I changed the spark plug and air filter, checked the oil, and made sure gas was fresh.

It seems to be getting gas (I smell it), but won't kick in at all. I tried with choke in various positions, to no avail.

How do I check the electrical system? Are there other ignition parts that might need to be changed? I'm new to some of this.

Thanks for your assistance.

Bob Jannick
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Old 04-17-02, 11:40 PM
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If you are smelling gas, the carburetor is probably leaking. Does the spark plug get wet looking? If the needle valve is leaking, it will flood the engine with gas and not start. You can test the ignition by inserting a screwdriver into the plug wire and holding the metal shaft of the screwdriver about 1/8" away from a metal part of the engine. if you see a nice spark when you pull the rope, it's working. If not, you have ignition problems. A word of caution: if the engine has gas in it, and you make the spark plug spark, gas can blow out through the spark plug hole and ignite in a ball of flames. Don't ask me how I first learned that, lol . It takes a while for eyebrows to grow back, by the way, lol.
Old 04-18-02, 07:38 PM
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Carb Cleaning or Rebuilding

Hello and Welcome RJannick to our Do-It-Yourself Web Site and our Small Engine forum.

The engine must be flooding {Leaking gas internally into the fuel bowl} with gas causing the fuel smell. Which may indicate the float in the carb dropped down after long term non useage and is now stuck {gummed up} in the down position.

With this condition the carb will flood the engine with gas. A gummed up carb is most likely the problem. The carb will have to be removed and cleaned out and all fuel passages cleared. A new needle and seat installed along with any gaskets etc.

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Old 05-03-02, 07:15 PM
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It isn't a major gas smell. I had the choke closed, so I think was flooded.

The spark plug check showed no spark, so it looks like the ignition.

Thanks much for the reponses.
Old 05-03-02, 07:35 PM
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Remove the engine shroud and disconnect the black wire that connects to the coil. Check for spark again. If you have spark with the wire disconnected, then the wire is grounded somewhere. You may be able to disconnect the wire from a plug on the outside of the engine shroud too.

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