Engine Starting Problem


Old 04-18-02, 03:27 PM
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Unhappy Tecumseh engine starts then quits immediately

I have a Craftsman 3.5 hp "Eager-1" lawnmower that I got from a friend. It wouldn't start so I checked the plug; yep, getting a spark. I removed the air filter which was FILTHY and sprayed a bit of starter fluid into the intake. It started right up and ran for about a second or so, then quit. Hmmm, it must not be getting fuel, so I pulled the carb, took it apart and found ALOT of dirt or whatever in the bowl. I took out the float, etc. and thoroughly cleaned everything, replaced the float and the float needle (if that's what it's called) seat and reassembled the carb and put it back on the engine. SAME THING! I know the bowl is filled with fuel cause I took off the screw that holds the bowl onto the carb body on the bottom and fuel runs out. I took the screw out and thoroughly cleaned it including the TINY hole in the side of the screw where I guess the fuel gets from the bowl to the intake and eventually into the combustion chamber. What am I missing? Why is this thing still not getting fuel? It starts right up when I shoot a bit of Starter Fluid in but won't continue running. When I pump the primer bulb, it doesn't seem to do anything, I just hear air, no fuel. HELP PLEASE! thanks...

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Old 04-18-02, 07:22 PM
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Several Possibilities

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

There could be several other fuel and carb related problems. Did you clear and check the brass tube carrying the fuel up into the venturi?

There are several other fuel passages and ports in the vneturi barrel. Clearing them is required also. They draw fuel from the fuel bowl too. Clearing can be done from the inside of the carb after removing the fuel bowl.

Use lightly compressed air or canned automotive carb cleaner. The plastic extension tube will allow exact aiming into the holes. Watch for carb cleaner flow at the venturi ports and other fuel passages.

There may be some fuel in the bowl but not enough. Check the float level. It must be level to the carb body when raised. Be sure the float drops. Attach a piece of fuel hose the the carb when it's apart and slight blow into the hose. Air should pass through freely and stop when the float is raised.

Check fuel flow from the tank while the carb is removed. There may be a restriction in the line or from inside the tank. The vent caps breather vent hole may be restricted or clogged.

Most likely this is not all of the potential problems. The other resident small engine service and repair professionals and moderators, may offer additional suggestions, advice & help. Check back several times for additional replies.

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Old 04-19-02, 04:34 AM
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Thanks, Tom!

In response, yes, I did clear the brass tube running up into the venturi. I looked for any additional fuel passages, but didn't see any so I submerged the entire unit in gasoline and soaked it and swished it around vigorously. How can I identify additional fuel passages so I can clean em? There aren't any more brass tubes or passages that I can see and I've had this carb apart at least 6 times already...

I checked the float level and cleared the passage with fuel line and the float needle does indeed start and stop the flow of air (and thus fuel I would think). Fuel definitely flows out of the tank when I pull of the line. I removed the tank and thoroughly cleaned inside and out, shook it up, dumped it, etc.

Thanks again for your reply and I look forward to more potential solutions!
Old 04-19-02, 05:27 AM
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You may need to get a wire and clean out the tube that comes right down the ceneter of the carburatoe body. Not where the needle valve comes to. The easiest and safest thing to use is a gas welding tip cleaner.
Old 04-19-02, 11:41 PM
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That usually does it. You may have to get a bucket of carburetor-soak...available at any automotive parts store, and soak the carb. It will eat away the crud stuck in the passages. Then blow it out with compressed air. Wear safety glasses though! Blowing out a carb almost always gets some gunk in my face.
Old 04-20-02, 05:22 AM
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Okay, that's my next step. I'll soak the entire unit in "carburator soak" whatever that is. If I can't find it, is it basically the same thing to soak it in gasoline? Kerosene? Laquer thinner (provided I remove all the rubber gaskets, etc.)?

I've already used the wire-through-the-brass-tubes technique, swish-vigorously-in-gasoline technique and the put-your-mouth-on-any-opening-and-blow-to-make-sure-it's-clear technique so I'll let you know how the soak-in-a-bucket-or-carburator-soak technique works out.

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions!
Old 04-20-02, 05:49 PM
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It's different from soaking in gas, etc... This is a chemical dip made to break down the varnish and gum deposits left behind by stale gas. It works quite well, follow directions on the can. Let us know how it goes!
Old 04-26-02, 03:23 PM
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Thumbs up Engine starts then quits

Okay! Finally got around to getting some "Carb Soak". Make sure you remove anything that's rubber! Carb soak will melt it! Anyway, it did the trick! I still had to make sure I didn't miss any tiny holes with a tiny wire but after reassembling the carb and reinstalling it on the engine, it started right up and I mowed the entire lawn!

Thanks again for all of your help!
Old 04-26-02, 07:01 PM
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Great!!! I'm glad you got it going! Happy mowing
Old 05-06-02, 11:15 PM
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Cool starting problem

The problem could be the dirty air filter. With the filter removed, prime and crank it. If it starts, that means it's getting air. AIR supplied from the clean air filter plus fresh FUEL plus spark from the SPARK PLUG = COMBUSTION.

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