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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
So i've got an older honda 4 stroke gas mower. (grey deck, red top) it looks like a fairly nice/powerful mower, but the damn thing wont keep running.... here's what it does

first thing i noticed when i got it (free) is that it wouldn't start just by pulling the chord, felt like the compression may be a little low too (pulled easily, although i'm not used to how these feel as ive never used one like it before) anyway i gave it a shot of starting fluid and it fired right up instantly, and ran GREAT for about 10 minutes, at which point it started acting like it was running out of gas...

so i pulled the gas line off the carb, gas came gushing out.. no clogs.. then i took the carb apart, and cleaned it out really good (nothing looked clogged inside, either) put it back together, started it up (with a little starting fluid) and it ran for about 30 seconds, started starving for fuel again and died.. i thought it may be over heating.. so i let it sit about an hour, during which time i took the carb apart again and blasted all the passages out again, cleaned it more, and put it back on... started it up, and it died after a few seconds.. tried a couple more times, same thing....

WTF is wrong with this thing?
 

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shibby
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4,828 Posts
Gas tank cap not venting properly creating a vacuum in the tank. Leave the gas cap slightly loose and see how it runs.
 

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LS Swap Everything!
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26,232 Posts
spark gap and idler on the carb would be my guess. I have an old ride-on Yazoo that acted similar to yours. She'd randomly die. Carb problem, ended up being a rubber diaphragm and the plug. Although it could be bad venting of the fuel tank, I'm not so sure about it.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #6
Is your air filter clean?
Yes, it acts the same with the filter off too.

Check the spark plug gap
spark plug looks fine

Gas tank cap not venting properly creating a vacuum in the tank. Leave the gas cap slightly loose and see how it runs.
checked that. does the same thing with the cap off

spark gap and idler on the carb would be my guess. I have an old ride-on Yazoo that acted similar to yours. She'd randomly die. Carb problem, ended up being a rubber diaphragm and the plug. Although it could be bad venting of the fuel tank, I'm not so sure about it.

what is the idler on the carb? you mean the linkage that sets the throttle (by load)? that linkage seems to be working properly.

another note, is that if i keep giving it tiny sprays of starting fluid, it keeps running.. guess thats to be expected though
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #8
buy one with a briggs and stratton.j/k

i have one of those too. i should post a video of it "running".. it's a complete pile. the last people who lived here left it behind.. i drained the old gas out of it, cleaned up the carb a bit, and it'll fire up on starting fluid (shake and vibrate like hell) sort-of keep running on its own for up to 30 seconds, then eventually die. it obviously has carb problems too. (it looks like one of those $129 pos mowers at lowes)

i admit, i suck at working om carbs!
 

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LS Swap Everything!
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There's usually a set screw that controls the fuel flow on the carb. Most of them look different, since made by different companies but it's adjustable, and on mine at least is spring loaded.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #11
Did you try tightening the gap any?
No, i'll try that tomorrow though

There's usually a set screw that controls the fuel flow on the carb. Most of them look different, since made by different companies but it's adjustable, and on mine at least is spring loaded.
i didn't see any adjustments for this.. but i'll take a closer look at that as well, in the morning.
 

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Premium Member
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I would suggest a rebuild kit. I'm assuming the carb mounts to the fuel tank. a lot of times a new plug and a carb kit and a new gasket between the carb and tank will make a world of difference.
 

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Registered
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126 Posts
when my mower did this it was the float in the carb sticking in the up position.
 

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On the Honda motors it's not the carb. it's the valves. This is a fairly simple fix, pull the valves and grind a very small amount off the bottom of the stem and she will be good to go. (i used to work at a power equipment rental service and we had to do this to all the hondas)
 

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i have one of those too. i should post a video of it "running".. it's a complete pile. the last people who lived here left it behind.. i drained the old gas out of it, cleaned up the carb a bit, and it'll fire up on starting fluid (shake and vibrate like hell) sort-of keep running on its own for up to 30 seconds, then eventually die. it obviously has carb problems too. (it looks like one of those $129 pos mowers at lowes)

i admit, i suck at working om carbs!
i have a mower like that. ben crank but still runs.

Doesn't Pfun fix mowers? Where's he at?
right here.



i had a mower like that i gave to the neigbor. it had a clogged main jet. i blew it out the norma way but it still wouldnt run. i used a little basketball inflater needle thingy with it cut shorter so there was no side hole. stuck it right against the jet and after a few seconds this little thingy popped. and it was clear. been running fine. whats the model #? some carbs are adjustable but the adjustment screws are behinds these little rubber caps and it doesnt look like theres anything there. could be a slow fuel flow to the bowl too.could also be the float sticking. if you have the bowl off the carb while its on the mower and hooked to gas,it should look like this:


the bowl should hang down at an angle (like in the picture) and fuel should flow out of the needle valve (near the pivot of the float). if no fuel is flowing or just a teeny tiny bit is flowing then the valve is stuck.
 

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The "Dim"olitioner....
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879 Posts
Had this happen to a mower I have, turns out there was water in the gas, so I drained the tank pulled the bowl off the carb and let it sit in the hot sun for a day to dry out. Put fresh gas in(from a different gas station) fired right up and has been going ever since(about 3 months).
 

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CheeseBurger Milkshake!!
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It's a carburetor issue. Remove the idle screw to gain access to the plastic low speed jet (it's the small black thing under the idle screw, a small pair of needle nose pliers works great), take a piece of 14-16 gauge wire and strip about 1" of the wire. One of the smaller individual copper wires should fit through the center of the bottom of the pilot jet. Make sure you have fuel flow through the fuel inlet and needle valve. Double check the main jet as well.

When a small engine starts on starting fluid and dies shortly thereafter, it's a fuel issue, something is plugged.
 

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CheeseBurger Milkshake!!
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On the Honda motors it's not the carb. it's the valves. This is a fairly simple fix, pull the valves and grind a very small amount off the bottom of the stem and she will be good to go. (i used to work at a power equipment rental service and we had to do this to all the hondas)

I hope you're not serious, that's scary logic. Adjust the valves properly, don't grind the stems.:doh0715:
 
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