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#2466678 - 12/18/11 07:57 PM Starting fluid vs carb cleaner
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 32575
Loc: New Jersey
Im borrowing my grandfather's sears edger, which is probably 20 years old. Very simple design. He has had trouble starting it (granted he is nearly 89), so uses a little starting fluid.

I didnt have any, and I read that carb cleaner may actually be better for small engines as it is easier detonation-wise.

Anyone know if this is the case? I just know it worked, and smoked white like crazy for a good 15-20 minutes of use.

If one sprays carb cleaner into an operating carb, is there any cleaning that would notionally go on, or is it just flashed off so fast that it is irrelevant. Id like to try to get it working better for him before I send it back to him.

Thanks!

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#2466687 - 12/18/11 08:02 PM Re: Starting fluid vs carb cleaner [Re: JHZR2]
Clevy Offline


Registered: 11/11/10
Posts: 6516
Loc: Saskatoon canada
Start it. Hold er wide open,spray in carb cleaner in short bursts. I did this in my generators and compressors. Had to change the plugs shortly thereafter. Really didn't notice any difference in performance to be honest. Just cost me a plug,in 12 machines.
If it ain't broke
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#2466708 - 12/18/11 08:13 PM Re: Starting fluid vs carb cleaner [Re: Clevy]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 32575
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Clevy

If it ain't broke


Well, per my OP, it doesnt start well. If carb cleraner helps it start, then so be it. But if carb cleaner sprayed in also cleans, then all the better. Has to be carb related if it isnt starting well, IMO.

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#2466718 - 12/18/11 08:27 PM Re: Starting fluid vs carb cleaner [Re: JHZR2]
boraticus Offline


Registered: 04/19/09
Posts: 2533
Loc: Canada
You'll never clean a carb by spraying snake oil into it running or not. All you might end up doing is removing the little oil there is in the crankcase and damaging the bearings/piston.

If you have a problem with the carb, there are no short cuts to making it better. Pull the carb, get a kit for it and put it back on. While it's off make sure your fuel line is in good condition and clear, the fuel tank and fuel are clean and that the impulse line is also in good condition. Do that and it will start and run just fine provided nothing else is causing problems.

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#2466760 - 12/18/11 09:09 PM Re: Starting fluid vs carb cleaner [Re: boraticus]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 32575
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: boraticus
You'll never clean a carb by spraying snake oil into it running or not.


What snake oil? Since when is aerosol carb and TB cleaner snake oil?

Im using it because my grandfather uses starting fluid to get the thing running, and I didnt have any. It worked.

IMO it is a valid question if an aerosol carb cleaner sprayed into a carb would have any cleaning action.

Of course pulling a carb is the right answer, and Im going to see if I can find the parts to replace a 20+ year old sears carb. If not, then what? Guess Id best clean it and get it working as best as I can.

For using it over the next few days, it would be nice to know if using some carb cleaner to start it has any chance of doing the job.

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#2466786 - 12/18/11 09:43 PM Re: Starting fluid vs carb cleaner [Re: JHZR2]
Astro14 Offline


Registered: 10/10/10
Posts: 4101
Loc: Virginia Beach
I think his point was this: the parts of the carb that are most likely plugged/dirty, the passages, etc., will be unaffected by spraying anything down the bore.

You'll clean the bore, and likely still have the same problems. The ether in starting fluid evaporates so fast that it will not sit in the crankcase like cleaners...I would use the ether...
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#2467149 - 12/19/11 10:45 AM Re: Starting fluid vs carb cleaner [Re: JHZR2]
andyd Offline


Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 3438
Loc: Marshfield , MA
I use either depending. Carb cleaner has more applications. So I rarely buy ether any more. Before I tear down a balky carb, I will try to keep the engine going with squirts of carb cleaner . Many times, keeping it going for a few minutes will clean the carb out so it will run on the fuel in the tank. If it works, I add some B12 Chem-tool to the gas. Yah, I know carb cleaner will wash the cylinder down. Big freaken deal. I got the POS running, now I can use it. Once it is running on its own, it will be fine.

I used to have to tear down my OPE carbs every spring. Until I hit upon dosing the gas with MMO AND, using the fuel shut off and running the carb dry after every use. Now I rarely touch a carb once I have got it working. I also stopped using stabilizer.
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#2468462 - 12/20/11 05:05 PM Re: Starting fluid vs carb cleaner [Re: andyd]
01rangerxl Offline


Registered: 04/08/06
Posts: 6944
Loc: Birmingham, AL
Originally Posted By: andyd
I use either depending. Carb cleaner has more applications. So I rarely buy ether any more. Before I tear down a balky carb, I will try to keep the engine going with squirts of carb cleaner . Many times, keeping it going for a few minutes will clean the carb out so it will run on the fuel in the tank. If it works, I add some B12 Chem-tool to the gas. Yah, I know carb cleaner will wash the cylinder down. Big freaken deal. I got the POS running, now I can use it. Once it is running on its own, it will be fine.

That's pretty much what I do with all my stuff at home. The four strokes generally don't need any help, but I have two occasionally cranky two strokes (trimmer and scooter) that sometimes get a carb cleaner starting aid or tune up. The scooter has had no fuel or air filters and a broken choke for some time now...still runs like a champ.
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151K miles

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#2469990 - 12/22/11 08:17 AM Re: Starting fluid vs carb cleaner [Re: JHZR2]
gman2304 Offline


Registered: 08/11/11
Posts: 415
Loc: n.c.
I think I have the same edger and I had the same problem with mine. It would only start after spraying with starting fluid and wouldn't run right even after it started. Mine has a sediment bowl on the bottom of the carb so I just took it off and cleaned it and it runs like new now from idle to wot. Hope this helps. Thanks, G

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