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mower hard starting after sitting #4576485
11/16/17 07:51 PM
11/16/17 07:51 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 376
Ceciltucky Maryland
Oldtom Offline OP
Oldtom  Offline OP
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 376
Ceciltucky Maryland
I have 2 Briggs lawnmowers that are stored in a shed. The mowers often sit for 2 or 3 weeks between uses. I use stabilized E0 gas which is kept in Eagle safety cans. Even with all these precautions, I generally have to use a shot of starting ether to get the mower started. I have some back problems and pulling on the starter can be painful. After about 6 pulls I get frustrated and sore and reach for the ether. New spark plugs have not helped.

I wonder if the volatiles are evaporating from the gas in the carb? The mowers run perfect once they start.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Re: mower hard starting after sitting [Re: Oldtom] #4576498
11/16/17 08:00 PM
11/16/17 08:00 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 509
MB - Manitoba
FastLane Offline
FastLane  Offline
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 509
MB - Manitoba
New carb diaphragm would be the next thing I would try.


2010 Silverado 4.8 4x4 Mobil 1 5W30 ACDelco PF48E
2002 Mustang GT 4.6 Mobil 1 5W30 MC FL-820S
1966 Cessna 150 Phillips 20W50
2013 Mercury 30hp Mystic 25W40
Re: mower hard starting after sitting [Re: Oldtom] #4576506
11/16/17 08:04 PM
11/16/17 08:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 366
NJ
JLawrence08648 Offline
JLawrence08648  Offline
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 366
NJ
Could be the gas, old or water in the gas, especially if it's a metal tank. Also could be the carburetor, needs cleaning, preferably a dip tank. First drain the fuel bowl, then try it. If not try different gas. If you have a carb mounted gas tank then it's the diaphragm.

Re: mower hard starting after sitting [Re: Oldtom] #4576516
11/16/17 08:15 PM
11/16/17 08:15 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
Clovis, CA
Merkava_4 Offline
Merkava_4  Offline
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
Clovis, CA
What are the engine numbers Tom ? I could probably figure it out if I had the engine numbers.

FastLane, I'd like to know how you came to the conclusion the carb takes a diaphragm without knowing the engine numbers. You must be psychic.

Re: mower hard starting after sitting [Re: Oldtom] #4576557
11/16/17 08:53 PM
11/16/17 08:53 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 107
Michigan
Oil_Flunky Offline
Oil_Flunky  Offline
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 107
Michigan
I've had that with the small engines at my cabin. One ounce per gallon of Gum Out All In One fixed it.


Oil, you need it. Oil snobbery, you don't need it.
Re: mower hard starting after sitting [Re: Oldtom] #4576558
11/16/17 08:54 PM
11/16/17 08:54 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,231
Where the wind comes sweepin'
Reddy45 Offline
Reddy45  Offline
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,231
Where the wind comes sweepin'
If you can prime the carb, how much do you prime it?

On my Tecumseh GTS 6.5 I give the primer bulb about 10 presses and it starts literally the first time every time.

A replacement OEM carb for your mowers may be in order. They are only about $20 nowadays and that tends to fix most issues all at once.

Re: mower hard starting after sitting [Re: Oldtom] #4576571
11/16/17 09:08 PM
11/16/17 09:08 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,517
Wet side WA
JohnnyJohnson Offline
JohnnyJohnson  Offline
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,517
Wet side WA
Empty the tank get new fresh premium gas and give it a shot of Seafoam!
Check the plug for fouling.

Last edited by JohnnyJohnson; 11/16/17 09:11 PM.

2004 Corolla 126813
Out: VML 5w-30 TG4967 OCI 5007 Miles
In: EDGE EP 5W-30 Bosch 3311 122537 7-18-18
2006 Duramax 74478
Out: T6 5W-40 M1-303
In: T6 5W-40 XG9100 73705 4-22-18
Re: mower hard starting after sitting [Re: Oldtom] #4576616
11/16/17 10:08 PM
11/16/17 10:08 PM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 192
Winnipeg
Uphill_Both_Ways Offline
Uphill_Both_Ways  Offline
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 192
Winnipeg
I discovered that my mower (Briggs & Stratton) starts on the first pull, every time, even after sitting all winter, if I press the primer bulb no less than a dozen times. (Sometimes it would start after pushing it 10 times, but sometimes it wouldn't.)

I use premium gas with stabilizer.


2008 Impala 3.5
Re: mower hard starting after sitting [Re: Oldtom] #4576775
11/17/17 07:42 AM
11/17/17 07:42 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,933
Canada
boraticus Offline
boraticus  Offline
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,933
Canada
Sounds like the fuel is evaporating from the float bowl, which is hard to understand if there's fuel constantly being supplied from the tank? Unless the float needle is sticking in the closed position?

How do they start after being fired and run for a while? If OK, I'd look at the priming system. Something may have a hole or a crack in it. That happening on both at the same time seems unlikely though.

I also doubt very much that the carbs would have diaphragms. Never seen a diaphragm carb on a lawnmower.

Re: mower hard starting after sitting [Re: Oldtom] #4576777
11/17/17 07:43 AM
11/17/17 07:43 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,595
USA
mk378 Offline
mk378  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,595
USA
Without knowing what type of carb system it has, we're just guessing, but the choke or primer system is essential for cold starting.

Re: mower hard starting after sitting [Re: boraticus] #4576781
11/17/17 07:46 AM
11/17/17 07:46 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,595
USA
mk378 Offline
mk378  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,595
USA
Originally Posted By: boraticus
I also doubt very much that the carbs would have diaphragms. Never seen a diaphragm carb on a lawnmower.

The low-end models that have the carburetor mounted directly on top of a small flat gas tank use a diaphragm. Instead of a bowl, they have a little pocket that holds fuel for immediate use. If that pocket has dried up from extended storage, you will need to pull the rope several times to refill it. The primer bulb draws from the pocket, so pressing it does nothing unless the rope has already been pulled several times.

Re: mower hard starting after sitting [Re: mk378] #4576886
11/17/17 09:23 AM
11/17/17 09:23 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 397
Michigan
khittner Offline
khittner  Offline
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 397
Michigan
Briggs & Stratton = hard starting. After using a Honda GCV-160, I don't know how B&S stays in business. Life is too short, Tom, to spend any of it yanking a bazillion times on a B&S small engine starter cord. Buy a Honda-powered mower for yourself for Xmas, and be happier. Will it to your children; it'll last and work like a Swiss watch for a long time with very basic maintenance.

Re: mower hard starting after sitting [Re: boraticus] #4576950
11/17/17 10:14 AM
11/17/17 10:14 AM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 509
MB - Manitoba
FastLane Offline
FastLane  Offline
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 509
MB - Manitoba
Originally Posted By: boraticus

I also doubt very much that the carbs would have diaphragms. Never seen a diaphragm carb on a lawnmower.


Every Briggs lawnmower for 50 years has had a diaphragm. Only the new Briggs don't.

My friend and I just rebuilt a Briggs 2.5 hp that was built in 1966. You can still buy parts for it.

Last edited by FastLane; 11/17/17 10:15 AM.

2010 Silverado 4.8 4x4 Mobil 1 5W30 ACDelco PF48E
2002 Mustang GT 4.6 Mobil 1 5W30 MC FL-820S
1966 Cessna 150 Phillips 20W50
2013 Mercury 30hp Mystic 25W40
Re: mower hard starting after sitting [Re: Oldtom] #4576975
11/17/17 10:33 AM
11/17/17 10:33 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,814
Marshfield , MA
andyd Offline
andyd  Offline
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,814
Marshfield , MA
Switch to carb cleaner. Give it a pre-emptive spray before you even try to start it. Maybe give the gas a little MMO or B12 Chemtool. Yah since the mastectomy, I don't yank a starter so well either. Yes, using carb cleaner to start a mower shouldn't be necessary. But a little spritz will get it going faster and less painfully. I have learned to adapt my lack of strength to situations by slowing down the approach and planning out my moves. I'm slower,but I'm doing less damage to myself. grin2


'16 Camry LE STP synth 0w20 and STP filter. the Fridge

1994 Ranger ,the Rat, 5w30 dino, STP filter

'16 Camry SE, Valvoline HM 0w20 and OEM filter
Thick oil is better grin2
Re: mower hard starting after sitting [Re: khittner] #4576976
11/17/17 10:33 AM
11/17/17 10:33 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,939
Connecticut
69GTX Offline
69GTX  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,939
Connecticut
Originally Posted By: khittner
Briggs & Stratton = hard starting. After using a Honda GCV-160, I don't know how B&S stays in business. Life is too short, Tom, to spend any of it yanking a bazillion times on a B&S small engine starter cord. Buy a Honda-powered mower for yourself for Xmas, and be happier. Will it to your children; it'll last and work like a Swiss watch for a long time with very basic maintenance.


That's just the B&S. The longer it sits the harder it will be start with just the "normal" 3-5 pumps of the primer push-button. My B&S was starting just fine first pull all summer after sitting 1 week. Yet I ran it for the last time this week after sitting for 2 weeks in cold weather. It needed 2 pulls and a second prime. And the first start each season requires a number of pulls....though I'll try the recommendation above for 10-12 pumps next time.

Use fuel stabilizers/carb cleaner on each refill (Seafoam, Techron, Startron, Gumout, MMO, etc.). They will keep the carb from gumming up, making cold starts that much harder. My worst B&S ever required 10-20 pulls every time I ran it. So I feel for the abuse on our backs. One time I did 50 pulls before I finally tore the carb down to clean it....and that mower NEVER started again...lol. Ever since using fuel treatments I've never had to do more than a few pulls to start the B&S mower up after winter. Wish I had found Bitog years earlier.


----------------

2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 39K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
1999 Camaro SS M6 /19K /Mobil 1 0w40 /Fram UG /GM MTL-ATF
1969 Ply GTX/RRs
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