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#4677872 - 02/25/18 04:40 PM Can't believe I fixed it
Stelth Offline


Registered: 02/24/11
Posts: 2030
Loc: California
Last year, I bought one of those wheeled string-trimmer things that looks kind of like a lawn mower, but has the really heavy string where the mower blade would be. Sears Craftsman, Briggs and Stratton engine. After getting quite a bit of use, it sat for a while. Then it wouldn't start. It had usually taken one or two pulls to start, very reliable. Now, nothing. So, I put more gas in it, no dice. Now I'm thinking carburetor trouble.

I have never had good luck with carbs. My feeling has been that they are inhabited by evil spirits, and I can't find the proper incantations. Cars have been fuel injected for quite a while, so I figured I didn't have to worry about it. Of course this one is plastic. I figured out how to get the float bowl off, and found that the float was moving freely, and that there was fuel in the bowl. Now what. I noticed a plastic deal in the middle of the bottom of the carb that looked like it might come out. After some judicious prying, a plastic thingy that looked like three towers came out. I discovered that there was a little brass insert that I couldn't blow through (gotta love the taste of gasoline). I showed it to my DW and asked her if she could think of anything small enough to stab into it, and sure enough, she suggested a sewing needle. Eureka.

Surprisingly, I was able to re-assemble everything on the first try, and now it starts on the first pull again.
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#4677881 - 02/25/18 04:48 PM Re: Can't believe I fixed it [Re: Stelth]
boraticus Offline


Registered: 04/19/09
Posts: 2909
Loc: Canada
Garbage bag wire ties are good for cleaning carbs if you don't have anything else like a set of cutting torch tip cleaners.

When I can't find the torch tip cleaners, which is often, I get a garbage bag wire tie, strip the paper/plastic from it and go to work. The wire is the right diameter and very flexible so I don't worry about it breaking off in an orifice.

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#4677882 - 02/25/18 04:49 PM Re: Can't believe I fixed it [Re: Stelth]
skyactiv Offline


Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 4405
Loc: The Midwest
Good deal! Never be afraid to try.
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#4677883 - 02/25/18 04:50 PM Re: Can't believe I fixed it [Re: Stelth]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32664
Loc: ME
I was vacationing once on this island where there was no industry, no hardware store, but a dump. Inspired by the overgrown hay in the 100 square feet of non-rocky property I lugged home a lawnmower that only ran if you pressed the primer button. It came full of gas and oil even!

Dismantled the carb with a crescent wrench I found, stripped the paper off a bread tie, shoved that through the carb, reassembled, and it started right up. I mowed. drive

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#4677898 - 02/25/18 05:02 PM Re: Can't believe I fixed it [Re: Stelth]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16840
Loc: Deplorable in apple valley, ca
I can rebuild a racing carb,Holley or carter. I don't have any luck with small engine ones. Spent most of Friday morning messing with my chainsaw. Finally took it to a shop about 3pm.
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#4677919 - 02/25/18 05:27 PM Re: Can't believe I fixed it [Re: Stelth]
bubbatime Offline


Registered: 03/18/08
Posts: 5628
Loc: South Florida
Many small engine carbs are as cheap as $12 to $15. Just replace it, instead of taking it to the shop. Very easy, works perfect every time.
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#4677944 - 02/25/18 05:51 PM Re: Can't believe I fixed it [Re: bubbatime]
Ducked Offline


Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 4388
Loc: Taiwan
If it worked, good, but I dont think a sewing needle is a very good choice because they have a taper.

Common recommendation is a nylon bristle.Also fine copper electrical wire strand.

In extremis I use a pressure jet of detergent-in+water from a hypodermic syringe, (after boiling) and in extreme extremis I poke it with the needle at the same time.

You need a fine needle, like from an insulin syringe, for the last resort.

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#4678019 - 02/25/18 06:59 PM Re: Can't believe I fixed it [Re: Stelth]
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2973
Loc: USA
Carb Jet. Meters fuel into the carb.

On older motorcycles it was a thing to get a "jet kit" to bump up the fuel delivery for more power or to make the bike run cooler.

I like to screw with people sometimes and I'll ask if their bike (that had EFI) has a performance jet kit. You'd be surprised how many people say yes because it sounds like something cool to have.

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#4678033 - 02/25/18 07:10 PM Re: Can't believe I fixed it [Re: Stelth]
vwmaniaman Offline


Registered: 04/18/13
Posts: 135
Loc: Kevil,Ky
Once met an old man at a flea market, he had a trailer full of weed eaters and saws and the like for sale. I asked him how he got all of them and how he fixed them. He said he added a quarter cup of sea foam in the tank first and some gas. I had a weed eater that came from my Dad's shed. He passed away like 12 years ago. it had sat all that time. Son added 2 stroke gas and tried to start it with no luck. I went over to it and added the sea foam. It started on the third pull and ran fine again Used it all afternoon on leaves. I'm a believer.
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#4678046 - 02/25/18 07:18 PM Re: Can't believe I fixed it [Re: Stelth]
HawkeyeScott Offline


Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 785
Loc: El Oeste
Great story. Congrats on the successful repair. Too many good how-to videos not to at least give it a shot. That said, I really enjoy doing a carb rebuild on a Briggs or Tecumseh. On 2 cycles, itís just too cheap and easy to buy a new carb and swap it out. Tiny parts and passages can mean big headaches.

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#4678298 - 02/26/18 12:08 AM Re: Can't believe I fixed it [Re: boraticus]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6176
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: boraticus
Garbage bag wire ties are good for cleaning carbs if you don't have anything else like a set of cutting torch tip cleaners. The wire is the right diameter and very flexible so I don't worry about it breaking off in an orifice.


Keep old broken guitar strings around for the same purpose! thumbsup
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(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."

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#4678582 - 02/26/18 10:30 AM Re: Can't believe I fixed it [Re: Linctex]
boraticus Offline


Registered: 04/19/09
Posts: 2909
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Linctex
Originally Posted By: boraticus
Garbage bag wire ties are good for cleaning carbs if you don't have anything else like a set of cutting torch tip cleaners. The wire is the right diameter and very flexible so I don't worry about it breaking off in an orifice.


Keep old broken guitar strings around for the same purpose! thumbsup


The best I can do is play a radio, so I don't have any guitar strings laying around.

Good idea though. I'll have to find some of my old rocker friends from the 60's who may still play a bit of guitar and ask them to save the thin strings for me.

What I find ironic is we're having this discussion regarding the best wires to use to clean a carb, but according to "experts" it's the last thing we're supposed to do to clean a carb?

The only sensible reason I can think of for not using a wire is that you won't be able to clean the carb and will need to take it into a shop so an expert can clean it, likely using a piece of wire. wink

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#4678690 - 02/26/18 12:35 PM Re: Can't believe I fixed it [Re: Stelth]
dwendt44 Offline


Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 3971
Loc: Central Wisconsin
Quote:
The only sensible reason I can think of for not using a wire is that you won't be able to clean the carb and will need to take it into a shop so an expert can clean it, likely using a piece of wire. wink


But that would be the factory's officially endorsed wire. laugh
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or too loud of a horn,
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#4678739 - 02/26/18 01:38 PM Re: Can't believe I fixed it [Re: Stelth]
Kamele0N Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 2049
Loc: Slovenia
This is how I do it smile
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2011 Hyundai i30 1.4 CVVT Shell Helix Ultra 5w40
1997 Toyota Landcruiser KZJ95 3.0 TD various 10w40

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#4683942 - 03/04/18 09:58 AM Re: Can't believe I fixed it [Re: vwmaniaman]
Stelth Offline


Registered: 02/24/11
Posts: 2030
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: vwmaniaman
Once met an old man at a flea market, he had a trailer full of weed eaters and saws and the like for sale. I asked him how he got all of them and how he fixed them. He said he added a quarter cup of sea foam in the tank first and some gas. I had a weed eater that came from my Dad's shed. He passed away like 12 years ago. it had sat all that time. Son added 2 stroke gas and tried to start it with no luck. I went over to it and added the sea foam. It started on the third pull and ran fine again Used it all afternoon on leaves. I'm a believer.


I'm going to keep this in mind. I have some other OPE that hasn't been run in a while. Thanks.
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Experts are often wrong, but rarely in doubt.

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