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Who knows anything about lawnmowers?

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posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 10:24 PM
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I have this lawnmower, one which I have owned for about three years now. I bought it new from Home Depot, but it's nothing fancy. Basically the second cheapest mulch mower they sell; it doesn't even have the self propelled option!

This season it started acting goofy. It would run for awhile, I'd get maybe half the yard done, then sputter off. We have about as quarter acre, so the first time it happened I assumed it was out of gas. Refilled the gas tank, even though it wasn't empty, and restarted it.

It ran for about five minutes, then sputtered off again. Each restart would give me less and less time, to where eventually it just sounded flooded.

Well, being the matter of mechanics I am, I removed the air filter and every time it would start to sputter I'd spray some WD-40 in there. That worked great! It would spew thick smoke, but keep on chugging! Until the mower started overheating...

Then I tried priming it, mostly because I forgot I didn't normally need to when restarting hot. However, that seemed to work.

Instead of running for five minutes, now it runs for ten or so!

All-in-all, I've cleaned and rebuilt the carb, replaced the air filter, replaced the gas tank and lines, and replaced the spark plug. The gas is good, it has enough oil. (Parts came from the old mower.)

Priming it every so often and restarting it works, but it's a nuisance to have to do frequently.

So, my question to you, is: Any ideas? Because I'm all out.

I'll post some pictures of it tomorrow, in case that helps anyone think of anything. I'd do it now, but the mower is all the way in the garage and I know if I leave the bed my spot will be forfeit to the dogs. Not worth it!

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

edit on 9/1/2015 by cmdrkeenkid because: Fixing autocorrect error.




posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 10:31 PM
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a reply to: cmdrkeenkid
It sounds like you covered everything. I really don't know how to help you. Maybe look up common problems on the net? Or maybe there's a video on youtube that could help. Somebody may have had a similar problem and posted how he fixed it on there. Sorry I can't help.

I don't blame you for not taking pics. Why let the fur balls have your comfy spot lol?



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 10:42 PM
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a reply to: cmdrkeenkid

Get your plug wrench ready and a pair of insulated pliers to hold the spark plug next to the cylinder head to ground it while you pull the start rope as soon as it dies on you. See if it has a good blue spark. If not, start looking at the ignition. Might be a problem with a broken, burned through spark plug lead or elsewhere in the ignition circuitry.

Sounds like either a junk Murry or Craftsman, LOL.



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 10:48 PM
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a reply to: Skid Mark

Thanks for the response! I've tried looking up problems, which is how I came across the idea of replacing the gas tank and lines. Most YouTube videos seem to be specific for one mower or brand of mower. Either way, most of what I've seen says it's dirty carbs or a loose spark plug connection. But I'm confident it's not, despite being less than confident in my capabilities of small engine repair and maintenance.

And comfy? Hardly! One between my legs (60 pound pitbull), another next to me stretching out (90 pound pitbull-bull mastiff mix), and the third keeps spinning around (50 pound husky-shepherd mix). I'm just grateful for the room they let me have.

a reply to: CharlesT

I appreciate the suggestion. While I think replacing the ignition may be beyond my mechanical aptitude, I'll give it a shot!

I'm pretty sure it's a Briggs and Straton engine on it.
edit on 9/1/2015 by cmdrkeenkid because: Added additional response.



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 10:51 PM
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The brand would be helpful or engine brand. I bought my Ariens from Home Depot and I use it commercially, amazing what it can do. I would have taken it back a long time ago but I know it doesn't always work out. Sounds like a quick fix and if it runs longer after tweaking the bubble then sounds like air in the line. My friends and I all have the same mower, we get together and race them, the Ariens race, get it.



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 10:51 PM
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a reply to: cmdrkeenkid

I see you live on a large property... was the grass quite tall? Mixed weeds? Have you thought maybe a dull blade is stalling out the small motor on the mower. You did mention it was not the least expensive but not much more... it could just be that the blade is dull and it's too much work for the little feller to power through... try sharpening the blade? ? Otherwise you seem to have done most all else for a small motor...



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 10:54 PM
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a reply to: Hijinx

The grass was a bit longer than normal, but not too bad. There are a good deal of weeds mixed in. However, the mower would sputter out like that whether I was pushing it across the lawn or tinkering with it in the garage.



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 10:59 PM
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a reply to: cmdrkeenkid



I appreciate the suggestion. While I think replacing the ignition may be beyond my mechanical aptitude, I'll give it a shot!

If you can clean out a carburetor then you can replace an ignition coil it's really easy. Here's a video on it.



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 11:00 PM
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a reply to: cmdrkeenkid

Back to basics...The motor needs 3 things to run.

Air, Gas, Spark.

Fuel filter in there ?

Sounds like fuel to me.



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 11:03 PM
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a reply to: cmdrkeenkid
That's a lot of dogs! I bet they keep you warm.

Did you check the company website? They might have a trouble shooting guide.



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 11:04 PM
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If you've gone over all the standard problems and it's not getting fire, the ignition coil could be bad.. or if you didn't maintain the oil changes often then your motor is probably tired.

Since motors are exposed to heat all the time, they expand and contract, eventually the aluminum block will eventually stretch and you'll lose compression and it won't stay running after it gets hot.

Do a compression test, if it's not at the recommend spec, then your motor is done.



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 11:26 PM
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Ethanol causes nothing but problems for small-engines...

In fact 90% of all small engine problems are fuel related.

It eats up the fuel lines, the diaphragms, and the gaskets.

Every repair shop I have dealt with is loaded with equipment in need of new carburetors because of ethanol.

Telling us that ethanol is an energy saving policy is a total myth which only helps the giant corn growing conglomerates and carburetor manufacturers.

According to pure-gas.org there are two stations in your city that sell ethanol-free gas.

The MARATHON on Deer St and the Quik Food Mart on E Lake Shore Dr.

A search in Google will give you more ideas on this as well...


Small engine repair shops love ethanol because it provides them with a steady stream of business. But if you get one of these shop owners to open up with you, he'll probably tell you he doesn't use that gasoline in his own small engines.

Ethanol attracts water. Water enters your fuel system in the air that enters the fuel tank as the gasoline is burned by the engine. The water is drawn into the gasoline, making for a chemical mix that accelerates corrosion of metal parts in the engine.

When the fuel level is low in the tank, the water can condense on the cool surfaces of the tank. This water then runs down and gets into the gasoline. If enough water collects in the tank, it can get drawn into the engine, where it can cause the engine to run poorly. Ethanol-containing gasoline can deteriorate in just 30 days.

The good news is you can buy gasoline for your small engines that doesn't contain ethanol. Many businesses that sell machines with small gasoline engines stock cans of ethanol-free gasoline that already has the stabilizer chemicals in it. Most people are unaware of this resource. You can even get these fuels for two-cycle engines with the two-cycle oil already added as well as the stabilizer.

www.chicagotribune.com...

The ethanol in blends of gasoline sold at the pump sucks moisture out of the air and gums up fuel systems of small two-stroke motors, said Carol Fisher, office manager at Ridderman & Sons Oil Co. in Plainwell. The shelf life of gasoline with ethanol? About a month, compared to three months for the non-ethanol gasoline the engines operate best on, said Tom Izenbaard, co-owner of Hoekstra Hardware in Kalamazoo.

Izenbaard said that "since the ethanol has been out there... 70 percent of my work (repairing lawn mowers) is fuel-related problems." Izenbaard said manufacturers recommend not buying more gasoline than can be used in a month's time... "The ethanol, the alcohol, will eat through rubber hoses and gunk up the carburetor," she said. "The 90 octane that we sell here is pure gasoline. It's called recreational gas. A lot of people use it for chain saws, lawnmowers, boats, anything with two-cycle motor."

www.mlive.com...

If you've been having trouble with your small gasoline power equipment lately, MSNBC reports that you're not alone: Small-engine mechanics nationwide are seeing a spike in engine damage they claim is attributable to the increasing use of ethanol in gasoline. We're not talking about E85 here either; apparently, it's the much more common (and in some places ubiquitous) E10 blend, which is 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline, that technicians are blaming for gummed-up carburetors, internal rust and lubrication issues.

Of course, ethanol trade groups are claiming their extensive testing showed no adverse effects from running E10 in small gas engines. But the mechanics' descriptions of what they're seeing, coupled with the known properties of ethanol, make for a compelling argument. Read pump labels carefully, and if you can find ethanol-free gasoline in your area, buy it.

jalopnik.com...



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 11:40 PM
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a reply to: Murgatroid

I may have peed myself a little just now thanks to your avatar lol. Was reading away and damn guy moved on me!

OP you tried everything I would have...I would have given up and junked by now lol.



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 11:56 PM
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There is a gasket and diaphragm connecting the bowl to the carb on many lawnmowers. It can get a little hard and not work or the carb might need tightening to make the seal. Here is a video of what I am talking about. The symptoms you are having is almost like the symptoms I had on a couple of lawnmowers and my brother told me how to fix the problem. It costs about three bucks for the gasket.

Lets try this www.youtube.com...

You need to back up to the beginning on this to get an explanation. I don't know why it started part way into the video for some reason.
edit on 2-9-2015 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 12:12 AM
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a reply to: HawkeyeNation

And your post almost made me spit out my OJ...

In case your not kidding though, my sincere apologies.


OP, I forgot to mention that when we switched all our yard equipment over to ethanol-free gas last year the difference was night and day.



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 12:48 AM
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originally posted by: cmdrkeenkid
I have this lawnmower, one which I have owned for about three years now. I bought it new from Home Depot, but it's nothing fancy. Basically the second cheapest mulch mower they sell; it doesn't even have the self propelled option!

This season it started acting goofy. It would run for awhile, I'd get maybe half the yard done, then sputter off. We have about as quarter acre, so the first time it happened I assumed it was out of gas. Refilled the gas tank, even though it wasn't empty, and restarted it.

It ran for about five minutes, then sputtered off again. Each restart would give me less and less time, to where eventually it just sounded flooded.

Well, being the matter of mechanics I am, I removed the air filter and every time it would start to sputter I'd spray some WD-40 in there. That worked great! It would spew thick smoke, but keep on chugging! Until the mower started overheating...

Then I tried priming it, mostly because I forgot I didn't normally need to when restarting hot. However, that seemed to work.

Instead of running for five minutes, now it runs for ten or so!

All-in-all, I've cleaned and rebuilt the carb, replaced the air filter, replaced the gas tank and lines, and replaced the spark plug. The gas is good, it has enough oil. (Parts came from the old mower.)

Priming it every so often and restarting it works, but it's a nuisance to have to do frequently.

So, my question to you, is: Any ideas? Because I'm all out.

I'll post some pictures of it tomorrow, in case that helps anyone think of anything. I'd do it now, but the mower is all the way in the garage and I know if I leave the bed my spot will be forfeit to the dogs. Not worth it!

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!


I'd check fuel filter, fueltank & fuellines. Perhaps empty them and blow everything out with compressed air, then wash with petrol. I suspect some blockage that is stuck in there and recurs every time.

Replace all the filters and seals if necessary.



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 01:18 AM
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A clogged main jet orifice is a pretty common problem with mowers.

Happened twice on my sisters mower.

Very easy to fix as well...

Remove the brass bolt under the fuel bowl and clean it with a wire from a wire tie.

There's three orifices that have to be cleaned.

A large one through the bolt at the head, a large one down in the center of the hollow bolt and a very tiny one.

Blast it with spray carb cleaner and put it back together.




posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 04:43 AM
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I had a mower like that. I took it to my local small engine repair they told me the mower was on it's last legs and it wasn't that old, maybe three years. They fixed it, kind of, did all the things you did. It lasted another month and then that was it. I don't think lawnmowers are considered durable goods. Otherwise they would probably last longer.



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 09:39 AM
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a reply to: alonzo730
I´ve one without drivetrain from pre 2000 and one from 2006 with wider cut and drivetrain. They both get handled rough sometimes but if you keep them clean, do a oil change now and then, they can last forever it seems to me. The only thing that broke until now was the lid that covers the outlet if you mow without the gras tank. On the newer one. Nothing hard to fix. The older one is from Toro and the 2006 one has an asian sound name and is green.

A friend of mine build a "gokart" with an old mower motor he got from his neighbor because they were about to toss it away. He´s abused it to the point where blue smoke would come out of the oil reservoir and it still runs like a charm.
They can be pretty dependable!

back to topic:
What brings me to my only advice left, but I think the OP may have covered that already on a sideline while fixing the other parts: Oil change?



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 01:30 PM
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a reply to: alonzo730

Not sure which post you were referring to...

Just in case you were replying to the one about clogged main jet orifices...

I fixed this on my sisters mower once and it happened again shortly just like you mentioned.

I believe it was caused by trash in her gas can and in the fuel tank.

It only takes a couple of minutes to fix and the mower works fine afterwards.

Moral of the story: use fresh clean non-ethanol gas and you will have far less problems.




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