I have a generator powered by an 8 HP Briggs (190400 series), about 13
years old. As it's only for power outages it has very low hours. I used
to test run it every so often but probably not in a year or so now. When
I do test it I use the fuel shutoff and let it run out of gas to minimize
deposit buildup. Some years back the carb was leaky and I got a carb kit
for it and also Permatex'ed (or similar) the fuel bowl. (I'm not an
expert but I do have some level of familiarity there, having
disassembled, cleaned, and replaced carbs on small engines since I was a
The other day the power went out so I gassed up the generator and fired
it up. After not running for about a year or more the engine was
basically a basket case with what I presume was a carb related problem.
The engine would start, I'd kick off the choke and after a few seconds it
would sputter and start to die. I'd throw the choke back in and "save"
it and then I'd back off and again it would start to die. Too little
gas, right? So I'd play with the mixture screw, even running it in and
out in case of dirt. I also tried forcing the throttle to the idle stop
(against the governor) and used the idle screw to get decent low speed
operation. (The engine never idles but it would have to pass through the
idle speed range on start up.) Nothing was really behaving like it
should in terms of adjusting mixture to zero in on the best setting with
choke off (not that it should not have been already correct.) I did
eventually get it running steady at a governed 3600 RPM but clearly
something wasn't right. Gas was fresh, not stale.
I suppose this was just a matter of dirt and disassembling and cleaning
the carb will take care of it but just wondering if there's anything else
that comes to mind that I should be checking on. Is there anything this
carb or engine as a whole is notorious for?
I've already torn the carb apart and don't see anything but that's not
unusual; I've taken many apart for cleaning that were acting up and put
them back together and never do see the actual dirt. Float checks out;
it didnt' spring a leak. Guess I will get another carb kit.
In my experience the diaphragm-type carbs with primer start seemed a bit
more reliable and made for easier starting engines. Wish this was one of