Lots of excellent advice to be found in the comments, I won't stress anythi
ng aside from agreeing that these small engines shouldn't take more than 3
pulls to start. After 5 or 10 pulls you'll save yourself frustration by jus
t stopping there and taking the plug out to see if you've flooded it or if
it's not getting fuel (or spark). If it started easily in the past, and now
find the plug black, oily and wet looking, buy a new plug.
If the plug is dry and the primer bulb is functioning okay, the carb probab
ly has become gummed-up. A little trick that sometimes works for me (I work
on lots of little 2-strokes that use these carbs) is to remove the air cle
aner and shoot a 1/2 teaspoon of fuel into the carb's intake using an eye d
ropper. It's enough to keep the engine running momentarily and MIGHT suck t
he gummy crap free. If so, and there was gas left in the tank, dump it and
mix up an all new fresh batch. Before resigning myself to rebuilding a carb
I'll first dump all the gas and put just enough "Seafoam" in the tank to g
et it through the primer system. I'll let that sit while hoping it'll work
it's magic... I'll then go back and attempt to start it using the force-fee
ding, eye dropper technique ~but add 'some' mixed fuel into the tank FIRST
or else you might be so happy it's running that you forget the importance o
f the fuel-oil mixture!
My friend's trimmer wouldn't run so we got the manual cleaned the
carb, took out the needle valves, sprayed cleaner into the holes,
put the needle valve screws back in using the manual as a guide
for the number of turns open from fully closed and fueled it up.
It cranked and ran on the first pull.
I blew his mind once when I ran a weed eater on compressed air.
Stihl products I have had usually had starting problems with fuel
lines cracking. Worst case was a chain saw only 2 years old, only
worked decently the first year. If you tinker with the carb, a new
fuel line might be a good idea.
I have owned my FS36 for almost 15 years. Had it tuned up 4 years
ago. Recently it started to lose power, then last week it just
wouldn't start. I went to local Stihl sales/repair shop with it. They
quoted $90 to fix it, or $149 for a new FS49. I retreated to think it
over. Today, after reading the book carefully, I repaired it and it
runs like new. I cleaned the spark plug, and air cleaner but the item
that isn't mentioned in this thread is the Spark Arrester. I cleaned
that and I believe it was that which made the difference. It was caked
solid black. I removed it, put in in my vice, (clamping it along the
margin of the little screen) and started scrubbing it with a fine
guage wire brush. I kept kept flipping it around and scrubbing and
soon it was as good as new. Put it in, and the engine started up with
one pull! I trimmed all day and it performed like a champ. The
owners manual clearly states that if power starts to fail, to replace
the spark arrester. That is an easy to miss or dismiss
recommendation. Total out of pocket expense = $zero. PS. If you
want to take the rear plastic body cover off to tidy up or just
explore the engine's layout, you will need a 9/64 long-tailed Allen
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