honda lawnmower engine questions


After 4 years of faithful service, the Honda engine in my Sam's club special MTD Pro walk-behind, is starting to give me problems. Engine model is 5.5 hp GVC 160 or 190- don't know how to tell which, and the owners manual covers both. Specifically, it dies when it falls off the choke, for the first 4 or 5 attempts at cold start. Auto choke and throttle, not adjustable. Warm restart seems fine. Started about 2 weeks ago. Filter and plug and oil fresh this spring, and checked out okay after problem arose. Added symptom I hadn't noticed before today, since I mow with earmuffs on- the engine speed is 'hunting', and sounds very rough.
Small engine repair is completely outside my realm, and I no longer have the eyesight to do carb rebuilds and such anyway. Any ideas what is wrong, and how much the repair shop is likely to want to repair it? Engine probably has 250 hours or so on it, if that makes a difference.
Any ideas greatly appreciated.
-- aem sends...
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wrote:

I would try some ether/starting spray. $3.50 or so at an auto store.
A "galloping engine" may be starving for fuel. Small carb passages (venturi ?) can clog. A stainless bristle from a wire brush can clear it, but don't break the wire off. The tiny holes are in the carb throat, so look there.
Some times a good spray will help. Maybe even choke with a rag in the carb throat.
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aemeijers wrote:

Sounds gas starved usually caused by dirt and junk you that falls in the gas as you gas it up. Hopefully it's just a filter. There may be one in the line somewhere between the tank and carb. Take it out and clean it or put in a new gas filter. If it don't have one I recommend buying one from JC Whitney or auto supply place and install one after you fix it. It's better to have a clogged filter than a clogged carb.
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wrote:

I have one of these mowers. A couple of thoughts The shutoff switch actuator sometimes sticks even when you have the handle squeezed. Pull it back by hand once the handle is gripped, see if that helps. I disconnected the handle and made this a manual shutoff after the cable bracket finally broke. The auto choke simply sucks. I bent the operating rod back the other way, added a screw clamp and made it manual. I need it once a mow.
I can get some pictures tomorrow
Hunting may be caused by a bind in the governor. Blow out the whole cludge of stuff, flush it with WD/40 blow it out again, and then add one drop of 30w or other oil to each pivot and spring end. Don't overdo the oil or it will gum up right away.
Now I have a "one pull" mower.
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Very likely to be fuel problems. I'm wondering about the gasket between the carb and the engine. About $75 repair, that's my prediction.
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Christopher A. Young
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