Mower won't start

(Computer geek can't figure out small engine repair issue). When my mother went into Assisted Living I brought down her slightly used Honda mower as a backup. I haven't touch it in 3 years, but I can't seem to get it started. 1. Figured out there was a spark (new plug) by laying the plug on top and turning it over. 2. Figured out the kill bar wasn't a problem because when it was engaged sparked. 3. Pulled off the air filter (it is pretty new) 4. Replaced the gas. 5. Emptied the carbs float bowl. 6. Made sure gas was turned on.
Turned it over a few times, nothing. Tried wiring throttle full on (in case the throttle cable was too loose), nothing doesn't start. Checked the plug and it wasn't wet. Poured a bit of gas directly in the cylinder, boom it turned over ! ... then died out :-( .... float bowl was filled with gas so I assume the carb is clogged ???? Took the carb off can't see that it is clogged and the carb is so simple I can't believe that this is the problem.
Can someone give me some debugging tips or advice (I am too proud to bring to a repair shop). Thanks!
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wash out the fuel system,rebuild the carb. if you use stabil in engines sitting the gas wont turn to gum.. lucas
http://www.minibite.com/america/malone.htm
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You said you repacled the gas, so if you had old gas in it you need a carb rebuild.
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Some possibilities: 1) Choke is not working properly, making starting difficult. 2) Gummed up carb from stale gasoline in the mower for 3 years. Highly probable. 3) Bad carb gasket causing an air leak. 4) If this is a 2-cycle engine, the possibility that the engine has been damaged due to lack of oil mixed with gas in the past. If it is a 4-cycle, the possibility that the engine has been damaged from being run with low oil levels. 5) Poor compression. (See #4 above).
You should be able to get some feeling for compression when you pull the recoil starter.
You can check on fuel delivery by spraying an appropriate aerosol into the air intake while starting and running the engine. Obviously, starting fluid will work for this operation.
Have one person squirt in a bit while another person tries to start the engine. If/when the engine begins to run, give it an occasional squirt to attempt to keep it running. You probably don't want to do this for too long since starting fluid is believed to be "too hot" for extended use in engines.
Switching over to other sprays may be easier on the engine (WD-40, carb cleaner, etc.?) once it has started and you are still testing and keeping the engine limping along. If the mower has the right sort of manual primer, then an occasional pump from the primer can keep the mower running if there is a fuel delivery problem.
Did the engine start easily and run well 3 years ago before going into storage? If so, then the only probable problem is the fact that it sat around for 3 years with stale gasoline. Sometimes running the engine a bit and using both spray and pour-in carb cleaners will get it working ok again. Some- times not. I've received may free mowers and many of them have sat for years before I received them. Most often, I can get them working well with little effort. (I currently own 8 push mowers. My son operates a mowing business, plus we often fix mowers and donate them to folks.)
I'm no expert; my in-laws will quickly agree to that. :) Still, I hope the advise is useful to you.
Good luck, Gideon
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in message
(Computer geek can't figure out small engine repair issue). When my mother went into Assisted Living I brought down her slightly used Honda mower as a backup. I haven't touch it in 3 years, but I can't seem to get it started. 1. Figured out there was a spark (new plug) by laying the plug on top and turning it over. 2. Figured out the kill bar wasn't a problem because when it was engaged sparked. 3. Pulled off the air filter (it is pretty new) 4. Replaced the gas. 5. Emptied the carbs float bowl. 6. Made sure gas was turned on.
Turned it over a few times, nothing. Tried wiring throttle full on (in case the throttle cable was too loose), nothing doesn't start. Checked the plug and it wasn't wet. Poured a bit of gas directly in the cylinder, boom it turned over ! ... then died out :-( .... float bowl was filled with gas so I assume the carb is clogged ???? Took the carb off can't see that it is clogged and the carb is so simple I can't believe that this is the problem.
Can someone give me some debugging tips or advice (I am too proud to bring to a repair shop). Thanks!
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All good advice.

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My guess would be first that old gas. Six months is a long time, but three years is too long. It likely has clogged stuff up and you will need the carb and maybe some others fuel parts cleaned.
However I will add one more thing. I had this one happen to me this year. Mine (a 13 year old unit) did not want to start, very difficult. I did all the usual until I noticed that the chock was not going on. It was just sticking open. A little cleaning and it is back to first time every time.
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Joseph Meehan

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I had success with a mower in similar shape by, after doing everything else on your list then finally pulling off the gas line and blowing it out. Then poured some gas in the troat of the carb and it started and kept going.
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Did you ever find out where it went: ;)
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On 23 Jul 2006 07:00:09 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Great advice here already.
Is the plug wire cracked and brittle, enough to ground/short out.
Oren
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Try spraying some GumOut into the carb.
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http://experts.about.com/q/Small-Engines-Lawn-1746/index.htm

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On 23 Jul 2006 07:00:09 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

float bowl if possible, empty it out, then reinstall. Pour a few ounces of carb cleaner into the gas tank and try to start it. Wait a few minutes and add a couple more ounces. Try to start it again. Let it sit for a couple of hours to allow the carb cleaner to work. Add some FRESH gas and try to start it again.
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varnished up from sitting. Drain all the gas. Remove the

If this doesn't work then you would have to remove the carb and clean it. There are some very tiny orifices in the carb that can easily be clogged. Some machine shop have ultrasonic cleaning machine. So for a fee you can dunk your carb in and it would hopefully clean it. When I had this problem I did that plus I also poke a very fine wire into the small orifices I found. It worked afterwards without a complete rebuild.
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