searching for lawn mower repair advice

Hi;
I've got a Tecumseh mower engine that will start but runs for a second or two then dies.
I've read through some posts on this list discussing the same problems.and followed the advice; fuel lines are clean, the carb. bowl fills up with gas when primed, Needle valve seems intact and opening is clear. I've removed and soaked the carb. in paint thinner and blew out the openings with air. Scrubbed it and reinstalled it.
No change in operation though. The air cleaner is not even installed at this point so I think that can be ruled out. The little tube is sticking out in the open air (yes, the tube is clear) Choke linkage also appears to move freely.
The engine is a Tecumseh LEV 120. I got on their website but was not able to download an owners manual.
Any advice appreciated, Rick
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Rick-
What has happened to it since it last ran properly?
My neighbor has a MK-3 concrete saw that he bought, ran & let sit for ~ a year. We went to run it two days ago & it would "start but runs for a few seconds then dies."
Bottom line clogged ports / passages in carb. Carb cleaner & small diameter welding rods to probe the passages.
Some carbs have a diaphragm in them that can dry out, get stiff & not flex.
Sounds like you could use a card rebuild kit. Also carb cleaner is a better solvent for gummed up gas than paint thinner.
Had similar problems with a chain saw, carb kit got it going again.
cheers Bob
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Paint thinner wont clean it.
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Perhaps you missed my comment?
"carb cleaner is a better solvent for gummed up gas than paint thinner"
cheers Bob
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Thanks for the replies,
The mower sat untouched for a couple of years. BTW, It is a 4 cycle engine and the gas cap is off of the mower right now.
I tried some carb cleaner after reading this but it didn't seem to change anything, Passages appear to be clear but there are some "ball bearing" type valves in the body of the carb. that I think may be still clogged. I don't know if those bearings are supposed to spin freely. They don't
My fear is that I'll have to replace the whole carb.and that a kit won't help me.
Rick
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wrote:
-snip-

I wouldn't waste time & effort on a kit. Carbs for most mowers can be had for about $40-50.
The kit ill cost you about $15, take a few hours to rebuild- and results are unknown.
Pat's small engines plus is my first stop these days when carbs give me trouble- http://www.psep.biz/index.htm [no connection other than satisfied customer]
Jim
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In my ICE experience (not extensive, but substantial) this type of problem always seemed to be fuel supply. -----
- gpsman
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On Thu, 24 Apr 2008 09:33:42 -0700 (PDT), gpsman

Don't know if your engine is a two stroke or four stroke. If two stroke, and it is an older engine, it is quite sensitive to the oil-fuel mix ratio. A bit too rich and what you have just experienced will happen. My lawnmower, gas trimmer and snow thrower went through all the cleaning and adjustments in their time. All three couldn't have the same sickness. So I figured it must be the oil-fuel mix ration (all three have different ratios). That fixed their problems.
Mix a correct fuel batch. Dilute a cupful of the mix by adding double the fuel. Start the engine with this low oil mix and run to burn off the excess oil. If it runs smoothly for two minutes top up the gas tank with the correct mix and run some more. See if that solves the problem.
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wrote:

Check the fuel cap vent or use a paper clip / wire to ensure it is clear. Will the engine run longer with the gas cap removed?
Check the choke butterfly; see if it is sticking...
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http://www.small-engines.com / http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/lmfaq.htm
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Hi there;
This engine does not mix the oil and gas.
I know that fuel is getting into the bowl of the carburetor as it is filled each time I disassemble it.
I looked at Pat's small engine site and it does not appear that they have tecumseh carbs.. I'll keep searching. If I can get a new carb for say $50, I'll do it.
Thanks again, Rick
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wrote:
-snip-

I forgot that web design isn't Pat's strong point- [I had to Google it] http://www.psep.biz/store/tecumseh_carburetors.htm
3 carbs for the LV120 - $46, $49, $59- depending on serial number of engine apparently.
Jim
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Hi everyone;
I finally got this thing running and I wanted to share the info with you.
The culprit on the carburetor was the hollow brass bolt that threads up into the bowl of the carb from the bottom. The bolt has a few holes and a chamber inside. If the holes or canal get clogged guess what ? It won't stay running! I cleaned this puppy several times with Gummout and used a paper clip and a needle to push all the gunk out.
I installed and removed it 2 or 3 times before the engine stayed running. I also sprayed Gummout into the air cleaner hole before starting it up each time to keep the crap moving through.
Thanks again to everyone. You were a great help.
Rick
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