I've got an old leaf blower with a fair amount of use on it. It
always started easily until recently, but now will not start without a
squirt of starter fluid. Without the fluid, no amount of pulling the
rope will produce even a cough from it, but with a small squirt of
starter fluid it will start on the first pull and run fine.
What would cause this? My first thought was carb or compression, but
it runs fine once it starts. The fuel is from the same container I
use for my other 2 cycle engines and they all start fine.
When running, the throttle is controlled by the airflow hitting a control
vane. So when initially started there is no airflow and the throttle is
held wide open. Then it gets cut back to what should be the normal running
setting. But as the carb ages and dries out, the mechanism doesn't work
well won't support normal operation. A rebuilding kit contains new gaskets
and acceleration pump.
Thanks Eggs. Makes sense, but why would starter fluid not stick to
the walls also? It seems that when starter fluid is used the warmup
time is greatly reduced. Is that because it burns hotter?
Compression was my first thought but then I talked myself out of it
because it runs good after it starts. But then again I can't tell the
difference between 150mph air from a new unit and 120mph air from a
worn unit, can I.
I tend to keep things until they just get to be too much trouble to
fix. Since this one runs ok after it starts, its not quite time to
dump it. Just a PITA to remember where I left the can of starter
fluid after I used it last.
Some does, but since it's much more flammable than gasoline, once any
ignition source is applied... *boom*.
Yep. Much hotter.
Starting fluid, used in emergency situations is fine. Used all the time, is
not good, and can do damage to the cylinders, that will eventually wear the
parts quicker (resulting in even lower compression).
Maybe take it to a local small engine repair shop and have them give it a
once-over. I keep stuff a long time too, but you just reach a point. Ya
- The Lady of the Lake-- her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held
indeed. worked in a lab once where somebody had the bright idea to put
an open can of ether (i.e. starting fluid) in the fridge, so it
wouldn't all evaporate before tomorrow. middle of the night when the
thermostat cycled on with a little bitty spark, it blew the door off
I wish, man. We got serious flooding going on here. Intestate 44 will most
likely be shut down in both directions in a couple hours. It's already
closed in one direction, near Rolla, Mo (they got >12"). My backyard looked
like a lake for the past week. 5 1/2" of rain in two days can wreak havoc
on a lawn, heh.
It's almost time to pre-emerge (they did that at work last week, tho I told
em it was probably too early. The rain washed a lot (maybe most) of it into
the bunkers. LOL). I'd like to get that out of the way, but it will
probably be a waste. The city is supposed to put in a new 24" stormwater
pipe right along the edge of my property line, and a nice berm across the
back. No complaints though. If it'll fix the stormwater issues I've
experienced for the past few years, I can deal with a few more weeds than
On a happier, more spring-like note, I got all my onion  transplants and
lettuce seeds sown, yesterday. =) I would have put some peas in the
ground, but I think one of the raised beds will have to be pulled up until
the construction is finished (sometime in April). So, this year the only
spring crop from my garden will be lettuce. Oh, well. Maybe I'll have a
bumper crop of something else this summer to take my mind off the fact I
won't have fresh peas.
. I always plant yellow, red, and white onions. This year, the cultivar
for the red ones I chose was: Red Zeppelin. =D
You been hibernating? Haven't seen you post in a while. And, why the
It is possible that the seals on the crankcase or the cylinder gaskets
are beginning to fail. A lack of good seal will reduce the vacuum
available to operate the carb. By injecting fuel (starting fluid) you
are manually priming the cylinder. But starting fluid contains no
lubrication, causing accelerated cylinder and ring wear, reducing vacuum
even further. If you must prime the engine with additional (spray) fuel,
use WD-40, as the oil in it will provide SOME lubrication, and it is
The other possibility is the carburetor is dirty and the gaskets are
drying out. Regardless of what some others here have said, dried gaskets
in the carb limit the availability of fuel during all phases of
operation. Proper fuel availability is critical during starting, as the
cold engine requires more fuel to sustain operation. A stiff diaphragm
may move far enough to pump and meter sufficient fuel to run a hot
engine, but not enough to make that cold engine start. And the primers
on most new diaphragm carburetors only "prime" the carburetor itself
with fresh fuel.
Also, the engine may seem to run fine after you get it started, but most
two strokes will run very well even when they are running damagingly
lean. So although it seems to run well, it may be doing even more
damage. If this is a profession grade blower, get it service soon.
Otherwise, dump it and get a new one, as the cost of a good carb repair
will be as much as a new consumer grade blower.
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