I have a mower that I let sit for about two years while I had a
gardener. Now I'm trying to use it again and it won't start. I
drained and changed the gas, cleaned the plug, checked the air filter.
I sprayed the inside of the cylinder and the carburetor with gumout.
When I pull the starter, the engine ignites the gumout and runs for a
few seconds, then dies again. So I'm guessing that means it is
getting a spark so it's a fuel clog issue?
Anyone have any advice? This is a Craftsman (Briggs & Stratton)
standup mower that has really only been used a couple of dozen times
over the years--it's just been sitting in the garage for awhile. I
live in Los Angeles so it's fairly dry here, but it has sat through
some very hot temperatures in the summer.
You may need to change the carb unless you can take it apart and clean it
very VERY well. If you change it (about 22.00) it only requires that you
remove the tank then two bolts holding the carb to the tank body. Depending
on what tye carb you have, either way its an easy and quick process.
I would agree that fuel appears to be the source of your problems. As one
who used to repair this stuff, I can tell you that this is very common for
motors which have not been used for a period.
These motors have a diaphragm type fuel pump in the carb. When a motor is
not in use the diaphragms dry out and don't work. There are very few parts
in a 3.5 B&S, so carb. replacement may not be warranted. The cost of carb.
replacement may also not be a wise investment as that may be more than the
mower is worth. 3.5 HP B&S are very reasonably priced these days. In any
case, most repair shops will give you a quote on repairs. You can compare
this to mower replacement cost.
Common problem. The carb is all varnished up. Drain all the gas out of
the tank and fuel bowl. Buy a can of the cheapest carburetor/ fuel
injector cleaner and pour about half of it into the tank. Remove the
spark plug wire and pull on the starter cord a few times to get the
cleaner into the carb. Let it sit for a couple of hours. Clean or
replace the spark plug. Fill the tank with fresh gas, reconnect the
plug and try to start. I'll bet it starts by the third pull.
That sounds like a good plan, however you may not find a fuel bowl, as some
of the smaller B&S motors, such as 3.5 HP, had none. Just a dip tube,
directly from the carb. into the tank. Engine vacuum on a diaphragm, sucked
the gas up into the carb. Whatever type of carb. it does have, cleaning it
makes a lot more sence than replacing it.
This was the easiest option so I tried it first. Thanks but no go.
Thanks for all the ideas... I will likely try opening and
cleaning/repairing the carb or just having a shop do it. Can't
imagine they'd charge more than $50.
Common problem with B&S Engines when they are not used for some time.
Take the carb apart and clean all areas you can with carb cleaner but
don't disturb the jet/needle settings. You will be looking for a flat
rubber diaphram with two small flaps on one side. This little gizmo is
the fuel pump and when it becomes brittle it hardens and no longer
functions. They are less than $2 at the parts store. Put it back
together and I believe your problem will be solved.
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