My daughter's 4 cycle string trimmer seems to be locked up. You can't pull
the cord at all. With the spark plug out it pulls okay. My thought is
valves stuck closed. Any other ideas for excessive compression? BTW, its a
One or both valves stuck closed will result in NO compression, not increased
compression. The common cause of your symptoms is hydraulic lock, oil and/or
liquid gasoline in the cylinder. It can also be caused by an incorrect (too
long) spark plug fouling the piston top. An excessive carbon build-up can
increase compression but cannot cause lockup which is relieved by removing
the spark plug. Try turning the engine over with a finger over the plug hole
to generate slight compression and this should give you a pretty good idea
what is wrong.
Your engine might be equipped with a starting compression release which is
On Sat, 25 Apr 2009 21:48:30 -0700, Tony Hwang wrote:
The 2 cycle equivalent is also 13 lbs.
the stihl 4-mix units are about 13 ounces heavier than their smoker
counter parts in the same size. but well worth it. Either way, you're
going to be using a shoulder strap, so it doesn't really matter. You
have a unit that will last forever, is quiet, and doesn't smoke like a
I got my first string trimmer in 1976. It was great for trimming 300
tombstones. In 1982 I got one to keep clear half a mile of electric
fence less than a foot off the grass. It wasn't easy.
So I got a 17-pound Hoffco from Troybuilt. I think Hoffco claimed to
have invented the string trimmer, in the 1940s. It had a shoulder strap
and handlebars nearly a yard wide. It made trimming almost as quick and
easy as walking past.
Nowadays I use it for three yards, which have about half a mile of
trimming. It's going strong after 25 years except the plastic spool.
If it fails, I'll need one to fit. I wish I knew where to find the
dimensions of modern spools.
Over the years I've tried several other trimmers. None has the wide
handlebars of the Hoffco. Those handlebars mean precise control against
the pull of the line. The Hoffco is also less fatiguing than anything
else I've tried.
How come they don't make 'em like that anymore?
Same reason they don't make much of *anything* like that anymore.
Stupid consumers want everything absolutely as cheap as possible, and
stupid manufacturers want you to buy a new <whatever> every couple of
If I had first seen the Hoffco in a store with other brands of similar
prices, I would have thought the Hoffco was of lower quality.
The carburetor lacks a squeeze bulb for cold starting.
It's less powerful than is typical of a large trimmer. (The power is
adequate, and more power may have meant a shorter motor life.)
Its driveshaft is a flexible cable. (The cable has held up fine and may
mean less weight at the head.)
The most important feature is the wide handlebars. I don't know why I
don't see it on other trimmers. I wouldn't try to control a motorcycle
or a manual scythe with my hands as close as the grips on most trimmers.
Wide handlebars allow my to trim along a fence without beating up
the line, to trim close to flowers with confidence, and to cut a wide
swath across a field without fatigue.
The wide handlebar type handles have been available as add-on accessories
and they work on most trimmers. They can be used with a support strap and if
you get everything set up just right it makes trimming a lot easier. I
personally have found that a very light weight trimmer used freehand works
best for me. I have a heavy duty wheeled trimmer for the tough stuff.
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