What mostly makes a small simple engine (such as the Honda GC 160 that runs
my pressure washer or the Honda engine that runs my lawnmower) "wheeze"
fast & slow, fast & slow, fast & slow while idling under no load?
I know it's always going to be the five things:
The 10 hp Honda, on my generator acted-up once -
after about 6 months of inactivity. I didn't need any
extra additives - but a good test run with fresh gas
cleaned it up. I test it every 3 or 4 months now and
always use stabilizer.
For decades, I've been leaving the gas in engines, but these motors are
wheezing, fast and slow, and fast and slow, so I'm just asking to figure it
As for "stabilizer", it seems like a worthless endeavor since it costs
almnost nothing for a gallon of gas versus what it must cost to buy and
stock stabilizer. Why bother? If stabilizing was my issue, I'd just dump
out the gas and use it for cleaning label goop off of kitchen jars.
I'm not against stabilizer - I just don't see the value since it has to
cost an appreciable portion of the gallon of gas price.
Is the reason for the stabilizer because you want LIQUID in the engine's
Otherwise, why not just dump the gas out to use as a cleaner?
(I guess a key question is how much does a gallon's worth of stabilizer
cost with respect to the $4 it costs for a gallon of gasoline?)
Thanks for that word because it's apropos that the engine is idling and
I don't think either of these California engines have an idle mixture
screw, as the engines are only about three or four years old, so it must be
the clogged passageways of the fuel passages.
I guess, in that case, Seafoam may be the trick as someone suggested.
Do you concur?
Or would you just run a few tanks of fuel?
I'd disassemble the carb and clean it *thoroughly* . The problem is ,
for Seafoam to do any good it must reach the goop that's causing the
problems . If the passage is plugged ... the Seafoam can't reach the
clog . Ultrasonic cleaners sometimes work . Fine stiff wire (along with
cleaning solvent) *always* works .
Normal StaBil is not effective with ethanol.
There is a special version, but it is still not as effective as the
old stuff onpure gas. It is a simple oxidation inhibitor - I believe
it is BHT - the same stuff used to keep oily foods from going rancid.
Either that or BHA - butylated hydroxyanisole.
I have a 5 kw generator and it did the surging while unloaded and around
500 to 1000 watts of load it would run fine. I drained out all the old
gas, cleaned the carborator some, and started using the ethanol free
gas. After running about 10 minutes it quit the surging and now idles
fine with no load.
I have started using the ethanol free gas in all the small engines.I do
add the Stable to the gas as an extra measure as it may be a few months
before I use some of them.
I buy "yard gas" 10 gallons at a time - non-ethanol only . Since I
never know how long it's going to be around I add Sta-Bil as soon as I
get home . I went thru the last 10 pretty quick , a month or so . Been
doing a lot of cuttin' - haulin' - splittin' firewood , plus pushing
dirt around with Rusty the Tractor .
That is about what I do. I try to put the Stabil in the 2 5 gallon gas
tanks I usually fill up at a time with the ethanol free gas before I
leave the house. That should really mix it up as the gas goes in the
cans. I have 3 of the 5 gallon cans so when 2 of the get empty I fill
them up. Summer time is not too bad as I use about 2 or 3 gallons per
week. However I may go from November to March or so and not use any. I
do like to have atleast 10 or more gallons round for the small generator
incase the power goes out in the winter. It seldom does, but one never
Sofar all the small engines start up on the 'old gas'. Best starting
engine I have is the tiller. I usually just run it once or twice in the
spring or late winter to get a small garden ready. Then I let it run
all the way out of gas. For the last 10 years it will start on one or
at the most 2 pulls of the starting rope. That is with a fresh fill up
of the 4 month old gas.
Someone said it is likely surging due to clogged fuel passageways, which
makes sense because the air passageways aren't clogged.
If it's the clogged fuel passageways, it's likely because I don't start
these engines for months (sometimes years) at a time, where I leave the
fuel in them (sometimes I pour it out before use if it's really old).
But I wonder why it surges due to clogged fuel passageways?
If the passageway were VARIABLE in diameter, I could see it surging, but
it's a fixed diameter. So even with a clog, it's still a fixed diameter.
Anyway, once I have the word "surging", I can start Googling for Surging
Honda GCV 160, where I see it's a common problem but nobody seems to know
It seems most people clean the carb, where there's no harm in that, but
nobody knows why it surges.
They say the orifices are small but that in and of itself can't cause
Something has to be VARIABLE for the surging to occur.
That's the action of the governer . As the motor dies due to fuel
starvation the governer opens the throttle to bring it back up to speed
. The throttle must open far enough to run on the main jet , which
causes the motor to overspeed , causing the governer to close the
throttle to slow it down - right back into the fuel starvation zone
which causes the governer to open the throttle ... over and over and
over . As soon as you load it enough to run on the main jet it'll smooth
right out .
In alt.home.repair, on Fri, 23 Feb 2018 20:22:55 -0600, Terry Coombs
That's a great answer. I knew it related to the governor, but I didn't
know details. Do they still use a plastic leaf that catches the wind
that comes somehow from the spinning crankshaft? The leaf pulls in one
direction and a spring pulls it back and opens the throttle farther when
the engine slows and the wind is less.
Almost definitely a lean surge - caused by either varnish or
"greenies" in the jets.
Get some SeaFoam. Drain the gas. Refill with fresh (preferably ethanol
free, but I realize that is a problem for some) and SeaFoam according
to the instructions on the can. start and run on part choke for about
5 minutes. Let sit for a couple hours and restart. If still surging
run on part choke for another few minutes and let it sit again. Then
run the heck out of it to run the tank of fuel; though it and see what
happens. This will fix varnish issues virtually every time - and will
often solve "greenies" as well. Bad "greenies" will require
dissassembling the carb and poking and blowing the jets clear. A bit
of Seafoam in each tank will prevent greenies or varnish. Do not store
long-term with ethanol gas - even with Stabil (Or Sea-Foam) in the gas
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