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RCrowley

Steve in Mass: Lawnmower issues

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Mower stalls out periodically after a decent 10 to 15 minute run. I admit I tinkered with the rpm govenor get get a little more ummpf out of the mower and I think I ran it too hard. Original settings have been restored.

After letting the mower rest and cool for 5 minutes she fires up and I can go for 10 -15 more minutes. No fuel filter on this bird and I already tore down and cleaned up the carb. Spark plug is not fouled. I'm thinking the ignition coil is going and quitting on me. Please provide your thoughts.

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Check the spark plug(s) when the motor is cold. Good snappy spark?

 

Then check after it warms up/gets hot/quits. Still good snappy spark?

 

No spark when motor hot, could be coil. Good spark when motor hot, could be fuel problem.

 

Think about checking safety switches too. Like the one under the seat of some riding mowers. Or neutral safety switch, or even an electrical clutch PTO safety switch.

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Clogged vents in the fuel tank caps for lawn equipment is very common due to all the dust and organic particles flying around. It happens on my equipment every couple of years.

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I'd suspect the ignition coil. It seems like a heat related problem. A quick test if the gas cap is at fault would be to block the cap vents. Typically a small engine will respond to a gas tank vacuum pretty quick, within 15 seconds.

 

If you suspect the gas cap simply crack it open while the engine is running just before it stalls.

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I have a snowblower that would quit after 2 passes on the driveway....3 min later it would start.....then 2 passes and it would die...

Here is the culprit: there WAS a small metal cone inside the gas cap that allowed enough air to get in the tank to replace the gas as it was used. The cone was missing. I took a 1/16" drill bit and put a small hole in the cap.....Runs like a top!!!!

 

+4 on check the gas cap biggrin.gif

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Pull the float bowl cover off the carb and check for water,dirt.Dont loose the gasket on the bowl or bolt.Clean it good.You may need a carb kit or soak the carb in gas for a day if a new gas cap dose not fix it.

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This thread brings to light a serious problem. If a person like SIM is going to be the resident expert on certain things, he must supply suitable back up/ coverage for this responsibility during his absense.

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Hardly an expert, just "experienced"....and yes, lawns are evil, and progression makes lawn mowers evil as well. wink.gif

 

Anyway, all good suggestions above, and I will throw one more out there.

 

It is POSSIBLE that it has to do with the needle valve gasket in the float, or the float itself. With the ethanol they put in the gas these days, rubber and plastic parts (the gasket being rubber, the float being plastic) have a tendency to swell from the ethanol. It COULD be that yours is only slightly swollen, and as the mower heats up, one or both of those parts expands a bit more and is causing the failure.

 

I know the guys at the lawn mower repair shops curse today's gas mixtures all the time for those type of reasons.

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