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  #16  
Old 10-11-2001, 04:23 PM
jfujimoto
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bstreep,

I reluctantly agree with you on the Honda four stroke motors. Modern technology is superb but I still prefer the simplicity of Austrian engineering.

Jeff
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  #17  
Old 10-11-2001, 09:36 PM
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I have had two problems with my Sears mower 4 HP easy start engine. The first is COMMOn on these engines. The hollow brass float absorbs fuel and floods floods the engine. Remove the float and examine it to see if there is gas in it.
The second problemI had was over time the main jet became completely blocked. I used a piece of wire to clean it.
By the way I have seen the leaky floats on two other engines about 3-4 years old.
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  #18  
Old 10-11-2001, 10:41 PM
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My experience with hard starting engines is due to old gas in the carborator from being stored off-season. I dissemble the carborator (paying attention to the needle valve settings), give it a good cleaning, put it back together and fire it up. When the engine warms up I fine tune the needle valve settings.

For the tecumseh engines that I own (8HP snowblower and 3HP edger) I installed fuel shut-off valves between the carborator and fuel tank. When I am done with the snowblower or edger, I shut the fuel valve off and let the engine run until it runs out of fuel (from the carborator).

Another area you might check is the spark plug. If it is carboned up you might have to pull the head and clean off the carbon. If the plug is wet you are flooding the engine. If the plug is dry you are not getting enough fuel.
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  #19  
Old 10-12-2001, 11:22 AM
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I disassembled the carb and checked needle valves floats, etc. Cleaned as best I can and reassembled (hopefully, the same way).

No difference in starting. Trying to decide whether to take the mower somewhere or just go ahead and buy a new one...
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  #20  
Old 10-12-2001, 03:18 PM
LarryBible
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When you lay the plug on the head and pull the starter, do you get a nice fat spark? Have you checked the flywheel key?

Good luck,
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  #21  
Old 10-12-2001, 04:03 PM
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I keep reading about this "flywheel key", but all I see on the flywheel are the vanes and the big magnet that spins past the ignition coil. Other than that, the big nut on the top (and the one pulling the cord, apparently).

What should I be looking for? My wife is getting tired of me ambling over to the lawn mower every day this week...I think she is going to drag me into the ML to go get a new one!!
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  #22  
Old 10-12-2001, 05:31 PM
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You need to pull the "flywheel" (magneto more accurately??) off and you will see the keyway and the key unless it sticks to the flywheel or falls out upon removal. Larry's suggestion is a good one. The Woodruff style key used is very soft, similar to a shear pin on an outboard, and serving the same purpose.

Lawnmowers, and small engines in general, can be very frustrating especially to those of us that fancy ourselves to be pretty good mechanics based on our successes with automobiles.
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  #23  
Old 10-12-2001, 07:53 PM
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The key referred to is under the flywheel nut/washer.

Sometimes you can see the notch is not perfectly ligned up
with the slot. The key breaks away and advances the timing. Usually, this is felt as a slight kickback in your hand when pulling the start cord.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, make sure the head bolts and tight.
I have had several here that were given up on and it was just loose head bolts.
I make it a habit of checking them first, spark next, and then gas.
Don't quit....
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  #24  
Old 10-12-2001, 10:38 PM
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In order to pull the flywheel you will need a gear puller.

If you don't have a gear puller I use a long screwdriver (18") and place it under the flywheel. First loosen the flywheel nut so that it is flush with the top of the crankshaft. While applying upward pressure on the flywheel with the screwdriver hit the crankshaft/nut with a hammer. The flywheel should pop loose. Remove the flywheel nut and flywheel.

What was the condition of the original spark plug? What is the condition of the new spark plug after attempting to start (wet, dry)?
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  #25  
Old 10-14-2001, 11:36 PM
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Decided to walk away from the mower for a bit...borrowed a friend's this weekend.

Here's another kicker...after I finished mowing, I got the leaf blower out and commenced to remove debris from my yard. About ten minutes later, the leaf blower quit. Thought I had run out of gas, and looked at the blower, only to find that the housing had come apart.

Took it to the garage, and further investigation revealed that somehow BOTH bolts that hold the carburetor onto the block had sheared!!! Couldn't drill out the remainder, so now I also need to buy a gasket, two bolts, and the carb adaptor plate!

Im SOOO glad the summer is over!!!
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  #26  
Old 10-15-2001, 08:09 AM
LarryBible
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G-Benz,

When it rains it pours!

I remembered something else about the flywheel. If indeed the soft woodruff key is indeed sheared, here's a Go-Kart racers trick that will be helpful to you.

If you pull the nut and washer and indeed find the key has sheared any at all, this is probably your problem. To fix it you don't need another key as long as you have some valve grinding compound handy. In the absence of valve grinding compound, scouring powder might work.

Remove the flywheel and put some valve grinding compound on the tapered section of the shaft to which the flywheel mates. Rotate the flywheel back and forth on the compound until you don't feel the grit any longer. Add one more application of the compound and rotate it back and forth some more until, again you no longer feel the grit. Clean the shaft and flywheel thoroughly and install the flywheel with the keyway perfectly lined up and tighten the nut to 70 ft/lbs.

On the racing karts we don't use a key. We mate the flywheel as described then adjust the timing by moving the flywheel then tighten in place. If the tapered shaft is properly mated to the flywheel with the compound, it won't budge until you take it apart again, or until you hit a rock with the blade. If you do hit a rock and need to move the flywheel back in place, you won't need to scrounge up a new soft key.

Good luck,
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  #27  
Old 10-15-2001, 01:16 PM
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Flywheel Key

Like Larry Bible said, this is real inmportant. I used to punish my Sears Mower w/ a Briggs & Stratton over my rocky lawn. Sure enough, I hit a root solid and the thing quit. That shear key was spent.

If the timing is off, nothing else will work right.

Others said some good stuff: tighten head down, check carb. I would do that stuff first as it doesnt take too much work. (as opposed to taking the flywheel offfirst )
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  #28  
Old 10-16-2001, 07:26 AM
LarryBible
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I will point out again, you do not need to take off the flywheel to check the key. Just remove the nut and look at the keyway. You won't need to PULL the flywheel unless the keyway does NOT line up.

Good luck,
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  #29  
Old 10-16-2001, 10:03 AM
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Then I can use the blade as a counterweight when I'm trying to get the flywheel bolt off?
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  #30  
Old 10-16-2001, 05:00 PM
LarryBible
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I don't understand what you mean by counterweight, but you do know that the flywheel is on the opposite end of the crankshaft from the blade. Remove the sheetmetal cover that has the starter made into it.

Good luck,
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