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  1. #1
    Best To Avoid Me Martoch's Avatar
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    What's wrong with my lawn mower?

    Just your basic push mower...3.5HP Briggs & Stratton engine...the kind that you have to pull the bar back on the handle before starting it...if you let go, it shuts off. Like this one, but red. I was mowing along just fine until the mower sputtered & quit. Checked the gas...it's bone dry...so I refilled it with the same exact 87 octane unleaded gas that was in it the first time. Primed her up a few times, held the bar back, pulled the cord...it starts up first try.
    However, it is not running right at all now. Instead of having a constant fully running engine like I was 10 minutes ago, it now sounds like I am holding a throttle in my hand and I'm revving it up and down on purpose at about 1 second intervals. I let it run for about 5 minutes and it never stopped doing that. I shut it off/started it back up a few times, tilted it left/right/back/forth...no change whatsoever. I'm not an engine guy at all, so I've troubleshot it as far as I can.


    (If you need me to get a short video clip of it and post it up, let me know.)

    So...any suggestions?

    I would like to finish mowing the lawn, but at this rate it will take way too long.

    Thanks,
    Mowing Martoch

  2. #2
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    Is there a choke you can mess with? I know my snowblower will rev up and down like that if I dont have the choke set properly.

    What about engine speed? Like a little slider thing that lets you choose how fast to turn the blade? (like fast for thin grass, but slower for the jungle cut). Maybe if you jiggle that a bit, the engine will find some happiness.

    EDIT: I'm looking again at that picture, and I think the blade speed switch is that red thing, maybe if you slow the blade down, and bring it back up to speed it will help it.
    Last edited by Elburn; March 23rd, 2005 at 03:41 PM.

  3. #3
    Best To Avoid Me Martoch's Avatar
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    Here's a good link to my mower, except I have no height adjusters.

    3.5 HP Briggs & StrattonŽ fixed-speed engine

  4. #4
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    DON'T FORGET

    If you plan on playing with your motor/blade, unplug the spark plug wire. You don't want to lose any fingers,hands, toes, or feet.

    Also, don't flip the lawn mower over, that will make matters worse. You don't want oil getting where it shouldn't be.

    Going along with emsox's idea, check fuel lines too, they might be plugged up. As well as any airfilters that might be on your mower.

  5. #5
    Best To Avoid Me Martoch's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice, I'll try that.

    I just don't understand how anything could have possibly happened...when the mower ran out of gas, I didn't even move it. I brought the gas can to the mower, filled it up, and started it again.

  6. #6
    Best To Avoid Me Martoch's Avatar
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    I took apart the fuel filter...man was it dirty!!!


    I cleaned out the dirt (literally, there actually was dirt in there) and dust really well...replaced it...mower is back up and running.

    Thanks guys!

  7. #7
    Registered User EpyonMelee's Avatar
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    i had that mower.

    my fuel filter was dirty, with no gas how can it rev freely?

    also make sure your oil is good, and full.

  8. #8
    Best To Avoid Me Martoch's Avatar
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    Hmm...it's been quite a while since I even checked the oil.


    Thanks for the reminder!

  9. #9
    Registered User EpyonMelee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martoch
    Hmm...it's been quite a while since I even checked the oil.


    Thanks for the reminder!

    yea, mine burned oil FAST.

  10. #10
    Fact Checker Gomer's Avatar
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    That engine does not have a fuel filter... it has an air filter. My guess is you cleaned that. The proper way to clean it is to soak it in gasoline and wring it repeatedly. Let it air dry, then hit it with some straight 30 weight oil. Wring the oil out, and you are good to go.

    As far as burning oil goes... lawnmowers are like cars. They need their oil changed once a year also. Go more than 2 years, and they will start to burn oil in short order.

    That is really all the engine maintenance a Briggs like that needs... save for the occasional properly gapped spark plug every other year (maybe).

  11. #11
    ph34r t3h g04t Whir's Avatar
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    A new air filter probably costs less than the gas and oil to clean the old filter.

    I've rebuilt about fifty of those motors. The most common problem is people not changing their air filter. Second is oil. We usually did a carb rebuild when they came in for servicing as well. Costs about $7 for the carb kit, and provided you don't shake like a Solid Gold dancer, anyone with a set of tweezers and small screwdrivers can do it.

    Most of the time the people that hadn't changed their oil in four years just got new mowers as after labor, it cost more to repair the motor.

  12. #12
    Best To Avoid Me Martoch's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great advice!

    What kind of oil can I put in this thing? I have some 2 Stroke Engine Oil that I use for gas/oil mixtures for my blower and chainsaw...can I pour that directly into the oil tank in the mower?

    No, wait...the mower is a 4 Stroke, right?
    [scratches head]

    Can I use 10W-30?
    This site is saying that 10W-30 is acceptable.
    Last edited by Martoch; March 29th, 2005 at 12:48 PM.

  13. #13
    Anime Otaku RobRich's Avatar
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    10w30 will work fine, but cheap SAE30 is the the factory recommendation for most push mowers. I use synthetic in my small engines, but I am also too lazy to change oil every season.
    Robert Richmond | Infinite perceptions. One reality.
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  14. #14
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    My lawn mower was flooded in Rita and I have replaced everything. It will start but will not move. What can I do?

    Woody

  15. #15
    Ultimate Member nomaxim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woody2287
    My lawn mower was flooded in Rita and I have replaced everything. It will start but will not move. What can I do?

    Woody
    Damn Matoch, I hope you got that mower working by now.
    Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they?
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  16. #16
    Ultimate Member Chuckiechan's Avatar
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    Couple of things... to clean out the carb, get it running with the aircleaner off and plug it with your hand. The engine vacuum will suck gas through all the passages and hopefully clean them out.

    Next is a funny looking linkage that has hooks to the linkage with a spring. It acts like kind of a governor. If it's bent it won't work right. I'd replace it rather than try to guess what it is supposed to look like.

    G' luck
    Obama is a deer caught in history's headlights.

  17. #17
    Best To Avoid Me Martoch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomaxim
    Damn Matoch, I hope you got that mower working by now.
    It was running fine last time I cut the grass, but it's been a while so who knows.

  18. #18
    IRONyMan RedFury's Avatar
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    I saw this thread and was wondering....who's cutting grass in December?! Of course, that's the Minnesota in me

    As far as the revving engine goes, it's caused by either a burst of extra air, or a lack of fuel causing it to fluctuate like that. Either you have a dirty fuel system, or you have a dirty air filter.

    What exactly did you do other than replacing the fuel filter.
    this post contains small bits of intelligence culminating to the appearance of wisdom.

    http://www.shareaproject.com/pages/p...,p,346,00.html

  19. #19
    Best To Avoid Me Martoch's Avatar
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    @ me!

    Oh...


    It was the air filter, not the fuel filter...I took the "fuel" filter to Home Depot and an associate saw me holding it and said, "need a new air filter?"


    Me and engines don't get along.

  20. #20
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    Is it okay to add to such an old thread? I've got a Murray 5.0 Self-Propelled Push Mower. I treat it like crap because I have zero engine knowledge. But it actually seems to be running okay- except that it no longer self-propels.

    Now, I've pushed a non-propelled mower before and it's no fun, but I figured I'd just go for it anyway. Either I'm getting older even faster than I thought, or maybe this mower has got its brakes on.

    I cleaned whatever dirt I could from around the wheels. I can't even manually turn the front wheels by force. Are they locked somehow? It looks like some of the little notches that set the wheel height are bent, but it doesn't seem like that would cause the problem.

    Any thoughts? Thanks.

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