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Old 05-03-2008, 03:29 PM   #1
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Exclamation small engine gurus...why won't my lawnmower stay running?

Tecumseh LV 195 6.5HP vertical shaft engine on a Toro. It'll start, but it won't stay running unless I keep priming it or hold the priming button in, tends to rev up and down, runs rich as hell. I can very slowly release the priming button and it'll fight to stay running until it's almost fully released, and then it'll quit.

Spark plug looks good, was new last year.
Fuel is good
Screen in fuel tank is clean
Doesn't matter whether the fuel cap is loose or tight
Doesn't matter whether the air filter (which isn't bad) is attached or not

I took the float bowl off and it seems to me the float is working OK, and the bowl gasket wasn't leaking.

Ever since I got it the RPMs would cycle up and down on startup until it warmed up, now it won't even stay running.

Is there another fuel filter in this thing somewhere? I don't see a place for one, the line runs from the tank into the side of the carb into a fitting that doesn't look like it contains a filter.
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Old 05-03-2008, 03:34 PM   #2
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Possibly an obstruction in the fuel line, crap in the jets or fiddle with the mixture screws a little, if it has any.
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Old 05-03-2008, 03:37 PM   #3
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Lightbulb just a guess

Quote:
Originally Posted by MFE View Post
Tecumseh LV 195 6.5HP vertical shaft engine on a Toro. It'll start, but it won't stay running unless I keep priming it or hold the priming button in, tends to rev up and down, runs rich as hell. I can very slowly release the priming button and it'll fight to stay running until it's almost fully released, and then it'll quit.

Spark plug looks good, was new last year.
Fuel is good
Screen in fuel tank is clean
Doesn't matter whether the fuel cap is loose or tight
Doesn't matter whether the air filter (which isn't bad) is attached or not

I took the float bowl off and it seems to me the float is working OK, and the bowl gasket wasn't leaking.

Ever since I got it the RPMs would cycle up and down on startup until it warmed up, now it won't even stay running.

Is there another fuel filter in this thing somewhere? I don't see a place for one, the line runs from the tank into the side of the carb into a fitting that doesn't look like it contains a filter.
Try adj the carb and cleaning the jets
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Old 05-03-2008, 03:48 PM   #4
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If it's an OHV engine, the surging up and down for a few seconds upon cold startup can be common in OHV engines especially with riding mower engines (I know yours is not). If this model has a metal float bowl, the bolt that holds the bowl on is almost always the main jet. If it looks like a type of banjo bolt with some very small cross drilled holes, those holes are the jets and must be completely clean since EPA makes them runs all the engines so lean now. It will actually help if you can open these holes up a thousandth or two. The other type carb has a plastic bowl. Which one do you have?
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Old 05-03-2008, 03:52 PM   #5
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Old 05-03-2008, 03:54 PM   #6
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I found the answer elsewhere but All Cleveland nailed it, I didn't realize the brass bolt holding the float bowl on also was the main jet, with little holes in it not unlike a brake line banjo bolt. And although everything looked remarkably clean, I poked all the holes with very fine wire and cleaned it in solvent, dried it with compressed air, and now it runs like a champ.

Thanks for looking fellas
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Old 05-03-2008, 05:08 PM   #7
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Yeah,it does'nt take much on one of those carbs,what's worse is a weedeater,or chainsaw carb getting a clogged jet,ask me how I know!
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Old 05-03-2008, 05:27 PM   #8
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Curses! LAte again... I was gonna ask if you took the time to degree the cam...
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Old 05-03-2008, 05:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by All Cleveland View Post
If it's an OHV engine, the surging up and down for a few seconds upon cold startup can be common in OHV engines especially with riding mower engines (I know yours is not). If this model has a metal float bowl, the bolt that holds the bowl on is almost always the main jet. If it looks like a type of banjo bolt with some very small cross drilled holes, those holes are the jets and must be completely clean since EPA makes them runs all the engines so lean now. It will actually help if you can open these holes up a thousandth or two. The other type carb has a plastic bowl. Which one do you have?

also water/condensation gets into the bowls very well since the mowers sit up so long and that will cause them to shut down also.
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Old 05-03-2008, 06:59 PM   #10
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I had similar troubles on a generator engine and a lawn mower engine, both were caused by small holes in rubber feed lines causing fuel stoppages trying to pump air.Also had a weed whacker that had a kink in the feed line inside the fuel tank, that was a sob to figure out. I was ready to buy a new one[$69.95] and was disassembling that one for parts when I found the kink.
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:25 PM   #11
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I was gonna suggest cleaning the maf element, since that often causes a surging idle... :LOL:
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Old 05-03-2008, 08:05 PM   #12
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My old Craftsman mower had exactly the same symptoms and it ended up being a damp air cleaner element. Apparently my girlfriend thought it would be a nice gesture to rinse off the mower while I was in the shower, but she didn't realize that the air cleaner should be covered prior to rinsing. Lesson learned.

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Old 05-03-2008, 08:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
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but she didn't realize that the air cleaner should be covered prior to rinsing. Lesson learned.

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Make sure she does it with shrinkwrap next time!
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Old 05-03-2008, 08:27 PM   #14
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Pull the diagnostic codes....and then go in and re-boot your PC for good measure.
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Old 05-03-2008, 08:47 PM   #15
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Make sure she does it with shrinkwrap next time!

Hey, don't laugh... That's what I use when whenever I steam clean the engine bay on my Mustang. It works pretty darn good too.

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Old 05-03-2008, 11:29 PM   #16
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I was afraid to ask if I should set its TPS to 0.977777777777777777777777777779 to cure the hunting idle and speed up the throttle response.
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Old 05-03-2008, 11:45 PM   #17
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small engine gurus...why won't my lawnmower stay running?
It could be broken.
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Old 05-04-2008, 06:41 PM   #18
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Do you run the gas out of it at the end of the season or use fuel stabilizer?

Leaving gas in it or at least not using fuel stabilizer over the off season is asking for trouble.
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:21 PM   #19
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I run stabilizer in it before the season is out, and run it as low as I can before putting it away. And it ran pretty OK for the first few times this season, this time...not so much. But it's fine now.
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I was afraid to ask if I should set its TPS to 0.977777777777777777777777777779 to cure the hunting idle and speed up the throttle response.
Na, that won't help. You really need to lower the mower more. I'd suggest that you start at 2.5" lower. Then, keep going lower. If you familiar with a tiller, then that's about the height that you should be shooting for. That way, your mower will handle like it was on rails!





Now, this is how mowing should be done!

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Last edited by stangPlus2Birds; 05-04-2008 at 09:06 PM.
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