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What do you think happened?

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#1 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted July 27, 2015 - 09:07 PM

Being the only wrench turner in the fiance's family, it fell to me to take care of her father's push lawn mower.  (to be fair, he is an engineer that could solve any problem, but his health is poor and he can't do much of anything anymore.)  The problem was the mower would not start.  It worked two weeks ago, but would not start now.  It was a Sears mower with a Briggs and Stratton engine on it.  It has electric start.  Fiance's son mows the lawn, but the mower would not start.


I first took the spark plug off and wire brushed it.  It hadn't been changed or brushed in a couple of years.  I next took the air filter off and tried to clean it.  I put starter fluid in the plug hole and nothing happened.  I would pull the recoil, not even a pop. I smelled the gas.  It did not smell right.  One of my fiance's sister's went and got fresh gas.  I drained the old gas out in the mean time.   When she returned, I put in the fresh gas.  After 5 minutes of continued pulling, a pop would happen.  About a dozen more pulls finally got it running.  I taped the safety bar to the handle and let it run for 5 or 6 minutes.  I pulled the recoil and it would start.  I let it get cold, while I looked at the electric start button.  It was not there.  I fashioned a new button out of junk.  It worked.  The mower would not start.  It was now cold and would not start.


I let it go for the night as it was hot and late.  Fast forward 5 days later.  My fiance's father had purchased some new parts.  The air filter and the spark plug matched up.  Before I installed them, I gave an obligatory pull on the recoil.  To my surprise, it roared to life.


When I left it 5 days prior, I felt it had carb issues from bad gas.  I added the appropriate amount of Sta-bil to the gas can and a small amount of Lucas Injector cleaner.  I also put some Sta-bil and the Lucas into the lawn mower tank.  It never started that night, even after starter fluid.


What do you think happened.  Did the Lucas Injector cleaner clean the carb?  


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#2 Gtractor OFFLINE  


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Posted July 27, 2015 - 09:23 PM

Could be the injector cleaner or if your state has that wonderful ethanol gas everyone raves about that would have/could have cleaned the carb too. 

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#3 larrybl OFFLINE  


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Posted July 27, 2015 - 09:34 PM

Hard to say, but I only use a mix of 5 gallons of gas, add 1oz red stabul, and 1oz STP carb cleaner to the 5 gallons.

I use the 5 gallon to fill a 1 gallon Jug and add the appropriate amount of 2 cycle oil for the weed whacker. 


I have yet to have a fuel problem.

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#4 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 27, 2015 - 09:42 PM

I just add Marvel Mystery Oil to the gas tanks as I add gas. I don't let the tanks sit partially filled as that will attract condensation. Good Luck, Rick
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#5 LilysDad OFFLINE  


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Posted July 28, 2015 - 07:04 AM

Maybe flooded? More likely bad Juju.

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#6 crittersf1 OFFLINE  


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Posted July 28, 2015 - 07:14 AM

You just weren't holding your mouth right!

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Posted July 28, 2015 - 07:35 AM

I'm thinking low compression coupled with flooding.
How long has that oil been in there?
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#8 tater195 OFFLINE  


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Posted July 28, 2015 - 07:36 AM

Double check your spark. It sounds like a flakey kill switch

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#9 Marty'70 OFFLINE  


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Posted July 28, 2015 - 08:57 AM

Bad juju runs rampant at my house when it comes to push mowers.... Kinda like working with wood. I hate it with a passion. I'm voting it was bad juju hahahaha

Good luck with it!

Edited by Marty'70, July 28, 2015 - 08:59 AM.

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#10 JDBrian OFFLINE  


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Posted July 28, 2015 - 10:30 AM

I don't know what happened but if it 's an intermittent problem you will find out eventually when it quits again. Bad gas can really do some strange things. There may have been a piece of sludge stuck somewhere in the carb and it moved or disolved during the 5 day period while it sat there. I have had good luck with Sea Foam in small engines as well as the other additives that folks have mentioned above.

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