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Discussion Starter #1
Hi fellas, I have been a long time member of the mytractor forum for about 5 years, I just joined the mylawnmower forum a couple weeks ago because my Craftsman push mower was dead and they got me back up and running. Now my Craftsman Leaf blower is giving me fits.

History: Started and ran several times this spring already. Fresh gas to start the year. It usually started in 2-3 pulls and once started, I would need to keep reving it to keep it going. If I let it idle, it would die and if I just floored the throttle it would die. It took a long time (longer than I remember previously) to get to a point that it would run at either full throttle or at idle without dying. Also, it seemed to have just a little less power than before but I may have been imagining this. Anyway, I have used it several times this spring as I said with not much trouble starting it. Starting in early April, I used it to clear all the sand off the road in front of our house after the snow plows load it up over the winter. That was a good hour of running time. Then I have used it to blow leaves from around the house. A good half hour straight. Then a few times to clean drive and deck after mowing the lawn for just 5 or 10 minutes each time (3 or 4 times). Today, I wanted to blow some leaves that had collected under a trailer and it tried to start on the second pull but died. Subsequent pulls showed no sign of life. I let it set for an hour in the shade and tried again, nothing. I tried several hours later and nothing. I pulled the plug and plenty of gas on it. The plug looks good. I tested for spark and have good blue spark. I pulled the plastic side plate off and the back piece covering the air filter. I cleaned the air filter and put it back in and tried to start it, but nothing. I have got rid of the gas, emptied the gas tank and refilled with fresh 40:1 premium (no ethanol) gas. Still no love.
You guys helped me out a week ago on my Craftsman push mower but now that I have that running, the leaf blower is giving me fits. Craftsman is making my life difficult this Summer.
If anyone has any other suggestions, let me know. Easy and cheap fixes first please. Oh, when I pulled off the plastic side plate, this part was full of nasty oily gunk as shown in the photo. I don't think it would cause the problems I am having, but maybe it is a symptom. It is called the "Crankcase Plug Assembly".


Here is the data plate on the blower:


And, here is the shroud I removed from the side:
 

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Sounds like the carb needs cleaned and may needs new diaphragms (especially the metering diaphragm). Sometimes you can get lucky by just disassembling the carb and cleaning it. That would be the cheap easy fix. Even if you have to buy a rebuild kit I doubt it would cost much.
With gunky oil buildup, you could also try removing the muffler and see if it will start. A plugged up muffler will stop a 2 cycle dead in it's tracks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks GregOH:
I have since got it running. I pulled the muffler to check the cylinder and piston which looked OK. I also checked the head bolts as I was told they have a tendency to loosen. The first one was kind of loose. I tightened it back up and tried to loosen the second one but I needed a longer allen wrench. Before going to Home Depot to get a different allen wrench and loc-tite, I decided to try to start it again as it had been sitting over night. On the second pull, it showed a glimmer of life. I pulled again and it again showed me it wasn't totally dead. So, I switched the switch to run instead of start and pulled and just a hint of life. I then gave it a little throttle and it perked up. On the next pull it started. I revved it up and kept doing so for about 20 seconds and it was running great. It was able to go full throttle and idle down without dying. Before it took a good minute of revving to get it to run good like that. So, now, I don't know if it is the muffler or the head bolts.
I got back with the new allen wrench and loc-tite. The second head bolt was tight but I figured I would pull it out and put some loc-tite on it anyway. When I tipped the blower for it to fall out after I backed it out of the threads, it just disappeared. I didn't see it fall or hear it, but it was gone. I checked the floor around my work bench and I cleaned the whole work bench off. But it was gone. I could not find it inside the blower shroud and I hear nothing rattling around in there. So, I had to order a new one from Searspartsdirect.com and it won't be here for ten days.
At that time, I will put both bolts in, with loc-tite and once it dries, I will try to start it again with the muffler on and head bolts tightened down.

One other thing, I had went out and purchased fresh gas and mixed it 40:1. I emptied the blower and put in the new gas the night before. It didn't start then, but I am thinking maybe it just took that much time and pulls to finally get the old gas out and get to the new stuff. The old stuff wasn't last year's gas, but it was from earlier this spring. So, Muffler, head bolts or old gas, who the heck knows at this point. But at least I know the thing isn't a total loss at this point. I just need that head bolt before I can continue testing and trouble shooting.
 

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I'm sure if you keep at it you'll get her going again. The loose head bolt was probably responsible for the loss of power and the oily mess.

Are you able to adjust the carb or do the needles have caps over them? If you are able to adjust it, the L needle may need tweaked a bit to keep it idling.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I haven't checked the carb adjustment. But I will look for them. I am hoping all I have to do is pop in the new head bolt and pull the starter cord and I am set. I will remember to post up how it goes.
 

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Just wanted to followup with an update. I received the new head bolt this afternoon, got it installed and after some aggravation got the thing started and purring like a loud kitten. After everything, I am going to put the ultimate blame on bad gas as the reason for the blower not starting to begin with. I suppose it could have something to do with me disassembling it and messing with it, but I think, in the end, it was me replacing the gas that was in it that got it running again. In the mean time, I learned a bit more about leaf blowers and how they work. The biggest thing I learned however is that they are a PITA to work on.

 

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Cool, nice to see you got it gong. I'm thinking about getting one just like it, so if I have any questions I'll check with you.
 

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Not a problem. Post here or PM me. I should get a notice either way. I really like the blower. It is a slightly better model than the base model. I think the base one only was rated for 190mph or something. I got this "special" edition one. I don't know if it was really any better but it was basically the same price. I like it though.
 

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Rebuild the leaf blower carburetor. The leaf blower carburetor mixes air and gasoline in the proper proportions to create a combustible gas. If the engine starts and then sputters, or doesn't start at all due to lack of fuel, you can rebuild the carburetor. That's all I know and I hope it helps you there.
 

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Malcolm: that thread is from last summer. I have gotten the leaf blower working great since then. It must have been bad gas. But it is running great now. I have used it several times since with great results. THanks for the followup and I probably would have gone to a new carb as my next step if the new gas didn't help.
 
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