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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys -

After just moving into a new house, I got out my lawn care gear this past weekend and was ready to work. I have a mower, weed eater (trimmer), and blower which have all been in storage for about a year now. I flushed the gas out of all 3, mixed a new batch (except for mower), sharpened blades, and a few other maintenance things for each.

Unfortunatly, the weed eater wouldn't start. Not only that, when I pulled the starter it was reluctant to retract. As I know engine basics, I took it apart to try to fix but was unsuccessful. It's not a top of the line by any means, but I'm posting what's wrong here including pictures in hopes someone can help so I don't have to beg the wife to buy a new one.

Any ideas you have would be greatly appreciated!

Details
- Weed Eater / Trimmer / WeedWacker
- Craftsman
- 33cc "Full Crank Engine"
- Couldn't find model number believe it or not
- Been in storage for about a year
- Use mixed gas (Most recent batch was ~ 40:1 ratio)

Symptoms
- At the end of the season last year, it would start, but the cord still wouldn't retract easily. Banging the end of it (where the retract coil is) would help in making it retract.
- One of the pics shows my finger pointing towards the shaft which obviously turns when engine is on or being started. When assembled and I try to turn it, it turns easily for a bit sometimes and at other times is more difficult to turn. During these times, about 1/2 the revolution is easy and the other half more difficult. Sometimes when the carb & exhaust (muffler?) are removed, it seems to turn much easier as if a vacuum is released. The force required to turn it seems to fluctuate and never be consistent (in a single or many revolutions) (I think this may be my issue or a clue to it)
- Currently, it won't start at all.

What I've Tried to Get it Started
- Pulled string until I sweated out all bodily fluids :)
- Cleaned / Temp removed air filter
- New gas & oil mix
- Replaced spark plug with brand new one
- Sprayed a bit of starter fluid in carburetor air intake as well as in piston chamber (removed spark plug and sprayed bit in)
- Disassembled, slightly cleaned, and reassembled

What I Found During Disassembly
- As mentioned above, the shaft would turn much easier much of the time when carburetor & exhaust (muffler?) removed
- When removing the back casing where coiled start string is located, the string retracted as if it were new once the shaft and coil weren't connected anymore (I don't think it's not a bad starter coil / string)
- Last year, there was much carbon build up on screen on exhaust / muffler blocking airflow seemingly. I removed and cleaned this string
- Could view piston moving up and down as shaft was being turned with exhaust / muffler removed
- When switched to "Run", carburetor air flow seemed closed. When switched to "Cold Start" / choke, it seemed about 1/4 open (pic below)
- Fuel lines seemed to flow correctly

Important Note
I used the same mixed fuel in my blower which even though had difficulty started, was no match for starter fluid and eventually started. I still wasn't able to go full throttle as it seemed doing so would choke itself out. I really do believe that my fuel isn't 100% what it should be. I was going to wait to post due to this - however - I did as the trimmer wouldn't even budge with starter fluid.

Below are the pics I took during disassembly. I did not take individual components apart, but will be happy to do so as well as post any other info or pics requested. Any ideas or assistance you could provide would be extremely helpful.

Thank You for your help and time!!!

Pictures
Click on them to enlarge
Assembled Trimmer


Assembled, but Casing Removed


Pointing at Shaft With Inconsistent Turning Force Required Discussed Above


Carburetor with Air Filter Removed


Carburetor (Removed)


Carburetor (Removed and side shot)


Carburetor (With "Cold Start" selected - even though not mounted to engine)


Engine Intake(?) (Where carburetor attaches)


Exhaust Port with Muffler Removed


Exhaust Port with Muffler Removed Close-up


Thanks again!
 

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Well to start with, you need to totally clean the Carb. Gas sitting a year in it probably has all the passages, springs, ect varnished up and won't allow gas to go thru.
Also make sure the vacuum port I have circled in Red is clean, both on the engine and the Carb as this vacuum port is what makes the carb actually work.
Also make sure all the fuel lines are good and ethanol gas can make them crack and break in pieces.
Recoil I am not sure, but sounds like the spring is binding up in the housing,
Good Luck, these can be a Bear to get running.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
SonnyT - Thanks a lot for your reply!

When I was in High School, my Dad had a mechanic rebuild a '54 Chevy with me to teach me basic mechanics, but that's as far as I can go. A little has changed in the past 60 years :)

I'm going to start on that right away. Couple of questions, though.

1. OK to use the starter fluid to clean carb? If not, what should I use instead?

2. Regardless of carb condition, shouldn't it at least have acted like it would start after spraying in the starter fluid?

As far as the recoil, when seperated from the shaft, it works 100% perfectly as it recoils fast and a decent amount of strength. I was thinking that the shaft shouldn't be as difficult to turn sometimes which lead to that issue. Ohh well. Let you know what happens. Thanks again!
 

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1. As Sonny said, storing with untreated fuel a year can cause varnishing or blockage of fuel.
2. A good spark, fresh fuel/mix from a tsp prime in cyl and good compression should get a pop as trying to start.
3. If it tries, you might try 2 oz of carb cleaner in a tank of fresh gas or strip the carb and soak 8 hrs in carb cleaner. Rem all rubber, mixture screws, Ck int fuel screen and verify all ports are open with compressed carb cleaner or air, fine wire.
4. Ck for hardness of fuel’s rubber diaphragm and hardness/deteriorated fuel lines X All and air tight.
5. Take pics and notes to know fuel adjustments and all int part’s positions.
6. Ck spark arrest for carbon and visitor’s nest after a yr of storage.
7. I d/n follow inconsistent pull but it could be compression, cyl matters or bad mechanism.

Good Luck!
 

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I wouldn't ever use starting fluid in a small engine. If need be add a eye dropper full of gas in the spark plug hole and directly into carb. It wouldn't take much starting fluid to fluid it quickly and not even try to start, imo. Plus, and a big one, starting fluid can blow the head right off a small engine.
 
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