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Old 12-10-2010, 06:44 PM   #1
cpals
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Default Weedwacker won't start

I'm not very mechanically inclined and my weedwacker is having problems starting. I go through the steps (press the bulb 10 times, pull string few times, move to second spot, etc) and it starts up really loud like it's going good and then it dies in a few seconds.

Also, not sure if they're all like this, but this one you mix the oil and gas.
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Old 12-10-2010, 06:51 PM   #2
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I don't much but be sure you are using fresh gas (1 gallon gas to 1 container of 2 stroke oil mixture). Be sure that spark plug is clean and not fouled. Hope this helps some...and is something simple.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:27 PM   #3
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Choke?
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:27 PM   #4
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Carb cleaner?
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:51 PM   #5
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Swap the engine for a Civic one...
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:59 PM   #6
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How old is it? Could be a carb problem. Dirty and/or needs adjustment. Or maybe a dirty air filter.
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:10 PM   #7
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It's December, why are you wacking weeds?
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagnusTheBrewer View Post
It's December, why are you wacking weeds?
He lives in a place like Florida?
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tristicus View Post
He lives in a place like Florida?
I live in Arizona and there's no weed wacking to be found.
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:54 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by speedy2 View Post
How old is it? Could be a carb problem. Dirty and/or needs adjustment. Or maybe a dirty air filter.
I just bought one of those maintenance kits recently which had the oil, spark plug and filter in it so that should be good. How would I clean the carb if it's the problem?

It's around three years old.
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:58 AM   #11
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If I recall my weed-wacker startup properly...

Prime it (pump bulb 10x)
Set it to choke
Pull the chord, it will cough and sputter and run for a few seconds
Set the choke part open
Pull it to start
Rev it a little, keep the throttle open, I did this pull start at wide-open-throttle
Set the choke to open
Whack some weeds

Good luck.
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Old 12-11-2010, 10:12 AM   #12
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*sigh* just use starting fluid, thats what its for.
The main thing thats the most neglected with all small motors is the magnet attached to the pully assembly, it needs to be sanded down and properly adjusted. usually the distance is a piece of paper folded in half stuck inbetween the 2 magnets and theres your distance.
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCH13 View Post
If I recall my weed-wacker startup properly...

Prime it (pump bulb 10x)
Set it to choke
Pull the chord, it will cough and sputter and run for a few seconds
Set the choke part open
Pull it to start
Rev it a little, keep the throttle open, I did this pull start at wide-open-throttle
Set the choke to open
Whack some weeds

Good luck.
Yep, that's how mine is... actually has the pics on the handle.
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Old 12-11-2010, 02:31 PM   #14
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Spray the carb cleaner into the carb and into as many of the little holes as you can. Then try to start it a few times.
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Old 12-11-2010, 04:57 PM   #15
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I've always had the same issues with small 2 cycle engines. Sometimes they fire up, most often not. I think they were invented to try the patience of the average man, then when you mangle them to bits they increase sales.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:18 PM   #16
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Small gas engines are notoriously fickle. Weedwackers especially for some reason. I think the carbs get gummed up with crap even though there's a filter. The best thing to do is to remove the carb and give it a thorough cleaning.

I had a gas one that was really bad. Eventually ditched it for an electric. Theyre better for light duty lawn maintenance IMO.
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmntech View Post
Small gas engines are notoriously fickle. Weedwackers especially for some reason. I think the carbs get gummed up with crap even though there's a filter. The best thing to do is to remove the carb and give it a thorough cleaning.

I had a gas one that was really bad. Eventually ditched it for an electric. Theyre better for light duty lawn maintenance IMO.
I had a nice Toro electric and it was excellent, but the battery got weak on it. Every replacement battery after that was nearly useless and a "genuine" replacement battery costs more than a new gas unit. Needless to say, I'm fighting with a gas one again.
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagnusTheBrewer View Post
I live in Arizona and there's no weed wacking to be found.
im in az too. drive by my house, theres plenty of weeds to whack around out there. and 11" tall grass to mow.

sounds like the gas may be bad, especially if it has sat for a long time. i have to get mine cleaned out soon too, same problem. my mower died as well, hence the long grass.
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Old 12-13-2010, 01:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanoverphist View Post
im in az too. drive by my house, theres plenty of weeds to whack around out there. and 11" tall grass to mow.

sounds like the gas may be bad, especially if it has sat for a long time. i have to get mine cleaned out soon too, same problem. my mower died as well, hence the long grass.
FWIW a typical rule of thumb out here in the boonies is a 3-month shelf life for gasoline in a can. After that, have a bonfire.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:13 PM   #20
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or just use some starting fluid. if it doesnt fire under ether, then you know you have problems that need investigatin
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:45 PM   #21
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My lawn mower was doing that a couple months ago. Turns out it was the carb that needed to be cleaned.
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:30 PM   #22
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Lightbulb Exhaust

Check the exhaust area. My old trimmer had the same symptoms--At first I thought it was the carb, but it turned out that the spark arrestor screen at the exhaust was all gunked up. You will need to remove the muffler to get to it. Google videos for "trimmer spark arrestor screen." (Sample) I used a lighter to burn up the gunk on the screen, followed by wire-brush.

Just for kicks, I ran the trimmer without the muffler. . . Crikey it was LOUD!

Last edited by Mermaidman; 12-14-2010 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:47 PM   #23
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but it turned out that the spark arrestor screen at the exhaust was all gunked up.
I've had this happen too, eventually would up taking the silly thing off.

Everyone has their favorite 2stroke equipment, mine is Stihl. My weedeater is 10 years old and still starts right up every season, even with 9 month old gasoline. Even my edger and blower are 4 years old, since we got them when we moved in this house, and they have performed flawlessly without ever being serviced.
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:51 AM   #24
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We have a Husqvarna chain saw and weed wacker here at work. They consistently start right up in the spring after sitting all winter. The Husqvarna 2-stroke oil that we mix with the fuel has fuel stabilizer in it.
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:02 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by System_Mechanic View Post
*sigh* just use starting fluid, thats what its for.
The main thing thats the most neglected with all small motors is the magnet attached to the pully assembly, it needs to be sanded down and properly adjusted. usually the distance is a piece of paper folded in half stuck inbetween the 2 magnets and theres your distance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by System_Mechanic View Post
or just use some starting fluid. if it doesnt fire under ether, then you know you have problems that need investigatin
You should NOT try to start a 2-stroke engine with starting fluid. That oil you add to your gasoline is the stuff that lubricates the engine. By running it with starter fluid you're running your engine without lubrication.

That said, for the OP's situation. If it ran a week ago and won't start now, the problem could be as simple as a chunk of gunk lodged in the carburetor. To do it right, you need to disassemble the carb, soak the parts in carb cleaner (careful, it's nasty stuff), clean the residue with brake cleaner, then reassemble. Don't let the carb cleaner touch the gaskets. I will say, though, that you might as well "rebuild" the carb while you have it apart. That will replace all of your gaskets, maybe a needle and float, and possibly a spring, depending on your carb design. I think the kit for my ice auger was $30. The one for my boat motor was a little more.

It's not too difficult to rebuild a carburetor. Just take it slow, take pictures, and make sure you don't have any parts left over at the end.

Some tricks for 2-stroke engines and their mixed gasoline (maybe for yard tools in general):
  • NEVER use ethanol in them. Ethanol has a pretty limited shelf life, which can be especially problematic given the relatively limited use of our 2-stroke engines. Around here the only gas I can get without ethanol is 92 octane, so that's what I use.
  • ALWAYS use a fuel stabilizer in the gas can. It gets limited use and just sits in the garage.
  • Winterize/summerize your engines. When the season for that tool has ended, top it off with mixed ETHANOL-FREE, stabilized gasoline. Pull the spark plug(s) and spray some WD-40 or "fogging lube" in the cylinder. Pull the starter a few times. Replace the plug and put it on the shelf until next year. I generally put a new plug in the motor at the beginning of the season. It's cheap peace of mind, but probably not necessary.
  • Use a "one mix" 2-stroke oil. This solves the problem of having a gas can for each tool because of the different mix ratios necessary. Opti-2 and Tanaka Perfect Mix are two examples of these oils.
A little bit of time and care for your 2-stroke engine will ease your frustration and probably give you a tool that you can hand down to your kids.

My boat motor is 23 years old. When I bought it three seasons ago I rebuilt the carb, replaced the plugs, and adjusted the timing. It still runs as well as I imagine it did from the factory. I think my ice auger is going on about 30 years old and still starts and runs like new with a rebuilt carb and fresh plugs. In my opinion you can't beat the 2-strokes for their torque, durability, and ease of maintenance.
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