I got the little tiller out today to start preparing for a fall garden. About half way through it started running weaker and weaker. I shut it down to let it cool off. When I started it up again it would idle fine but had no power.
I also noticed that the primer bulb wasn't working correctly. It would pump fuel but wouldn't reinflate. I made sure the fuel filter wasn't clogged and I took the top end of the carb assembly (the part with the primer) off, thinking that if the primer wasn't working right that the problem was probably in that area. I cleaned it out and reassembled but no luck.
After spending a couple of hours running the tiller in the heat and a couple more hours messing around with the tiller I decided that I'd had enough.
My next try will be to put some fuel system cleaner in the tank and let it idle for a while. May be a waste of time but I might get lucky. If that doesn't do it then I'll pull the whole carburetor off and see what I can find there.
While all that was going on my wife and my oldest son were taking turns on the riding mower. I noticed when the young man was bringing the mower back in that it was missing and idling very rough. Wonderful. All I need is another old small gasoline engine to work on while chores need to be done.
I can't complain about the riding mower. It was a present from my parents the summer after we bought our first house. This is the 12th summer we've used it. In addition to changing the oil and cleaning the air cleaner, I've sharpened and replaced the blades replaced the belts, replaced the battery twice, replaced a starter solenoid and a throttle cable, plugged a couple of flat tires, and replaced two of the three mandrels on the mower deck. That's it. Not much maintenance for a mower that has averaged at least 4 hours of hard use per week through 12 summers. I've never replaced the spark plugs so that is probably a good place to start on a tuneup. If you are interested it is a Sears Craftsman with a 2 cylinder B&S engine.
I really don't want to spend the money on another mower or another tiller so I hope I can fix both.
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4 hours ago