Small Engine Wouldn't Start After Sitting A Year, Fix. - Tractors & Mowers - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 06-18-2019, 03:12 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2019
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small engine wouldn't start after sitting a year, fix.

Small engine (tiller) sat a couple of years and wouldn't start. I recommend replacing gas as well as taking off the carb and really spraying it out with carb cleaner, it's really not that complicated and beats pulling it 100 times while cursing all machines.

Long story:
I got a Husqvarna ft900 and used it once on my large garden before moving, downsizing and moving nearer things.

As my new yard was the size of my old garden, the tiller has sat for a few years with stabil in it.

When I went to start it, it wouldn't start. Here's how I got it started, for anyone who has similar "I haven't used it in 2 years and now it won't start!" issues. Small engines can be very cantankerous, but they're very simple really!

Make sure tiller/mower/whatever is turned ON, and gas is turned ON, and it has gas and oil. Changing the oil is a good idea too, it's easy too (get a $15 siphon pump from Amazon or unscrew the stopper and let it run into a catch pan)

Pull for a half hour a day for 3 days so you'll be sore for weeks. You can skip this step really, it's not recommended. After a half dozen pulls with the Choke ON, you should smell gas from it being flooded. I didn't.

pulled the plug out, wasn't wet. checked gap, was .050 and should be .025 or .030. Weird, had to have come that way. Cleaned a bit with some 320 paper between contacts.

put back in, pulled a few. took off air filter, sprayed with carb cleaner, pulled, nothing. sprayed with starting fluid in air intake, it would start and die immediately.

used siphon to drain as much gas as I could and refilled with new gas.

bit the bullet and took off the carburetor. this is intimidating sounding, but i consisted of pulling off gas line and clamping it closed and out of the way, removing 2 M13 bolts, that's it. And another for the catch basin. It looked all laquered, yellow coated.

Sprayed that out with carb clearner, including all the little holes (wear glasses, that stuff hurts in the eyes. and just because you survived the first time, doesn't mean it won't keep happening with more spraying)

shake it out, screw on basin and carb back to engine, reattach gas line (let some run into container to drain more bad gas)

Pulled 3x, it started. Had to fiddle with choke a little bit, slowly turning it off and throttle down, let run a few to warm up/get steady.

Good to go!

(then tilled my crushed stone gravel pit of a side yard, burned out belt and broke plastic pulley. This poor tiller has a rough life! Is one belt, one pulley, one carb cleaning per tank of gas usual?

Hope this helps someone who uses their small engine rarely. Just bite that bullet, clean the gunk out of the carb fully and replace year old gas BEFORE you spend an hour pulling, it's easier and way less painful!
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