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you are describing classic carburetor problems
assuming that the gasoline is getting TO the carbuertor but not getting through the carburetor
then either the afterfire fuel solenoid is shutting the gas off
inside the carb, or the carb is dirty
the solenoid is there to shut the gas off when you turn the key off to prevent backfires
it must have 12V at all times, or the plunger extends and off the gas goes
Most likely you have a fuel delivery or fuel quality problem.
As engines sit or get older, fuel that is left in the carburetor can turn to gum and varnish and cause this and other problems.
Also, any gasoline that was left in a gas can for a period of more than 30 days must be discarded because it also has begun to turn to varnish.
Today's gasolines contain MTBE and alcohol. (Ethanol) They turn to "Junk and garbage" very quickly. Alcohol absorbs water. And they call it "Oxygenated fuels! It is the oxygen (and the water) that breaks down the organic compounds in the fuel and turns the gas to "Garbage" (Gum and varnish) The fuels we had just a few years ago had no alcohol in it and would store for longer periods of time before going stale.
Fuel stabilizers do almost nothing to prevent the fuel from going bad with the changes in today's fuels. The whole point of a fuel stabilizer is to form an oily film on the surface of stored gasoline whether in the tank or in a gas can. The idea was to keep oxygen away from the gasoline to prevent breakdown. Since the fuel is already oxygenated, the fuel stabilizer concept is null and void. These fuels start to degrade immediately upon the addition of the ethanol.
Do not buy gas from the "Discount" Stations. The discount stations get a reduced price on gas because they may be buying fuel that is nearly 30 days old already. You may be getting fuel that's nearly stale right from the pump when buying from a discount station. Purchase your fuel from the well-known stations such as Shell, BP, Sonoco, Phillips 66 etc.
More than 70% of all of our repairs in our small engine repair business are due to these same issues. You most likely have dirt, gum, varnish...etc in your carburetor plugging up the small passageways and jets in the carburetor.
The carburetor will need to be cleaned and overhauled as well as the rest of the fuel system.
In an Emergency such as a blizzard where you cannot get out to buy a carburetor kit until the plows come through, or during an emergency power outage and you need a generator running even if it runs poorly, you might try the following if your carburetor is the type that has a bowl. Sometimes this procedure works:
While the carburetor is still mounted to the engine:
You may be able to finish the job at hand then clean and overhaul the carburetor correctly when you have more time and a new carburetor overhaul kit.
The nut that holds on the carburetor bowl has several small holes in it. Some are on the sides and one may be in the end. In order to completely clean the carburetor correctly, you Must clean these holes with a tag wire or a jet drill. (If a jet drill is used, DO NOT use a drill that is bigger than the hole or the engine will run too rich.)
If you don't feel comfortable with these kinds of repairs, or if the carburetor still doesn't work correctly after your attempt, I would suggest sending it to a profession repair shop with a reputation for having friendly, knowledgeable, experienced service technicians. It would be best to take it to someone who has an "Ultra-sonic" cleaning machine. This machine uses a very mild carburetor cleaner in concert with ultrasonic vibrations to get the very small passageways clean. This method is very effective even when traditional methods fail.
Here is where you can get an inexpensive "Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine"
There is a New Product that you can try which is guaranteed to work or your money back (per the manufacturer).
It is designed to help clean the carburetor without damaging the diaphragms and rubber parts like regular carburetor cleaner. Click on this site and it will tell you all about it. http://www.b3cfuelsolutions.com/html/mib.html
The mechanic in a bottle is NOT a conventional carburetor cleaner.
It actually breaks down the varnish into it molecular components and it completely dissolves. It DOE NOT clog up the jets as conventional carburetor cleaners do. Conventional carb cleaners just loosen the varnish and the varnish particles will go into the jets and filters and clog them up.... usually causing much more problems that was originally there. The conventional carb cleaners also will loosen the "GUMK" that has formed in the gas tanks and cause all of that gunk to go through the carburetor as well.
The Mechanic in a BOTTLE is a completely revolutionary product that will in many cases alleviate the need to tear the carburetor down and rebuilt it..... unless there is mechanical wear and tear that would require that parts be replaced.
In addition, the special formula actually is designed to soften and restore the rubber parts in the carburetor such as the needle and seats and gaskets.
Mechanic in a bottle is NOT a cure-all but it can help customer get going in many cases without them having to tear the carburetor apart. If the customer is NOT mechanically inclined, it might save them a trip to the repair shop.
Yes I was very skeptical about this product when I first was introduced to it, but the Distributor demonstrated it and we have tried it on many occasions with terrific results.
Otherwise you will have to clean and rebuild the carburetor.
Please feel free to ask follow-up questions so that we can always arrive at the correct solution. We want you to be 100% satisfied.
most of the nikki carbs do not have a bowl nut, but instead have the afterfire solneoid, but SOME have both
there may also be other locations where the stiff wire may be needed to probe the tiny holes and orifices to get them clean