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Briggs-Fan
Briggs-Fan, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 1202
Experience:  over 15 years experience in small engine repair, multiple certifications
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I've got a Toro self propelled mower. Ran the gas completely

Customer Question

Hi - I've got a Toro self propelled mower. Ran the gas completely dry before storing. First time out this season, it runs for 5-7 mins then stops. Sometimes will start again and run for short period of time then stop again. It does not sound like it is running as "robustly" as it should - i.e. engine does not seem to "roar" like it should. ideas?
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Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

Hi my name is ***** ***** welcome to Just Answer. Was the mower stored outside ?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
No - the gas was drained before storing, and I previously had someone install a valve to stop any drops of gas from going thru after it runs to a stop.It was stored in a garage.It's 4 years old. It had the carb rebuilt 1 year ago.
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

The tank was drained but what about the carburetor bowl?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The carb bowl was not touched - I've never been advised that I needed to do that and the Toro manual doesn't even mention that. I did e'thing they recommend for storage. What's the best way to get step by step instructions on getting to the carb?
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

Can you give me the model number of your mower

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Sure - model # ***** serial 3120 20564the B&S manual says"model 120000" with quantum series listing of 625, 650, 675, and 700.
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

Does it say 190 cc on the engine ?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I'm going to have to take a look when I get home tonight.
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

It looks like it , so behind the air filter is the carburetor and the bolt is on the bottom of the bowl , I'd take a 1/2 wrench and loosen it and drain some gas out first

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
John - the engine does say 1900 cc on it...I pulled off the air filter - there was some debris but not too much.I ran out of day light so I'm gonna try to get to the carb in next few days.Some of the videos I saw indicate that often the culprit is the screw that holds it on - there are a few holes in it that are important. Do you think I can just take the screw off and clear those holes of debris and see if that does the trick so I don't have to tackle taking the carb off?
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.
You don't have to remove the carb , just loosen the bolt on the bottom of the bowl
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
After I loosen the bolt -what do you suggest I do
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.
Drain some fuel out of the bowl.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
drain some fuel out of the bowl and put everything back together and see if that was the problem .... So you're saying the problem might be that there is too much fuel in the bowl !
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

No. You drained the tank , not the bowl so it could have some junk in the bowl and it may run till it picks it up then die

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
John - there may be a misunderstanding.I took the mower out of the garage, put fresh gas in, and when I went to use it the first time, it ran for maybe 10 mins then stopped. The starting/stopping repeated over the next 20 mins or so as I tried to cut the grass, then gave up.Last night I removed the air filter, there was some debris but not a lot. I blew it out, and now wondering what to do next.When I ran it last night, it started then stopped after maybe 20 secs, started again, and then ran. The engine rev seemed to go thru slow peaks and valleys.We discussed possibly doing something to the carb, and that's where we are. I'm wondering if, based on some videos I saw, I could remove the nut and make sure the holes are clear, so I don't have to deal with removing the entire carb. Or, is there anything else I should do?Thanks.
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

Hi firs I'd try a new filter , a dirty otr clogged one will make it hunt .. or Rev . The fact it keeps dying makes me wonder. Does it spit and sputter and die or just die ?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
That's a tough Q - I would say it doesn't really spit and sputter. Will your system allow me to record the sound and send it to you? I could do that tomorrow.
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

Will it restart right away

Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

Hi , just wondering if the mower will restart right away ?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hey John – I'm getting the New air filter on Friday – once that's in i will give you an update on exactly what happens.....
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

Ok yes keep me updated , we will get it fixed one way or another

Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

Hi just seeing if you got that new filter and if it you had a chance to try it

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi John – yes I replaced the new filter yesterday . It did not seem to have any effect . I have a key starter – so the first Keyturn it try to start for maybe 5 to 10 seconds then puttered out and stopped . Second key turn it did start . There were some ebs and flows to the sound of the engine . But it did stay on . I went to cut the grass and it lasted about 40 seconds before dying out .I had taken the top off before cutting the grass and saw the spring that adjusts the rev - do you think it could just need an adjjustment there or something else ....
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

No I think the problem lies in the carburetor bowl , the bowl bolt or the main jet of the carburetor

Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

You can try bleeding the bowl first with a 1/2 socket. Just loosen it till some fuel drains , let it drain a few seconds and retighten it

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
OK I'll give that a try – what exactly is the point of all of that ? What problem is that attempting to correct ?
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

It's going to clear the bowl , which if ot has water or bad gas could be what is causing it to not stay running ,

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I can do this with gas still in the tank ?
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

The revING could be something in the bowl , or the ports in bowl bolt being blocked or the main jet in the carburetor

Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

Yes your just loosening the bolt on the bottom of the bowl and letting the fuel drain then retighten it

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi John – I loosened the carburetor Bolt and drained some gas out . Tighten it back up put everything back together and startEd the mower . It started and did not stall – however it still sounds like it is not revving as powerfully as it should . Although the grass was a bit high it was not able to cut without stalling .Let me know what you think we should do next
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

Is it surging ? The bolt that holds the carbureter bowl on has ports and could be partially blocked

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I would say it doesn't really sound like it is surging – just not revving at a powerful enough speed
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

Ok can you remove the 2 phillips head screws in the cover , remove the cover and you wI'll see the spring hooked to the govenor arm . See if putting tension on that will increase rpms

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I did that in one of my earlier steps . When I push on the spring mechanism it definitely revs higher and there is a range available . But wouldn't that always be the case
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

Well you can tighten the spring up , the one end connects to the govenor rod that goes to the carburetor throttle . The other end goes to the back of the motor to a metal bracket. You can take that bracket or loop and pull it back towards you and it increases the rpms

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
do I need to take the spring off and take a loop or two out to make it more tight
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.
No , can you upload a picture of the spring for me and where it attaches ?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Will do right now – there are actually two springs
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Here is the pic
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

Here is a pic to explain

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
OK - I did that; it was indeed very slightly bent the other way. That did not immediately make a change, but I had previously been pushing gently on the "arm like" lever that is anchored by the screw in the picture - what is that? After gently nudging that it seems now to rev better. Is it possible that that arm needs some kind of adjustment? I'm going to put the top on and give it a try with the grass but curious about that arm.
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

No , sometimes that arm gets bumped and bends in etc , pulling it back will incerase rpms without the spring being bent up etc. If that worked let me know and please don't forget to rate using the stars

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
When I went back and had trouble starting. I tried it it did not start and waited five minutes and then finally started but engine sounded weak again. I tried to record a video with sound with my phone to upload but it did not work is there any other way to email you a recording so you can hear it
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

At this point the best method is to drain the tank and carburetor , and completely clean the carburetor and bowl bolt passage ways

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The carburetor bowl is pretty squeaky clean and looks pretty new – I'm pretty sure the carburetor was rebuilt last season . The passageways in the screw are also clear and I poked something through just to make sure . Anything else I should do at this point now that the carburetor is apart
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

Yes use a carburetor cleaner like gumout and spray out the ports in the front of the carburetor, there's a hole on each side , spray the main jet going up the center of the carburetor. , spray the bolt too use the red straw and spray into the top hole where it threads into the carburetor and make sure it sprays out both side ports

Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.
The reason I suggest that is draining the bowl cleared something in it to get it to run. So you may still have stuff in the fuel system
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
OK – I'm going to have to do the next step tomorrow. After I do all the carb clean up, do I reassemble and give it a try or is there something else I should do before I put it back together .
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

Make sure that when you flip it upside down you can not blow into where the fuel line hooks up

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Here's a picture of what I'm looking at – can you advise on how I remove the carburetor.....
Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

Sure , first carefully remove the choke spring , the small spring that runs across the carburetor . Take note of where it hooks up . Then you need to remove the air vane that is screwed into the top of the carb , it's the black plastic piece . There will be 2 3/8 bolts holding the carb on at this point , you need a 1/4 inch drive socket and extension to remove them , then unhook the fuel line and govenor linkage

Expert:  Briggs-Fan replied 6 months ago.

Hi just checking to see if you got the carburetor off ?