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PK., Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 1052
Experience:  Retired Owner of a full service shop and national parts sales website.
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Someone put a brand new 13hp engine on my stump grinder about

Customer Question

Someone put a brand new 13hp engine on my stump grinder about 3 weeks ago. A lot of times, when you start it, it will run for about 5 seconds, then turn off, you can restart it, and it will run for about 5 seconds, then turn off. Then it might run eventually, then keep doing the same thing over and over. I have filled to oil up to top, and it still does it? It is electric start. Any Ideas?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  PK. replied 7 years ago.
Is this a Honda engine?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I thought he was going to put a honda engine on it for me, I was surprise to find out, after paying over $1,300, it was a greyhound engine, not a honda like I had on it, he kept the old engine, and put this blue one on it.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I thought he was putting a new honda 13hp engine on it for me, I was charged over $1,300, and they kept my old honda engine, and put this 13HP Greyhound engine on it that looks like a honda kinda, just blue, but it will start, and stop, over and over again?

Expert:  PK. replied 7 years ago.

Sorry, your optional info doesn't show up right away and I didn't have it on the screen when I asked about it being a Honda.


Personally, if someone charged me $1300 for a $300 engine I would have a serious problem with them.


The Greyhound is simply a Honda clone made in China. Many, many different label names are XXXXX XXXXX them, but they're all the same engine with a few different levels of machining done. This is the Harbor Freight version and is okay, but is nowhere near a Honda.


The first thing I would try is overfilling the oil a little bit. These don't have the best electrics in the world and often the low-oil switch malfunctions.


Quite honestly, I wouldn't spend a dime on this engine. It's not that they're not decent engines, for the money they are. But this should be under warranty and this is certainly a warranty issue. If you do try to do much work on it, you will violate the warranty.


If you do decide you'd like to work on it and you try overfilling the oil a little bit with no success, then let me know and we'll figure it out. Thanks, PK.



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
He did about $200 worth of welding he said, so maybe the engine was around $1,100, and I told him the same thing, I could get one for maybe $400, or a honda for around $800, and he said he could never do it that cheap, so yes, I had little choice, he said if I wanted him to take the engine off, he would not charge me, but that would of only put me more behind, since I make my living grinding tree stumps almost daily, and I needed the machine to keep working, and after just 3 weeks, it is already a hassle. I did fill the oil all the way up, to where some leaked out, so that has been done. So you say it shold be taken back for warranty? It did finally run for about 10 mintues the most, and let me finish, but I can't start a new job again tomorrow with it like this. The guy that put the engine on, made it sound like it was really hard to align the shaft with the pullys, but I'm thinking the same thing, I could of put it on myself, but just did not really know where to get the right engine, and I thought of only harbor freight tools, ebay, and northern tools, but wanted to make sure it was done right, so I could just work. Do you think it is a faulty oil sensor, or engine? Should I buy a new sensor, or get a new engine, which I'm sure will take over a week again, what about me disconnecting the low oil level sensor, and just making sure I keep it full of oil, will that help do you think?
Expert:  PK. replied 7 years ago.

You can unhook the oil sensor, you might have to jumper it, but I don't think so, and try it like that. I'm not 100% sure which style sensor they used in that engine. I believe that you have to completely disassemble the engine to replace it as you would with a Honda.


So unplugging the sensor is where I would start. You can also try using a different weight of oil. 10W30 Castrol is probably the best bet. If this engine has a fuel pump, it'll be a round device, probably right beside the carburetor and under the air filter box, it could also be at fault. And there could be something as simple as a loose wire so be sure to check it over for that.


If you had a GX Honda engine of the same size, then it's really a straight bolt-on swap. The Honda engine, a GX390, would run around $800-900 depending on the options. I regularly receive ads for the Chinese engines for $275-325 in this size.