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J.R., Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 7445
Experience:  Owner of outdoor power equipment business, repairing all makes and models.
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I have a 1999 Scotts 2554 that had been sitting for about 3

Customer Question

I have a 1999 Scotts 2554 that had been sitting for about 3 yrs. I have drained all the old gas, replaced the plugs, and rebuilt the carburator. It misses baddly at high RPM's and really stumbles when the PTO is engaged. However, at low idel speed, with the PTO engaged all is fine. The fuel filter is also new, but it does not fill with fuel, but it does have fuel in it. The fuel never gets more than maybe 1/8" deep which is well below the inlet and outlet ports. Any suggestions as to what I may check next?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  J.R. replied 6 years ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer,



What are hte model numbers off of the engine? How did you clean and rebuild the carburetor?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.


I disassembled it completely and used areosol carb cleaner. It was fairly clean in the bowl and the carb itself. The rt bank cylinder had both valve rockers off. I reinstalled them and properly torqued them. This mower has been sitting for at least 3 years in a garage. It idles great at low speed and the PTO can be engaged at low PRM with no problem. As soon as I increase the engine speed it idels irradically.

Expert:  J.R. replied 6 years ago.
Check the pushrods to make sure they are not bent. I would also check the lifters to make sure they are not sticking in the bore. The spray carb cleaners will usually not get them clean enough. It is best to completely disassemble the carburetor and then soak all of the metal parts overnight in a dip can of carburetor cleaner.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have checked the pushrods and they seem to be fine. I rolled them on my steel welding table and there was no wobble. The lifters move out and I manually pushed them back after the cam was rotated with relative ease. There was a long brass needle valve in the carb kit that didnt seem to go anywhere in the carb. There was a smaller brass needle valve that was under a tamper cap. It was much smaller than the one provided with the kit. I will remove the carb and soak it overnight in some solvent and reassemble. Could the fuel pump be defective? The fuel filter does not fill at all, it just seems to have a very miniscule amount of fuel in it. Is this due to a faulty fuel pump, or is this normal? It definitely seems to be a fuel problem. also, could the rusty magneto on the flywheel for the coils need cleaning, and what should the air gap be on the coils and mag?
Expert:  J.R. replied 6 years ago.
The fuel filter should fill up more than that. Check the fuel lines for any cracks. If you find any cracks repalce the lines. A fuel line can suck air and not leak fuel. If the lines are good then it could be the fuel pump. The fuel pump is vacuum operated off of crankcase pressure so if the cylinders or rings are worn it will not pull fuel correctly.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I replaced all the fuel lines when I emptied the fuel tank. They were hard as rocks and cracked all over. I may try to use a temporary gravity fuel tank to see if the problem improves. I hate to spend another 60 bucks on a fuel pump and it be a ring wear problem. The filter seems to fill a little more at low rpm's and that is when the engine smooths out, even with the PTO engaged and the blades running. I will get back to you tomorrow and update you on what suggested and how I fared!
Expert:  J.R. replied 6 years ago.
Just reply once you have checked it out.