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Rick, Factory Authorized Trainer
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 8063
Experience:  Outdoor Power Equipment technical trainer since 1990, covering eight states.
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Poulan Pro Leaf Blower Problems

Resolved Question:

Hello, I have a Poulan Pro BVM200 VS leaf blower that will not start. It is about 4 years old now and I have not had a problem with it. Went to use it today and nothing. I have taken it all apart. The piston is not seized as I took the head off and checked for scoring. I can visually see the piston moving when I turn it by hand. Cleaned the carb and was using gas that I purchased today. The mix is right but I am not sure what else it can be? Does the piston ring get worn down enough to not have any compression?

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Rick replied 6 years ago.

Cylinder wear can certainly be an issue. Did it lose power over time?
Does it have spark? You can check by removing the spark plug from the engine, putting the coil wire back on it and placing the plug in contact with the metal block. In a shaded or darkened area you should see a nice blue spark. Be careful and do not to touch the plug while doing this, just the insulator cap, we don't want to hear about you getting an unpleasant shock.
If it does have spark, squirt about a teaspoon of fuel mix in the spark plug hole, then replace the plug and see if it starts. It won't run for long most likely, we're just determining if it's a fuel problem or a spark problem.

Let me know and we'll continue.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you. Yes, it does have spark. I replaced the plug today and checked it against the head. I will try the fuel mix in the cylinder. I have tried starting fluid directly in the carb as well. No hiccup or anything. The plug has been wet from fuel after I try starting it a couple of times and then take the plug out.

Expert:  Rick replied 6 years ago.
It may be flooded. Take the plug out and pull it over a few times to expel any extra fuel from the cylinder then leave the plug out for about 15 minutes before trying it with the fuel. Also is the fuel mix nice and fresh?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Yes. I got rid of the old fuel and mixed new today. I have put a little fuel mix in the plug hole and it does the same thing. Doesn't start at all. The plug as well as the cylinder were dry before I put the fuel mix in the plug hole.

Expert:  Rick replied 6 years ago.

Do you have access to a compression gauge to take a cylinder reading? You need at least 100 psi to start. If not, put your thumb over the spark plug hole and pull it over to see if compression builds up. It should be able to move your thumb.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Ok. I tried that. Do not have a compression gauge. For the lack of a better made a bit of a farting sound around my thumb as I turned it over a few times. Should the piston ring be able to slide around on the piston? It will not rotate....Assuming carbon build up but no scoring on the cylinder walls or piston.

Expert:  Rick replied 6 years ago.
That sounds like it has compression. So let's run with that for now. Have you removed the muffler to see if the exhaust is restricted? Put the piston up to cover the ports and clean them if necessary. Let me know....
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I have cleaned everything. The exhaust port as well as the intake, all gaskets are in place and in good shape. No breaks. Took the head off and cleaned carbon build up. Not sure if I cleaned the ring well enough though. But it seems it has compression.

Expert:  Rick replied 6 years ago.
If you can borrow the use of a gauge that would tell us for sure.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I will get one tomorrow. What kind of reading should we be looking at?

Expert:  Rick replied 6 years ago.
At least 100psi. Let me know...
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