Hughes Blog
Thoughts on Software Development, Project Management, Parenting, and Running.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Small Engine Repair
I mentioned last week that I had done some work to the lawn tractor. One thing that I did not mention is that I had changed the fuel filter. Earlier this week Fran mowed the grass and when she was done she mentioned that fuel was pouring out of the filter. So yesterday I got a new filter and some gas and I replaced the fuel filter once again. The one I used last week was not genuine Briggs and Stratton AND it had been hanging on my pegboard for years. Yesterday we got the stock replacement for the tractor just to make sure it would work.

This morning when we got up Fran told me the house smells like gas. Crap. So I looked in the garage and sure enough there was a huge puddle of gas under the tractor. So I put in some gas and tried to see where the leak was. It was not coming from any of the hoses, nor was it coming from the filter. It was dripping off the bottom of the muffler. After puzzling about this for a few minutes, I decided that the float valve was stuck. I took off the float chamber and cleaned the valve. I hooked up the gas and tested it, and it all looked good. I zipped it all up and fired up the motor.

It sputtered and ran, then died. It was still dripping gas from the muffler. This was a real puzzler. I unhooked the gas from the carb. Still dripping. How is that possible? Finally I decided to take the carb apart for a thorough cleaning. The first thing that came off was the intake housing, which has a vent to the crank case.

Hmmmm, maybe the gas was coming from the crankcase. I checked the dipstick, and sure enough the crankcase was full of gas. There is no PVC valve on the mower, so when the float valve stuck the gas siphoned right into the crankcase. Mystery solved!

So I drained the crankcase; put in new oil; cleaned the carb. Zipped it all up and then the moment of truth - it runs! Yippee!!

Then Fran says, "please do finish with the weed eater while I mow." Drats.


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All views expressed in this post and on this blog are my own. None of my comments should be construed to represent the views of others including and not limited to: BMC Software Inc., Corel Corporation, Dun and Bradstreet and AC Nielsen. Copyright Chris Hughes 2004-2012