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Old 08-27-2008, 10:45 AM   #1
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Help tuning lawnmower - Briggs & Stratton 4.5hp

Need some help with my lawnmower. After starting, the lawnmower runs pretty lame with a very low idle. If I run over some tall grass or push too fast, it will stall out. The lawnmower runs fair when you first start it, but once it warms up it will go down to the low idle. When restarting it (after stall), it will go down to low idle in about 5 seconds. The lawnmower runs GREAT when it is just about to run out of fuel.

I figure this is related to the air/fuel mixture? I poked around and I don't see the adjustment screw. I did see an idle adjustment screw but it is well tucked inside the mower. I cannot adjust it while the mower is assembled, as the top piece of metal with the crank starter (don't know what its called) is in the way as well as the engine-on cable. To adjust this, I would have to do it blindly with the mower disassembled.

Overall, when I remove the air filter (it looks fairly dirty), the mower runs somewhat better. It does smell like it is running rich to me, as well as the symptoms indicate.

Picture (if necessary) is included in the link below.

Thanks in advance for your help.

http://picture.vzw.com/mi/307719446_1047583909_0.jpeg
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:51 AM   #2
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the link is mad right now and doesn't want to come out and play.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:54 AM   #3
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Have you done a tune-up on it yet? Home depot, Lowe's, and other lawn & garden stores often have tune-up kits with some replacement parts in it like a new air filter & spark plug. If it runs better with the filter off then I'd at least start by really cleaning it or replacing it. Change the oil while you are at it.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:57 AM   #4
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The link may only work for me b/c it is my verizon pix place.

I did change the spark plug a little while back. The lawnmower did run better but not up to par. With the filter off, it still does not run as well as it should.

Below is the link to the lawnmower model.

http://www.murray.com/products/produ...pfid=204210X8A
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:07 AM   #5
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Hmm, I dunno then. Maybe a carb rebuid kit too? My last weed eater was running like crap so I bought a carb rebuild kit for it and it restored it to almost like new.
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:18 AM   #6
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I'd take a look at the float assembly. Ensure that it and the rest are clean. Grab a can of carb cleaner and thoroughly spray it out. Make sure it does not have a hole in it which will allow gas to fill the float, causing the fuel level inside the bowl to be too high. You made need to adjust the float as well.

Make sure the plug is clean of course. Keep the air filter clean. A dirty filter or poor airflow leading to the intake can cause a rich condition.

If there is a choke, make sure it is not stuck in a semi closed position.

Is spark up to par? I've had flywheels lose magnetivity causing a weak spark, and in turn causing a poorly running engine.

Just some things to try.
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:47 AM   #7
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I had a problem similar to that on a Briggs engine. Here's how it was cured. Remove the carb very carefully, so as not the tear the gasket. Take a can of carb cleaner and spray the hell out of it. Also spray the fuel hose(s) that run to it.

Briggs has troubleshooting tips on their site.
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:36 PM   #8
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It's probably not the flywheel if its starting OK, but it could easily be the carbueretor as the others have mentioned. If not carburation trouble, then make sure the governor is working - if you have an air vane governor, make sure it isn't broken and can pivot and work the carb. If it's a mechanical governor, check the springs and linkage. There's an outside chance the governor weights broke off inside the crankcase, but hopefully not. It's the governor which keeps the rpms up when the engine is under load.
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:03 PM   #9
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I have a Briggs also that runs lousy cold and mostly clears up when it gets warm. Lately is has gotten hard to start also. It's about 15 years old and I think a carb rebuild is in order.

I wonder whether this high ethanol content fuel has screwed up the plastic and rubber parts like the float, gaskets, etc.. I don't think they were designed to run 10% ethanol when this was built.
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:38 PM   #10
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For $30 I used to take it into the lawnmower store and have their mechanic give it a tuneup.
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Old 08-27-2008, 03:10 PM   #11
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Mine used to do that when I would mow a really dusty field and the air cleaner would clog up. It would start running slower and smoke black because it didn't get enough air. Put a new air filter on it or clean the one that's there.
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Old 08-27-2008, 03:19 PM   #12
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I had a 6 HP B&S on a 13 y/o craftsman doing the same thing. I just used the S.E. Texas Curbside Recycling Program (put it to the curb, someone picked it up before dark). Bought a Husqvarna 8.75 Lb/Ft. rear drive mower. Problem solved.
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Old 08-27-2008, 03:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by km9v View Post
I just used the S.E. Texas Curbside Recycling Program (put it to the curb, someone picked it up before dark).


Around here you have to put a sign with a price on the item to be recycled, otherwise they won't touch it if it says it's free.
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Old 08-27-2008, 03:23 PM
 
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