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small engine guru's - honda mower issue?

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Old 08-19-2014, 09:14 AM
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Default small engine guru's - honda mower issue?

My honda lawnmower has developed an interesting issue as of late. It is 11 years old and still starts first pull but lately it'll run for almost exactly 10-12 mins and then it spits and sputters ( sometimes backfires ) and utlimately dies. Once its cooled down it will run another 10 mins or so. Has good fuel and new oil. Someone mentioned that it could be getting hot and boiling the fuel in the carb?
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:37 AM
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Pull the flywheel and check the shear key (or whatever it's called). If you hit a rock, it's probably bent. That throws off the timing, which could be making it run hot or causing detonation.
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:39 AM
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Has the carb been cleaned?
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:51 AM
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I was having carb trouble and bought an aftermarket carb. Before installing, I took the old one apart and cleaned it really well. Works great now. If cleaning doesn't fix the problem, I have the aftermarket carb sitting on a shelf. My mower is the 214, which is the 4hp.
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:42 AM
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Check the fuel filter - fuel line - and fuel shut off valve. If it is partially blocked you are starting the engine, it consumes what is in the carburetor bowl, runs out of fuel and stops, then slowly refills the bowl. Ready for restart.
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:02 AM
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Negative on the boiling fuel. I'd clean the carb and tank strainer, this sounds like a lean issue from fuel starvation.
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Old 08-19-2014, 12:01 PM
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Immediately check if you have a spark next time it happens. Some engines have an electronic ignition module that when hot resistance builds and they stop working.

Outside of that follow the thorough carb cleaning and change the fuel line and other rubber parts.
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Old 08-19-2014, 12:11 PM
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Ok a good start - here is another thing that may help the diagnosis - when it starts to spit and sputter you can back the rpm all the way down and it will continue to idle so that could explain the partial blockage. Question - will a 5hp enegine run for 10 mins on what is in the bowl? - just currious.. thanks again guys
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Old 08-19-2014, 12:11 PM
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make sure the fuel tank is venting
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:18 PM
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Does it have gravity feed fuel or vac operated fuel pump? vac pumps go bad mine was bad from getgo new. And make sure tank is venting
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Rheeder218 View Post
make sure the fuel tank is venting
had this issue on 5hp Honda engine we have on a pump. when it starts to act up loosen fuel cap see if it straightens out
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:58 PM
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Take the fuel line loose from the carb and see if fuel drains out for a minute or so. If it stops it is probably the fuel cap not venting or some restriction in the fuel line.If the fuel line is clear,clean the carb. Some Honda engines have an oil level sensor that will go bad so check if you have spark as soon as the engine shuts down.

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Old 08-19-2014, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Rheeder218 View Post
make sure the fuel tank is venting
Almost a sure thing, easy to check as well. Just run with the fuel cap off.

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Old 08-19-2014, 05:50 PM
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Change your spark plug first, The bowl on carb should have a drain on it. Backfiring is generally water in gas or spark plug starting to foul. It could also be the coil or ignitor if it has one.
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:02 PM
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Last time I had a Honda lawn mower to act up and I cleaned and worked on the Carb I finally gave up and took it to the shop. Was then told by the shop that you don't bother rebuilding these carbs. Things are sort of formed into them that normally would be removed and replaced in a rebuild like the old days. You simply replace them entirely he says. Turns out a new one as like $29. So it wasn't worth rebuilding them anymore. Nor could you he claimed. Things like the main jet were actually milled into the body of the thing. I swear...
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Old 08-20-2014, 06:48 AM
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Thanks guys..will start with cap first then go from there.. it's a honda - i need atleast another 20 yrs out of her lol...
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Old 08-20-2014, 06:53 AM
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I was also going to say it sounds like the tank is not venting. The minute you hear the problem loosing the gas cap to see if it clears up.
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Old 08-20-2014, 06:59 AM
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Lawn mower magneto's fail when they get hot at first. They cool down and will work again at first.
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:18 PM
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magneto or fuel vent.

remove gas cap ans see if it happens
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by cphilip View Post
Last time I had a Honda lawn mower to act up and I cleaned and worked on the Carb I finally gave up and took it to the shop. Was then told by the shop that you don't bother rebuilding these carbs. Things are sort of formed into them that normally would be removed and replaced in a rebuild like the old days. You simply replace them entirely he says. Turns out a new one as like $29. So it wasn't worth rebuilding them anymore. Nor could you he claimed. Things like the main jet were actually milled into the body of the thing. I swear...
This.

Those carbs are throw aways $15 and change for anew one. I have a Honda Harmony self propelled mower that I have simply R/R a new carb. Runs fine for about another season - if I am lucky and just swap a new one out when it needs one.

I order from these guys in bulk:
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