Lawnmower Fuel Deliver Issues - TCCoA Forums

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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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Lawnmower Fuel Deliver Issues

I have a 6HP Toro lawnmower whose engine was built by Briggs & Stratton. I've had fuel delivery issues before, but those were all related to the carburetor where replacing it (I broke off a part so I couldn't rebuild it) fixed that issue. I'm not sure if it's related or not, but my issue now is that fuel won't get pumped to the carburetor from the fuel tank. However, the fuel delivery issue was occurring even with the old carburetor, so I know it can't be an issue with the new carburetor. I can use my lawnmower for about 5min at a time before the carburetor becomes starved of fuel and the engine cuts off. There are two ways I can resolve this issue:

Add more fuel to the tank keeping it perpetually full

or

Blow into the fuel tank in order to "push" fuel to wherever it needs to go so that it can get to the carburetor

Neither of these two solutions are desirable for me. What should I look for on my lawnmower to fix this issue? Do lawnmowers have a fuel pump? I've always thought that the fuel delivery from tank to carburetor was gravity assist, but with this perpetual issue, it's obviously not. Do lawnmowers actually have a fuel pump?

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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 11:32 AM
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Most of the time, the fuel tank is above the carb, and if that is the case, there is no fuel pump, it is just gravity fed. Your problem is likely a clog somewhere between the bottom of the tank and the carb. I would start by disconnecting the fuel line from the bottom of the tank. When you do this, fuel should start pouring out pretty quickly. If it does, then the problem is somewhere in the line or the fuel cutoff switch if it is in line. If it doesn't come out, or comes out slowly, then your problem is in the bottom of the tank, and you will have to remove it and drain it so you can clean out whatever is gunked up in the bottom of it.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I'll drain the tank and observe the flow. If it's slow, I'll figure out disassembly of the tank.

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 12:48 PM
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Certainly sounds like a low fuel flow issue. It would not hurt to run some cleaner through in the fuel while it is running. Some small carbs have a diaphragm that can get stiff and not deliver enough fuel.

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 01:18 PM
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Keep in mind that 10% ethanol gas can eat a hole in a plastic line.

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gordonm1 View Post
Certainly sounds like a low fuel flow issue. It would not hurt to run some cleaner through in the fuel while it is running. Some small carbs have a diaphragm that can get stiff and not deliver enough fuel.
It's not low fuel. When I run the lawnmower, I run it topped off. By the time the lawnmower stops working, it's gone down maybe 1/4 (so, 3/4 full) and I have to add more fuel to the take to "push" fuel into the carburetor.

This issue was present in my old carburetor before rebuild, old carburetor after rebuild, and completely brand new carburetor.

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Keep in mind that 10% ethanol gas can eat a hole in a plastic line.

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There are no fuel leaks anywhere.

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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 04:29 PM
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Is the vent in the cap plugged?


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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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The cap has a vent?!

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by CDsDontBurn View Post
The cap has a vent?!
Maybe the cap might have it, or the tank has some type of vent on it. Otherwise it would be pretty hard for it to flow gas.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 08:47 AM
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If the fuel tank can be removed, take it off and clean it, replace the fuel line and filter.

If its not removable, its more involved.
you have to flip over the entire mower to flush the fuel tank, (drain the oil).

Still change the fuel line and filter.

Don't clean the tank with a flush that runs the fuel into the carb.

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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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I'll drain the fuel and I'll run a fuel additive as well to clear out any deposits that may be left behind. I'll also change the oil. I've had it for 3yrs and never changed the oil. The lawnmower itself was given to me by a family member and I'm sure they never changed the oil either.

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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDsDontBurn View Post
I'll drain the fuel and I'll run a fuel additive as well to clear out any deposits that may be left behind. I'll also change the oil. I've had it for 3yrs and never changed the oil. The lawnmower itself was given to me by a family member and I'm sure they never changed the oil either.
Some newer mowers don't need oil changed. New Briggs & Stratton lawn mower engine never needs an oil change

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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Yea......my lawnmower isn't one of these new ones, so it needs the oil changed.

I was talking to one of my co-worker's earlier today who ran a family business of gardening equipment, about this issue and they told me that my mower is at least 12yrs old.

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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by CDsDontBurn View Post
Yea......my lawnmower isn't one of these new ones, so it needs the oil changed.

I was talking to one of my co-worker's earlier today who ran a family business of gardening equipment, about this issue and they told me that my mower is at least 12yrs old.
If you can find it, use non-alcohol fuel.

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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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According to Pure-Gas, THIS is the closest non-alcohol fuel location to me. It's 35mi one way from me, and nothing I do over there isn't something I can't already do in areas that I already visit, so it's not going to happen. I'll spend 2gal of fuel on the round trip of going there, just to get my 2gal container of lawnmower gas I have filled up. Also, it doesn't look like a traditional gas station, so I'm sure they have standard business hours which don't work with my work hours.

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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 05:30 PM
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Is the vent in the cap plugged?

This ^^^

Take the cap off and clear the vent with compressed air. If you've installed a paper element fuel filter, pull it, and either install a coupler temporarily or a screen-type filter. From your symptoms, one of these two items is likely the root cause.
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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 06:45 PM
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The old school metal caps had three little holes in the cap; paint will clog them.

There was a paper filter/seal pressed loosely into the inside of the lid.

If your lid doesn't have a hole, make a tiny (0.010) one and see if it fixes it; it doesn't take much.


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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 09:53 PM
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I had a Brigs motor on a tiller that did this. Replaced everything including the magneto. Turned out to be the gas cap. Drilled a small hole through it and haven't had a problem with it in 15 years.

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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 11:30 AM
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You could remove the cap, zip tie the kill switch parts and see if it runs before drilling the cap but a small hole won't hurt any.

I was thinking try running it on the lawn without the cap but drilling a new small hole won't kill as much grass.

At 12 years, if it sat outside much you would not be wasting a bunch of money replacing fuel lines from the tank. I would think you could clean the filters with brake cleaner or carburetor cleaner if you drain the tank and replace the fuel lines.

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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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What I do know about this lawnmower, is that it has been garage stored it's entire life. Replacing fuel lines though, That won't hurt anything and it's like $1 a foot at AutoZone, and I'll need just 1ft of it.

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post #21 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-23-2017, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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So I drained the fuel last night, and this is what I found:

The jug called "OLD" is the fuel straight from the red container. The color is this way because of two things, it's old and it has stabil in it. The jug labeled "CONT." has no stabil in it. Despite the color of the old fuel, it still smells like gasoline, not paint thinner or whatever gas turns into.



This is what was floating at the bottom of my lawnmower's fuel tank (this is the "CONT" jug). Notice the black splotches at the top left and that floating thing in the top center. There is other debris around the left and right edges of the jug.



This is my sample of fuel from the red containter, "OLD" jug



You guys made mention of the air vent in the fuel cap. Where would it be? What would I drill if I had to drill it out?


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post #22 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-23-2017, 05:58 PM
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The holes I see in the middle of the cap are supposed to be the vents.

I'd get some carb cleaner and spray thru the holes, inside to outside, and see where it comes out.

Water is supposed to bead in the hole so it doesn't go in, and the other hole will vent until the water dries.
But, water carries dirt, which slowly blocks the holes over time.

Worst case, you may need to buy a new cap.

Don't spray anything thick in there, that would be bad.


That's some really bad gas, I've drained stuff like that before. I'd use it for killing weeds.

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post #23 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-23-2017, 06:20 PM
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So now that you've gotten your mower running again, clearly the answer to reliability is forced induction



I didn't know this until I started searching but Youtube is full of these contraptions - unlike with tbirds, turbocharging projects for mowers will never be held up by tuning issues.
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post #24 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-23-2017, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
The holes I see in the middle of the cap are supposed to be the vents.

I'd get some carb cleaner and spray thru the holes, inside to outside, and see where it comes out.

Water is supposed to bead in the hole so it doesn't go in, and the other hole will vent until the water dries.
But, water carries dirt, which slowly blocks the holes over time.

Worst case, you may need to buy a new cap.

Don't spray anything thick in there, that would be bad.


That's some really bad gas, I've drained stuff like that before. I'd use it for killing weeds.
The holes in the middle weren't holes....at least as far as I could tell. It looks like it was just where the mold was held to and was cut from there during the manufacturing process. I did see holes around the edge of the cap, which you can see in my picture (one on the right side, and three much smaller ones at the top).

Now, using gas as weed killer is an excellent idea! I have plenty of weeds I need to kill and not enough weed killer!

Quote:
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So now that you've gotten your mower running again, clearly the answer to reliability is forced induction



I didn't know this until I started searching but Youtube is full of these contraptions - unlike with tbirds, turbocharging projects for mowers will never be held up by tuning issues.
-g
I never said I got it running again. I just said I got the fuel drained of the tanke

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post #25 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-23-2017, 07:01 PM
No, Mr. Lemmywinks, No!!!

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I have personally seen a JD lawn tractor with a chevy 350.

It was stretched a bit...

I've seen Harley-style bikes with 2 wheels and a 350, lol.


I want a custom bike with a 4.6l.

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post #26 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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It's the gas cap!

I got new fuel, put in some Chevron Techron fuel additive along with the new fuel, and mowed the lawn last night with said new fuel. Just like before, first pull first start, no sputters, no issues, no nothing and running great for about 5min.....then she sputtered for about 30sec and died just as before. This time though, instead of adding new fuel I simply loosened the gas cap and started the lawnmower right up again without any issues. She ran for about 15min before I finished my yard and she ran great the whole time!! The downside of running with a loose cap is that fuel did manage to seep out.


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post #27 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 01:09 PM
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Congrats. Time to drill a hole and buy an ebay turbo.
-g
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post #28 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 05:10 PM
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Congrats. Time to drill a hole and buy an ebay turbo.
-g
Yeah, an eBay turbo will speed up your lawn mowing process two-fold, totally worth the investment lol!
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post #29 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 07:51 PM
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Take the smallest drill bit you have, and put a hole in the cap.

If it's smaller than 0.020 or thereabouts, water won't go in if it hits; but you want multiple holes, three equally spaced is typical.

If it splashes fuel out the hole, cutout a piece of cardboard to go in the cap loosely.

Tack an edge with glue, or make a ledge with a soldering iron if it won't stay in place. (Not your good iron, lol.)

The reason I mention water above is that any drop that goes in goes directly to the bottom of the tank, and the drain. ~100 drops will kill a mower, lol.

I've seen this problem many times before; it happens infrequently enough it's hard to remember.

I painted a mower once, and caused this problem.

Looking back, I'd say heat transfer issues from the paint likely led to the 1-season demise of that mower. I think I was 10 or so, lol.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.

I'm not Human enough to be human; but I'm trying to fit in, and I'm learning to fake it.

"Never said Hibbity..." - Brian Williams

Last edited by Grog6; 05-25-2017 at 07:58 PM.
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