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MrSteele

Landlord Dilemma

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MrSteele
I have used my rebuilt 10 Briggs all summer with no troubles. Yesterday, I nearly ran out of gas, and shortly after a fill-up, the engine started running ragged, hunting, revving, running fine, then ragged again. I decided to look at the carburetor, because adjusting it did little fo change anything. OK, I installed a new needle and set the float. The float is not waterlogged, or, at least has no sign of a slosh inside when shaken, and no wet spots indicating a leak. Today, the same thing, so I again removed the carb checked, rechecked, cleaned everything all over again, put it back on, same running condition. While it was running, I sprayed carburetor cleaned at all connection bolts looking for a leak, didn't find any. This started all at once. Also today, I replaced the spark plug and condenser, cleaned and reset the points, checked all wiring to the plug, and back to the mag. Any ideas? I am leaning toward trashy gas. The filter was new earlier this summer, and I have a good flow of fuel through it. Thinking Air cleaner. It has been taken out of question by removing it. Any more ideas other than the gas itself?

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dentwizz
I would agree with fuel quality potential. It is relatively easy to diagnose though. If you drain the carb by removing the jet and draining it into a clear cup, the resulting sample will separate into water and fuel in a matter of a short period of time. That is the commonly accepted aviation and industry method for field analysis and one of the reasons old carbs were glass bowled. Wet gas also has a smell that is different, but if you have not smelled it before it can be hard to guess.

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rm
sounds like fuel to me too. had the same problem many times :) drain your tank place fuel in two soda bottles. the water will seperate and go to the bottom of the bottles :)

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MrSteele
Smell. A different smell than normal is a correct condition. The gas is from a different gas station than I normally buy gas from. I have smelled gas for around 50 years, but this smells differently than anything I have ever smelled. I just thought perhaps it was a different brand, and that was the reason. But, I did find a great way to set the points while I was playing with the engine. The engine will run without the points cover in place. I thought also that maybe the points were the problem, though I knew that could not be the case, and, while it was running, though ragged, moving the point adjusting screw only slightly made the engine run at a smoother ragged pace, so I adjusted until it ran to the smoothest I could under the circumstances, will do so again if fuel does indeed turn into the problem. Thanks for showing me something that I noticed, but didn't think I was likely correct about. New gas tomorrow! And now, I have about 4 gallons of parts washing fluid, or brush fire starter!!

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dentwizz
Sounds like a pinched or cracked wire where it goes through the point cover too. Wrap that section with tape and it should at least deal with that part. I've had quite a few rabbit chases due to that one before.

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MrSteele
Already tried that one. When I was rebuilding, I put the wires through a modified rubber grommet just to keep the seal and to keep the wired from becoming pinched. I filed a larger half hole in the cover to accept more of the rubber grommet that I had to mutilate for the wire placement. While I was playing with it yesterday, I completely removed the wires from the point cover and had them hanging loose, away from the engine, because I have had that trouble before, as well. Going to get some new gas in the morning and will post results.

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MrSteele
Well, it wasn't fuel. Whatever the trouble is, it is a new one on me, completely. The engine runs fine at idle, even a slow enough idle to nearly die, but, speed it up, and it sounds like it is our of time. I have sheared enough keys in my lifetime to know that even a slight misalignment means an engine will not run. This one runs, starts easily, but will not run decent at operating speeds. Whatever the condition is, it is also causing a LOT of gas to run through the engine while it is surging. I changed the fuel filter today, bought new gas at my favorite gas station, put in yet another plug. Tonight, the head is coming off in the case that maybe something is under the intake valve, but I consider that highly unlikely. If that shows nothing, it is time to pull the engine again, and replace the flywheel key. If it is the key, it will be the first time I have sheared a key with a tight flywheel, under a no load condition. This problem started while the tractor was going through its 'slow down before I shut it down' procedure, that I always do before shutting the engine off. I'll let you know when I find it.

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dentwizz
Do you have an ignition tester? I had a 10hp a long time ago that was doing that and for whatever reason it would skip beats at higher speeds just like what you were saying. I think I tried a different spark plug type to clear it up, but it was a lot of fiddling with the timing of the spark too. It is hard to determine without a spark tester. Sometimes you can use an automotive timing light for that too8D For skip testing it can actually be easier to see.

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HubbardRA
Did something come loose in your muffler that could be plugging the exhaust? At idle low exhaust flow, at higher rpm, much more flow. A partially plugged muffler can do weird things to an engine.

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MrSteele
All good suggestions. The low speed/high speed culprit was due to vibration. I found it this morning, and parts will be here tomorrow to make it go away. I thought, on an outside , way way outside chance, that there might be something, what I had no idea, under the head confusing the intake valve. I pulled the head, trying to find something that did not require removing the engine, anyway. There was nothing to see there, only the need for a head gasket up the horse's patootie. While I was at it, I reached down gently under the cover to see if for some reason the coil had loosened. Remember, I am looking at the OUTSIDE chances, as everything else is exhausted. I wondered how a stick had gotten under the cover when I found something, then eased it out to find that the wire coming from the coil going to the points had broken at the coil. Now, an hour or so later, the engine is sitting quietly beside the tractor, and the wire has broken so close to the coil that the coil is unusable. Prime Line still lists the coil, and has 4 in a warehouse in Memphis, and I will have 2 of them in the morning. I was shocked to find that my cost is only around $20 bucks. It is supposed to rain tonight, and I certainly hope it does, leaves mulched or not, but I will be up and running by midday tomorrow. If the rain continues, as I also hope it does, I might even pull the dash out and play with the choke and throttle controls, redo a bit of wiring and so on. The Obama vacation lends itself to a lot of busy work for little costs. Thanks for all the advice.

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dentwizz
The Obama Vacation8) I had mine last year for 6 months. }:) It gets better at least. I almost had that coil break on a couple of mine. The mice take hold and chew the insulation off somewhere in the life of the machine and it's just a matter of time before vibration does the rest. That was a possible cause for my 23D problems whenever I washed it out(hence the show-and-tell post).

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