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View Full Version : Opinions needed on quick purchase to replace FS85


Envy Lawn Service
08-11-2005, 02:40 AM
OK, my FS85 croaked on me again on my last lawn of the day, which was after-hours of course. Failed to crank. Carb is flooding it to death again best I can tell. Fuel is leaking from the carb and misting out the exhaust as I yank on it. It started this after I rebuilt the carb and I resolved it by tinkering on the needle valve assembly. But now that it's back again, I must do something because I have not had time to shop for replacements of my backups, which have also croaked recently while backing up the frontline stuff.

Now, I'm sure someone will say to just slap a new carb on it. Well, I would have gladly just done that to begin with instead of rebuilding it. But nobody keeps carbs in stock around here, and with the rain delays this week.... I can't wait on them to order one.

I'm sure that with a new carb it will be fit to return to front line duty again. So I'm rather confused as to what to replace it with for now or what route to take. I've really been meaning to go shopping for several handheld items. Trimmer, edger, hedge clipper, saw, ect. But I just haven't had the time.

So I'm sorta stumped about what to go grab. I've considered searching for a leftover 85 and have nervously considered 4-Mix. First I thought about getting a new Stihl edger and swapping on the old trimmer gear head until the new carb arrives for the old FS85. End result being that I would have a reliable trimmer again later and a new edger.

Then I began to consider the Kombi-System from Stihl which would run several quick-attachments like the trimmer, edger, hedge clipper, broom, saw, ect. But after some online shopping it seems all the hedge clipper attachments are long reach.

So I cringed a little (loyal to stihl) and headed over to Echo's site to check out their PAS system, as Echo has been equally good to me so far. So I'm looking at the Echo attachments to see if any of their hedge clipper attachments look more short reach... and it appears they do.

But then I'm not so sure I want to go the attachment route for a hedge clipper... and then I'm surf-shopping all kinds, sorts and brands of handheld stuff... and now I basically just TOTALLY CONFUSED.

SUGGESTIONS PLEASE!!!

I need to put a trimmer in the field NOW, even if just until a new carb arrives.

Other considerations are:
I would also like to add a new edger, maybe a 4-Mix.
I would also like a new hedge clipper, for mostly smaller shrubs.
I might would also like to try a power scythe or reciprocator for slope slashing.

vipermanz
08-11-2005, 03:48 AM
the 4mix trimmers are very good, for you i think a fs-110 might replace the 85 the best. also the KM series by stihl is a great system that you should think about.

Tharrell
08-11-2005, 07:21 AM
Try a Robin. They're imported by Carswell in Winston-Salem. If you've ever seen a Green Machine, that was a Robin. Same for Makita.
Anyway, my 25cc unit is powerful and only 9 lbs.

Lawn-Scapes
08-11-2005, 09:38 AM
I recommend the FS110. I've had it for a little over a year and no problems. Still starts on the first or second pull. It's a little heavy but prefer it over my FS85.

Good luck...

brian mon
08-11-2005, 09:43 AM
Just suck it up Envy and get the new Stihl...

I had a pull cord spring break on me the other day on my FS 85T...
Rather then wait for the mechanic to return from lunch, I got the new FS250
man what a brute, and went out and continued working.

It was the second time I had the 85T in the shop this season, now it's back-up.

I had a edger attachment on the 85T until last year, when the cable broke, got the FC 85 and things are much better

Sometimes it pays to not have the worries about breakdowns.

Use the winter to fix the 85, and stick w/Stihl

Travis Followell
08-11-2005, 08:20 PM
Envy, get the 110. They are excellent trimmers, very powerful and reliable other than a valve adjustment our's has served us well so far.

valleylawn79
08-11-2005, 08:34 PM
envy try a deere or red max. i thought redmax /komatsu made the old green machine. maybe i was wrong.

S man
08-11-2005, 08:35 PM
Redmax or shindaiwa is good. I've used stihl and don't like them as much as others. Echo equipment is good too.

Question why is your carb going out?

S man
08-11-2005, 08:37 PM
envy try a deere or red max. i thought redmax /komatsu made the old green machine. maybe i was wrong.

I've noticed similar features on the redmax and deere but others tell me I'm wrong as well.

The mayor
08-11-2005, 08:44 PM
I just got my fs80 back from the shop. I would start, puke out ,not start, Cough out gas everywhere. They had to replace the flywheel. It was NOT suppose to be covered under warranty. Stihl stepped up to the plate and covered it. As I have posted before I have had alot of problems with all of my stihl products. But when they do this it does ease the pain. I am sure I will buy from them again :dizzy:

Envy Lawn Service
08-12-2005, 03:41 AM
I just got my fs80 back from the shop. I would start, puke out ,not start, Cough out gas everywhere. They had to replace the flywheel. It was NOT suppose to be covered under warranty. Stihl stepped up to the plate and covered it. As I have posted before I have had alot of problems with all of my stihl products. But when they do this it does ease the pain. I am sure I will buy from them again :dizzy:

Oh geez.... don't tell me that now.... I thought I had this all figured out after sleeping on it and pondering a day more. I ended up lucking up and getting some fully equipped day-help, which happened to benefit two people for the day, and I even got to get started before any dealers even opened up.

But something has got to give for sure before I hit the road again. As I said, until reading your post I thought I had settled on the right solution. I was just going to go grab a Stihl 4-Mix FC110 edger and swap the gearheads until I could get the carb here for the old FS85. That way, in the end I'd get a torquey new edger with the benefit of being able to make a future emergency swap if need be. But you make me afraid it might be ready for the parts heap.

Flywheel huh??? Symptoms sure sound similar.... Ugh.

Envy Lawn Service
08-12-2005, 03:56 AM
Try a Robin. They're imported by Carswell in Winston-Salem. If you've ever seen a Green Machine, that was a Robin. Same for Makita.
Anyway, my 25cc unit is powerful and only 9 lbs.

You know, I've always liked the Robin stuff and I've actually threatened many times to get one of those really light ones, the ones with the all-black guard. The one I picked up just fits my tall frame to a tee. But for me, Carswell is a dirty word, and I have been struggling to personally boycott them and refrain from buying anything that I know was distributed through them.

However, my wanting to try one and this flywheel issue possibility with the old FS85 sure has me really really tempted now. So I would like to ask you what the heads are like (I really like the Stihl 25-2)??? I would like to ask if their engines run cool??? What about vibration???

I'm doing a great deal more volume of string trimming these days and the FS85 seems to really get hot after a while. Sometimes I get a minor burn on my arm that takes say 24hrs or so before all is well again. Cooler and lighter would be good so long as I can still fling plenty of string. Plus a good head is a must, and it also MUST be really smooth because I'm overly sensitive to that sort of vibration that trimmers can produce....