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View Full Version : Hard staring echo timmers. Buy something else????


newbomb
01-06-2007, 11:41 AM
There was a thread the other day discussing echo trimmers being hard to start and having carberator troubles. I have 2 2601 echos that dont start well and a 261t thats 16 months old, same thing. I wonder if its worth paying someone to rebuild them or should I jump ship and go Redmax or other model? I really don't know wether to fix these or get something else. I figure it will be about $100 each to repair so $300 buys 3 refurbished trimmers that might last a year or 2 or invest in 1 new trimmer thats more reliable. What would you do?

cdsang
01-06-2007, 12:08 PM
I work for an LCO. I have used Toro, Ecco and Stihl. The Toro seems pretty beat up so it doesn'ts get used. The Ecco was brand new and the Stihl was about and year or 2 old by the time I used it. I mainly use the Stihl and it seems to start more often and easyer then the Ecco. We last used it around when it was in the 40s out and it took about 20 mins to start. Don't get me wrong, the Sthile can have trouble to, but this stuff gets wet just about every time it rains. The only time it gets put in a dry area is when we know for sure rain alot and high winds comeing soon. I also work at a golf course for about 3 years now and use only Stihl trimmers. They get used alot(sadly) and they seem to be good for 2-3 years of heavy use before you have trouble with them but you can still(no pun) start them ok. Last year I bought a Sthil 110 R and have no trouble starting it. I also keep it dry. The LCO seems to like useing 32:1 fuel while I used the recommened 50:1. Thats my basic history with timmers. Anyway I suggets a Stihl keeping it dry with 50:1 fuel.

CD

metro36
01-06-2007, 12:20 PM
I had the same problem. I asked my dealer and he said that you need to replace the spark plug more often. I did and it starts much easier. I don't mow every day so replacing plugs twice a season is works for me but if you mow every day you should replace the plugs 4 or more times a season. Hope this helps.

Turf Technologies
01-06-2007, 12:28 PM
I have a echo 260s and the 261t, the 260s is over 4yrs old and runs like new I use it all the time, everyday. Now the 261t is the same age as yours and is a bear to start and getting up to speed I could of been done allready.I should of taken it back when it was under warranty because its been like that from day one. I know its a carb issue. I have a new carb Im going to put on it and see what happens. Im sure if you have the dealer work on the carb it would be fine.

greenerman
01-06-2007, 12:31 PM
Had an Echo years back and had problems. I am currently running a Honda 4 stroke, it is great!

AndyTblc
01-06-2007, 12:32 PM
cough: STIHL cough:

ed2hess
01-06-2007, 12:34 PM
There was a thread the other day discussing echo trimmers being hard to start and having carberator troubles. ?
Since these Echo trimmers are straight 2 stroke they are NOT going to start on the first pull. So what is wrong with pulling the cord a few times, is this a big problem? Every 260 and 261T we have START and are excellent units. Some of them are 6 years old and still run every day. A lot of these new units with valves should be able to start easier but how long will they last?
Taking a carb apart and putting a new kit in is not that difficult, but I doubt that is going to improve starting.

greenerman
01-06-2007, 01:12 PM
Hmmm, do your mower engines have valves?

Just Mow
01-06-2007, 01:41 PM
Gee, all my Stihl's with valves are 4 years old and dang it if they stihl start on the first or second pull everytime. I keep waiting for something to go wrong with them like everybody with an Echo predicts. But they are stihl running strong.

WALKER LANDSCAPE
01-06-2007, 02:11 PM
We use all Echo products the W/E are hard to start in the mornings, but are better by the 2nd or 3rd yard. We can plugs 2 or 3 times a season.

weve
01-06-2007, 07:30 PM
I have six Echo units purchased between 1996 and 2004. I have had few starting problems. The PAS 260 wouldn't start once but the fuel pick up line had become lodged near the top of the fuel tank above the fuel.

To start cold I use full choke and full throttle, pull a time or two, adjust to half choke and pull once or twice more. When started I adjust choke and throttle as necessary until running smoothly.

LawnTamer
01-06-2007, 09:56 PM
I have had 3 Echo trimmers and all were tricky to start, especially when cold or wet. My Stihl on the other hand is perfectly predictable.
When Cold 1 full-Choke pull, if it didn't start then, Half choke to Start - so by 2nd pull every time.

When warm Half choke start 1st pull 95% of the time. other 5% it's usually low on gas.

I'm in the process of going Stihl with all my trimmers/stick edgers.:cool2:

tallimeca
01-06-2007, 10:43 PM
how i recommend my customers to start their echo products.

switch on, throttle at wot, choke on, prime 3 times. Pull no more than 2-3 pulls on choke, shut choke off, and pull again, with throttle at wide open throttle. If the equipment is maintained properly and it working order, we have thousands of echo products out there and they all start perfect if started this way.

mikes landscaping
01-07-2007, 12:11 AM
I personally don't like the echo trimmers. I would get a Shindaiwa t-230, they run like champs, one start pulls always.
-Pete

J&R Landscaping
01-07-2007, 01:13 AM
I have an Echo SRM-210 trimmer. When it's cold outside (first start of the morning) they start fine. I sometimes have trouble and have to pull it 3 or 4 times to get it going after it has been running for a while. I like the machine though and am planning to purchase a 230 or 261 in the spring time.

The Redmax units have had way to many carb problems and such so I am staying away from Redmax for the time being.

The Captain
01-07-2007, 01:37 AM
I have two PAS-260s and am very happy with them. I start both as tallimeca described and they run great all day. The older one has about 4 years on it and still has the original spark plug. I do two cemeterys so it's not like they don't see any use.

The Captain

LCPullman
01-07-2007, 04:16 PM
My Echo equipment generally takes 4 or 5 pulls to start in a cold morning. After its warmed up I can start it on 1 or 2 pulls.

Make sure you always start it on full throttle. Use full choke when its cold. If you want to be certain of a one pull start when its warm you could use choke too, just have to turn choke off real quickly.

I replace plugs twice in a year, and I use my trimmers every day. I've never had any plug related problems, but I always use NGKs, same kind that comes on the machine.

If it takes longer to start than that most of the time, you probably do need carb rebuild.

I think you probably would do best to stick with what you have, assuming the dealer is a good dealer.

I will grant you that other equipment is easier to start. But if you have a well maintained peice of equipment and properly functioning carb, Echos really are quite easy to start.

newbomb
01-07-2007, 04:27 PM
Since these Echo trimmers are straight 2 stroke they are NOT going to start on the first pull. So what is wrong with pulling the cord a few times, is this a big problem? Every 260 and 261T we have START and are excellent units. Some of them are 6 years old and still run every day. A lot of these new units with valves should be able to start easier but how long will they last?
Taking a carb apart and putting a new kit in is not that difficult, but I doubt that is going to improve starting.

Mine just need a good going over and I think they'll be fine. Cold they need 10 or more pulls to start. I will of course put in new plugs and filters but 10 pulls to start is too many.

tallimeca
01-07-2007, 04:50 PM
hard starting is rarely a carburetor problem. It's the easiest thing to alsways point to but 9 times out of ten, hard starting problems are related to cylinder/compression issues.

After the unit is started and running, and you shut it down, dont' choke or even prime it. Don't need to.

As far as people staying away from manufacturers becaue of carb problems, hate to break it to you but the people who make carbs for redmax, make echo, stihl, husky and everyoen us. Basically Zama and Walbro. The oems don't make 99.9 percent of the carbs.

LCPullman
01-08-2007, 02:01 AM
hard starting is rarely a carburetor problem. It's the easiest thing to alsways point to but 9 times out of ten, hard starting problems are related to cylinder/compression issues.

With hard starting on well-maintained equipment which is relatively new do you think cylinder/compression issues would be the main problem?
If so what would be the causes/fixes of the cylinder/compression issues?

nobagger
01-08-2007, 06:32 AM
There was a thread the other day discussing echo trimmers being hard to start and having carberator troubles. I have 2 2601 echos that dont start well and a 261t thats 16 months old, same thing. I wonder if its worth paying someone to rebuild them or should I jump ship and go Redmax or other model? I really don't know wether to fix these or get something else. I figure it will be about $100 each to repair so $300 buys 3 refurbished trimmers that might last a year or 2 or invest in 1 new trimmer thats more reliable. What would you do?

My dealer said they had a bad batch of carbs about a year and a half ago. My one trimmer and my handheld were doing the same thing. They came with a 2 year warranty so I just had the dealer do their thing and they work great now.

wowmowwow
01-08-2007, 07:49 PM
i have been usising my srm260 for five yrs. i bought it from a crackhead for $40, used. lol. never changed the plug. never mix the fuel right. never changed the fuel filter. nothing but run it hard! no problems ever! cant you tell how old they are by the serial # or something? id like to know how old it is, if it even has a serial #. lol both of mine start with one or two pulls now matter what time of the day and they run strong.

Envy Lawn Service
01-09-2007, 02:54 AM
There was a thread the other day discussing echo trimmers being hard to start and having carberator troubles. I have 2 2601 echos that dont start well and a 261t thats 16 months old, same thing. I wonder if its worth paying someone to rebuild them or should I jump ship and go Redmax or other model? I really don't know wether to fix these or get something else. I figure it will be about $100 each to repair so $300 buys 3 refurbished trimmers that might last a year or 2 or invest in 1 new trimmer thats more reliable. What would you do?

I didn't take time to read everyone elses responses on your topic.
(It's late... LOL)

I'm well experienced with Echo...
So my answer to your question is in the form of 3 questions:

1) How good are your troubleshooting skills?
2) How good is your patience?
3) How reliable do the need to be?

I ask that because I was pretty much in the same boat as you with Echo. I was really happy with them the first season. Seems like they all start in 1-2 pulls without fail for a while... and tie or beat every other MFG. But after the new wears off (and the warranty) they start to tank. The older they get, the worse they get, and it seems to me, the newer the model year, the worse quality they are.

You troubleshoot and fix them... they run perfect... they let you down... and each time it gets worse and harder to straighten out... and next thing you know every time you turn around, if it isn't one thing it's another.... won't start, won't start right/reliably, won't idle, won't rev, bogs, falls flat at high rpm...

I just got sick of replacing/rebuilding fuel delivery parts, starter recoils, ect, and 'tuning' them all the time. At times I didn't mind the tinkering and the challenge... other times it burnt me to no end.... but what I got dead sick of was the dependability.... and I got to where I started to dread every time I reached for one, and pray it would work for every task. That gets old.

I gave up on them and started cycling them out. I just quit buying them. I had Stihl stuff too, so I just kept buying more Stihl stuff... until Stihl started getting big into the 4-mix thing (which I think is fine, I just don't want a lot of them this early on). So I started buying RedMax instead of Stihl or Echo.

In my experience, Stihl stuff starts the best, the most predictably, and the most reliably.... provided you follow the proceedure in the manual. The RedMax blowers crank equally well, as do the hedge clippers.

However, I cannot say the same for the one 2600 trimmer I have. Once I figured out how it likes to start, it has not failed to start or caused me 'yanking embarassment'. But it is not on par with Stihl. You have to set the throttle wide open, and sometimes you may have to pull 3 or more times to get it to hit, and sometimes another to get it running... which is WAO due to the throttle lock... and you have to release that before it boggs out, because it likes to have it's little 'warm-up' period before going to work.... AND it is like that every time I go to start it, unless I just shut if off a few minutes prior.... which ain't often.

tallimeca
01-09-2007, 11:42 AM
With hard starting on well-maintained equipment which is relatively new do you think cylinder/compression issues would be the main problem?
If so what would be the causes/fixes of the cylinder/compression issues?


Depends, what do you consider well maintained?

What fuel are you using? Are you using 89 octane or higher fuel as recommended? Most guys don't and you SHOULD BE IN ANY EQUIPMENT THAT IS AIR COOLED. The gas now is JUNK and everyone should be aware of that by now.

Are you using the recommended certified oils? Iso or Jasco certified or are you using the home depot special, catalog ordered landscaper discounted oil, or such?

You can clean the machine, change filters and plugs, and mix the oil right down to the drop with a medicine dropper.....BUT, that does erase the fact if you are not using the correct fuel and oil.

Internal failures on 2 stroke equipment all revolves around rings and heat.

You use the wrong oil, it builds up and causes the rings to stick. Causes compression issues which makes it hard to start.

The build up gets behind the rings and they don't close all the way, then they can begin scoring the cylinder walls, greating more issues.

The wrong fuel leads to overheating and detonation, which damages the piston and cylinders.

Water in the fuel is sometimes not controlable by the end users if you don't see it coming from the pump.........where 90 percent of it comes from, and now you get phase seperation, which the oil seperates from the gas.

The new gas will seperate on it's own very quickly. Always shake your cans and machines before you start them.

Doesn't matter how good them look and how much you service them, if these things are happening, it's not the equipments fault.

Hope this helps

zeroturner
01-09-2007, 12:41 PM
how i recommend my customers to start their echo products.

switch on, throttle at wot, choke on, prime 3 times. Pull no more than 2-3 pulls on choke, shut choke off, and pull again, with throttle at wide open throttle. If the equipment is maintained properly and it working order, we have thousands of echo products out there and they all start perfect if started this way.

I have ran the Echo 260s trimmers and PE-260 edgers that I currently have now for about 5 years. I have always followed this exact procedure for cranking and they crank like clockwork everytime for me. In addition, I have had zero problems with them. Echo makes a great product in my opinion.

LCPullman
01-09-2007, 07:19 PM
Hope this helps

Thanks for the reply.

I was really lucky with the oil issue. Back when I got my first 2-stroke (suzuki) lawn mowers, the mechanic at the dealer's shop came out and emphasized the importance of using good oil. If it hadn't have been for that, I might have kept using cheap oil.

As it is, I use Echo oil and 89 octane gas, and I really haven't had any problems with my equipment.

Envy Lawn Service
01-10-2007, 02:20 AM
tallimeca brings up an really valid point about fuel.... and one I really did mean to mention in all fairness to Echo.... and here is why....

Personally I use premium 2 cycle oil with stabilizer.
I also generally mix in the smallest quantity I can get by with for the day.
I always use 89 or 93 octane gas.
And I almost always use BP/Amoco gas... white/clear gas.

Even with that said, it has come to my attention that it is 'possible' that the gas could have additives, such as low percentages of ethanol, mixed in it. I do not know if that is true or not. I had just always assumed they had to post this sort of thing on the pumps (?)

With that said, it is possible that the ethanol and such could be destroying the Echo fuel delivery parts. I can certainly confirm that I can recall once working on an Echo... and finding myself standing in an accidental puddle of fuel from the tank... and I very clearly remember it melting the rubber soles of my shoes. (I think at the time I spilled fuel trying to quickly fish the line and filter out of the tank)

I can also confirm that at a point along the way, I started finding that all my 2 cycle stuff would start acting up right about the same time (Echo's quit period). And I did have to replace the fuel lines across the board on everything.... right along about the hottest part of summer like july/august.

But on the Stihls, I'd just replace the lines and be perfect in a few minutes. Sometimes the Echo's were more difficult than that... and as it went on, it got worse with the Echo's, while everything remained totally consistent with the Stihls. Fuel lines only every july/august (except for one carb).

So since I have no knowledge myself as to rather or not what I've heard is true... I would admit it is certainly a possibility... and since I always bought the pre-cut exact OEM replacement lines... I have to admit it is even more possible... because it could well be that the compound Echo uses for their lines is not as tuff/resistant.

All I know is that the only thing that lasted was the see-through primer/purge line.

Can anyone offer facts about fuel to confirm or debunk anything?

lawnprosteveo
01-10-2007, 10:21 PM
I personally don't like the echo trimmers. I would get a Shindaiwa t-230, they run like champs, one start pulls always.
-Pete
I have two of these trimmers. Although I like them, I cant say they always are easy to start. When they are hot, they sometimes are hard to restart. My Shin. eb630 blowers always start easily and my Echo trimmers (two sets) and my Echo chain saw both start easily even after sitting around for a couple of months.