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4 cycle homeowner trimmer problems / questions

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Bob E, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. Bob E

    Bob E LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60


    I know most of you don't like the Ryobi products but I have a question for you. A little over two years ago I bought a Troy-bilt (built by Ryobi) 4 cycle trimmer that was attachment compatible. Over the last couple of years I have amassed a few attachments for it.

    I have the pole saw (which works great), the tiller attachment (which is great for annual beds), the vacuum/blower attachment and no the articulating hedge trimmer (haven't had the chance to use it yet since trimmer died the day I bought it).

    I was using the trimmer the other day and it slowly died on me, like it was out of gas. It was low on fuel so I filled the tank and it would not start again. To make a long story short, I have rebuilt the carb, put a new spark plug in, checked for fire, checked the fuel filter and made sure the valves are adjusted right. All to no avail, it would not start.

    Last night I drained the oil, it was extremely runny (not viscous) and smelled of gas. I'm assuming that the rings are bad on the piston. Any other thoughts? Obviously if this is the case it is not worth rebuilding.

    I would love to move up to a commercial power head for my attachments, is there anyone else's power head that will interchange with the Ryobi trimmer plus attachments? Or maybe some one makes an adapter to goes between them.

    Right now I have almost $400 in attachments and moving to different brand that doesn't interchange would not be wise. If I were using this to make a living then it would make sense.

    If I go back with another Ryobi I will probably go for a 2 cycle. Is there any sort of "breaking in" of a new 2 cycle engine that would help it last longer? Any special oil or treatment that prolongs the engines life? (I know that is a loaded question).
  2. locutus

    locutus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,266

    For 2-cycle equipment, use Amsoil synthetic pre-mix at 80:1. If you dont want to ditch the attachments you have already amassed, buy a new Troy-bilt powerhead and use Mobil-One synthetic oil in it. Synthetic oils have a higher film strength which improves their ability to lubricate your engines and reduces oil break-down.
  3. 0money

    0money LawnSite Member
    from Around
    Posts: 62

    I think John Deer offers a power head you can use the attachments on . But I don't know how good it is?
  4. saw man

    saw man LawnSite Bronze Member
    from utah
    Posts: 1,021

    Very common with these units!!

    I know you wont like my opinion but here it is anyway. Throw it out!

    With gas in the oil it did not lubricate, so the engine is probably toast. Its not worth the $$ for a rebuild. If you feel the need go by another power head.

    I will suggest another unit besides Ryobi but if you dont have extra $$ to spend by there 2-cycle unit. Their 4-stroke is JUNK!!!!

    Personally I would by seperate units, Yes it wil be more $$, but they will do a better job than that unit x100!
  5. Bob E

    Bob E LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    I may have found a reason for my problem and wanted to run it past the experts. I hate to admit it, but it may be "operator error". :dizzy:

    Since this was a 4 cycle engine with separate oil reservoir and oil pump ( I assume it has an oil pump). Can it be used in all positions?

    The owners manual says something to the effect that the trimmer head should not be used over 30" off the ground.

    I use my pole saw attachment almost as much as the string trimmer attachment. When doing this many times the shaft is almost completely vertical, could this have caused oil not to be pumped around the crankcase correctly?

    If this is the problem, it will be eliminated by going to new 2 stoke power head.... right?

    SAW MAN: I already have about $400 in attachments for this series of trimmers. If I were to scrap them and move to Stihl the pole saw and hedge trimmer attachment alone is proably $600 not to mention the cost of the powerhead. I know that it would be a tremendous upgrade, but it's just not practical for me. I may use the trimmer7-8 hours during the entire season (I assume most of you guys use it that much each day).

    I wish there was a way to use my present attachments with a better power head, but in all my searching I can't find anything that will interchange.
  6. Bob E

    Bob E LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60


    The John Deers looks interesting. I will call the local John Deere guys to see if it will interchange. Or maybe take one of my attachments there to verify it.

    It doesn't appear to me that the John Deere trimmer is made by MTD.
  7. BlackVCG

    BlackVCG LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Sounds to me like you burnt up your 4-Stroke by using the pole saw. If you have access to a compression gauge, you can see if the rings siezed up and that's most likely why it won't start.

    You can find dark green John Deere trimmers at Home Depot that have the quick change device. I believe they are made by Homelite. As for the interchange, I don't know if they do.

    The yellow John Deere trimmers you'll find at your local JD dealership are the commercial grade units and I highly doubt the Ryobi attachments will work on that JD model.

    You'd probably be best off getting a Ryobi 2-Stroke from Home Depot. They work at 360 degrees like all 2-strokes and considering the amount of time you put on your trimmers, that model should hold up for you. My first trimmer was a Ryobi 725r. It wasn't bad for using the blower attachment.

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