Can't start after minimal use

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by nny2k, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. nny2k

    nny2k LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 7

    Hi everyone,

    I'm very new to the world of commercial mowers but got tired of mowing my 3/4 acre property with a 22" mower so I bought a Red-Hawk 48" mower w/ Kohler 18HP engine brand new in August of last year. The mower arrived and was working beautifully. I stored the mower in my garage and this season put in fresh gas and checked the oil and cannot start it. Just to be sure I replaced the spark plug and checked the gap but nothing. The mower won't turn over at all.

    Anyone have any thoughts before I retain a local shop. I'm not thrilled about paying to service a mower with less than 10 hours of service.

    Thanks in advance

    Joe
     
  2. CLARK LAWN

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,526

    did you happen to shut the fuel off last year? is it electric start or pull rope? is the choke closing fully?
     
  3. nny2k

    nny2k LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 7

    It's pull start and I did open the fuel valve.

    Not sure where to check to see if the choke is closing fully but will have a look tomorrow.

    Thx
     
  4. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,460

    Are you smelling gas when pulling it over? Have you looked at the plug to see if it is wet with gas? If no gas, tap the side of the carb lightly with a screwdriver handle. Sometimes a needle will stick in the seat when stored and wont release to allow fuel in to the carb when it's turned on again.
     
  5. nny2k

    nny2k LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 7

    I'm pretty certain I smell gas but what needle are you referring to? Something in the carb or a needle like from a pine tree?

    Sorry if I sound like a n00b... I am :laugh:
     
  6. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,171

    What exactly do you mean by "won't turn over"? Do you mean the engine's crankshaft won't even rotate, of do you mean it rotates but the engine doesn't fire up? If it's the latter and you stored the mower for the winter with fuel in the tank, then gasoline that was in the carburetor may have dried up leaving a gum deposit which clogged the carburetor jets. But before tearing into the carburetor, make sure the plug is firing. That's easy to check by removing the plug, connecting the spark plug wire to it, grounding the outside of the plug against the engine, and then cranking the engine. If there is spark, it should be clearly visible.
     
  7. nny2k

    nny2k LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 7

    Yes the engine turns and I'll try what you suggest with the plug tomorrow to make sure it's firing.

    I thought I ran out all the fuel but when I went to fill up this week there was a small amount in the bottom so there it the possibility that there was some left behind.
     
  8. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,460

    The needle and seat is a valve in the carb that is controlled by a float. It opens and closes to allow and control fuel flow into the carb. If you left gas in the carb over the winter and didn't run it out untill the engine died, this might be your problem. Of course there are other possibilities. Next fall or even between mowings this summer, it is a good idea to get in the habit of shutting off the fuel while the engine is running and letting it run at idle or just above until it uses all the gas in the carb bowl. Then there is less chance of it causing these parts to stickduring storage. An alternative is to use a gas stabilizer and leave the fuel in there.
     
  9. nny2k

    nny2k LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 7

    Gotcha, ok will check all that out and let you know what I can get accomplished...
     
  10. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,460

    The needle and seat are on the side with the gas line.

    The fresh fuel you put in could even work overnight to loosen up what might be clogging the flow. It could start for you tomorrow. I've had it happen a few times.
     

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