Bought some used trimmers, having regrets...need advice

GlynnC

LawnSite Senior Member
It's good that you know how to service them etc. But what worries me is that amount of pulls that mine take to start, as well as the power loss that they have. Just out of curiosity, are these types of problems fixable if you know what you're doing?

First, I see that you had a Shin 270 stolen, man that's bad! The 270's are rock solid--and for the most part repairable. Mine came with a stripped shaft, clutch and clutch drum were gone, but it ran--and I traded 1 hr repair labor for it. $100 in parts and I have a great trimmer.

Before you do any of the steps below, try some "LMT" first. You can get this at Lowes, and Tractor Supply. It's an aerosol, yellow top can, found in the lawn equip section--usually close to the sparkplugs. Follow directions on can. Spray into sparkplug hole, and gas tank--again just follow directions. I refer to this stuff as "miracle juice".

For loss of power--make sure muffler and exhaust port are clear--this is an easy check/fix. Pull muffler, burn with a propane torch if you have one--the idea is to burn out the carbon. If exhaust port is clogged with carbon, move piston to bottom of stroke and clean port with something wooden (my grandkids save popcicle sticks for me)--don't use a screwdriver, you can scratch the cylinder or piston.

Check/change fuel filter and fuel lines if theres any doubt, and maybe even the plug just to make sure.

Carbs aren't all that difficult--just several tiny parts--don't lose them. Take apart, clean with carb or brake cleaner and blow out with low pressure compressed air. If you have one that runs better than others, switch carbs and see if it changes how they run. Repair kits for the 270's are fairly expensive--don't know about the ones you have. My success rate with carbs is certainly less than 100%.

Hope all this helps!
 

AOD

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Filosofem Hill
It seems like a lot of the guys here don't even attempt to fix stuff, and trimmers are so easy to fix! I can even pull a cheapie out of the trash and have it running in about 20 min. If it wasn't for fixing old, broken stuff I would have never been able to get my company off the ground.
 

BubblegumLC

LawnSite Member
Location
Sacramento CA
Nothing wrong with fixing your own equipment, especially if you have the time and know how. And....if you have a heapyard of parts. Save lots of money that way. Problem is, if you don't have the parts and have to run around and get them or order them when you need to be plowin' fields. I think we all like to tinker and we all have a little garage monkey in us but...my thing is to keep my equip maintained regularly (saturday is maintenance day for me) to try to avoid problems. And....i wash my stuff daily after use. I know if sound is off or losing power or if i have to pull one too many times to start it....
 

_CY_

LawnSite Member
Location
Tulsa, OK
absolutely nothing wrong with buying used equipment. provided you follow a few common sense rules.

1. don't buy used if you are not mechanically inclined. if you take equipment to the dealer for service. then buy new.

2. only purchase top of the line used gear like Stihl, Shindaiwa, Husky

3. NEVER buy used small engines that's been used professionally unless you know it's history. they probably are worn out or close to it.

4. if it's not running adjust your price accordingly. you'd better be paying next to nothing to justify risk of buying dead.

learn how to gauge compression or bring a compression gauge. when in doubt yank muffler and inspect for damage.
 

ed2hess

LawnSite Fanatic
absolutely nothing wrong with buying used equipment. provided you follow a few common sense rules.

1. don't buy used if you are not mechanically inclined. if you take equipment to the dealer for service. then buy new.

2. only purchase top of the line used gear like Stihl, Shindaiwa, Husky

3. NEVER buy used small engines that's been used professionally unless you know it's history. they probably are worn out or close to it.

4. if it's not running adjust your price accordingly. you'd better be paying next to nothing to justify risk of buying dead.

learn how to gauge compression or bring a compression gauge. when in doubt yank muffler and inspect for damage.

You left Echo off the list.....2-cycle units are very easy to work on and part dont' cost nearly as much as the ones you recommended.
 

GlynnC

LawnSite Senior Member
absolutely nothing wrong with buying used equipment. provided you follow a few common sense rules.

1. don't buy used if you are not mechanically inclined. if you take equipment to the dealer for service. then buy new.
Agree 100%

2. only purchase top of the line used gear like Stihl, Shindaiwa, Husky
Also agree 100%--almost. Add Echo to the list. For the most part, if I buy "homeowner" brands, it's to make a simple repair and resale.
3. NEVER buy used small engines that's been used professionally unless you know it's history. they probably are worn out or close to it.
Yea--sorta. Who else has top of the line equipment. Two of my favorite trimmers--RedMax 225 and Shindaiwa 270 that have thousands of hours--came from commercial users.
4. if it's not running adjust your price accordingly. you'd better be paying next to nothing to justify risk of buying dead.
Here's where the really good deals are--just know what you're buying!

learn how to gauge compression or bring a compression gauge. when in doubt yank muffler and inspect for damage.

For the most part, don't expect to get a full life out of used equipment--part of it's life is already gone.
 

clean_cut

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
A small town, NC
sell, sell, sell

a prime example of why to NEVER i repeat NEVER buy used equipment, especially hand helds...........

Yeah, I might sell them if you're not satisfied, just say they didn't fit your needs and you want to buy some like your old one.

I Disagree with yardguy's comment about never buying used. Used equipment can be great if you know what you're getting. You knew you were buying from a lawn care company and the only reason they usually sell is because the trimmers are almost useless. Just make sure you know what you're buying and get to try it out and it will be fine.
 

topsites

LawnSite Fanatic
The only one of mine that does the vibrating thing is my FS-100rx...
In my case it's the clutch, it is stuck open, this keeps the head engaged to the engine at ALL times.

Whether that happens to be your problem I could not tell you, but I thought I'd mention it.
One way to tell is to simply put your knee over it to press the head down a bit and pull the string slowly,
hard enough to make the engine turn over but you don't want it to start, now if the head wants to rotate,
that likely means the clutch is sticking.

It is an annoying problem, however the trimmer can still be used so long it is given lots of throttle,
just one of those things, once that trimmer starts running best get trimming lol

It's good that you know how to service them etc. But what worries me is that amount of pulls that mine take to start, as well as the power loss that they have. Just out of curiosity, are these types of problems fixable if you know what you're doing?

Unless it's a loss of compression due to worn rings, yes.
That's speaking as an above average backyard mechanic :p

I've got two FS-85r's, an Srm-260s and an FS-100rx.
One is 8+ years old, another 7+, the last two are less than 4-5 years old (fs-100 one of the newer ones).
ALL of them run, none perfect but they RUN, oddly enough the oldest ones do about as well as the newer ones.
 
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rob7233

LawnSite Senior Member
The vibration issue is along your drive line. Buying used can get you into "the profit" much sooner however, it just depends on how comfortable you are working on your stuff. It's all generally fixable but you got to weigh the risk/cost vs. the return. It really helps having a mechanically inclined buddy(RM) to learn more from. Like anything else it's a learning process.

Pull the inner shaft and roll it over something smooth to see if you have any bends. Note which end came out first. Sometimes it matters, other times not.
next take the trimmer head off the gearhead and clean all the gunk wrapped around it. Next thing to look at is the clutch. Take the housing off and check out the clutch spring and for abnormal/excessive wear. If all checks out, look closely at the outer shaft also. Clean off and lube up the inner shaft before reinserting it into the outer shaft. Put it all together and see what happens. PM me if you need to.

The hard starting issue is fuel related and limiting to the pump side/feed of the carb/fuel tank.
 

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