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Echo PB400 Starting Problems

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by MrBill, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. MrBill

    MrBill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I have had this Echo PB400 blower for 20 years! I use it for home yard work - a few times in the spring and more in the fall. I've had the carburator replaced a long time ago because it got too gummed up from lack of use & poor storage. Since then, I've learned how to winterize, etc., and the machine has been providing good service.

    I had to have the pull cord replaced this past spring. The repair guy was impressed with the 'like-new' condition of this blower. However, since then it's been extremely difficult to start. I don't think the starting problems are related to the repair. Here's what happens:

    I try to get it started the way I always do - choke on & partial throttle. I pull and pull; rest a while; close throttle; pull some more; change choke position; pull some more; remove air cleaner; open throttle just a bit; choke open just a bit; pull some more; unscrew gas cap; pull; replace it; pull; check plug; pull & pull & then it kicks over. This goes on for about a half hour! But at first it only will go at a very slow idle. If I try to give it too much gas it bogs & stalls. Then I slowly give it more gas and it slowly works its way up to full RPMs. In the meantime, I replace the air cleaner & then get set to do my work.

    I went through this this weekend. It runs fine once it gets going. I used up almost a full tank of gas doing my leaves and after refilling, it was hard to start again. Not as bad as from a cold start but it went through that same low idle until it could get going to full speed.

    It's not old gas; I use 2 cycle gas in my lawn mower so it's replaced enough to be fresh. It's not a bad plug - I get plenty of spark. I notice that when the blower is running, the choke position doesn't seem to have any effect. One time, I squirted some gas directly onto the piston and that got it to kick over. I need a new gas cap & should replace the fuel filter. But I don't think those are the major issues.

    What should I do? I've read about carburetor rebuilds. Should I do that? Or adjust the carb? Replace the carb? I've read about the spark arrestor problems. What bugs me is that once it does get going, it really works fine.

    This machine has a Walbro type WA carburetor. Where can I get rebuild kits for it?

    I want to do this fix myself because I'm sure the repair bill could not be justified for a 20-year old machine. Sorry to be so long-winded but please help!
  2. dutch1

    dutch1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Jayhawk
    Messages: 2,247

    Just by coincidence, I have a PB400 in my shop right now with the sluggish/starting problem you describe. I checked compression, replaced fuel filter and plug, rebuilt the carb(Walbro K10-WAT kit). I'd say the compression should be at least 110(mine was 140). I found trash in the filter screen inside the carb. Unit started fine after the above was done but was sluggish(slow coming up to top speed). With the unit running, I sprayed the carb area with a combustible carb/choke cleaner and it killed the unit. Pulled the carb and iso block(between carb and jug) and found it to have a crack. As a result it was sucking a lot of air and little fuel. Picked up new gaskets and isoblock today but haven't completed the job.

    Carb kit should be available at most any 2 cycle repair shop.

    The 400 is a good old blower but it doesn't have the volume of the newer high end blowers.

    you may wish to check collapsing fuel/vacuum lines as well.

  3. dutch1

    dutch1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Jayhawk
    Messages: 2,247

    If need be, you can go to www.echo-usa.com and with your model and serial number, you will be able to access a complete breakdown. You will need to enter the model as pb-400 as I recall.

  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,842

    Have you replaced the fuel filter and vent? Then get a carb rebuild kit and clean the screen as previous post has indicated. There are a couple parts that wear inside the carb and it can't pump sufficient fuel.

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