Fueling Problem with Gravely 34Z

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bsalter5, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. bsalter5

    bsalter5 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Anyone else run into trouble after running out of gas?

    I had a problem with my mower when it was only about two weeks old. I suspect that I got some bad gas, or had some water in a tank. Anyway, the tank went dry, and the mower stopped. I switched tanks, but couldn't get the mower started.

    After some trouble shooting, I found some "weirdness" in the gas. I cleared all the lines into a coffee can, and found what looked like some water. I put fresh gas in, sloshed it around, then emptied it - it looked fine. I switched tanks, ran some through for good luck, and got what looked like two layers of fuel that remained separated in the coffee can - about a quart of the other gas was left in it. I've never seen gas do that. I couldn't smell anything odd - kerosene or diesel.

    I emptied this tank too and put in fresh gas. The mower still wouldn't start (yes, I checked the spark - it was good). I ended up having to pull the carb off and give it a good cleaning - it had white gunk (gas + water I think) all in and over it.

    After all this, it fired right up, and has been mowing like a champ. For good measure I put about 2 ounces of Heet in each tank to absorb any remaining water.

    Yesterday (months later) I ran out of gas, and, again, it didn't want to start. I didn't think there should be water in the tank, but thought I'd check. I pulled the fuel line off the carb, ran about a quart into a can, and it looked fine. I checked the fire, and it was fine. I took the carb off, and didn't see any signs of water, but shook out all the gas, cleaned it up with some carb cleaner, and reinstalled it. After cranking for several minutes, it finally fired, then died. A few more cranks and it finally fired and ran.

    Has anyone else run into this? Ideas? Solutions - aside from the obvious "don't run out of gas?

  2. Nosmo

    Nosmo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,216

    Here's what has happened to me with the right gas tank on my tank. I put stabil in the gas last fall at the end of the season. Come spring the mower would not start at all until I did the same thing --- as the second time when it ran out of gas on the right tank.

    What I had to do was open the valve , pull the hose clamp on the tube for the outlet, put a temporary tube to the valve and blow into the tank . The gas began running out of the tank as it should after clearing out whatever debris was shutting off the flow.

    Simply stated -- first I filled the tank and it would not flow to the engine. Blew out the line back into the tank and presto the engine would run.

  3. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,181

    It seems to me you should post this in the Mechanic & Repair forum, but when I had gasoline problems in the past serious enough to have to dump and replace the fuel, the carburetor also got fouled up and had to removed, disassembled and cleaned. Doesn't take much glop to clog those tiny orifices. The gas filter is supposed to prevent that from happening, but from your description of that white "gunk", it must have been overwhelmed. I presume you also replaced that filter. It sounds like you did all the right things and your problems are now behind you.
  4. bsalter5

    bsalter5 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Thanks Guys!

    I considered putting it on the mechanic site, but was about 1/2 sure there was something obvious I was missing. I've been know to miss the obvious on more than one occasion.

    I did change the fuel filter the first time, and probably need to do it again. I'm also considering a spark plug change - just in case.

    I didn't blow back into the tank, which is probably a really good idea - especially if there is some sort of filter/sock or screen there. I did blow through the tank the other way to get fuel to flow without running the engine. Just because the flow was good under pressure doesn't mean it is fine under normal conditions.


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