Stihl BR400 - repair or replace?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by critter86, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. critter86

    critter86 LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1

    I have a Stihl BR 400 backpack blower that needs a carb replacement, among other things; dealer is quoting $160 to fix. It has not had lots of use but obviously it is old.

    Looking for opinions about what I should do - pay to repair it or just go ahead and replace?

  2. BigFish

    BigFish LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,196

    Dunno about the " amongst other things " , but a carb will run ya about $60 or so on fleabay. I was in a hurry and paid like $85 at a steal dealer a while back. Get a new carb mtg. gask. and air filter gasket also.
    Only a couple of screws to install.
  3. M&L

    M&L LawnSite Member
    Messages: 245

    If that were my only blower, I'd buy a new one.
    Then I'd order a rebuild kit for the carb for around 15$. Carb cleaner is just under 2$ a can at walmart. Watch a few videos on how to disassemble and clean it, then you put it back together with new seals, diaphrams, fuel lines,filter and such. Its really not that hard to do, and if it doesn't work, your only out 20 bucks and some time. Then you could order a whole new carb, and still come in under half the qouted repair.
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  4. Jeff in AL

    Jeff in AL LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 789

    What are the "among other things" included in the quote? The carburetor has a retail price of $71.26 so what is the other $89.00 for?

    Have you been using it at all or has the unit been sitting for months/years?

    BR400 Carburetor - Air Filter IPL.jpg
  5. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    Unfortunately the 400 is so underpowered, I've never had anything less than a 420 Magnum but that was before the 4-cyclers came out and I mean today I wouldn't fool with those, be done trifling and get yourself a br-600.

    That having been said, just so we're all on the same page...

    When you replace a carburetor on a small engine it is a good idea to go ahead and replace the gasket and the fuel lines as well, while I realize this costs extra it also means less trouble down the road and in terms of the labor you're only into it once.

    Now, as for the $160...I am pretty sure I can get all the above mentioned parts, brand new, shipped to my door for $100 and maybe slightly less... And I will PAY myself the other $60 to fix it on a lazy afternoon.

    But in this case, I would just get a 600.
  6. tigerepairdotcom

    tigerepairdotcom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 330

    In my experience 2 stroke carbs RARELY go bad out of the 590 in the last 2 years (Computer look up) 2 stroke carbs I have ever cleaned/rebuilt I have only put 7 new carbs... For my shop Historically 98% of 2 stroke carbs are rebuild able

    all the carbs I replaced the customer excessively tightened the adjustment screws or used screwdriver to take off and bent butterfly shaft rendering inoperable

    You might consider using a shop with an ultrasonic cleaner.

    Sometimes I thought I had to change a carb as a last resort Id spray carb cleaner into the high/low jet then blow with air 2 or 3 times BAM done. So unless you racked on your adjustment and screwed up the needle seat your carb is statistically rebuild able. Don't just give in to the shop not having the necessary equipment telling you you need new carb

    If you don't have ultrasonic and you do this for a living you are joke..
  7. piston slapper

    piston slapper LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,337 do realize that working on carbs is tampering with emmisions...
    Most carbs cost less than a half hours a new carb..
  8. tigerepairdotcom

    tigerepairdotcom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 330 do realize that working on carbs is tampering with emmisions... For your standard homeowner I would never suggest they attempt setting a carb. However there are special carb adjustment tools made for adjusting carbs by qualified technicians which are EPA regulated. Not just any joe shmoe can buy any of 6 special tools. A qualified technician can actually reduce emissions by fine tuning carb adjustments.
  9. tigerepairdotcom

    tigerepairdotcom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 330

    Carburetor adjustment is CRITICAL on chain saws and other two-cycle engines. An adjustment that is too rich will cause a saw to smoke, have insufficient power, result in additional carbon build up and may damage the engine. An adjustment that is too lean will also produce insufficient power and is more likely to damage the engine through lean seizure.
  10. BigFish

    BigFish LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,196

    Well....... ya tried to help him!

    When the M.I.B come a'knockin' on yer door.....
    Jus' 'member what ol' "Tater Salad" said...

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