Stihl br420s not living up to standards?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mdb landscaping, Jul 3, 2004.

  1. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,205

    ever since stihl has switched from the br400 to the br420, i think the quality of their blowers has gone down hill. every piece of equipment we have is stihl which is 6 trimmers, 3 hedge trimmers, 6 backpacks, 2 chainsaws and an extended reach saw. we got three new backpacks which are the br420's and after half a season we sent them back to the dealer to be fixed. they blew up and had several problems. stihl recognized this and gave us three new packs this year and im starting to think all their new packs arent living up to what they are supposed to be. i dont think the br420 blows as hard as the br400 did, and the new blowers constantly plug up the exhaust ports, the switches have broken on every pack so far, and on one of them, the switch has broken 3 times. im just starting to lose faith in stihl backpacks and was wondering if anybody else has noticed this. ive always loved stihl products, but ive almost had it with these backpacks. the dealer set them up a tad rich when they are new, and now they could probably be leaned out a bit, but they still dotn blow as hard. anybody have any insight?
  2. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    Nope. I've had no problems whatsoever with my 420. Great piece of equipment, some days I don't have to choke them at all to get it started. Only problem I had with it was the newer bigger tube. But I got an adapter for mine and made the tube smaller, allowed me to put the old curved end on it. Sorry about your experience.

  3. WAGS LandL

    WAGS LandL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    I bought a new br420 magnum last fall and I think it is no good at
    all. It has to be pulled on choke twice and 4 times off choke every
    time before it will even think about starting. The plug gets fouled
    constantly because of the starting procedure and now there is
    a leak somewhere in the engine. The engine has to be torn apart
    to get to the gasket to fix it. $400 later and I think the blower
    just stinks. I had similar problems with a handheld blower from

    Next time I am just going to bite the bullet and get a red max.

    Good luck.
  4. Sam-Ohio

    Sam-Ohio LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 304

    There is a spark arrestor screen that is held by a spring clamp in the exaust pipe on your muffler of the BR 420. Squeeze the clamp with needle nose pliers and pull it off. Then pull the screen out of the exaust pipe. This screen is usually the source of the problems with low RPM, low power, or hard starting.

    Start the blower up and see if the power isn't greatly improved with exaust free flowing again. If this really helps the blowers performance, you can clean out the carbon on the screen with a good hot torch. Hold the screen with your pliers and the Bernzomatic will flare the carbon right out of the screen. Or you can just toss the screen, and the problem will never come back.
  5. Lbilawncare

    Lbilawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,119

    I agree that the 420's don't have the power of the 400's but I don't think it is Stihl's fault. Emissions standards are to blame IMO. I stihl like them though, and haven't had any of the aformentioned problems with the 5 backpacks we currently own. The other two would still run great but the tube housings are worn out.
  6. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    Why mess with that Stihl junk when Redmax exists?

    I sold (2) BR400's and got Redmax EB7001's two years ago. No Regrets, just more power and easy to start.
  7. lawncare3

    lawncare3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,981

    I bought a stihl br 420 off ebay some time ago but it's kind of a cold starter. Other then that one it's started I don't have to choke it for the rest of the day.
  8. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    My br420 is also a pitb to start and it has maybe 15 hrs on it, Ilove stihl Saws, and maybe would have a trimmer, But i will never get another BP blower from them. That is unless they come up with a new one that schools everything else and is a 1 pull starter...
  9. Husky03

    Husky03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 432

    About the spark arrestor things, I have a Husqvarna 145bt and I have noticed lately that it seems to be losing some of it's power it had when new. Does it have one of these I can take off? How do I do it and is it safe? Also, do you guys oil the filter foams in your blowers or keep them dry and clean them more?

  10. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,725

    You can thank former president Clinton for signing the clean air act that did not take effect to after he was out of office. The reasons the blowers are having so much troubles is the new standards are nearly impossible to achieve. I had one of my br420s less then 12 hours when the motor fried they gave me a new back pack but it cost me several clean ups at the time while I waited. The reason it blew it was over tuned to meet the clean air standards, which are, suppose to get a whole lot worse in 2005. The rules are so strict they are now talking about repealing the part with coal power plants because they cannot do what the law requires.

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