Stihl KM 55R bogs and dies

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Yuanding, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. Yuanding

    Yuanding LawnSite Member
    from England
    Messages: 82

    Thanks for the tip. I did test for the spark when cold and got a good healthy one; I didn't think of testing when hot, but now that might be a bit difficult as the engine won't run for more than about 30s - a minute. As you and others suggest, the coil could well be a problem as well or instead of the carb.

    I've just got another quote from a UK dealer to supply (not fit) a new carb at a cost of £156, that's $235!
    And yet in the US this one for example is one fifth the price.
    I don't understand the price difference; if anyone can shed some light on it I'd be interested to know the answer. And the US seller can't guarantee his carb will work on a UK model, so it looks like I'm stuck there.

    As to whether Stihl are going down the pan, all i'll say is that in the last year I've had the KM55 go on me, a KM56 (leaking fuel tank, faulty gas cap and coupling that overheated), an HS45 hedge trimmer (crankshaft bearings), and a blower attachment (KM-BG) on which the drive shaft shattered into pieces breaking the aluminium sleeve into which it inserts right in two. Why Stihl couldn't make the sleeve out of steel I don't know - maybe they wanted it to break. A dealer told me I shouldn't have been using it commercially as "it's not a commercial grade item", but my answer is it was used only very occasionally, and it's news to me that whilst some of the engines in the Kombi range are billed as commercial grade (e.g. KM130R, which I've got) some of the attachments are not. I don't see anything in the Stihl literature pointing this out.

    What I do know is that after using Stihl stuff for nearly thirty years, their durability is not what it was.. I'm seriously toying with going over to Shindaiwa or Echo, but I've not yet researched availability of spare parts here in the UK, or more importantly spare part prices.
  2. jtsnipe

    jtsnipe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 199

    If you can still get the Shindaiwa t230 or t260 in the UK I would look into these.The EPA.shut them down in the USA :cry:.
  3. dboyd351

    dboyd351 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    For a trimmer, try a husky 223 or 323. My favorite trimmer.
  4. ChuckPMi

    ChuckPMi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

  5. Yuanding

    Yuanding LawnSite Member
    from England
    Messages: 82

    Since you generally test for a spark with the plug out (otherwise you can't see the right end of the plug), it'd be a bit difficult to test for it when the engine is running.
  6. dboyd351

    dboyd351 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    With this type of inline spark tester
    you plug one end into the spark plug cap and the other end fits over the plug, like the original spark plug cap, so you can start the trimmer up with the spark tester plugged in. Then you watch the coil in the tester. If the tester coil begins to lose spark at the same time the trimmer starts to die, you know your coil is bad.
    The tester is a whole lot cheaper to buy than the coil and you end up with a good tool even if the coil proves to be OK.

    As for the US carb working - for 1/5th the price I'd take my chances, but test the coil first.

Share This Page