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Taking off String Trimmer Guard

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by cahermit, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. cahermit

    cahermit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    I just bought an echo 261-T, and the dealer told me that if you take off the guard, it increases the engine operating temp by 20 degrees for every inch of line you have out past the cutter length. Does this statement have any validity?
  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,279

    We run them without guards for many years all models including the 3 new 261T untis and no problems. I would guess they will run hotter because you pull more cord but on the other hand these gearboxes on the 261T are massive. I think you will be fine, just keep the ports clean and use echo oil.
  3. dutch1

    dutch1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Jayhawk
    Messages: 2,248

    I wouldn't say for sure, but I don't think some manufacturers will warranty a unit operated without something to control line length. Not only will the unit operate at a higher temperature but unnecessary strain is applied to the clutch/drum assembly leading to premature failure.

    Check with your dealer if you have a question about warranty.

  4. MowerMedic77

    MowerMedic77 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,164

    Removing the guard is the cause of more problems with weedys then most people think:confused: It allows the operator to run the line longer then the manufacture recommends and will void most drive shaft warranties when they strip, it puts excess strain on the gear head and clutch and clutch drum creating faster wear on the shoes. It also makes the engine run at slower rpms and intern does not allow you to burn the 2 cycle properly and you get carbon build up in the port. I know you will get lots of different opinions on this one but from a mechanics POV , removing the guard gives me lots of extra work everyday. :drinkup:
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,279

    I got a fair amount of field test experience on guard removal. It does cause the clutches to wear more and they have to be replaced about every 9 months. The new adjustable carb and new gear head allows tuning the engine so it does not bog like the old 260. Since it runs at full speed the cooling is better and clutch wear went down on the 261T. The ports need to be cleaned about every 6 months. I have never had a flex or solid shaft shaft fail. The gearbox on Echo is seems overdesigned and can easily take the load, and the new one is even bigger. I have never had a ring/cyclinder problem on an Echo. I don't expect them to give me warranty if I take the guard off! My experience has been similiar on certain Stihl and Shindawa model. If you are not doing high volume maintenance leave the guard on it is safer and it likely increase the life of everything.
  6. blakeg314

    blakeg314 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 122

    just take it off, it gets in the way!
  7. AAELI

    AAELI LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 360

    If you run longer line at a smaller diameter you can offset any slowdown and resulting premature clutch wear. Running the handhelds (trimmer-brushcutters) at less than 60% of their max rpm under load will cause the premature wear problems.

    Most of our brushcutters, Shindaiwa B450, Robin NB411 and Maruyama BC4200H models run without the guard and only have problems when the load is greater than it should be. I usually step down in diameter in cutting line if I increase the length. That always allows for a higher rpm with the result of better cooling, less wear and tear.

    The gearcases last almost forever with proper greasing intervals. Best is 25 hours, half the time recommended by the manufacturer.

    Adjusting the carb to run leaner and at a higher rpm will reduce the lifespan due to higher heat due to leaner air/fuel ratio. Too high of heat generated by the slow under load rpm will cause some alum. material transfer from the piston to the cyl. walls. No fun... Even increasing the oil content in your mix will not help this problem. The intake side of the piston will be cherry while the exhaust will be melted.

    I just replaced a clutch drum bearing this morning along with a clutch shoe assembly on a Robin 411 where the owner had 12" of .155" dia. line sticking out of each side of an aluminum fixed line head. He knows now the pain and cost for the joy of cutting with LARGE dia. line that is too long.

    This has been fun! Just closed up shop and Gotta go home and mow.:waving:
  8. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,468

    I havent used a guard on a trimmer in 25 years and have not had any of my trimmers fail to last at least 5 years.However the old orange echos used to last 10 years.

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Trash the guards they get in the way, we have had two seasons on the clutch if you cut a lot of grass it helps.
  10. oldgreygox33

    oldgreygox33 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    If those of you who have taken the guards off of your line trimmers are letting your employees use these machines and they get hurt, your are opening yourself up for a law suit. I also tend to agree with with
    MowerMedic77 over all of the other quotes here in.
    Excellent statement MowerMedic77

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