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Old 05-31-2010, 09:46 PM   post #1 of
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Default engine running rough and rich

My CC HDS2165 has been running very rough this season. I've got the B&S Vanguard 16 hp engine. I pulled the plugs and they are fouled (they are not that old). It takes almost no choke to start it now, where the past 14 seasons, it would have to be 3/4 on to start initially.

The engine is sputtering and when I sometimes make uphill turns, it will cut-off completely. Does that sound like a sticky float in the carb or what do you think ? I'm considering buying the carb rebuild kit for it, but it's not cheap and so I want to narrow down the possibilities first.
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:45 AM   post #2 of
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Default Re: engine running rough and rich

The first thing I would try is running some SeaFoam through it and see if that helps it. Then go from there. slkpk
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:40 AM   post #3 of
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Default Re: engine running rough and rich

also make sure your air cleaner element is fresh/clean. A plugged/dirty element will cause the engine to run rich, just as if the choke were left partially on.
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:42 PM   post #4 of
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Default Re: engine running rough and rich

My bolens ST160 Sputtered, Ran rich, smoked and occasionally died until I replaced the air filter.
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Some Of My Lawn-Boys (and others)
1972 8229B (D-448)
1979 R7268 (F-100)(Restored)
1985 7350 (F) (needs some work=
1986 7035 (F) (Daily Mower)
1987 Lawn-Boy 7073 (F) (parts)
1997 Toro 20481
10 Other 4 cycle mowers in pieces

Other Equipment
1992 Bolens Suburban ST 160 hydro w/ 16 HP B&S Vanguard w/42 inch Mower Deck
19?? White L-8 no engine ATM 32 in deck with bagger
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:09 AM   post #5 of
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Default Re: engine running rough and rich

The Vanguard engine is very sensitive to even a slightly dirty air filter.
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:36 PM   post #6 of
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Default Re: engine running rough and rich

Good news: I got my 2165 running smooth again. Turns out, I was the cause of the problem:

Last winter, I replaced the starter motor on the engine. While I had half the engine torn down to get to one starter bolt, I noticed the metal tube on the back of the carbuerator didn't have a hose or a rubber cap on it. I put a rubber cap on it. I assumed it was a vacuum port, because it looks like one. It wasn't.

It's a breather tube for the carb float bowl. By having it plugged, it must have created a positive atmosphere inside the bowl, and probably forcing the needle to stay open, thus dumping too much fuel into the engine. (or something like that).

Either way, as soon as I removed the plug, it ran like a champ.

In troubleshooting this, I had started by having the engine running. I removed the air cleaner assembly (5 bolts). As soon as I did that, the engine ran better. I had scratched my head for a bit on that. I then re-installed just the bolts without the air cleaner, back into the carb. As soon as I did that, it ran crappy again. Aha! Peering down into one of the bolt holes in the carb, I could actually see gas in the float bowl. (I figure when they drilled the bolt holes originally, they went all the way through to the bowl area.)

That got me thinking about it needing atmospheric air to function properly. Then the light bulb came on, as I was staring at the rubber cap I had put on the carb months before. Problem solved. And I won't have to buy a new tractor now - yaaa !

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