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Working on a '61 Gravely Li. Ran fine this summer. Sat for a bit and would not start. Starter is no longer working for some reason as well. I'll figure the out later.

I took the carb off and gave it a cleaning and new gasket, changed oil/filter and fresh gas, cleaned and adjusted the points. I set the main and air jets according to Gravely recommendations.
I was able to get it to start with the assistance of ether and I am able to keep it running well at higher rpms. As I reduce the fuel supply towards idle it (and get close to idle) it begins to "sputter" and I can see flames come from the carb and it dies and will not start without the use of ether. Running out of ideas!

Thanks for your comments!

George
 

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Do check or replace points and condesor in the magneto, set timing so that you hear the magneto 'snap' at TDC of compression while hand cranking. The flames out of the exhaust point to a problem with magneto timing or valve lash settings, .015" for both valves set on a cold engine.

Also, check the throttle shaft for side to side play. If the engine can suck air around a loose throttle shaft, it will never run right.

Roger,
 

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Gravely bug bit.
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Do check or replace points and condesor in the magneto, set timing so that you hear the magneto 'snap' at TDC of compression while hand cranking. The flames out of the exhaust point to a problem with magneto timing or valve lash settings, .015" for both valves set on a cold engine.

Also, check the throttle shaft for side to side play. If the engine can suck air around a loose throttle shaft, it will never run right.

Roger,
:ditto:
 

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I would reclean the idle circuit. Remove the idle mixture screw and give it about 120 pis down the hole, reinstall the idle mixture screw and readjust.
 

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How thorough of a cleaning did you give the carb?? If you're not dipping the carb in solution and using some compressed air, you might've still missed something. The $20 gallon can of dip solution is money well-spent - I'm probably dipping a half-dozen carbs in it every year.
 

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If I could find some good carb dip I would use it. The stuff available at the auto parts store just isn't what it should be. I get better results from lacquer thinner mixed with about 10% acetone and xylene. That still leaves the stuff that will not dissolve in solvents like rust. That is where a good solid source of compressed air at 120 PSI and a good blow gun works wonders. Even with that, corrosion can also be a problem.
 

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If I could find some good carb dip I would use it. The stuff available at the auto parts store just isn't what it should be.
The new safer stuff isn't like the old. Used to be able to dip a carb and in 48 hours, it was CLEAN. Ohh well... adapt and overcome.
 

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I've gotten pretty good results using straight toluene.
 

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In the old days, that carb. would be clean in half an hour.
The stuff we used many years ago would take 10 minutes. As a matter of fact it was so potent than if your held the palm of your hand 10 inches above the liquid, it would start to burn in about 7 seconds. No, the solvent was NOT heated. It was also very expensive. If I recall correctly 5 gallons of it cost $200. That was in the mid 1970s. It would likely cost over $100 a gallon now. Even at that time, the warning labels on the can were impressive.

The procedure to clean a carb would be to disassemble, put the parts in a metal basket, soak in carb cleaner for 10 minutes, rinse in mineral spirits and blow dry. Reassemble. adjust, and it is done.
 
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