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I believe it is just remains from the gas evaporating. It seems that most gas evaporates into a clearish whitish yellowish crystalline remains. If there is enough gas it seems it ends up being the green gunky stuff like in her pictures. Then I find if it's a little more volume a fuel and longer time it ends up being a darkish red molasses thicker concoction. The only thing I think you find that's not from the gas is in some older aluminum carburetors the aluminum starts to oxidize. This is mainly the parts that are dry near the top of the carburetor. This ends up being a white grayish powder that sluffs off as it eats away on the carburetor.
 

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Discussion Starter #62
Hello all, thanks so much for cheering me on and giving me the confidence to keep at it. :)
I decided to go for it and try cleaning the carburetor first before replacing it. I figure it will be a good learning experience even if I do have to put a new carb in.

I ended up buying a cheap ratchet set that is short with screwdriver connections. It still took a bit, but that's what eventually got the bowl off.

Kubota Ronin, I do appreciate the link for the aftermarket carburetor in case cleaning this one doesn't work. It is a big savings and it looks like those carbs have good reviews and a 2 year warranty.

Taskmaster86, Thanks :) And I did go ahead and soak the bowl overnight and then I cleaned it out and poked a large paperclip wire through the hole in the center and into the white plastic piece (I'm attaching pics showing that).
I'm also attaching pics of the o-ring after cleaning. I think its ok, although it did look like it was missing a chunk from the pictures when it was dirty, I don't see that now.

My dog has been hanging out with me while I work on the tractor, so she decided to photo bomb my picture. :)
She's an Anatolian Shepard mix and will be a huge dog once she is full grown. She's the part of my home protection that doesn't go in a gun cabinet. ;-)

I had wanted to take the entire carburetor off to learn more about it and to make sure it was cleaned all of the way through. But, I couldn't see exactly how to get ot off. My neighbor's son was walking by and suggested what some of you have. He said to just clean it with the bowl off and put it back together and see how it works.

Here are some pics and I will upload some more in a separate post because it only lets me upload 4 or 5 pics at a time in my posts. First 2 are each side of the o-ring after cleaning. Then a pic of the bowl after cleaning and the little ratchet set that finally got the bowl off.
 

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Wow... that came out real nice, nicer than I thought it could from those first pictures.

Excellent work. :fing32:

O-ring looks fine too, my bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #64
Here are some pics of the part of the carburetor still on the engine...I was trying to figure out what screws to remove to get the carburetor out, but maybe its better to just clean it as is and put it back together to see if it works?
 

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Victoria, Good job so far! If you can get the rest of the carburetor that clean, you will be in good shape. That O-ring looks fine by the way.

The next step will be to take the float (the white plastic part) off and poke out the jets which is pretty easy. The hardest part about it the fact that you have to work at an upward angle in a tight spot where it is hard to see. Lifting the hood off the hinges and setting it aside may make it easier, if you haven't already done so.
 

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Discussion Starter #66
Thanks KubotaRonin and 4x4dad for the kudos :)

TobyU, I actually have a question about the selenoid on the side of the bowl. I tried to remove it, but am not sure I am doing it correctly. The first pic I have attached is of how I am trying to get it apart. It is just not budging at all the way I am doing it.

I did clean the inside of the hole in the bottom of the bowl and I stuck a paperclip wire through the hole and a little bit into the white plastic piece. My question is, before I cleaned around the white plastic piece, it was retracted (see attached pic) but after I cleaned that area it would not retract again. Is that ok?
 

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Discussion Starter #67
Thanks KubotaRonin. I thought the o-ring was bad too from the picture when it was dirty.

Taskmaster86, I was thinking about taking that hood cover off, so I think I will. I want to be able to get the parts still on the engine really clean too. The white plastic part does move up and down freely so that's good. It is very dirty around the carburetor though, and I want to get that clean so it doesn't get into the carburetor.
 

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OK try this:

The white plastic part is the float. If you slide the chrome pin out to the side it should drop off. *CAUTION*: Be ready to catch. The float will be supporting the float valve needle:



...which you do not want to lose or damage. Use a little cup or something underneath... sometimes there's a little spring too but from what I can see in your diagrams you don't have.

Dollars to donuts that float valve will be gooped too, and possible the top of the float. More cleaning, and also then you'll be able to see inside better, and should be able to access the main jet for cleaning that out too. I think... should look like a little brass screw with a hole in the center.
 

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Looks like your carb is the Nikki two barrel. It's more complicated than most carbs.
You probably don't have to take the float and needle valve out if it moves freely. I would let some gas flow through it though. You will have a fuel pump system so probably no flow unless you crank over engine for a few seconds. You could take fuel line off at filter and use a squeeze bottle or baster to squeeze some fuel through line into carb and let it flow out as you work float up and down.
That carb should have two jets in the plastic center piece sticking down.
I wouldn't take it off. Just get a thin wire to stick it up in each jet center hole a few times. Then spray the carb cleaner with its little plastic straw up into each jet hole.
This should get it running.
You should probably make sure the solenoid on the side of the bowl works. Plug it into its connector and turn key on. It should click open and pull plunger away from center.
 

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Re. the float... maybe, as long as you can see that the needle is also moving smoothly up and down along with the float.

Also, be careful handling the float. The height it hangs in the bowl is carefully set so if it gets handled roughly, especially as it sits now, that can get thrown off. Then the carb will be coming off.

Toby, here's a link to the carb:

Briggs and Stratton 407777-0283-G1 Parts List and Diagram : eReplacementParts.com

...you probably know it better than I do. Unfortunately the diagram is not very clear so there's only so much I can make of it.
 

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I used the numbers listed previously to pull up a different parts diagram. It showed three different possible carburetors that could be on the engine and hers having the solenoid sticking off to the side would indicate it's the Nikki two barrel.
If you go to outdoorpowerinfo.com.They have excellent tutorials on cleaning various kinds of carburetors. You could go down the list and find the Briggs & Stratton Nikki 2 Barrel to see some very good pictures.
It of course goes into much more detail on disassembling the whole carb after removal. I just don't think she'll have to go through all this to get it running. The bowl is already plenty clean enough as long as she's running wire through the hole where the solenoid plunger tip is. I always remove the solenoid to spray that area out really well. Then run strand of wire or two through the hole in each jet and spray off the jet and the top area where the float and everything is, my guess is it will run.
 

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Discussion Starter #72
Thanks for the link to that website TobyU :)
I have hit a little snag and so can't finish up with it today.
The little black rubber o-ring has become lost from the carburetor bowl. It was sitting on the kitchen counter and somehow got knocked onto the floor. So, now I have a 12 year old boy and a 4 month old puppy looking at me innocently and denying any knowledge of the incident. Hmmm...
So, tomorrow I will head to a small engine repair shop and see if they have the o-ring in stock. I looked it up online and I think its this part: http://www.ereplacementparts.com/sealgovernor-shaft-p-256684.html
but I'm not sure, so I'm hoping I can see it before I buy it.
I am hoping to get the part tomorrow and see if I can finish this all up and report back with good news. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #73
Ok, now I am not too sure if that's the right part for the o-ring...I am looking some more to see if I can find it...
 

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Here's the one you want: Seal-O Ring (Solenoid Retainer) [841653] for Lawn Equipment | eReplacement Parts

1124A in the diagram.

IN the future... a dedicated little parts box, and ziplock baggies labeled with what's inside stored out-of-trouble therein. :fing32:


Also note... nothing really special about the o-ring other than size, so if you can find one that fits you're gtg.

And $10... holy wowza. Amazon et.al. sells o-ring assortments in various sizes and materials for much much less, nice to have around for just such emergencies.
 

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Discussion Starter #75
Thank you Kubota Ronin! Yes, that was a $10 lesson learned. Zip lock bags are only about $2 for a box, so I will take your advice and invest in those :)
My son suggested I follow my dog around the backyard and see if she passes the o-ring...So, I suggested he go look through what she'd already left in the yard and he could pick it up while he was at it. Needless to say, someone is picking up doggy doo now and its not me.
Don't worry though, I am not having him look for the o-ring, I'll just invest in an undigested one. ;-)
Thanks for the link to the part too, I was getting confused looking at all of the rings on the parts list. There's more rings than a jewelry store! ;-)
 

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I would just go to hardware store and get 2-3 that fit but different outside thicknesses. Use the one that snuggly fits up in the carb as you put the bowl on.
Will be a lot cheaper and I highly doubt any shop will have it in stock without buying a carb kit which will be 17-40 bucks or more.
 

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I agree with Toby. That O-ring is not something you have to order. I would bring the carb bowl to your local Napa and they will help you find one that fits perfect. A hardware store with good customer service should be able to do the same thing if you don't have a Napa near you.
 

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I just mentioned getting a couple of different thicknesses because it looks like the way that bowl is made that the O ring goes up inside of the tube that sticks down on the carburetor. If you use too skinny if might not seal and too thin, the bowl might not fit all the way up. But since they are cheap get several different thicknesses that fit around the groove in the bowl perfectly
 

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Discussion Starter #79
Oh, I was really hoping to give you all some good news today! But, here's where I am at:
I went and got some different sized o-rings and found one that fit, but it was just a little smaller around than the original one.
I did end up taking the float off and cleaned it and made sure it had no fuel inside of it. I put everything back together.
Then I started my mower and it started right up and ran great even after I lowered the throttle. But, after 15 or 20 secs, it died and wouldn't start up again. It just turned over, but never started.
So, I checked for leaks and everything looked good.
Then, on a whim, I checked the oil and it has gas in it. So, from what I can figure out, that means the bowl is flooding right?
If that is what it is, could it be that the ring is a little smaller than the original one?
Or could it be that I didn't get the needle seated correctly when I put the float back on?
Or, could that happen if the fuel selenoid isn't retracting like its supposed to?
I am hoping I didn't mess things up too badly by having gas in the oil. It wasn't like that before, so I am hoping it didn't have a chance to do much damage...
I was going to change the oil anyway once I got the mower running again. Now I will change it before I try to start it again and after I fix the current issue.
I was feeling pretty good when it started up and ran so nicely, but I guess the old girl wants a little more attention before she goes back to work...
 

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Discussion Starter #80
There is a small engine repair guy that some of the neighbors recommended. I called him and asked what he would charge for the labor to replace my carburetor. He said if I provided the carburetor, he would charge $75. He would come to my house and do it here too.
So, if it looks like my carburetor is a lost cause, I will probably just pay him to put a new one in.

I was reading up on how to clean the gas and oil out. It sounds like I need to drain the oil tank and then put new oil in and drain it out a couple of times. Then I need to take out the spark plugs and leave them out overnight and leave the oil tank open overnight to make sure the gas evaporates before I put in a new oil filter and new oil.
 
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