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madman
05-21-2007, 10:26 AM
I have owned so many weed whippers. I hate them. Just last year bought a new still wacker. Expensive. It just never likes to start. Any tips guys? I use gas stabilizer and use fresh gasoline. Also fog spray the damn thing for winter storage.

JeffKranz
05-21-2007, 10:42 AM
Don't know what type you have but I purchased the Ryobi unit that had a bunch of attachments. I actually read the manual (don't laugh) and it there was a comment on how to start it.

Cold starting only
Step #1 Push the primer ball 5 times
Step #2 Set choke to A
Step #3 Pull handle three times while holding down on the throttle
Step #4 Pull one more time and motor will attempt to start
Step #5 Set Choke to B
Step #6 Pull rope one more time and motor will run
Step #7 Run at full throttle for 10 seconds
Step #8 Set Choke to C and use

I must admit that this as worked every time since I purchased it. I have had this for 8 years and use it twice a week during the cutting season. There is no way I would purchase another product without giving Ryobi another chance to see if the new one works the same way.

As for winter storage I have always run them out of gas and thats it.

lynnl
05-21-2007, 10:45 AM
I gave up on gas powered trimmers several years back. Went to an electric.
Yeah, extension cords are a hassle, but at least the thing always works!

Of course I only have a 150X250' lot, but I think even if I had acres, I'd still use an electric trimmer, and just get a powered generator to run it. ...or maybe get a couple of goats.

Your Old Dog
05-21-2007, 10:48 AM
If you own a boat that might be your problem! I did and was using the oil mix for the boat. The instructions for the weed eater specifically specified NOT to use it! It plugged up the wire mesh in the spark arrestor muffler. I cut a small hole in the mesh so the muffler could breath and it worked great. We don't need spark arresters in the NE like they do out West.

Dawai
05-21-2007, 10:49 AM
Stihl 145, no more problems.

press the bubble, CHoke it, pull it, it starts turn off choke immediately, or it'll die, then it don't need the choke the rest of the day.

I think they are about $150 or so American. I messed mine up rolling around in the back of the truck so I need one. Damn lowrider corners at 1+g and cargo takes a beating.

Lynn... MMM goats.. don't get drunk bikers around them thou, when you get the clothes off them they look like deer, but no tenderloin.. Goatroast whoo hoo..

lynnl
05-21-2007, 10:57 AM
.....
Cold starting only
Step #1 Push the primer ball 5 times
Step #2 Set choke to A
Step #3 Pull handle three times while holding down on the throttle
Step #4 Pull one more time and motor will attempt to start
Step #5 Set Choke to B
Step #6 Pull rope one more time and motor will run
Step #7 Run at full throttle for 10 seconds
Step #8 Set Choke to C and use



Now that's truly "rolling in the floor" funny!!! :D:D

I can just picture a team of Japanese engineers standing around taking turns yanking on the pull cord, with one taking notes as they try various combinations in hopes of getting it started. :D:D

topct
05-21-2007, 11:33 AM
We have Canadian thistle and nap weed around hear. It grows up out of the cracks in the sidewalks and curbs.

I believe it could be used to make a very strong rope. Commercial weed killer will only slow it down

A normal weed-eater will not touch it, and if you use a cutter head that uses the plastic blades, the concrete eats them up.

I now use a DR string trimmer. It's basically a verticle shaft lawnmower engine that spins a head that can take reinforced string thats about a quarter inch thick. It has two large diameter rear wheels and a tilting feature that lets you run the string in real close the the cracks.

The crazy thing will also take down small sapplings. :D

As far as the little 2 stroke weed-eaters, I have tried all the known tricks and so far what seems to work for me is to just store it with the cutter head up, engine hanging down.

In the spring I dump out what gas was left, mix a fresh batch, pull and clean the plug. I give it a squirt of carb spray in the plug hole and hope for the best.

Weston Bye
05-21-2007, 12:17 PM
I can't speak to gas weed whippers, other than what lynnl said: use electric. However, my two well used '80s vintage Homelite Super-2 14" chainsaws can sit for years with the same gas in them and still start when needed. They apparently have that quality seldom seen in todays products: Thrives on neglect.

Ries
05-21-2007, 12:35 PM
My Shindaiwa always starts- its the only brand that pros around here will buy.
In fact, I bought it at the John Deere tractor dealer- they sell american tractors, but they dont mess around with american weedwackers- only japanese.

Rich Carlstedt
05-21-2007, 01:05 PM
My (79$)Homelite starts within 3 pulls every year ...6 years old
No special treatment..just drain it in the fall, and use the red oil
for premix (1 to 50) that it came with..
Rich

Mcruff
05-21-2007, 01:12 PM
My el cheapo Homelite starts within 3 pulls also. I bought it back in 1990, I use Poulan 2 stroke oil with Sta-bil in it. I have never drained the fuel in all these years or fogged the motor. I used it several summers to weedeat my parents 2 acre yard and it has done my yard all these years without fail. The only thing I have replaced is the gas cap and the advance button on the string head.

motorworks
05-21-2007, 01:43 PM
I sold the shindaiwa about 15 years ago.
They were at the time 3.5 time more $$ then the other weed wackers.
BUT
They aways started and last 10 times longer then all others.
Buy the quality unit and cry once, or the junk and cry each time you use it:D

IOWOLF
05-21-2007, 02:33 PM
My secret stay bil and synthetic oil.

I have picked up I don't know how many I have picked up on the curb brought them home drained gas, cleaned air filter and usually start with a few pulls then run wide open for 10 minutes, because folks don't know that they load up the muffler with grease and dirt and causes back pressure, that causes problems.

run it wide open 75% of the time and no problems.

tattoomike68
05-21-2007, 05:04 PM
I a friend of mine has a yard care business and he says if the plug is not fouled then the little muffler could be plugged up.

He picks them up used at yard sales cheap and has them running 5 minutes after he gets them home.

Fasttrack
05-21-2007, 05:16 PM
It's not unusual to have problems starting a two-cycle. As tattomike said, the muffler and plug are the two most common problem areas. It doesn't take very much to plug up the muffler with a sooty exhaust and dust from weedwacking. Likewise, the oily mixture can foul a cold plug pretty quick.

They have 4 cycle weed eaters now that are supposed to be much easier to start. I won a new 4 cycle model at skills usa - it is easier to start.

The weed-eaters that had 2 cycle engines did have a long series of steps to get them started. If you followed the steps theyd start every time, but you had to "prime 6 times, pull on full choke while holding throttle open. Set choke to half open and pull with full throttle. Run for 10 seconds, switch to no choke".

lynnl
05-21-2007, 05:31 PM
I can attest to the plugged muffler problem.
One summer several years ago I had a Homelite that had been running fine. Then one day I tried using it, and it would start ok, but then instantly die out. I fiddled with it a day or so, then decided I had nothing to lose, so started taking it apart. After I had it pretty much completely apart I noticed dirt daubers had totally plugged the exhaust! The mudpack was not all that visible to the casual glance. I cleaned that out, re-assembled, and it ran fine once more.

HWooldridge
05-21-2007, 06:40 PM
I run the gas out every time I use mine and no problems other than a pump bulb that finally cracked and started leaking. Replacement cost was $2.50 for the part.

If the tank has much gas when you get finished, turn off the engine and let cool, then pour the gas back into the original fuel container. Restart the engine and let it run out of gas. Keeps it from varnishing.

HTRN
05-21-2007, 07:47 PM
What we need is Dewalt to come out with an 18V battery operated model - that uses those battery packs.. For now, I make do with a Sears electric that gets used mebbe once a month.

My dad had an old homelite, bought about oh 1980 or so. Probably 90% of the time, it didn't have string on it, but one of those triangular saw blades. We used it for dealing with "weed trees" on some land in a remote area of NJ we had. Lasted 10 years.. until my brother got ahold of it for his landscaping business.

Lasted less than 6 months in his hands.

The only thing trimmer that lasted the entire time he had the business, was a used Stihl. And my brother ABUSES tools. This is one of the reasons I'm a Stihl fan for life. I personally like the fact that they interchangable powerheads - makes them double as polesaws..


HTRN

darryl
05-21-2007, 07:54 PM
Well, the plugged muffler problem is a new one on me. Maybe that's why I could never get the brand new Homelite running. Wore the cord off it trying. I bought it used from a woman who said it never ran, and she never used it.

As far as cutting Canadian weeds, I have an electric wacker that used up all its string in short order, then I replaced that with stainless fishing line. Ate that up even quicker, then I made a solid blade out of a used bandsaw blade. 1 1/2 wide I believe it was, HSS, drilled the center hole with a carbide bit. That sucker will cut anything, including shoes, its own cover, rubber tires, pop cans, and of course the usual wind-blown mcdees packages and newspaper. The girl I pay to cut my lawn is always having problems with her weedwacker, but I can't let her use this one. She'll kill herself with it, literally. I can't let anyone else use it or I'd be facing a lawsuit. But it sure works.

jim davies
05-21-2007, 11:01 PM
I've got a Stihl weedeater that starts when I need it. I use the same method I use with all 2 strokes, including a Husky 61 chainsaw that I started last week for the first time in years:

Never stop a 2 cycle with the kill switch, choke them dead. To start, pull on the rope until it fires, with the throttle open. Then, open the choke and pull once more. Works everytime for me.

pntrbl
05-22-2007, 12:57 AM
It's no help to Madman and his reluctant whacker, but I had the starting drill down so good on my XR500 that I used to do it in my socks. :eek:

I quit that **** tho. That'd be a dumb way to break your ankle .....

SP

dicks42000
05-22-2007, 01:12 AM
Maybe all the old Homelite weed eaters should get new power heads made from Seagull outboard parts. It could cut down weeds & small trees as well as keep the bugs away. (Smokin' like a bastard on 20:1 mix.) Still lots available in Britian, Aus & NZ; unless the crazy Kiwi's are destroying the stock for race parts.
Other alternative is buy some goats....No mixing required despite bikers & Scotsmen....
I'm still neglecting my Seagull & my Homelite wacker...The big Homelite chainsaw started up today,no problem, with gas from last year. The little Mac 110 is another storey. (Junk).
The electric wackers were both serviced last week. Turned commutator on one, fixed a cord & I was back trimming my lawns. I like electricity as long as a cord will reach.
Rick

cybor462
05-22-2007, 01:31 AM
I too have a 79.00 Homelite bought new 8 years ago. I mix gas and leave it in all winter. Take it out in the spring, prime it pull the choke and its running. Never changed or cleaned the plug. Just runs. Even had some real dirty oil mix once, smoked, ash, it was a mess and it never missed a beat.
Maybe cheap is where its at.

Evan
05-22-2007, 01:44 AM
I gave mine away because it was ruining my arm trying to start it. My preferred weapons are Roundup and a tiger torch. Never seen a weed yet that can withstand being cooked.

darryl
05-22-2007, 02:30 AM
And as far north as Evan is, if you're gonna cut em, you have to use a cutoff saw with a carbide toothed blade. Since the growing season is so short, they grow like stink so you have to be quick. I heard of one fella who wasn't quick enough, and they grew around him so fast he couldn't get away. His bones are stihl there.

Iceman Motorsports
05-22-2007, 06:20 AM
Use 100LL aviation gas, end of problem.

A.K. Boomer
05-22-2007, 08:08 AM
Both my whippers came from the local dump, ones got a grip shift bicycle shifter for a throttle, yes it is a royal pain in the ass to get started, thats why I usually wait till i get my letter from the city to "clean up my act":D


All two strokes are different as all engines are different, Be it two stroke or four there can be a difference in the way they start even if there identical, you may get to know your particular engine and have a starting method that works for you and thats all good --- Till it gets parked over the winter and the characturistics of the carburation change, the following is the best method to get a little engine started reguardless of two or four --- lawnmower or weedeater, NOTE; It may not always yield the least amount of pulls but it will keep one from making the mistake from pulling your ass off for the rest of the day...

Always start your engine as if its been flooded, do not apply full choke right off the start, sometimes (esp. with the two strokes) an engine gets flooded while sitting (poor leaky needle and seats in the diaphram style carb or just a build up of the fuel air mix from the crankcase that leaked into the C. chamber in the way the unit was stored)
So the thing to do is this --- full throttle no choke for about ten pulls ---
this is your insurance that your not going to go the other direction and never get the engine cleaned out, if there was a build up the engine will simply fire off and then stall, if not then there is no harm done,
Now you add your rich mix, (choke) then you will cross the line of a proper mixture and the engine will take off providing the carburation is functioning ok,
remember this phrase; "Lean to the lean" --- then add fuel, if you dont you could imediatly start off in a flooded state and never get it back, every spring I get bombarded by my friends wanting me to start thier stuff, I show them exactly what to do and explain as to why --- then the next year have do it all over again...:rolleyes:

Dawai
05-22-2007, 06:01 PM
MIke: I bought this 1100 Ninja for ebay parts.. It'd really turn a weed whacker, the neighbors might complain about the 12,500 rpm noise perhaps.

madman
05-22-2007, 06:47 PM
Burnt it in a big fire. Gonna let the weeds grow. Dont care any more.

railfancwb
05-22-2007, 07:35 PM
I solved my hard-to-start lawn mower problem with a can of automotive cold start -- really just ether in a spray can.

Pull the plug, squirt some in the hole, put the plug back, squirt more in the carb, fill the gas tank and press choke bulb about three times...one enthusiastic or two so-so pulls on the cord and the mower is running.

Squirting before filling the gas tank gives the ether time to completely vaporize.

Charles

IOWOLF
05-22-2007, 08:37 PM
Wow.several cases where the cure is worse than the illness.

DICKEYBIRD
05-22-2007, 10:54 PM
Just pure luck I guess but I've never had any problems with my 17 yr. old Craftsman (Poulan) but every spring I end up helping family & neighbors start their w/wackers & mowers for the 1st time or 2.

Grab an extension cord & wifey's hair dryer. Heat up the head, intake manifold & carb (not as much heat on the carb) and they'll start every time. The heat allows even skunky gas to vaporize & ignite easier.

J. Randall
05-23-2007, 12:53 AM
Either leave them full, or dump most of the fuel and then run them dry for winter storage. Use a synthetic oil for the mix. When you hang them up for the winter run it dry and then gently pull the rope until the piston comes to the top, this covers the ports and keeps the cylinder air tight for winter. Good suggestions on cleaning the exhaust, some oils make lots of carbon. If I am having starting trouble, I also pull the flywheel cover and clean flywheel and coil contacts with fine sandpaper.
James

A.K. Boomer
05-23-2007, 01:02 AM
The exhaust tip is fine for finding one thats inop. without history, but If you parked your weedeater in the winter and it fails to start in the spring i can guarentee you that its not going to be from a plugged exhaust...
just sticking to the original topic.

lynnl
05-23-2007, 12:04 PM
Actually for cutting tall grass/weeds over a large flat expanse, I usually just reach for the old sling blade. That's faster, cheaper, more environmentally friendly.

(you all do know what a sling blade is...right? Not talking about the movie.)

pcarpenter
05-23-2007, 12:11 PM
I have said that it would be a cool idea to make a 2 cycle power head that ran everything from a chain saw to leaf blower to weed whacker, so that you only had one 2 cycle device to keep running each year :rolleyes:

I gave up on a Homelite weed eater I had that was problematic after just a few hours the first year. I gave it to my father when I bought a Stihl FS85. The Stihl was a good investment as I spent less time bent over and it also starts on 1-2 pulls, but the real problem could have been more easily solved. My dad figured it out and I have applied the fix to my leaf blower and a hedge trimmer I also own. The problem is the little dinky fuel pickup/filter items in the tank. They plug with really fine gunky jelly stuff that forms in the gas mix as well as tiny particles. I have found the jelly like stuff in the bottom of a plastic gas can when I filtered it through a coffee filter once. I have switched to steel cans and had better luck. I also wondered if it was related to the preservative I added to the gas on one occasion to get it through the season. The local gas engine repair place said they had seen that with plastic tanks and cans and wondered if it is some of the newer gas additives that are reacting in the plastic tank. In any case, I now drain my fuel tanks at the end of the season and often throughout the season.

Regardless of the source of this stuff, replacing this filter once a season is a good idea...and often a pain in the butt as its in the bottom of the tank on the end of a piece of fuel line. One brand of product I have (just which one escapes me) even mentions annual replacement of this item. The pickup/filters and a piece of the thin hose is not that expensive. You buy the hose too long, pull it through too far and attach the pickup and then pull it back until the pickup just hits the botttom of the tank. Trim to length on the outside of the tank and re-connect to the carb.

The symptom will be that the item may start...once. It runs a bit and then will go fuel starved, often running only with the choke on. Restarts will be a chore or not work at all....making you think that it might be temp related. Leave it set till the next week and it starts fine and runs for a bit of time OK....until it sucks the fine filter material full of clear material that plugs it. You can't look at the filter and see it....but change it and the problem generally goes away.

Paul

Dawai
05-23-2007, 01:09 PM
Mike:

Sounds like you fixed it for good.

A buddy pulled up once when I was jumping up and down on a HP printer. I had been trying to print out a current resume all day. He still talks about my purple contorted face and my getting about five feet of air between me and the printer before stomping-landing on it. He was scared to get out of the car.

BUT hell, a quick trip to Office depot got me a new printer. All it took was money.

David

IOWOLF
05-23-2007, 01:29 PM
I have said that it would be a cool idea to make a 2 cycle power head that ran everything from a chain saw to leaf blower to weed whacker, so that you only had one 2 cycle device to keep running each year :rolleyes:

I gave up on a Homelite weed eater I had that was problematic after just a few hours the first year. I gave it to my father when I bought a Stihl FS85. The Stihl was a good investment as I spent less time bent over and it also starts on 1-2 pulls, but the real problem could have been more easily solved. My dad figured it out and I have applied the fix to my leaf blower and a hedge trimmer I also own. The problem is the little dinky fuel pickup/filter items in the tank. They plug with really fine gunky jelly stuff that forms in the gas mix as well as tiny particles. I have found the jelly like stuff in the bottom of a plastic gas can when I filtered it through a coffee filter once. I have switched to steel cans and had better luck. I also wondered if it was related to the preservative I added to the gas on one occasion to get it through the season. The local gas engine repair place said they had seen that with plastic tanks and cans and wondered if it is some of the newer gas additives that are reacting in the plastic tank. In any case, I now drain my fuel tanks at the end of the season and often throughout the season.

Regardless of the source of this stuff, replacing this filter once a season is a good idea...and often a pain in the butt as its in the bottom of the tank on the end of a piece of fuel line. One brand of product I have (just which one escapes me) even mentions annual replacement of this item. The pickup/filters and a piece of the thin hose is not that expensive. You buy the hose too long, pull it through too far and attach the pickup and then pull it back until the pickup just hits the botttom of the tank. Trim to length on the outside of the tank and re-connect to the carb.

The symptom will be that the item may start...once. It runs a bit and then will go fuel starved, often running only with the choke on. Restarts will be a chore or not work at all....making you think that it might be temp related. Leave it set till the next week and it starts fine and runs for a bit of time OK....until it sucks the fine filter material full of clear material that plugs it. You can't look at the filter and see it....but change it and the problem generally goes away.

Paul


Paul, I have had the same idea with an ATV,snowmobile, and Jetski , QC fittings on the lines and electrical, and 4 bolts and 1 engine for 3 or more items.

Oh and a lot of "weed eaters" have attachments for just what you are saying.

IOWOLF
05-23-2007, 01:31 PM
Hell david, You should have let the dog have it. ;)

Dawai
05-23-2007, 02:29 PM
Hell IO: I applied at a equipment fabricator-cnc machine shop this morning. THE english bulldog they have in the front office was standing between my legs and would not go to the owner.. She probably deep sixed my app..

My dog was not around then, I had a mean redheaded woman instead of a dog. (when I was trashing the printer)
I can sic my dog on anything, be it animate or inanimate.. he'll chew the hell out of
anything you put him onto. She? She just chewed my ass.

MY POINT BEING, getting mad at something inanimate does yourself the most harm. I should have had a blood vessel burst when I was dancing on the printer, I didn't, that time.

IOWOLF
05-23-2007, 03:33 PM
Should have let the MEAN redhead have it, if you know what I mean(thump ).
Kill 2 birds with 1 stone errr printer. Should a smiley go here?