I got my tiller running

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I got my tiller running Empty I got my tiller running

Post by Wildcat445 on Fri May 10, 2013 11:30 am

Lest I be perceived as an unhappy person, griping about all the rain and weird weather, let me share a minor victory.

I own an Ariens garden tiller that was built in 1972. I bought it from the original owner, who had taken almost fanatical care of it. Never sat out a night in its life. The oil was changed so often, he almost wore the threads out on the drain plug! I have taken good care of it, as well, and it has proven to be one of those rare pieces of equipment that does its job very well, and is the personification of dependability. It is powered by a 5 horsepower Briggs and Stratton engine. I run Mobil 1 synthetic oil in it, burn premium, alcohol-free fuel with Sta-Bil fuel stabilizer. I always store it with a full fuel tank, to prevent moisture build-up and rust, over the winter. I can usually go out in the spring, choke it, pull on the rope, and it is running. Not this year. The thing absolutely refused to even fire a shot. Not good. I can't yank on the rope like I could 30 years ago. Something had to be done.

This engine is equipped with a Pulsa-Jet carburetor. The fuel tank hangs off the bottom of the carb and is semi-integral with the carb. There is a thin rubber diaphram, located under a plate held on by four screws, on the side of the carb. This diaphram works with a spring loaded doodad that acts as the fuel pump. This thin rubber diaphram develops pin holes, and will not draw fuel out of the tank up to the carb. Then you have a no-start, or at least a hard starting problem. On my particular tiller, there is a metal shield that is designed to prevent dirt from being thrown up on the engine. In reality, its function is to make the gas tank and carb nearly impossible to service without either removing the shield or simply removing the engine from the tiller frame. I chose the latter. I flopped the engine up on the bench, dropped the gas tank to provide access to the lower carb bolt (!) and removed the carb from the engine. I took it apart, and, sure enough, the diaphram was full of pinholes. So I hopped in the car, and drove 40 miles to the lawn mower parts place. I plunked down $8 for a complete carburetor rebuild kit, $6 and change for a new muffler and locking ring, and $3 and something for a new spark plug. While the carb was off, I chiseled off the old muffler (what a PITA that was) and replaced that with a new one. The old one only lasted 41 years, so I guess they don't build them like they used to! I flushed the carb out carefully with carb cleaner, and blew everything out with compressed air. I assembled carb to gas tank and put the carb assembly back on. I removed the blower housing to make access easier, so I took the time to clean everything out behind the blower housing while I had it off. The rubber diaphram is rather delicate, so care and caution are necessary to not either tear or wrinkle the diaphram during re-assembly.

It was time to see if the engine would start. Time to see if my engine repair skills were better than my radio repair skills at the time. I filled the tank with gas, choked the carburetor, and pulled on the rope. First time, nothing. Second time, it fired, but died. Third pull, success. I had set the carb a tad lean, so a simple adjustment had it running well. So, now, if it will stop raining long enough to let me get the tiller INTO the garden, Spring will officially have arrived. I am ready now, either way.

Regards

WC

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I got my tiller running Empty Re: I got my tiller running

Post by Bill Cahill on Fri May 10, 2013 11:36 am

Congradulations on a job well done. I certainly couldn't have done it.
Bill Cahill

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I got my tiller running Empty Re: I got my tiller running

Post by Wildcat445 on Fri May 10, 2013 12:14 pm

It is raining again today. Looking on the bright side, my tiller is not going to be worn out with weather like this. It will still be good for next year.

Regards

WC

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Post by Ben Delk on Fri May 10, 2013 1:27 pm

This crappy ethynol fuel is horrible on small engines. You can still find fuel with no ethynol but it is expensive and hard to find.
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I got my tiller running Empty Re: I got my tiller running

Post by Guest on Fri May 10, 2013 2:14 pm

I own an Ariens garden tiller that was built in 1972.

I have one of those and I am the original owner, but mine has the 5 hp Tecumseh engine, it may be 1973. I also have the extension tines with it.

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I got my tiller running Empty Re: I got my tiller running

Post by Wildcat445 on Sat May 11, 2013 8:57 am

Ariens was powered by Briggs engines exclusively until the middle 70's. Then other engines became available. Tecumsehs got a bad rap, but were not really bad engines. The carburetors were absolutely horrible. Once the carb messes up, the show is over. I really believe that a person could have bought one of those Ariens tillers new, used it his entire life, heired it to his kids, they use it their entire lives, and his grandkids could do the same. I have extension tines for mine as well. It gives it a 42" swath for seed bed prep. Three sets of tines total. Just the inner two sets gives 28", and just the inner set gives 18" swath. I use Lucas synthetic gear oil in the tiller gearbox, and find it runs cooler. I found a set of spike tines that are really good at busting up clods. I put them on in place of the center tines, and those work pretty slick. Great tillers.

All my lawn and garden equipment is powered by Briggs and Stratton with a couple of exceptions. My grandpa's old Merry Tiller from 1955, with a Clinton B-700. Still runs, but it smokes like a freight train. And I have a Troy-Bilt chipper shredder with an 8 horse Tecumseh on it. It starts on the first pull and runs great, but I use 4 bucks a gallon non-alcohol premium fuel with stabilizer religiously in it. When I get done using it each time, I shut the fuel off and run the carburetor out of gas. There were no engine options available, and I really like the chipper. I have to run Shell Rotella 30 weight in it, since it leaks like a sieve with synthetic oil in it. Tecumseh specifically does not recommend using synthetic oil in their engines. Every Briggs and Stratton that I own, a total of 11, run Mobil 1 10W30.

Regards

WC

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I got my tiller running Empty Re: I got my tiller running

Post by fixinmyphono on Sat May 11, 2013 4:31 pm

I used to work on ones like this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK--RzHStak&list=FLESW-d4OxyA4dukAk-QUd4Q&index=1
I was weened on antique gas engines.had alot over the years but got away from it when my Father died Just couldnt get into it after he was gone...
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I got my tiller running Empty Re: I got my tiller running

Post by 75X11 on Sat May 11, 2013 6:51 pm

Congratulations on your rebuild! Small gas engines hate me and I hate them right back. I have an electric lawn mower, leaf blower, weed trimmer and chain saw. Getting a good result from small gas engine repair is to me, nothing short of a miracle. Very Happy
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I got my tiller running Empty Re: I got my tiller running

Post by Wildcat445 on Sat May 11, 2013 11:17 pm

I have been a Certified Master Auto Technician for 40 years, and I cannot, for the life of me, get a two cycle engine to run. There are not enough parts in them to make them run in my mind. And the parts that are there make no sense to me. How can an engine suck (intake) and blow (exhaust) at the same time? Not possible, but yet it happens. I have a four cycle weed eater. The only two cycle thing I own is a chain saw. If they made four cycle chain saws, I would own one. When my chain saw craps out, I take it to John, he fixes it, I pay him, and life goes on. I hate electric lawn equipment. I have a nasty habit of cutting the power cord. Electric equipment is underpowered, and, like you with gas powered engines, is usually broken when I want to use it.

Regards

WC

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