Once More Into The Breach

I spent most of the day out in the Disaster Zone yesterday and actually got some shit done. Just a hair more room and some things slightly better organized.

Thank you, yes, I am aware that the word organized and my name together in the same sentence is against the laws of nature but I am trying.

I have another project of course, a strange looking weed whacker my brother got from our cousin that has been sitting for over a decade and of course, won’t start.

I can get it to fire by pulling the plug and squirting some gas in the cylinder but it’s not getting a drop through the carburetor.


So I am going to have to take it and the tank off and go through them. He said he used to love this thing and is really wanting me to get it going again. I looked it up and you can still buy them new from various sources but they run over four hundred bucks.



We shall see if I can find my magic wand.

10 thoughts on “Once More Into The Breach

  1. Troy built “weed wacker”….if you get her up and running she’ll plow threw normal house weeds like butter and eat seriously overgrown ghetto lawns and fields very well.
    My grandfather had one.
    Worth your time.


    • I have a Sears version I got at the local outlet for about $280. Had borrowed a Troy years ago from the then father-in-law and thought it was great.

      I call it “The Weedwhacker from Hell” because it will go through anything: tall grass, blackberries, small trees, etc.

      Yes, it is well worth the effort to repair.


  2. It should at least fire when priming the cylinder. I cannot tell what kind of engine…Briggs? or Tecumseh (Lawson). Likely the ignition is not working…it’s likely solid state. Grab the plug wire and pull it through. Should get a tickle if it works at all. If you knock someone down behind you after getting shocked, the solid state is probably OK. Does it pull through easily? or can you feel the compression stroke? A stuck valve will also not allow it to fire. Put your thumb over the spark plug hole, and pull it through. You should feel compression enough almost to push your thumb off. Since it has sat for so long, a stuck valve is not out of the question. No compression, no gas pulled through carb, and no combustion.


  3. One more thing..sorry…if it is a Briggs, the flywheel keys used to be aluminum, which if the unit hit a softball or rock, it will throw the timing off enough not to fire. Aluminum flywheel keys look like a small rectangular cube; about fifteen cents to purchase. If it’s crescent shaped, then it’s steel and won’t be the problem. If it’s really old, it could use points and condenser under the flywheel.


  4. Would the landlord allow you to just plow through the landscape with that after ya get it going? Then ya just got grass to mow.


  5. If that is a Briggs motor you can buy the carbs (they are molded plastic now) dirt cheap. They aren’t (generally) worth trying to fix. I mean like less than $20 cheap.

    You’ll spend half that in carb cleaner cans to get it clean…..


  6. 90% cure rate on B+S engines. Buy a diaphragm for the carburetor. Disassemble the whole fuel system, clean all. Reassemble. If you need help you tube is your friend. It took me about an hour and less than $10. Fired right up!


    • No diaphragm on this one. I have rebuilt those before and actually bought spare diaphragms just in case.
      The float bowl was chock full of crap and of course that rubber sealing ring came off in pieces. I bought one of those gallon cans of carb cleaner with a basket in it to soak the thing while I wait for a new seal to come in next week.


  7. Harking back to a day of much simpler engines my trouble shoot would be exactly what you did.
    No start. Spray ether. Engine runs and dies. Problem is fuel.
    Ether spray fails. Check spark. No spark then check timing.

    The 14 dollar carb I put on the elderly Craftsman mower is working fine.


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