Honda Mower Carb Issue?

Horsehead

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My mother and stepfather have a Honda 160 series mower. I am being told that it is 'surging' when idling without the deck engaged. When they engage the blades, the surge goes away. It sounds like a carb issue to me. I've worked on a lot of stuff, but never taken apart a mower carb before. Part of me is thinking about just putting up my Gen 5 G34 with the Delta Point Pro 2MOA RDS up here for sale, and taking the proceeds to buy them a really nice electric mower and just forget about any future issues. I've offered to buy them a lawn mowing service in the past but they still want to do it themselves, which I can appreciate.

What say you OSA? Is there a good small engine shop around here in the OKC/Moore/Norman area than does carb work for a decent price (quickly as well, lol), or should I just alleviate any future hassle and get them something new?

I haven't put 200 rounds through that G34 since I bought it new last year. The plan was to use it in GSSF, but I haven't been able to go to any indoor leagues or practice matches for quite a while now for one reason or another. The thought of letting it go doesn't seem to hurt as much as I initially thought it would.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Mine was doing the same thing last year.. I installed a new plug and bought some mechanic in a bottle at WM and no issues since. I also since I first bought the mower, I turn the fuel off and allow it run out of fuel every time.... And I only run real (so they say on sign) gas thru mine.
 

Horsehead

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My mother and stepfather have a Honda 160 series mower. I am being told that it is 'surging' when idling without the deck engaged. When they engage the blades, the surge goes away. It sounds like a carb issue to me. I've worked on a lot of stuff, but never taken apart a mower carb before. Part of me is thinking about just putting up my Gen 5 G34 with the Delta Point Pro 2MOA RDS up here for sale, and taking the proceeds to buy them a really nice electric mower and just forget about any future issues. I've offered to buy them a lawn mowing service in the past but they still want to do it themselves, which I can appreciate.

What say you OSA? Is there a good small engine shop around here in the OKC/Moore/Norman area than does carb work for a decent price (quickly as well, lol), or should I just alleviate any future hassle and get them something new?

I haven't put 200 rounds through that G34 since I bought it new last year. The plan was to use it in GSSF, but I haven't been able to go to any indoor leagues or practice matches for quite a while now for one reason or another. The thought of letting it go doesn't seem to hurt as much as I initially thought it would.

Any advice would be appreciated.
My honda was doing the same thing 2yrs ago. I installed new plug and and no difference.Got some mechanic in a bottle from WM put a little more than stated in gas tank by the time I was done mowing it was running like new. I also turn gas off EVERY time and let mower run out of gas before I put it back in shed. And I only run real gas no ethanol.
 

Snattlerake

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To lighten the mood.

The Electric fence and The Lawn Mower


We have the standard 6 ft. fence in the backyard, and a few months ago, I heard about burglaries increasing dramatically in the entire city. To make sure this never happened to me, I got an electric fence and ran a single wire along the top of the fence.

Actually, I got the biggest cattle charger Tractor Supply had, made for 26 miles of fence. I then used an 8 ft. long ground rod, and drove it 7.5 feet into the ground. The ground rod is the key, with the more you have in the ground, the better the fence works.

One day I'm mowing the back yard with my cheapo Wal-Mart 6 hp big wheel push mower. The hot wire is broken and laying out in the yard. I knew for a fact that I unplugged the charger. I pushed the mower around the wire and reached down to grab it, to throw it out of the way.

It seems as though I hadn't remembered to unplug it after all.

Now I'm standing there, I've got the running lawnmower in my right hand and the 1.7 giga-volt fence wire in the other hand. Keep in mind the charger is about the size of a marine battery and has a picture of an upside down cow on fire on the cover.

Time stood still.

The first thing I notice is my pecker trying to climb up the front side of my body. My ears curled downwards and I could feel the lawnmower ignition firing in the backside of my brain. Every time that Briggs & Stratton rolled over, I could feel the spark in my head. I was literally at one with the engine.

It seems as though the fence charger and the piece of **** lawnmower were fighting over who would control my electrical impulses.

Science says you cannot poop, pee, and vomit at the same time. I beg to differ. Not only did I do all three at once, but my bowels emptied 3 different times in less than half of a second. It was a Matrix kind of bowel movement, where time is creeping along and you're all leaned back and BAM BAM BAM you just **** your pants 3 times. It seemed like
there were minutes in between but in reality it was so close together it was like exhaust pulses from a big block Chevy turning 8 grand.

At this point I'm about 30 minutes (maybe 2 seconds) into holding onto the fence wire. My hand is wrapped around the wire palm down so I can't let go. I grew up on a farm so I know all about electric fences ... but Dad always had those piece of **** chargers made by International or whoever that were like 9 volts and just kinda tickled.

This one I could not let go of. The 8 foot long ground rod is now accepting signals from me through the permadamp Ark-La-Tex river bottom soil. At this point I'm thinking I'm going to have to just man up and take it, until the lawnmower runs out of gas.

'Damn!,' I think I remember I just filled the tank!

Now the lawnmower is starting to run rough. It has settled into a loping, surging run pattern as if it had some kind of big lawnmower race cam in it. Covered in poop, pee, and with my vomit on my chest I think 'Oh God please die .... Pleeeeaze die'. But nooooo, it settles into the rough lumpy cam idle nicely and remains there, like a big bore roller cam EFI motor waiting for the go command from its owner's right foot.

So here I am in the middle of July, 104 degrees, 90% humidity, standing in my own backyard, begging God to kill me. God did not take me that day .... he left me there covered in my own fluids to writhe in the misery my own stupidity had created.

I honestly don't know how I got loose from the wire ....

I woke up laying on the ground hours later. The lawnmower was beside me, out of gas. It was later on in the day and I was sunburned.

There were two large dead grass spots where I had been standing, and then another long skinny dead spot where the wire had laid while I was on the ground still holding on to it. I assume I finally had a seizure and in the resulting thrashing had somehow let go of the wire.

Upon waking from my electrically induced sleep I realized a few things:

1 - Three of my teeth seem to have melted.

2 - I now have cramps in the bottoms of my feet and my right butt cheek (not the left, just the right).

3 - Poop, pee, and vomit when all mixed together, do not smell as bad as you might think.

4 - My left eye will not open.

5 - My right eye will not close.

6 - The lawnmower runs like a sum***** now. Seriously! I think our little session cleared out some carbon fouling or something, because it was better than new after that.

7 - My nuts are still smaller than average yet they are almost a foot long.

8 - I can turn on the TV in the game room by farting while thinking of the number 4 (still don't understand this???).


That day changed my life.
I now have a newfound respect for things.
I appreciate the little things more, and now I always triple check to make sure the fence is unplugged before I mow.

The good news, is that if a burglar does try to come over the fence, I can clearly visualize what my security system will do to him, and THAT gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling all over, which also reminds me to triple check before I mow.
 

joegrizzy

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any ice, beit small two stroke, big bore single cylinder for gas operations, or 4-8 cylinder four stroke in your auto, needs the magic ~14.7:1 ratio of air to fuel to run. your auto, if it's obd ii or newer and has efi, uses a fancy o2 sensor with magnets to constantly fluctuate between rich and lean given your throttle inputs (which might also be controlled by the ecu instead of a wire on throttle body).

in an older carbed engine, the carb itself becomes the regulator of air-fuel ratio. it uses this really cool mechanism named Bernoulli's principle, which states that basically any flow that is passed through a constriction (smaller cross section of area) increases velocity and lowers pressure. it can apply to both liquids and gasses, it's even used in baseball to measure break on sliders and curves by those fancy sensors that amazon made.

so if you pass air thru a constricting tube (venturi), you can use the pressure differential created by the pressure drop to do things like suck fluid. this is how the droplet of gas gets regulated into the airflow from the suction phase of an internal combustion engine.

so if it's "surging" it's not getting the correct amount of air or fuel throughout the entire cycle of the engine. there is a mechanical linkage between the throttle selector, the actual throttle valve inside the carb, and the governor itself. the governor uses centrifugal force from the camshaft to put tension on this linkage, which the whole assembly can be referred to as the governor, as many auto stuff goes. the shaft that runs from the carb to the throttle spring does usually have a few spots for adjustment. essentially when the engine is running too lean/rich, the rpm's fluctuating are causing the governor to kick in and adjust the throttle to rectify the situation. like when the engine bogs going up a steep hill or cutting heavy grass. but since the carb itself may be clogged or not getting a good uniform dispersion of fuel, the governor cannot "find" the correct ratio it's "hunting" for, so you get a constant cycle of governor adjusting the throttle valve seeking to rectify the situation even tho it cannot.

it's a very similar issue to a vacuum leak on your car or truck. since that will mess with the air/fuel ratios, your o2 sensor will read this and freak out, trying to either send way too much fuel or way too little fuel to compensate. going that far away from the baseline of ~14.7:1 means on the next cycle it has to compensate that much more, creating a constant cycle of surging rpm's that seems to "hunt" for idle. upon acceleration or load on the engine, this surging can go away and the engine can run as normal, but when returning to idle the ecu can get fooled again by the vacuum leak and lead to surging. if you've ever f'd up replacing an intake or exhaust gasket or forget to replace a single vacuum line when doing auto work, you'll be very familiar with that mechanism.

replacing the carb is most likely the easiest solution. but a governor adjustment could certainly also perk it up. this video is really cool on how carbs work:

 

OHJEEZE

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Not a honda, but have a briggs on a push mower and the center carb gasket (between the two halves of the carb).

A portion of the gasket would pull out of place and the thing would chug and surge burning way too much gas.
 

SlugSlinger

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This explains what happens with ethanol when it's exposed to air. There was another video that had a fan blowing over a container of ethanol based fuel. A cloud formed over the liquid, water was condensing on the inside and outside of the container and you could see the water collecting at the bottom of the container.

It is a good idea to drain all the fuel from the tank and the carburetor if you run fuel with ethanol. If the equipment you use doesn't use a sealed fuel system, which means there is no way for the vapor to vent, it would be a good idea of running pure gas with no ethanol. And always keep your fuel in a sealed container, especially ethanol based fuel because it is like a magnet to water.

 

Ryan500L

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My mother and stepfather have a Honda 160 series mower. I am being told that it is 'surging' when idling without the deck engaged. When they engage the blades, the surge goes away. It sounds like a carb issue to me. I've worked on a lot of stuff, but never taken apart a mower carb before. Part of me is thinking about just putting up my Gen 5 G34 with the Delta Point Pro 2MOA RDS up here for sale, and taking the proceeds to buy them a really nice electric mower and just forget about any future issues. I've offered to buy them a lawn mowing service in the past but they still want to do it themselves, which I can appreciate.

What say you OSA? Is there a good small engine shop around here in the OKC/Moore/Norman area than does carb work for a decent price (quickly as well, lol), or should I just alleviate any future hassle and get them something new?

I haven't put 200 rounds through that G34 since I bought it new last year. The plan was to use it in GSSF, but I haven't been able to go to any indoor leagues or practice matches for quite a while now for one reason or another. The thought of letting it go doesn't seem to hurt as much as I initially thought it would.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Dave's small engine in Noble is the only place I trust to work on small engine stuff.
 

p238shooter

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To me dissambling a lawn more carb is not much different than cleaning your firearm. Grab a can of carburator spray before getting started. Simple unhooking a few levers and a couple bolts on the air filter and attachmaent points to get it off. Have a nice flat surface to start laying parts out as you take off. Unscrew and gently break gasket surfaces apart to try to avoid tearing. Most problems are in the float bowl with gunk from old gas clogging up things, sometimes gunk or trash in one of the holes you can squirt through. If you have to take out an adjustable jet, first take note of position, then screw down to gently seat it noting the number of turns. You can remove it to clean then reinstall all the way then back it out to its original location. Very occasionally a little fuel pump diaphram gasket that can be replaced if you can find the right one is needed. Make sure you can squirt the cleaner through the holes and you should be good to go.
 

thor447

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We’ll, they’ll be getting a really nice new electric mower today and I’ll be bringing the Honda home.

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