Fuel - carb problem

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Dan Stuckey
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Fuel - carb problem

Postby Dan Stuckey » Thu May 09, 2019 6:49 pm

Have somewhat of a reoccurring problem with the Cub. Did my first mowing today, mow about 3-4 acres with a 59" belly mower. Mowed well for about a hour and then began acting that it was having starvation problem. Engine would slow rpm, miss a bit and at times would die unless I put in the clutch. This has happened in the past and I believe usually a good carb cleaning will clear it up. Now most of this acting up occurs while heading up a inkling. The steeper the incline, the worse the problem.

My fuel tank is in rather decent shape with no rusting or dirt issues. Last year I did renew the entire fuel shut off and sediment bowl assembly. I pulled the carb off today and taking it back home to clean and spray out and hoping this helps, at least until it reoccurs again. Prob in a couple months if I recall properly from the past. I keep thinking about adding a inline gravity fed filter. Have done a search and read pro and con on them. Not a big cost so I'm thinking why not try.

I did send it to someone that does carb rebuilds on this forum a few years ago and it worked great for a few years. Who here does that? Remember someone recommended whoever it was and if I cant clear this up, I might think about sending it off again if I can find out who that might have been.

Any other ideas I might try? I guess the fact that it runs much worse going up inclines makes sense since the engine is needing more fuel going uphills, on the level or downhills, it runs about perfect. Thanks for any input

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Re: Fuel - carb problem

Postby inairam » Fri May 10, 2019 6:16 am

Try cleaning the bowl under the hood and replace the screen http://www.tmtractor.com/new/fl/235fp.htm. That could be causing the starvation.

I do not recommend an in-line filter. I have had a number of problems with the filters on other vehicles. Replace the oil in the air intake filter and clean the bowl and replace the screen and the filters for the carb are fine.
When you only have 9 horsepower you need to know the names of all of the ponies!

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Re: Fuel - carb problem

Postby Urbish » Fri May 10, 2019 6:30 am

You should not require an inline fuel filter if your sediment bowl is in good shape and the screen doesn't have any holes. As far as cleaning the carb, what do you mean by "taking it back home to clean and spray out"? Do you mean disassembling and cleaning or just spraying cleaner down the throat of the carburetor?

If inairam's suggestion doesn't do it(and a carburetor cleaning doesn't work), recommend complete tune up. Check/clean/gap plugs (or replace), clean and gap points, check distributor cap and wires, check fuel float height, check timing.
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Re: Fuel - carb problem

Postby Dale Finch » Fri May 10, 2019 7:33 am

Don't forget the small screen down in the bottom of the fuel inlet on the carb. To get to it, you need to remove the fuel line at the carb.

Also, I'm not sure where you live, but there is a cubfest in Harrison, Ohio, at the end of the month. There is usually someone (maybe a 2 folks) who will rebuild your carb for you...all you need is to provide/pay for any parts.
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Re: Fuel - carb problem

Postby Dan Stuckey » Fri May 10, 2019 8:16 am

Urbish wrote:You should not require an inline fuel filter if your sediment bowl is in good shape and the screen doesn't have any holes. As far as cleaning the carb, what do you mean by "taking it back home to clean and spray out"? Do you mean disassembling and cleaning or just spraying cleaner down the throat of the carburetor?

If inairam's suggestion doesn't do it(and a carburetor cleaning doesn't work), recommend complete tune up. Check/clean/gap plugs (or replace), clean and gap points, check distributor cap and wires, check fuel float height, check timing.


Cub is at our churches picnic grounds so I took off carb and will disassemble, clean out everything with carb cleaner and see what happens.

I will also pull the screen from the shut off bowl and clean it good. And give the screen in the inlet of the carb a good cleaning.

Tks for the tips guys.

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Re: Fuel - carb problem

Postby Urbish » Fri May 10, 2019 8:52 am

Let us know how it works out. Always work one area at a time so you determine the root cause and learn from your experience. I think you're off to a good start looking at fuel flow and carb first.
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Re: Fuel - carb problem

Postby Eugene » Fri May 10, 2019 9:37 am

Dan Stuckey wrote:Now most of this acting up occurs while heading up a incline. The steeper the incline, the worse the problem.
If the carburetor cleaning doesn't completely solve the problem - - try backing up the incline to see it the problem reoccurs. Perhaps trash in the gas tank.
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Re: Fuel - carb problem

Postby Jim Becker » Fri May 10, 2019 10:30 am

You have a clean gas tank, new sediment bowl and the carburetor has been repeatedly cleaned and reinstalled. Yet the problem keeps coming back. Time to consider whether the problem has anything to do with a dirty fuel system.

Have you checked the quality of the ignition spark when it acts up? What else changes when you work on the carburetor? How about things like it gets put in a shed when the carb is off but sits outside the rest of the time?

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Re: Fuel - carb problem

Postby Waif » Fri May 10, 2019 11:38 am

carb float could be checked for a pinhole next time it is apart?
And what the float rides on for a scratch or burr maybe.

When performance changes with carb removal and cleaning , what is actually being changed? A slug of crud upstream could be moving around and end up partially obstructing flow again. Varnish flake or just crud.

You are gaining resistance /load when going uphill too. Multiple things could be reflected in bogging going uphill into greater load.

If not carb cleanliness related , carb/governor response to load could be suspect after confirming tune up conditions and specs. are being met.

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Re: Fuel - carb problem

Postby k hutchins » Fri May 10, 2019 5:27 pm

Mine does the same thing on inclines or with heavy thick grass. Drop it to first gear and no more problem.
I normally mow in 2nd gear, but at this time of year when the grass might be thicker and higher due to waiting a day or two too long between mowing, l sometimes have to drop it down to 1st to get up the hill or through the tick stuff without stalling.
Don't forget, the combination of a 59" mower deck and the Cub is a delicate balance as the Cub is just at the edge of being under powered on flat ground with medium height grass.
Why is there never enough time to do the job right, but always enough time to do it over. :?:

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Re: Fuel - carb problem

Postby Dan Stuckey » Fri May 10, 2019 6:51 pm

k hutchins wrote:Mine does the same thing on inclines or with heavy thick grass. Drop it to first gear and no more problem.
I normally mow in 2nd gear, but at this time of year when the grass might be thicker and higher due to waiting a day or two too long between mowing, l sometimes have to drop it down to 1st to get up the hill or through the tick stuff without stalling.
Don't forget, the combination of a 59" mower deck and the Cub is a delicate balance as the Cub is just at the edge of being under powered on flat ground with medium height grass.


Pretty sure its not that it's just not bogging down. Several years ago I put in a rebuilt engine out of a 184 numbered Cub which has about the double hp at the stock engine in my 1949. It does great with my Woods 59' , even in tall grass. Power isn't a issue here but def starts cutting out as soon as I start on a incline, even a mild hill. Even areas that the grass is sparse causes this problem when I turn uphill. Will get this carb stripped, cleaned and tested next week and will report back with hopefully good results

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Re: Fuel - carb problem

Postby Dan Stuckey » Fri May 10, 2019 6:58 pm

Jim Becker wrote:You have a clean gas tank, new sediment bowl and the carburetor has been repeatedly cleaned and reinstalled. Yet the problem keeps coming back. Time to consider whether the problem has anything to do with a dirty fuel system.

Have you checked the quality of the ignition spark when it acts up? What else changes when you work on the carburetor? How about things like it gets put in a shed when the carb is off but sits outside the rest of the time?



Plugs have a strong looking spark, but going to through in a new set of Champions as I do every 2-3 years, Makes starting a snap. Listen to all the suggestions here but would a weak spark cause this problem like immediately turning from downhill to going uphill? Will report back next week when I take my cleaned carb back to the cub and do some mowing. Tks

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Re: Fuel - carb problem

Postby Dan Stuckey » Fri May 10, 2019 7:01 pm

Eugene wrote:
Dan Stuckey wrote:Now most of this acting up occurs while heading up a incline. The steeper the incline, the worse the problem.
If the carburetor cleaning doesn't completely solve the problem - - try backing up the incline to see it the problem reoccurs. Perhaps trash in the gas tank.

Will give that a whirl but wouldn't it take some minutes for that to make a difference because of time needed to let dirty fuel in the lines and float bowl run through the carb?

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Re: Fuel - carb problem

Postby Dan Stuckey » Fri May 10, 2019 7:03 pm

Urbish wrote:Let us know how it works out. Always work one area at a time so you determine the root cause and learn from your experience. I think you're off to a good start looking at fuel flow and carb first.



I certainly will report back sometime next week when I get back to where the cub is. Always the best part, reporting or reading what caused the problem. Tks

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Re: Fuel - carb problem

Postby Dan Stuckey » Fri May 10, 2019 7:08 pm

Waif wrote:carb float could be checked for a pinhole next time it is apart?
And what the float rides on for a scratch or burr maybe.

When performance changes with carb removal and cleaning , what is actually being changed? A slug of crud upstream could be moving around and end up partially obstructing flow again. Varnish flake or just crud.

You are gaining resistance /load when going uphill too. Multiple things could be reflected in bogging going uphill into greater load.

If not carb cleanliness related , carb/governor response to load could be suspect after confirming tune up conditions and specs. are being met.



I'll give the internal parts a good looking at. Tks for ideas


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