Hard to start 2 cycle engines

Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:29 am

I have run into a unique problem lately with the newer 2 cycle engines being hard to start. I have 3 different items varying from a 4 year old Ryobi Click Link trimmer, to a 1 year old GIO generator to a new Poulan Pro string trimmer. All of them required 20 or more pulls to start if they had set a day or two, or if you cleaned the spark plug or changed it they woudl start right up. If you poured about a tablespoon of gas in the carb. they would also start right up. Otherwise you had better be prepared for a lot of cranking. After thinking the problem over for quite a while i remembered having a similar problem on one of my cubs, which when I eventually figured it out turned out to be a weak magneto coil. Since the coils on these things were a pain to get to, and probably half the cost of the macines, if you can even get them, I decided to try closing the gap on the spark plugs to about half what the manuals called for. The results are that the Ryobi and the GIO both start on the 2nd or 3rd pull, and the Poulan takes 4 or 5, but I can live with that. The plugs may foul out sooner, but considering the light use of these rigs, and the fact I use the synthetic oil in the mix I am not to worried about them fouling, plus I always keep spare plugs on hand.

Re: Hard to start 2 cycle engines

Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:51 pm

John:

Thanks for that tip, I can use it I think. I got one of the weed whackers that is stubborn to say the least. :lol:

Re: Hard to start 2 cycle engines

Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:48 pm

This is what I do....Run SEAFOAM thru them every now and then...it really cleans them up good..
Robert (got seafoam on his mind) Miller

Re: Hard to start 2 cycle engines

Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:26 pm

SeaFoam is good for cleaning up an engine, and I use it on a regular basis, but 2 of these were new, could not see much reason to use it on them.

Re: Hard to start 2 cycle engines

Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:43 pm

dakcub wrote:This is what I do....Run SEAFOAM thru them every now and then...it really cleans them up good..
Robert (got seafoam on his mind) Miller


Speaking of Seafoam, How is it running and have you driven it lately?

Dale

Re: Hard to start 2 cycle engines

Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:29 am

Seafoam is also good as a 'fuel stabilizer'. The fellow Cub owner that does chain saw art, Ross MacVicar, says he shakes the container and the saw to help keep things mixed up. Ethanol and oil don't like to stay mixed.

Image

Re: Hard to start 2 cycle engines

Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:45 am

I have the same difficulty starting 2 cycle engines. My solution was to build a carrier to fit on my Cub that carries a small 1500 watt 4 cycle generator. Then I'd take the Cub and an electric trimmer or weed whacker to where I need to use it. Any excuse to get seat time.

Ed

Re: Hard to start 2 cycle engines

Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:19 am

"Ethanol and oil don't like to stay mixed."

The best thing I have done for all my small engines was to use non-ethanol gas. My problems are less than half of what they used to be. It is well worth the extra money.
Straight gas can be found at marine fueling stations.

Re: Hard to start 2 cycle engines

Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:17 pm

I had the same problem with my string trimmer/ brush saw and solved the problem with a new carb. Now it starts and runs great. I have no love for gas with alcohol in it. :x

Re: Hard to start 2 cycle engines

Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:36 am

Great tip Mike

A big problem with the new 2 strokes is epa forcing emission controls on them. They are set too lean from the factory and on a lot of them you cannot richen them up enough to run right.

Billy

Re: Hard to start 2 cycle engines

Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:28 am

cowboy wrote:Great tip Mike

A big problem with the new 2 strokes is epa forcing emission controls on them. They are set too lean from the factory and on a lot of them you cannot richen them up enough to run right.

Billy


You are right about that. Most of the new stuff has to be choked to start hot. Oh, for the days when a twist of the main jet screw would smooth things out.
I have a Briggs on a tiller I have to run choked for 10 minutes before it will run, no main jet adjustment at all.