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Lawnmower not starting


Oboulez
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In the autumn I cleaned my Honda GCV-135 lawn mower & bedded it down for winter. I now cannot get it started. I have changed the spark plug & fuel, but it will not start. When you pull the cord you can smell the fuel after a few pulls, and also on taking the plug out there is a spark. Any ideas anybody????
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Although you changed the fuel maybe you have some stale petrol in the carb. Take out the plug, pull the cord a few times to get rid of any excess fuel in the engine.  Then try a little neat petrol tipped down the plug hole, put the plug back in and pull the cord. By a little bit of petrol I mean about half a tablespoon full.

I don't suppose it's a self-propelled jobby is it, and you have forgotten to pull up the lever? On mine I have two levers at the handlebars, one is to engage the drive and the other one you have to pull it up to start it and let go to stop the engine. I did forget to do that once and couldn't understand why it wouldn't start. Doh!

Rule out the battery as you use a pull cord to start it and you have already said you have a spark.

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When you say that you've changed the plug, do you mean for a new one as opposed to just another one? I've had this non-starting problem with my Honda-powered rotovator, and although the plug was only 2 seasons old (and not used much at that!) the plug was the culprit. It would spark if held against the cylinder but presuambly wasn't sparking under compression.

In a hurry to get the veggie bed turned over I had to buy a pack of 4 plugs, so I'm stocked up for the forseeable future! [:-))]  Aren't they expensive here! [blink]

 

 

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Sid, you have hit a suspicion I have regarding the 'new' plug. The one that was in the mower was an NGK R BPR 4ES. I went to the local (relative in a very remote area) garden machinery repair / sales shop. They gave me a Champion 300 NBYC. After the mower not firing up, and after changing the fuel, checking the filters & all connections etc; I wondered about the compatibility. Having checked various cross reference guides on the interweb - to me - I don't think that they are comparable. I went back to the shop last week, and the bloke was adamant that what he sold me was the right one for a Honda mower. My only option I suppose is to try to find somewhere which will sell an NGK plug the same.
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Louise/Gary

Without a comparison chart I couldn't tell you whether or not the Champion is a direct replacement for the NGK but if you do a search on the internet you will no doubt be able to do so fairly easily.

What I can tell you is that a plug only delivers a high tension spark across the electrodes. The different numbers on the plug denote the reach/length of nose, heat range and length/size of thread.  When you offer up the plugs side side by side if they look similar then whatever plug you use will be capable of starting the engine. If the new one you have is a slightly different heat range it will still start the engine. It's not as if the engine is highly tuned and will melt the plug once the engine gets hot.

The main thing to make sure of is that the nose of the plug does not extend any further than the old one, which could then foul the piston and/or the valves if it is too long.

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Check the air filter, if you haven't already.

The only time my 6 year old Oleo-Mac engine has failed to start was due to the filter being completely solid with gunge. The chap who cuts - or rather used to cut - the grass for me while I'm away was also using my mower, I suspect, to keep down the brush in the local fields. The filter was jammed with seeds from plants that have never been seen near our garden.

A quick way to test is to try it with the filter removed. Won't do any harm as a test but if it starts, replace filter immediately. Some can be cleaned but if it's too bad, get a new filter. Cheap enough on Ebay.

I always check the air filter when replacing the oil (which is also best done regularly with these small engines) 

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I confirm that the wrong plug model will not prevent the engine from starting, so long as its dimensions are similar and the gap is set correctly.

In case you don't have one you can download a service manual here

http://www.seagointernational.com/new/Manuals/Honda%20Service%20Manual002.pdf

 

Edit: I notice that the plug in the manual is NGK BPR 6ES, not the same as the one you were using [:)]

 

 

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After reading Louise/Gary's last post I see that the internet has already been searched for a comparison. But the rest of my info about plug performance remains correct.

It may well be that the Champion is not an absolute 100% swop for the NGK but provided it's near enough it will not be the cause for it not starting.

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I concur ! [:D]

My point was to check that the replacement was new rather than just another previously working plug.

For interest, when my rotovator wouldn't start I did all the usual basic checks; fuel and air filters, fresh petrol, spark and so on, but it still refused to start. I then started looking for specific postings on the interent for this engine and found many posts which said that plugs were a frequent problem, hence my decision to buy a new one. This has puzzled me; I have a motorcycle which lives in the garage, unused for at least 5 months over the winter, it never fails to start in the Spring (ah yes, Spring... where are you!); it's always left with "old" petrol in the tank, and the plugs are at least 5 years old now (I only replace them on a mileage basis, not time, and I don't do a high mileage [:(]).

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Some more info....

I've looked up both plugs and found a difference!  Well, I think I have, assuming that the new plug you got was a N9YC (not NBYC); that being the case it is described as 19mm reach (same as the NGK) but does NOT have a resistor, which the NGK does have!

In which case I reckon you would need Champion RN16Y or better still get the same as you had before NGK BPR4ES.

HOWEVER..... I just found the spec for your engine and, as Nomoss pointed out, it says NGK BPR6ES  !!!  It just so happens that in my massively overstocked sparkplug workshop I have 3 of these leftover from my shopping expedition last year when my engine wouldn't start (and I was forced to buy a pack of 4). If you PM me with your address I'll gladly send you one.

 

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Thanks very much to you all for your advice which was very helpful. I managed to get an NGK 6ES plug yesterday, but this morning I thought that I would try the suggestion somebody made of taking out the plug, giving it a crank, then charging the bore with some fuel before replacing the plug. I did this with the 'old' plug as a matter of interest, & it fired up first pull. Obliged to you all again. Regards Gary
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Hi Ivor - It has been extremely wet here over the winter too, however on saturday for example my weather station read a temperature of 21.6 degrees. It has been lovely for a few days, and after an eternity it is so good to get out & get some things done. The forecast for the next week looks okay too. Bon courage.
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  • 2 weeks later...

 More than likely, Jo.

Same thing happened to ours.  OH bought a charger cheaply from Lidl, charged the battery and it roared into life.

Good Luck with it and I hope you getting on OK.

Edit:  forgot to mention (though you probably know this already), do not leave the key in the slot when the mower is not in use.  Doing so drains the battery.

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I'm not sure that just leaving the key in the slot will cause the battery to drain, Sweet. If it's turned to "run" then yes, because the ignition circuit will be live.

I charge my mower battery about once a month over the winter, but for the rest of the year it normally keeps charged from the frequent use.

The battery stopped holding a charge about 18 months ago but I used my new motorcycle charger (new charger, not not new motorcycle!) which has a "deep recovery" function (tries to overcome sulphated plates) as well as a trickle top-up charge, and that got me through last summer. I've had to buy a new battery last month though, as it finally gave up the ghost. It was 7 years old, so not done bad.

There is an excellent online battery retailer who has an Ebay shop; I got this one

 http://cgi.ebay.fr/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=261066337993&ssPageName=ADME:L:OC:GB:3160

Be sure to check on the terminal type and orientation. I ordered at lunchtime and it was here next day. no filling required.

So, I'm all set for the Spring.... where is it????  [blink]

 

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[quote user="sid"]

I'm not sure that just leaving the key in the slot will cause the battery to drain, Sweet. If it's turned to "run" then yes, because the ignition circuit will be live.

So, I'm all set for the Spring.... where is it????  [blink]

 

[/quote]

Arrggghhhh......I don't like the sound off the ignition circuit being live so, in my case, I'd always remove the key (shows you how much I really know about these things [:-))]).  If you are as clueless as I am, it's best just to have a set routine and to follow that in order to make things as simple as possible.

As for spring, would be good when/if it arrives although the dwarf daffodils are up but it sure as hell doesn't feel like spring as it's f.f.f.f. e.e.e.zing!

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It's not a bad idea to remove the key, but I do it for safety reasons; the grandchildren could possibly start the mower when I'm not there etc etc.

I've been out and rotovated one out of our 4 vegetable plots this morning. Nice bright sunshine, but still a cold, biting wind. Lots of buds on the trees and shrubs and the crocus are showing. This time last year (or maybe a little later) we had a severe frost which ruined all the fruit trees, I hope it doesn't happen again. The grass in the "jardi-parc"  [;-)]   looks terrible, all clumpy, and uneven, and desperately needs a light trim.

 

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Ditto Sid the grass looks awful so I thought I'd get a head start and tackle it! Next door have a charger and are very kindly going to put my battery on charge, hopefully before the wet weather forecast for later this week!!!
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[quote user="Jo"]Thanks for the thoughts, getting there sweet 17.[/quote]

Well done, you!

I so wanted to reply to your post although, as you have seen, my knowledge of mowers is not what you'd call extensive [:)]

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