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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys... someone gift me this critter, which supposedly was running a couple years ago. I think it's a model 536.885410, but can't find a model plate on it. I'll post pictures later but if I could find a repair manual that would help. Owner's manual gave me no joy, having no diagram of the fuel system. Or I missed it. (Craftsman 143.804062 Owner's Manual over on ManualsLib.) Any idea what year this might be?

I am not a mechanic, tho I can usually follow directions if you use very small words. :)

Anyway everything appears in good shape (other than being dirty from sitting outside) -- turns over easy, and everything is tight but not seized. No leaks or obvious wear or heat marks anywhere. Rubber all feels good. Gas tank looks solid, carb looks clean far as I can see through the choke. Seems like not many hours on it. Missing bolt on one blade, but that's easy enough to replace.

However, it looks like someone cut the fuel line. There's a soft skinny rubber tube (maybe half the diameter of a thin pencil) dangling in the air with nothing obvious to attach it to and a factory-smooth end, I have no idea what that is, unless it's a vent. There's also a stiff thick-walled rubber tube about the size of your little fingertip coming from the direction of the gas tank, and it would logically attach to a ribbed metal tube sticking out of the top of the carb, but it's been hacked off with about two inches sticking out. Is that where it attaches, and is it supposed to have a filter in-line?

Will be interesting to see if the tracks are better on my sloped driveway.... a blower with wheels was an Adventure best not repeated.

Thanks, all!
 

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Without pictures, hard to tell.

I would assume the short rubber hose your talking about is either the crank case vent or the primer bulb hose?

The 1/4 inch ID hose would be the fuel line from the tank to the carb.

Sitting outside , not running for a couple years , I can guarantee the carb is messed up, along with bad gas, etc.

Probably have to evict the mice as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the primer bulb hose?
Ah. Didn't think of that. When I press the primer bulb air comes out, and buried on the other side of the carb is a teeny tiny recessed port where it just fits.

The 1/4 inch ID hose would be the fuel line from the tank to the carb.
So since the cut end isn't rotten, should be able to put an extension from there to the carb port, yes?

Around here we have real gas, and the gal said her ex who used it was a small engine mechanic (if perhaps a sloppy one) so hopefully would know not to put ethanol in it. Bone dry from end to end regardless, and no dead old gas smell or residue. (Tho I should change the oil. It feels good, but is pitch black.)

Hey, is there supposed to be a gasket (or goop) between the carb and the engine body? I don't see one, and it feels a little loose. Bolts won't go any tighter.

Anyway, I squirted a little gas in the carb and it started right up, ran very smooth and quiet for the ten seconds or so til it ran out of gas. So far so good! You brought me luck. Thanks!
 

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I would probably run a new line from the tank to the carb, but if you blew that line out, and need a longer hose, you could splice it by adding a small thin wall piece of pipe in the hose and 2 more clamps, or just put a shut off or a filter there if it will fit.

There is always a gasket from carb to block as far as I am aware.

All my 5 gallon gas cans get 2oz of Stabil and 2oz of SeaFoam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks like replacing the line would be a fair bit of work, so I'll try the splice first. With the cover back on there really isn't room for anything else.

I wonder if the guy had the carb off to clean it and forgot to replace the gasket. It's all shiny inside and out.

Any thoughts on synthetic oil for these critters? my riding mower came with synth, but it's a lot newer.

There's all kinds of opinions on Stabil and whether you should run stuff dry for storage, but I've done it every which way and seen no difference (not even with the overworked worn out old mower, starts right up regardless). But I cycle through my gas pretty regularly, and the Cenex refinery is right here in town, maybe less time in storage overall is the real difference.
 

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Ya tear that old fuel line out and replace with fresh, then you have a known starting point. The materials are cheap enough there's no point cobbling. Easier too in the end.

Plus you can add a filter and proper shutoff valve, and decent hose clamps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'll have to see how hard it is to get to -- it's clamped in pretty tight, can't just pull it through. If I can't get to it right off, for now I just want to get it to where I can run it a bit so I can see how it operates (having never owned one before) and make sure it all works before winter arrives. Would be right silly to wind up stuck in a snowdrift in the middle of the driveway trying to figure it out. :D
 

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Would be right silly to wind up stuck in a snowdrift in the middle of the driveway trying to figure it out. :D
You'd be the first among us to not have accomplished that... however. The better you go through it before winter, the less chance of it happening. Even then, stuff happens... part of the Fun.

Last time for me, she started running rough, then quit... aye...?

Oyeah... they run on fuel... and not so much without it... 🤣
 

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take the time take the pull start cover off and replace the fuel line now. You thank me this winter.
 

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Agreed with above. A new fuel line is a must at this point. The time you take now to tear it down and getting it running right will pay dividends in the winter when the machine will start and run without issue.

If it were me, I would take off the fuel tank, clean it out good. Then put the new fuel line, fuel filter, clamps, and maybe even shutoff valve. You will also probably have to clean out the carb as well. With a completely refreshed fuel system and stabilized gas, you will have years and years of trouble free use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think someone already did a partial cleanup. The gas tank is totally clean inside (not even the smell left behind), and the carb is shiny like it's had a recent cleaning... would explain the apparently-absent gasket.

Fuel line is down under a bunch of stuff, not sure how far I'd have to dismantle to get to it... tho after further review, feels like I can carefully wiggle it out on the tank side, and way less risk of something going SPRONG that I don't know how to fix. On closer inspection, looks like the tank end is getting tired and might consider a sudden divorce, so yeah, gonna have to replace it entirely.

But not today... today I'm recovering from picking chokecherries, and one of my arms is still stuck in the fully-upright position. o_O
 

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Synthetic oil not because it's better, because it flows easier in cold weather.

Replace the fuel line, use wide squeeze clamps not hose gear clamps, put a right angle shut off valve in. Do not buy the fuel line at an auto parts store, it's 1/4" x 1/2"; buy it at a mower shop, it's 1/4" x 7/16". You need that smaller O.D.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So I was wondering why the shut-off valve, since out of all the random equipment I've accumulated (nine lawn mowers of various descriptions) only one has a fuel valve. Went looking and found this:

The valve should be used when the mower isn’t in use. Ideally after you’ve mowed the lawn, the gas should be shut off until the next use.

This takes the load off the carburetor float needle, prevents fuel evaporation and gas leaks. It’s also good practice to shut the gas off before transporting the mower in a car or trailer.

The constant bumping around would otherwise cause gas to flood the engine, this usually results in a no start.
I did wonder how much risk there is of busting the port on the gas tank. It's got a little flat clamp there that I haven't seen before. Would definitely need the smaller fuel line, half a hair bigger wouldn't fit in the spot. Ace repairs mowers, so I'm sure they must have it.

Good advice on the synth oil, thanks.
 

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I think someone already did a partial cleanup. The gas tank is totally clean inside (not even the smell left behind), and the carb is shiny like it's had a recent cleaning... would explain the apparently-absent gasket.

Fuel line is down under a bunch of stuff, not sure how far I'd have to dismantle to get to it... tho after further review, feels like I can carefully wiggle it out on the tank side, and way less risk of something going SPRONG that I don't know how to fix. On closer inspection, looks like the tank end is getting tired and might consider a sudden divorce, so yeah, gonna have to replace it entirely.

But not today... today I'm recovering from picking chokecherries, and one of my arms is still stuck in the fully-upright position. o_O
you probably wont be successful trying to wiggle it through. In any case do you self a favor and replace it now.
 

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At some point, having equipment, you are going to have to wrench on them to keep them maintained and repaired.

You will need some basic tools and be methodical, and take pictures prior to dismantling if you don't trust your brain. Also bag and tag any nuts , bolts, etc, so you know where they go on re-assembly. Its pretty simple really, just start off slow and you will get the hang of it. Good time to start self learning is now ... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
At some point, having equipment, you are going to have to wrench on them to keep them maintained and repaired.
Alas, this is often true. Durn things just don't know how to fix themselves, and refuse to learn, so we get stuck doing it. :p
 

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you probably wont be successful trying to wiggle it through. In any case do you self a favor and replace it now.
Run a wire through the old line, hold the wire in place and pull the line, and then use the wire as a guide to put the new one in. The lines never kink under the shrouds, so the path is usually clear (unless someone "helped" it in the past) and this will get you a new line in exactly the same place as the old one in minutes! Good, and you are no worse off had you not tried this .
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That's a good trick, thanks. And it looks like the path is entirely straight where it disappears underneath stuff, so shouldn't be too difficult.
 
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