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Starting an old motor
Old 06-21-2019, 12:12 PM   #1
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Starting an old motor

So Iíve come across a pressure washer that has been sitting in a shed for at least 10 years. Hardly used. How would you go about trying to start it? Thinking that the spark plug just needs checked and replaced as necessary. Dump any old gas (hoping it was run dry) and use fresh. Wondering most about the oil. Should I dump the old or if the engine runs, let it run with the old oil so it heats up before I dump it. Alternative would be fresh oil, but use basic oil and run it and dump it and then put in some synthetic. Any tips?
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Old 06-21-2019, 12:20 PM   #2
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As long as it has oil in it I'd try starting with that before investing the time to change it. If it runs I'd let it run for ~5 minutes and then change to fresh oil. Also maybe pull the spark plug and squirt just a bit of oil in the cylinder to make sure that gets some lubrication from the start.

Make sure the water pump has water under pressure connected to it, as from a garden hose. Every one I've ever used cautioned to never run the water pump when it is dry - the water provides cooling and lubrication to the pump.
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Old 06-21-2019, 12:27 PM   #3
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Good point on the water pump. My electric one said the same thing. I forgot about that. If this one runs, it will be for son in law.
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:31 PM   #4
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Many years ago I was a small engine mechanic, and occasionally saw cases like this. If the gas tank was drained (and the carb, if it has a float valve), then you might be OK. If not, well I've seen some horribly gummed up carbs for engines that sit for years. I wouldn't fill it with gas yet, just squirt some WD40 into the air intake (it's easier/safer than pouring gas into the air intake). Also I would check the oil first, at least make sure it has some, and it doesn't look like tar. If it starts up (it won't run for more than a few seconds without gas), then I would fuel it up and see if the carb works.
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:41 PM   #5
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If necessary, I’m capable of rebuilding the carb - if I can get a rebuild kit. Just hoping that won’t be necessary.

WD-40 will fire an engine? Do you mean starting fluid? I actually have an eye dropper that would allow me to put a few drops of gas in the air intake. I’ve also put some right in the spark plug hole to get an engine to kick.
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Old 06-21-2019, 02:08 PM   #6
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If necessary, Iím capable of rebuilding the carb - if I can get a rebuild kit. Just hoping that wonít be necessary.

WD-40 will fire an engine? Do you mean starting fluid? I actually have an eye dropper that would allow me to put a few drops of gas in the air intake. Iíve also put some right in the spark plug hole to get an engine to kick.
Yes, wd-40. It's an old trick we used to use. It's made of a very light oil that's combustible. You can also use starter fluid, but we didn't keep that around. You'll need maybe a second of spray. Trust me- I still use it occasionally to help start an engine.
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Old 06-21-2019, 02:10 PM   #7
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Yup... I do that... a dribble (perhaps a couple thimbles worth) in the spark plug hole works more often that not... I prefer starting fluid if i have some around.

I could see spraying WD-40 in the hole and then turn the crank without the spark plug in place to lubricate the cylinder and rings since it has been sitting around for a long time.
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Old 06-21-2019, 02:11 PM   #8
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Yes, wd-40. It's an old trick we used to use. It's made of a very light oil that's combustible. You can also use starter fluid, but we didn't keep that around. You'll need maybe a second of spray. Trust me- I still use it occasionally to help start an engine.
That's new to me.. I'll have to try it.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:10 PM   #9
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If it needs a carb rebuild, I find it is usually about the same price to buy a carb as it is for a rebuild kit.
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Old 06-22-2019, 01:38 AM   #10
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New oil, new sparkplug, and a shot of gas in the sparkplug hole will let you know if it will even run. Then you'll know if you should go after the carb or work on the ignition system.
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Old 06-22-2019, 07:17 AM   #11
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Newer POWERSTROKE Pressure Washer won't START after STORAGE. BRIGGS and STRATTON Ready Start 190cc

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Old 06-22-2019, 07:25 AM   #12
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If it doesn't start it most likely needs a carb kit. Very easy to install one, check YouTube and order the kit. 99.9% is all that is wrong with a small engine that has set for sometime.
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Old 06-22-2019, 07:26 AM   #13
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You should look in the gas tank with a flashlight before doing anything. If they left gas in it there will be a gooey, probably hard by now, layer on the bottom of the tank. You can scrape a screw driver along the bottom and see if anything comes up.

If there is 10-year-old gas goo on the bottom you need to take it to the shop for a complete overhaul.
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Old 06-22-2019, 07:36 AM   #14
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Maybe use non ethanol gas as the stuff you buy at the pumps is terrible for storage on these motors. Pick up a can or two at your local lowes or home depot.
I've moved away from using the pump at that gas stations as each year, after winter, I end up cleaning out the carb.
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Old 06-22-2019, 07:40 AM   #15
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Great video. Thanks. As I said, I’m capable of doing that work, but that video may have saved me some time and aggravation. I likely would have removed the entire carb. Doing the work with leaving the carb on the engine is a great idea. Thanks.
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Old 06-22-2019, 07:44 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by workmyfingerstothebone View Post
Maybe use non ethanol gas as the stuff you buy at the pumps is terrible for storage on these motors. Pick up a can or two at your local lowes or home depot.
I've moved away from using the pump at that gas stations as each year, after winter, I end up cleaning out the carb.
I use ethanol free gas. Iím sure if thereís gas in it, it wasnít ethanol free. At best, it may have been treated with Sta-bil, but after this long, not sure how much good that will do.

Donít buy that gas in a can at Home Depot. See if thereís a gas station near you that sells ethanol free gas.

https://www.pure-gas.org/
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Old 06-22-2019, 03:07 PM   #17
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Maybe use non ethanol gas as the stuff you buy at the pumps is terrible for storage on these motors. Pick up a can or two at your local lowes or home depot.
That's one option and a lot of people do that and it works. But only for one season, or if you're lucky, two. After that it too will evaporate and turn to gunk. Sadly, for us the nearest gas station that sells non-ethanol fuel is a good 45 minutes away. In the time it would take to go there and back I just drain the fuel system and have time left over.

Around here snowfall is a picky thing. Some years we get a lot and some years very little or even none at all. So with the snow blower I drain all the fuel from the tank, fuel lines, and carburetor bowl. On most there is a 10mm bolt on the bottom for a drain, it is usually placed at an angle from vertical. Once drained of all fuel it can sit for years and when needed, just pour in fuel and you're off. Assuming you did all the other storage items too.

I do that with the generator too. The last time we used it, it hadn't been run for at least ten years. When I put fresh fuel in it, it started right up and ran fine.
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Old 06-22-2019, 06:45 PM   #18
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When I didn't use ethanol free gas, I made sure to run the gas out before I stored anything like a lawnmower for winter or a snow blower for summer. That always worked out well. If it were not for the gas being nearby, I would use Sta-bil and run the gas out for storage.
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Old 06-22-2019, 06:52 PM   #19
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Well, I picked up the pressure washer today and it looks very promising. There's no gas in it so I'm assuming my father in law ran it out before he stored it. There is also a valve to shut the flow of gas off and it was in the off position, making me believe it even more likely he ran the gas out. Also looked at the oil and it was dirty, but did not look like tar, just somewhat dirty oil. I'm going to work on it tomorrow. I think I'll pull the plug, put a little oil in the cylinder and see if it will start and run. If so, I'll let it heat up just enough to let the oil run freely and then change that out with some synthetic. Also go good news from DW. She found the manual so I have part numbers and operating instructions if needed. I think SIL will be very happy with this once I get it cleaned up and running. I'm guessing FIL didn't use it more than a couple times.
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Old 06-22-2019, 07:12 PM   #20
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Can't add anything to this thread...….thought the title was a Euphemism for something else.
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