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    Starter fluid

    So about a year ago I was going to mow the lawn one last time before it got to late in the year. It was being stubborn and didn't want to start up so I hit it with a couple of blasts of starter fluid, and it went off like a shotgun. The muffler literally exploded, and it was shooting fire out of the carb. I threw the tarp over it and called it quits till spring time. Spring time rolls around and other than spending way to long cranking it, it runs great. As long as I can remember the 260 has always been a little cranky with cold starts. I'm sure the carb is probably long overdue for a rebuild and adjustment, but until I can use at least all my fingers and toes to count the temp outside I'm going to have to hold off, is there better way to get it motivated without jettisoning parts of the engine?

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    MDrew's Avatar
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    Starting fluid is bad for these little engines. Carb cleaner works and it's less volital than ether. The best solution is to clean/repair the carb and do the other minor maintenance, like new plug, points, etc
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    jgayman's Avatar
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    It sounds like you may have used a bit too much starting fluid in combination with the engine being a bit flooded. I have a Honda generator that refuses to start when the temperature is below 40 degrees unless I give it a little toot of starting fluid. It only takes a quick 1/2-second spray to bring things to life. Without starting fluid it will literally sit and crank until the battery is dead. ;-(
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    I don't believe starting fluid is necessarily BAD, but when needed it works well ... but also in moderation. Toots, yes, blasts, no. Whenever I have to use starting fluid to get an engine to fire, it's as short of a spray as I can get. I press then immediately release, so 1/2 second as mentioned, is actually more than I would use. As mentioned, if an engine cannot start on its own choke circuit when cold, then look into the carb.

    I have had the same can of starting fluid in my garage for probably over 25 years, just bought my second can last year. I used a bunch one year when I needed to start the snowblower (no electric start) and had the wrong oil in it. I just couldn't get the engine spinning fast enough to fire. I made a lot of fire come out of the carb though , and it finally caught.

    So that's how often I use the stuff. But I'll always have a can int he garage for those really stubborn engines.

    Just my 2 cents.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomfive View Post
    I have had the same can of starting fluid in my garage for probably over 25 years, just bought my second can last year. I used a bunch one year when I needed to start the snowblower (no electric start) and had the wrong oil in it. I just couldn't get the engine spinning fast enough to fire. I made a lot of fire come out of the carb though , and it finally caught.

    So that's how often I use the stuff. But I'll always have a can int he garage for those really stubborn engines.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Heh heh... now that you mention it, my previous can of starting fluid was probably 20 years old. But then I got these two Honda generators... an EU3000i (Handy) pull-start and a EU6500i electric-start. Neither one of them likes to start when it is below 40 degrees. I run 5W-30 synthetic oil as I thought it would make them start easier in the winter - nope. The EU3000i is a manual choke and the EU6500i has an auto-choke. I run Sta-Bil treated non-Ethanol gas in both.

    A year ago we had a pre-dawn power failure and the temperature was 0F. The EU6500i refused to start. I cranked on and off till the battery died and then some more with a booster box. After 1/2 hour of tinkering it finally started.

    Then I bought two cans of starting fluid. I keep one next to each generator. Toot, 1 or 2 pulls and it is running. The electric start fires immediately. It could certainly be carb related but I can't see two fairly new generators having the exact same problem. Oh... I have a Honda push mower that doesn't like to start if the temp is below 50-degrees. Even when I close the choke by hand. Needless to say I didn't send Mr. Honda a Christmas card this year. When it is warm they start quickly and run like swiss watches but all three of these Honda engines hate the cold. Meanwhile - I have a POS B&S single cylinder 17.5HP Ariens that gets fed the same gas and oil and it starts the second the key is turned - even in 0F weather. Bizarre but true. :-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    Heh heh... now that you mention it, my previous can of starting fluid was probably 20 years old. But then I got these two Honda generators... an EU3000i (Handy) pull-start and a EU6500i electric-start. Neither one of them likes to start when it is below 40 degrees. I run 5W-30 synthetic oil as I thought it would make them start easier in the winter - nope. The EU3000i is a manual choke and the EU6500i has an auto-choke. I run Sta-Bil treated non-Ethanol gas in both.
    It sounds like you have been reading my mail. I have an EU7000is. It also gets Sta-Bil treated non-oxygenated (ethanol free) gas. I'm going to get a can of ether and keep by it. It also needs a new battery. Doesn't start easily by the rope. Probably due to the weakness of the rope puller. It gets stored in an insulated non-heated garage. Usually doesn't get much below 30°F. Any help in getting it started would be a big bonus. So, thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger47 View Post
    It sounds like you have been reading my mail. I have an EU7000is. It also gets Sta-Bil treated non-oxygenated (ethanol free) gas. I'm going to get a can of ether and keep by it. It also needs a new battery. Doesn't start easily by the rope. Probably due to the weakness of the rope puller. It gets stored in an insulated non-heated garage. Usually doesn't get much below 30°F. Any help in getting it started would be a big bonus. So, thanks!
    At least it apparently can be started with the rope! :-) I keep wishing I could replace mine with the EU7000. I've tried to start mine with the rope a couple times and it pulls soooo hard that it literally drags the generator across the concrete floor. As much cranking as the electric start does, using the rope would be an exercise in futility.

    I got tired of always opening the side door and needing a screwdriver to remove the airbox cover (in order to give it a toot) so I installed one of those yellow gas can vents in the airbox cover. I can easily pop the vent, give it a toot and then close it. I saw a YouTube video of a guy installing a tire valve stem for the purposing of introducing starting fluid but the little pop-vent works much better and there is no cap to lose.



    By the way, I had to replace my battery last year. If you decide to replace the battery do not buy the Honda replacement part. It is over $220. You can buy a genuine Yuasa YTZ14S battery from amazon for around $105. It is the exact same battery minus the Honda part number sticker.
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    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    Thanks again. All great info! I have a battery scoped out at a Batteries + Bulbs place for $95. I got sticker shock when looking at the OEM replacement. May go the Amazon route as have no trips to town (Great Falls) planned anytime soon. Where can one get one of those gas can vents?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    At least it apparently can be started with the rope! :-) I keep wishing I could replace mine with the EU7000. I've tried to start mine with the rope a couple times and it pulls soooo hard that it literally drags the generator across the concrete floor. As much cranking as the electric start does, using the rope would be an exercise in futility.

    I got tired of always opening the side door and needing a screwdriver to remove the airbox cover (in order to give it a toot) so I installed one of those yellow gas can vents in the airbox cover. I can easily pop the vent, give it a toot and then close it. I saw a YouTube video of a guy installing a tire valve stem for the purposing of introducing starting fluid but the little pop-vent works much better and there is no cap to lose.



    By the way, I had to replace my battery last year. If you decide to replace the battery do not buy the Honda replacement part. It is over $220. You can buy a genuine Yuasa YTZ14S battery from amazon for around $105. It is the exact same battery minus the Honda part number sticker.
    That's an intresting way of doing that. To bad those gas cans have been outlawed or I'd get one for that reason.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger47 View Post
    Thanks again. All great info! I have a battery scoped out at a Batteries + Bulbs place for $95. I got sticker shock when looking at the OEM replacement. May go the Amazon route as have no trips to town (Great Falls) planned anytime soon. Where can one get one of those gas can vents?
    IF all else fails Try tractor supply they have an easy pour replacement sprout that include the vent cost about $10 big bucks so that's why if all else fails
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