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I want to whack the weed whacker!

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  • I want to whack the weed whacker!

    Stupid piece of junk!!

    I have two weed whackers, one just back from the shop with a complete overhaul. I started it, it ran for like 3 minutes and died. So, I called the repairman and took it back in. He ran it at the shop, no problem. Said I needed to check my oil to gas ratio. So I excruciatingly measured the oil to gas when I got it home. It ran for 3 minutes and died! I am about to lose my mind and start chewing down the weeds!

    By the way, this could be total pilot error as I am new to running a weed whacker, but when the guy at the shop did it, he did the exact same thing that I am doing.

    Advice deeply appreciated.

  • #2
    Are you setting the choke appropriately? You need to turn it one way to start, and then after it gets warmed up, turn it the other way. (ETA: Sometimes it's a push-pull thing.)

    In general, they are recalcitrant beasts. The only one I can deal with is the Stihl powerhead to which I can attach the weed whacker, brush cutter or mini-chainsaw.
    Last edited by wsmoak; Sep. 13, 2013, 10:19 PM.
    --
    Wendy
    ... and Patrick

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    • #3
      Originally posted by wsmoak View Post
      ...
      In general, they are recalcitrant beasts...
      X2

      I have completely given up on gasoline powered 2 cycle weed trimmers after getting 1 season or less from each one over the past 10 years. I went to electric. I have a 1,000 watt 12vdc/120vac power inverter in the truck and a 50' extension cord to do my fence line now. ~FH
      "Anything done in anger is abuse. Proper correction and reprimand are done in silence with thoughtful intent. Your horse knows the difference." ~FH

      Comment


      • #4
        Gawwwwd, I hate HATE two-cycle engines. I have to maintain our outboard at work (got one switched to four-stroke, yeah!) and weed whackers are my nemesis. Or is it chainsaws?

        FH, I love my electric string trimmer too, but mine is battery powered and sadly, they are only enough to do my little house. When I have ten acres of pasture...am I doomed?
        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

        Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
        We Are Flying Solo

        Comment


        • #5
          I hate weedeaters with a passion. I'm buying an old fashioned scythe and using that instead.

          Yes wildlifer...I have one of those electric ones and they are useless for farm weeds. I tried...

          Comment


          • #6
            I also abhor weedwhackers. I'll happily mow the lawn, run the hedge trimmer, etc., but the weedwhacking is all DH's responsibility.

            Anyway, two things to consider-- apparently 2-cycle engines are particularly susceptible to problems from ethanol gas, so try to find non-ethanol gas if possible. Also, be sure you use StabilGas in your gas can EVERY time you fill it up at the gas station-- stale gas supposedly also makes the little engines extra-sucky.
            *friend of bar.ka

            "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

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            • #7
              When they do work, they shoot weed shrapnel at me, got some great bruises.

              I was weed eating today and while the trimmer started with every pull, I was having endless trimmer line troubles. Too little string, and I was replacing it every three feet. Too much string and it gets all bound in itself and more or less melts together in the head.
              Equine Web Design http://www.tbconnect.net | Kingsgate Stud home of Legal Jousting (IRE)

              Comment


              • #8
                I've been considering buying an old/used pair of full chaps for weedwacking. Jeans just don't cut it when it kicks up rocks and flings them at my shins. I get sick of weedwacking while hopping around like and swearing. I must look like the Lord Of The Dance guy with Tourettes.

                However I don't have weedwacker or 2-cycle engine problems. IMO 2 cycle engines are fairly straightforward. Try checking youtube for 2 cycle engine videos, they have tutorials on starting them and troubleshooting them. You can even look up your exact model of wacker. The weedwacker I have now is a commercial grade one, it has blades I can use instead of a string/whip and even a saw attachment. But my beef with power tools like this is that they don't make commercial grade ones (and usually not even residential grade ones) for people that aren't 6' tall with big hands. I did have to take the weedwacker back to the small engine shop and have to modified for someone 5'2" with teeny little hands.

                Now if they only made a drill-driver with a smaller grip but still at least 18V. There has to be enough females out there who use power tools to justify having ones made for smaller hands...even if only by special order or something.
                You jump in the saddle,
                Hold onto the bridle!
                Jump in the line!
                ...Belefonte

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  I'm glad that I'm not alone here. I've been whacking the weeds in three minute increments all day and teaching lessons/riding horses while the silly thing takes it's "moment" and decides to run again. Lol! I'll check out youtube and really examine the ethanol v non-ethanol fuel question. Thanks.

                  In the end, I think I'm going to go buy an electric one and throw rocks at the two cycle jobbies.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oh this was me yesterday.

                    DH bitched about how I never help with the yard work (sorry, too busy working 7 days a week and running errands for you dear).... So I decided to weed eat yesterday. And remembered the reason I hate doing yard work is all his equipment is, shall we say, temperamental. The one weed eater I bought for the barn he got pissed at (didnt follow the startup instructions which are a little different than his Kawasaki) and bent the shaft when he threw it across the yard (two guesses why his equipment is temperamental....!) so I was having to use his Kawasaki that tangles or melts line, cuts off at random intervals, and quits if you don't keep your finger on the throttle the entire time.... You basically have to be a small engine mechanic to run the mower, weed eater, blower etc.....

                    Jennifer
                    Third Charm Event Team

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Weedwhackers are some of the smallest/simplest 2-stroke engines that any of us regularly encounter. As a result, starting and keeping them running requires a lot more attention to detail than any other powered tool. 1) Avoid ethanol in the fuel at all costs 2) Learn the starting procedure and follow it exactly. 3) change the plug once in a while 4) Winterize it properly.

                      That said, a properly run weedwhacker can still be irritating. Especially if you aren't wearing long pants on a 95 degree day and you uncover some sprigs of poison ivy.

                      David

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                      • #12
                        They are the Implements of Satan

                        In almost 10yrs I have gone through 2 gas-powered and 3 battery-run.

                        The battery-powered ones do not give enough running time for most farms - even if you have a 2nd battery that gives you a whopping 2h at best.

                        The gas-powered ones are heavy and I suspect there's a consortium of surgeons that pay the companies to set the vibrations at a level that guarantees carpal tunnel for the user.

                        Corded electric is a joke for my 5ac and that little acreage does not justify FloridaHorseman's innovative solution for cord length.

                        My gripe is they do not make a set of blades like MistyBlue describes for the battery models.
                        And dealing with that *$#! spool of string makes me say many bad words.
                        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We have two right now. The oldest is a 1999 model FS85. They've run for many hours every year with only normal maintenance.

                          I did have trouble one year when the place I had been buying ethanol free gas from started selling e15 (or10 don't remember exactly) without any kind of notice. The small equipment sat over the winter like it normally did, but the next Spring I had to replace three carburetors on some of the small equipment.
                          That was the only trouble we've ever had with any of it starting.

                          After that, I started removing the ethanol from the gas myself, but the past couple of years more and more places around here are selling ethanol free gas again.

                          We've had zero trouble using ethanlol free gas.

                          I can't count the number of times over the years that my wife has called from a friends house on the lake when a boat wouldn't start for her. Not once did I go to see what the trouble was, and the boat not start right up for me.
                          www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My gripe is they do not make a set of blades like MistyBlue describes for the battery models.
                            And dealing with that *$#! spool of string makes me say many bad words.
                            That might be a power thing, I don't think the battery powered ones have enough power for blades and larger stalk-cutting. Not sure though. Mine has one blade attachment that has a wheel with 3 plastic blades on it, which is what I keep on mine 90% of the time. My property is very wooded so I come across thick stalked weeds as often as I do regular weeds and the plastic line only annoys those, LOL! And I also hate reloaded/winding new line on the spool of this weedwacker. But...my last weedwacker was really easy to put new line in. It had a closed head and all you had to do was push a trigger to release the old bit of line and pull it out and then stick one end of the new line in a little hole and then turn the whole closed head counter-clockwise. It wound it's own new line, I thought that was brilliant! I gave that one to my niece because it only used line and I needed something with blades.

                            Mine does have a metal blade attachment too, it looks like a circular saw. That's for small saplings or overhead branches. I have to prune branches over the driveway often so thought that would be really handy, but even though mine has a big honkin' engine on it, it really doesn't have enough power to get through branches bigger around than my thumb. Plus Me + Cutting Things Overhead = likely ER visit.

                            Of course now I want one of those little chainsaw-on-a-stick things. (pretty sure that's the professional term for it) And a helmet.

                            The battery powered wackers...how big is the battery and how long does the battery last? One of my nieces needs a new weedwacker for around her fencelines.
                            You jump in the saddle,
                            Hold onto the bridle!
                            Jump in the line!
                            ...Belefonte

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tom King View Post
                              After that, I started removing the ethanol from the gas myself, ...
                              My SO wants to know, how? We can't find ethanol free here and I'm pretty sure it is to blame for recent issues with such equipment.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I bought one of the 6 gallon jugs for making wine in. Put three gallons of high test gas in it. Even though ethanol has fewer btu's in it-that's why you have to burn more of it-it is a cheap raiser of octane, thus the reason to start with high test since by removing the ethanol you will be lowering the octane.

                                Spray a couple of gallons of water down into the gas while swirling the mixture around inside the jug. Let it sit for a few days or a week, and siphon the top two gallons off. The water will sink to the bottom, and ethanol loves water so it will go down to the bottom with the water. You will easily be able to see the dividing line between the gas and the water, but don't try to siphon too close to the dividing line. Take a sample and drop a drop of ethanol testing fluid in it (probably just food coloring, but I had already bought a kit). It it sinks to the bottom as an intact drop, the ethanol has been removed. If it disperses in the gas, it still has some ethanol in it. None that I let sit, after doing this, for a week ever had any ethanol in it.
                                www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Tom King View Post
                                  I can't count the number of times over the years that my wife has called from a friends house on the lake when a boat wouldn't start for her. Not once did I go to see what the trouble was, and the boat not start right up for me.
                                  Well I'm convinced that two stroke engines that require a pull start are chauvinist.

                                  The push lawn mower does this to me all the time - I follow the starting instructions, prime the thing, put the choke in the correct setting, and yank in the bloody cord a million times and the #=)#&=**¡ thing will *not* start for me, call a guy friend over and it starts one-pull. What's that all about?

                                  I'm on trimmer number two this year. The Stihl trimmer I started with had the drive-spring that connects the motor to the revolving head break. It's great fun when you are happily weed eating and the trimmer self destruct, sending the head flying!

                                  I have heard that soaking your trimmer line overnight in water helps keep it from being so brittle that it breaks.
                                  Equine Web Design http://www.tbconnect.net | Kingsgate Stud home of Legal Jousting (IRE)

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by K~2 View Post
                                    Well I'm convinced that two stroke engines that require a pull start are chauvinist.
                                    Pull starts are a bit of a skill. The thing I mostly see people do wrong is pulling hard right from the start. You want to pull it out 6 or 12 inches till you feel compression, then give it a proper pull. If you pull hard from the start you've wasted a strong part of your stroke on a part that does not matter and unless you have 5' monkey arms you'll be weak on the far end of the pull where starting is supposed to happen.

                                    The main thing on weed whackers though is buy a bigger one. .080" cord breaks, welds, and only kind of works for doing the edges of a townhouse yard. You want at least .105" cord to do any sort of weeds. Put the heaviest cord yours will take in it, and if that's not at least .105 get a bigger one.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by K~2 View Post
                                      Well I'm convinced that two stroke engines that require a pull start are chauvinist.

                                      The push lawn mower does this to me all the time - I follow the starting instructions, prime the thing, put the choke in the correct setting, and yank in the bloody cord a million times and the #=)#&=**¡ thing will *not* start for me, call a guy friend over and it starts one-pull. What's that all about?

                                      I'm on trimmer number two this year. The Stihl trimmer I started with had the drive-spring that connects the motor to the revolving head break. It's great fun when you are happily weed eating and the trimmer self destruct, sending the head flying!

                                      I have heard that soaking your trimmer line overnight in water helps keep it from being so brittle that it breaks.
                                      The boats in question have always been started with a key in the ignition. Some 2 stroke, some not.

                                      When the guys are running string trimmers here, the string typically lasts all day. It's designed to break IF it hits something. It's not designed to slam it up against any and everything and expect it not to break. Notice the circle that it's cutting, and sweep the perimeter of that circle along the line you want to cut. In other words, don't just push the cutting string up against something simply because you can, and it will last much longer.
                                      www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I have a high wheel trimmer (going on 7 years now) and a battery operated hand trimmer. I don't have problems with either. The high wheel trimmer is absolutely awesome!

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