Stationary Engine List

Why Won't it Run?


| November/December 2002



Stationary Engine

It's always good to see a story come full circle, and this one began at the end of July with a stationary engine mailing list member's e-mail for help and advice. As ever, the following comments reflect a variety of opinions that surfaced during this discussion on the ATIS Stationary Engine Mailing List.

I am working on a 7 HP Economy for a friend. It wouldn't run when he brought it over. I had to replace the rings (all of them were broken) and get the mag and igniter working. Someone else had started restoring the engine but sold it before they finished.

My problem is the engine will not run unless the choke is almost fully closed. The check-valve seems to be working, but the needle valve/adjusting screw is very loose. Could it be sucking air? I added a couple of washers to tighten up the intake spring, but that did not help either. Could I be off on timing?

There were several prompt suggestions for things to check and possible fixes, the first from GEM's own Hercules/Economy expert, Glenn Karch.

To check if it is sucking in air, try letting some propane from an unlit torch around the needle valve while the engine is running. If it's sucking air, you should see some difference. Timing shouldn't make much difference with the choke.

I will try the propane trick tomorrow if I have a chance. The reason I mentioned timing is because I am not sure where to set it. The flywheel is stamped 'spark,' and I have the mag set to fire when that mark is parallel with the pushrod and the mag is on full advance. Is that correct?