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Removing Debris

What is the best way to remove debris from my engine/equipment?

Removing Debris

Grass and other debris may hardly seem like a critical repair issue for your small engine. But once it accumulates in between engine parts, it can cause a temporary loss or power or even permanent engine damage. Debris under the blower housing
Debris under the blower housing
or in the cooling fins on the cylinder head can make an engine run too hot. Prolonged over heating may cause engine damage.

Debris can also cause governor linkage to bind or prevent air from reaching the governor blade on a pneumatic governor, resulting in difficulty controlling engine speed. Inspect the blower housing and muffler area for debris each time you use your engine. If the screen over the blower housing is clogged, it's a good indication that debris has accumulated underneath as well. Remove the blower housing for a more thorough inspection and cleaning at the end of each season of use and more often if you operate your equipment in tall or wet grass.

Inspecting For Debris

  1. Start by disconnecting the spark plug lead and securing it away from the spark plug.

  2. Snap off the plastic blower housing. If the housing is metal, you will need to remove a set of screws or bolts. On some models, removing the screws requires a star-shaped screwdriver or socket. A complete set of common sizes is available at hardware stores.

  3. Clean the cooling fins, the inside of the blower housing and the flywheel fins, using a small bristle brush (image A)
    Image A
    . Scrape dirt away gently, using a putty knife or bristle brush, taking care not to damage the housing or flywheel (image B)
    Image B
    . To loosen stubborn grit, apply a light solvent to the brush.

  4. Dirt and debris on the flywheel cutting screen can lessen the engine's ability to cool itself. Clean the screen thoroughly with a brush (image C)
    Image C

  5. Remove all debris by hand or with the knife and brush. Avoid using compressed air, which can force debris into less accessible engine parts.

  6. Remove any debris from governor linkages, including the pneumatic governor vane, if so equipped (image A)
    Image A
    . Then, make certain linkages are moving freely, using a light solvent to loosen remaining dirt and debris.

  7. Check for debris around the brake assembly (image B)
    Image B
    . Make sure the brake cable and linkage move freely.

  8. Reattach the blower housing (image C)
    Image C

  9. Reconnect spark plug.

Checking The Stop Switch

If your lawn mower stops unexpectedly while you're mowing around trees or bushes, you may have accidentally disconnected the stop switch wire, a short wire extending from the brake assembly to the ignition armature (image D)
Image D

A disconnected stop switch wire may ground the ignition, preventing the spark plug from firing. Under ordinary conditions, the stop switch is designed to stop the engine any time you release the brake bail on the equipment handle.

You should be able to get the engine running again by pressing on the flexible metal tab on the stop switch and reattaching the wire. Take care not to break the wire as you twist it back into position.

Degreasing Your Engine

With your equipment in a well-ventilated area and the engine off, spray a degreasing agent, such as Briggs & Stratton Heavy-Duty Degreaser (part number 100044), liberally on greasy and dirt-encrusted surfaces (image E)
Image E
. Wait 15 minutes to allow grease and dirt to break down. Wipe away the residue with a clean cloth (image F)
Image F
. Hose the equipment surfaces (image G)
Image G
, and allow them to dry completely before storing.

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