honda ohc gcv 160 choke lever

mvronFebruary 19, 2013

I have acquired this unit. It has very little usage. I think the previous owner left the fuel shutoff lever open with old gas over the winter. It didn't run at all. I replaced the carb. Now, it runs well after I get it started - about 9 or 10 pulls. i'm wondering about the choke lever on this unit. It seems that when I move the choke lever to full closed, it starts moving to fully open before I try to start the unit. It seems to me that maybe the choke is not working - therefore the 9 or 10 pullss to start it. Any ideas on what to look for in the choke lever would be appreciated. Thanks to all

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bill_kapaun

I believe I've heard about an 'auto choke" on the newer Honda models.
I'd suggest you download the OM from the Honda website and see what it says.
Maybe search these forums for that term also?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 10:29AM
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mvron

After doing a little research, it appears that the autochoke Honda is an long term nasty problem, I'm sorry I'm involved in the problem. Many said that the mower is almost imposible to start when cold - amen to that. I have a new carb on mine. It's awful to start..

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 10:42PM
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tomplum

Actually this version of the auto choke works pretty well. The choke should stay closed until the safety bail is squeezed. If it doesn't, there is an issue with the safety linkage. I have found the initial start when the ambient temps are in the 40's and below may take an additional flick of the choke whilst it runs up initially. If it doesn't, bets are the fuel isn't fresh enough or the emulsion tube in the stem of the carb needs cleaning. Sometimes, a blast or two of carb spray up the tube is all it needs. They aren't perfect...

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 10:51PM
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mvron

The carb is new and the fuel is fresh. That leaves the safety linkage as a possible problem. Do you have info on how to service the linkage or a possible link to the safety linkage repairs? It is cold out - maybe this is also an issue. Getting the mower to fire at all would be a plus. Thanks tomplum

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 9:53AM
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bill_kapaun

IF you are using an oil that's heavier than 10W-30, that can be an issue. I used to use 20W-50 in my Honda 20 odd years ago and it really impaired starting in the early Spring when temps were low.
I went to 10W-30 year round and don't have those issues anymore.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 10:18AM
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mvron

Nope, always 10w-30.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:52PM
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tomplum

i think if you pop the tank, you will see the link that releases when the zone cable is pulled. I've rarely had to do anything with them.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 11:29PM
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baymee(LehighValleyPA)

Have you looked at the choke plate to see if it's fully closed in the choked position?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 5:47AM
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mvron

I took the air cleaner off. Without trying to start the mower I moved the choke lever to the fully choked position. I looked at the choke plate on the carb - it didn't move - still fully open. I assume that the choke plate should have moved when I moved the choke lever to the fully choked position?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 12:45PM
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mvron

I assume that I will have to remove the tank. I have to remove the recoil starter first - then the tank? How does the tank come off? What should I be looking for when the tank comes off related to the auto choke lever? What is the zone cable. Thanks again..

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 2:29PM
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baymee(LehighValleyPA)

You should be able to do everything with the air cleaner removed, or less. Have somebody slowly move the throttle cable to the choke position. As the cable is moving, watch the linkages and see where it's binding. It should be easy to pick out. Let the tank in place.

This post was edited by baymee on Mon, Feb 25, 13 at 16:06

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 4:05PM
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mvron

There is no throttle cable on this unit. It's a one speed with the auto choke lever that moves back and forth from full choke to full run.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 6:14PM
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tomplum

Yep, just remove the 3 10mm bolts with a bit of a snap to break them loose. Then, the tank will lift off. Watch that the metal spacers that go through the tank holes don't fall away on you. The choke should obviously close w/ the lever. I think that you will find the lever may be on the wrong side to activate the choke. You may get by removing the air box. If you remove the carb for some reason, be mindful the orientation of the gaskets. BTW, the zone cable is controlled by the safety bail that you squeeze at the handle top.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 11:52PM
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mvron

Thanks again tomplum. I assume that when the 3 bolts come off that the recoil starter and the tank all come off together? I'll see what I find.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 3:03PM
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mvron

Tomplum is a genius. You are absolutely right. cc: The choke should obviously close w/ the lever. I think that you will find the lever may be on the wrong side to activate the choke. Indeed, The lever was on the wrong side to activate the choke. Now I have to put all that stuff back together again - I hate that with Honda carbs. Many thanks again Tomplum.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 1:23PM
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tomplum

Thanks for the kudos mvron. Glad that it worked out. I also wanted to point out that Honda had an auto choke system on GC engines that were not the same as the auto returns like the above model has. FORTUNATELY, I don't get to see those much. Worked well when they worked? I've only seen them on odd MTD built walk behinds myself.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 1:48AM
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LawnGuy71

Honda's automatic choke is a little primitive but I was able to adjust mine to work as designed again. Before the repairs, when I closed the choke by the lever, it would start to open as soon as I pulled on the throttle lever to enable the mower to run, even before I could pull the starting rope. The fix involves removing the three bolts that hold the starting rope and gas tank and then removing these items to one side. the automatic choke is right above the carburetor. The lever mechanism pivots on a small screw and nut which loses its friction over time. It can be re-tightened with an 8mm box wrench to get more friction back. It is designed to stay closed for several seconds after starting but then should fully open after a few seconds,10 or 15 seconds at the most. I said the choke is primitive, since the adjustment is by trial and error. If this seems like too much trouble, one could remove the rod from the throttle to the choke and this would make the choke a manual choke. One would still have to use the 8mm wrench to be sure there is enough friction to hold the choke closed when starting. To remove the rod, simply remove the 2-10mm bolts that hold the choke mechanism to the engine, and turn the choke about 90 degrees. The rod will come right out. Remove the other end of the rod and replace the choke, making sure to get the lever on the correct side of the carburetor mechanism, and you now have a manual choke.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 5:44PM
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