Echo PB-202 backpack blower still running strong after 25 years

lawnman0515June 6, 2007

I don't know what the general consensus of this forum is on Echo but my PB-202 will start on the first or second pull every time. It was purchased in 1982. Most 25 year old 2-stroke engines are serving their second life as raw materials used for other manufacturing purposes but this thing just keeps running. Anyone else care to share their Echo experience?

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bill_kapaun

Does Echo make lawnmowers?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 4:07PM
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mattv21(z9 Houston)

Echo did make a mower. I don't know if they still do. I don't think it's well regarded. But as for other Echo products, I've had nothing but good experiences with two blowers, two hedgetrimmers, and two string trimmers. They run well, last a really long time, generally have good ergonomics, and are very serviceable. Professional lawn crews seem to love them, which must count for something.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 4:22PM
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echoman

ECHO ECHO ECHO! Yep. Fine products! Heck, I've had much lesser quality tools pushing the 20 plus year mark with no major issues. It's no real surprise for me to hear a high quality blower is still running well @ 25 years and counting. If you want to keep it around and running, as it seems you would, you may want to look into buying the a few parts that you'd definitely need that are getting hard to find and obsolete, ie an ignition coil. Carb kits, filters, plugs etc will be available for some time but I'd look into a coil for sure. About this age, it just may up and quit on you, or not start up for the early springtime cleanup. Let me know if you have problems locating one. I have a contact that may help you. Congrats on the silver anniversary!!!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 5:42PM
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lawnman0515

Thanks for the helping hand echoman. The only work that I have done on it is convert the points and condenser to an electronic ignition and bypass a not so well thought out fuel shut off valve. The manual says to use a 20:1 ratio and it does look like a mosquito fogger at times when it runs but I am very reluctant to lean it out to 32:1

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 9:15PM
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echoman

Echo recommends all their equipment to run on a 50:1 ratio provided the oil is rated ISO-L-EGD and FASO FC which their and many top quality oils are today that are semi or fully synthetic. I like others here, believe that 50:1 is moreover to make the EPA happy but not so much the engine. I personally mix @ 40:1 using their oil and another high quality brand and when I contacted Echo about it, they said that ratio was okay to use and they never said it would affect the warranty on the emission system. Echo oil is available at Home Depot and all dealers or course. I bought a N.O.S SRM-300E trimmer last year which was never run. I had originally mixed up my first gallon using Echo oil @ factory recs of 50:1. After a 10 minute break in and final carb tuning, I was amazed this spring when I pulled the plug to find a nice clear coat of oil on the piston crown and cylinder wall. This oil seems to run and lubricate well at 50:1, but I'm sticking with 40:1 in all my new blowers, trimmers, saws, and Lawn Boys. Echo also states that ALL OF THEIR ENGINES MAY BE RUN SAFELY USING THEIR OIL at these mix ratios(40 or 50:1). Echo Power Blend Oil is made by Citgo who is owned by the Venezuelans. I may stop using this brand after my stock dries up simply due to the fact to what that government is doing with the oil production and sales to the USA and other countries, but I do recommend it because of the clean running quality of it. Let us know if you make the change or brand oil.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 9:01AM
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lawnman0515

Interesting to know echoman. So Echo said 50:1, huh? I have some 32:1 mixed up for my Lawn Boy so I may try that in the PB-202. It's actually Stihl oil that I purchased last year. What did you mean when you said "I personally mix @ 40:1 using their oil and another high quality brand". What is the other high quality brand that you use?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 11:49AM
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echoman

Yes. Echo claims using their oil at a 50:1 in any engines made by Echo or the earlier ones made by Kioritz from Japan like yours is. I started using Torco brand oils over 8 years ago in every 2 cycle engine I owned including modded snowmobile engines with great results. Burns super clean and actually removes older built up carbon deposits from other oils used. You have to buy or order from dealers. Some motor cycle/water craft shops deal in it also. I have a local and biggest dealer in the Chicagoland area whom I'm good friends with supply my needs. There have been testimonies of guided fishing charter captains in Alaska switching to Torco in their outboards claiming substantial fuel savings and less overhauls, etc. Again, ANY oil that meets ISO-L-EGD and FASO FC specs can be mixed safely in any engine @ 40:1 regardless of ratio required when the engine was first made. It's all due to the high quality of today's oil from the past 20 years ago. Some will argue to the ends of the earth that you shouldn't but heavier oils mixed with today's quality will mostly result in excessive oily residue blowing or dripping from the exhaust-not better lubrication. If your interested in Torco, I'd recommend either the semi synthetic T2R or their fully synthetic GP-7 which is kinda overkill, but the best they make for all out high performance, racing 2 stroke engines.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 1:07PM
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lawnman0515

I may just have to make the switch to synthetic.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 4:12PM
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echoman

Your engine will thank you! Give it a try, you won't be disappointed. What brand you thinking about using? I'm almost positive that Stihl oil should be at the least a semi-synthetic. If you cut back to a 40:1 using it, I'm sure you'll find a lot less smoking and quicker rpm. You may have to tweak the HIGH speed screw a bit clockwise to lean it some, but more than likely just a leaner fuel mix will clear up the exhaust considerably.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 4:34PM
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lawnboystu

I hear good things about Echo.I have a Tanaka weed whacker that also recommends a 50-1 ratio.This is a ratio for air-cooled motors that run at high rpm, much higher than a lawn mower,9000 plus rpm's.This is to help cool the motor. Remember that gasoline in itself is cold to the touch and if you dilute it with too much oil your motor will run hotter.Seems to me the semi-synthetic oil works best all around. I don't quite trust 100% synthetic oil just so I use the semi/synthetic, still want a little petroleum based oil involved.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 6:29PM
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echoman

Gasoline either warm or cold, due to ambient temperature, will have NO affect on cooling a 2 stroke engine. It's all about the lubrication and mix ratios. A semi-synthetic based oil, contains partial amounts of natural petroleum base stock oils, and with most small equipment uses, either home or commercial, will provide very adequate engine protection and long life. Where the fully synthetic outshine all others, is due to NO petro base stocks, you get no carbon atomization therefor very little or no smoke, carbon deposits, plug fouling or power valve deposits, etc. It has ultimate film strength which is the left over residual oil left on bearing and cylinder wall surfaces. This is why all or most high performance 2 stroke racing engines benefit the most by it's use. High rpm, high heat and combustion temps generated from blended racing fuels need this type of oil to maximize engine life and power output. Most racing 2 strokes of any nature are tuned to the fine line of "lean and mean" and are rebuilt (top end) every other few heats if they last that long. Running a semi or fully synthetic oil of today's quality should almost gaurantee a 7-10 year commercial use or 15-25 year home use in any small 2 stroke without any major engine repairs with proper maintenance and engine tuning. Even longer life should be expected than that. It all boils down to personal preference, engine use and conditions along with how much $ your willing to spend to use the best and expect the most.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 7:19PM
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lawnman0515

I've got some Polaris full synthetic 2 stroke oil that I may try before I move on to anything else.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 8:17PM
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lawnboystu

I was real close to using my Ski-Doo oil,heck, if oil that we use in practically $2,000.00 motors isn't good enough for a high reving weed whacker what is? Well the technician at Tanaka says that because of the motor being air-cooled it needs a high quality oil. He said not to use boat oil,Lawn Boy oil,etc. in my weed whacker because their either water cooled motors or don't rev that high.My whacker revs to over nine thousand rpms.Well sleds are in that neighborhood too but I didn't bring up sled oil. He said if there was no Tanaka oil around use Stihl, claims it's really good oil also.I'm sure you won't have a problem using Polaris oil.I'm running Klotz racing oil in my Lawn Boy because I like the way it smells but decided to use Stihl in my Tanaka to keep them happy.I also believe in the theory of breaking in a new motor hard no matter what kind, either two or four stoke to properly seat the rings and to use 100% petroleum based oil when doing so and later switch to synthetic if you do so desire.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 11:49AM
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nevada_walrus(Boulder City)

Any engine recieves considerable cooling from the fuel entering. The engine heat does the final vaporization of the fuel which allows it to burn. Only the vapors burn. The vaporization is where the cooling effect comes from.

Regarding oils, major engine companies like Echo, Stihl, Husky etc have advised using their modern oils at 50/1 in all previous engines. This was tru prior to emission grade oils like ISO-L-EGD and FASO or synthetics. The modern oils the major 2 stroke companies have formulated are simply much better then oils were 20 years ago.

The down side is if you screw up and get it lean you have less cushion. My preference is to use any of the modern 50/1 oils at around 40/1. This may not be good advice for the latest 2 strokes using CATS but for others it gives you a hedge.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 9:50PM
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arthag

Lawnman0515-My PB-202 lasted for years until just last year, when it began to falter. I am not the original owner and hope that, because you are, you have a parts list you might share with us. I want to get a carburetor repair kit. Thanks

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 10:19AM
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arthag

Lawnman 0515-Please disregard my request for a parts list for the PB 202. I found it on the Echo web site. Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 2:37PM
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stevnan_cox_net

You guys sure know what you're talking about with these 2 cycle machines. So, I have a question. I have a new Echo PB-200 blower - it's 50:1 as you know. I also have 2 gallons of (I suspect) a 32:1 mix for the old dead trimmer. Can I add gas to this mix to safely bring it up to 50:1 or something close enough to not harm the new engine? I'm seeing 40:1 is what you're using on our new gear. I'm thinking I can but don't want to wreck my Echo finding out.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 7:32PM
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echoman

You can do this but it will take some careful measuring. Might be easier to dump that mix in an older vehicle and start fresh at a 40:1- I'd recommend over the 50:1. This is what I do for my new Echo tools. Are you using Echo Power Blend Oil? I'd stick with it or another high quality oil that's semi or fully synthetic that meets ISO-L-EGD and JASO-FC specs. I did speak to an Echo rep about using 40:1 with this type of oil and they said it would be okay even though they recommend the 50:1. This is mainly due to emission reasons not enhancing engine longevity.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 6:13AM
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buford2b

Well echoman., Chavez of Venezuela provides free oil with the help of the Kennedy's in Massachusetts for poor people so they can make it through the winter without freezing to death, and former energy secretary Bill Richardson locked in 1.25 a gallon for ever with Chavez but Uncle Dick, W our chimpanzee president, and all of the other tight ass republicans rejected it. So throw out that Venezuelan oil and enjoy your next trip to the pumps for all your lawnmower gas.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 12:11AM
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echoman

It is what it is buford!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 7:07AM
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buford2b

git r dun

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 9:26PM
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bsmith717(6)

I just wanted to post my experence with an old Echo.

About 6 months ago I was given (for free!!!) an Echo PB-300E by a buddy I work with. He said it had been sitting in a barn of theirs untouched for years. His dad left it there when it became difficult to start. Well I got it and performed a general clean up of the exterior to get the grime/debris/dirt and crudd off it. Then I looked at the fuel. It looked like burnt coffee! So I dumped it then filled it about 1/4 the way full with fresh fuel and shook the crap out of it 3-4 times till the gas was clean (looked like it did from my fuel can) when I poured it out. I then removed the plug that was in it and gave it a thorough scrubbing till it looked almost brand new. I then filled it with fresh fuel and added the recommended amounts of Seafoam and also Licas upper cylinder lubricant. Reinstalled the plug, pulled out the chocke, turned the throttle to full blast and pulled the cord. It started right up! After it warned up (maybe 2 minutes) it blew some nasty nasty smoke for about another 5-7 minutes. Then I let it rip till that half a tank of fuel + additives was no more. I have been using it this entire season roughly 2 times a week and it starts first pull every time!!!

It smokes for a min or two after its started at full throttle and for a min or so if at full throttle after left ideling for roughly 3-5 minutes too.

The only thing I have a problem with is restarting when it's warm. Maybe I just haven't found the right combo of throttle/choke but I have tried many times and it just seems like its flooded.

Any comments/ideas on that?

I still have try to remove/clean the carb and I'm sure that would remedy the hot start, rather hot no start issue.

I am just completely blown away with how great this old blower is and wish I could actually find some specs on it.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 5:11AM
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1saxman

Is it a 2-cycle engine?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 11:17AM
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bsmith717(6)

If your question was to me then yes, it sure is a 2 stroke.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 10:17PM
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1saxman

Yes, I needed to know for sure before addressing the smoking and hard-starting. First, smoking to some extent is normal. The oil in the fuel does burn, and it does smoke. But yours may be running a little rich. If it has two needle valves for the mixture, get it running and fully warmed up, running at full throttle, then turn one of them at a time out, counting the half-turns, until you're sure you're on the hi-speed needle because the engine is starting to flood. Turn it in until you get max RPM, then back it out 1/4 turn. Now let it idle to see if you need to adjust it too. Check for instant pick-up when you goose the throttle and smooth idle (relatively, it's 2-cycle:)) after letting go of the throttle.
This is something you may have to tweak during use one or two times to get right.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 11:33AM
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bsmith717(6)

Sounds good, thanks.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 1:34PM
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