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Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Posted by kjhoffman (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 17, 07 at 17:40

I have a honda gcv 160 engine. It was running fine and just stopped while in use. I had put gas in a few minutes earlier, and thought bad gas may be the problem, but after draining and refilling, I cant get it to start. Checked engine oil, it may have been a bit low, so I topped it off. Tilted engine as I heard it may have a low oil pressure sensor that would reset after oil added (tilting may eliminate air).

I took plug out, cleaned it, replaced it still wont start. The engine has only been used about 3 hours. When I pull starter cord it pulls easily, and on first pull I hear a slight "backfire" (very slight).

Aside from taking to engine repair shop, any suggestions ?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Did you drain the entire fuel line and carb bowl?

Is the starter cord pulling too easily?


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

  • Posted by canguy British Columbia (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 17, 07 at 23:50

The GCV160 does not have a low oil sensor. Did you hit anything solid like a root or sprinkler head with the blade? If so, you may have sheared the flywheel key.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

I believe I drained the carb, by removing small bolt from carb. The cord pulls same as it always has, and the engine sounds like it wants to start after first pull, then it just pulls with no indication of starting.

Didnt think there was a sensor as it is not indicated anywhere in the manual (but I was trying anything) ... didnt hit anything.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

"on first pull I hear a slight "backfire" (very slight)"
I think that's pretty much normal. Kind of a "gasp".

Remove the air cleaner and prime the carb with a teaspoon or 2 worth of gas and see what happens. Repeat up to 4 times if necessary.

PS- You didn't turn a fuel shut off valve did you?


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

thanks, I'll try it .. and no, I didnt turn fuel shut off valve ...


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

I had the same problem with mine. I changed the spark plug (even though it did not look bad), and made sure it was gapped correctly. i also took the fuel bowl off and cleaned it out. I also spreyed chole cleaner all areound the float to make sure it was not stuck. It fired off after the first pull.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Had the same problem this morning, cleaned plug and check for gas in carb, still didn't start. Installed new plug and started with first pull.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Finally got back to this. I had a friend who is into small engine repair take a look. He disassembled and told me the cam had shifted and was no longer properly aligned.. he realigned, reassembled, and it started right up ...

thanks to all for their help ...


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Hello all.

Hi kjhoffman. Thanks for the good news update on the Honda GCV 160.

Glad to hear that there was no major internal engine damage.

Put a load on it and see how it runs!

Good day.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

I am having the same problem that it starts up but doesnt stay running and I have new fuel in the engine. I have tried for over three hours does anyone have an answer or suggestion to try out?


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

'He disassembled and told me the cam had shifted and was no longer properly aligned.. he realigned, reassembled, and it started right up'

One of the major benefits of the Honda OHC engine - you pop the cam cover and there it is. I can't imagine how it became 'misaligned'. This is a new one on me.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

I have the same problem with a Honda GCV 160. It won't start. Just makes a kind of popping noise. I drained the carb, put on new fuel and new spark plug.
I also used starting fluid, nothing, I was tempted to look at the cam as described above but wasn't sure how to adjust it. Is that much of a problem ?? I didn't want to take the cover off if it opened up a can of worms.
Glad I found your site. Thank, Jim Anderson


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

A popping noise may be an indicator that a valve has deposits on the stem and is sticking. It isn't always necessary to disassemble them. Spray a few shots of carb spray in through the carb periodically turning the engine over to work in.
It is apparently not a good idea to do this with the spark plug out and hanging from the wire as a fireball consumed one members mower! Ouch...


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Me again. I did as you suggested with the carb spray. Did it several times.
Pulled the carb off and it looked OK. Float worked OK and no obstructions.
It has spark but still nothing. Gas is turned on. No popping sound now, only when I use the carb spary.
If the cam is misaligned is it a problem to fix. Or do you have any other suggestions.
Thanks for your help...Jim


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

A bit of history could be useful. If all was ok when it was put away last fall- then it is doubtful you have a timing belt issue. That is an odd occurrence anyways. It it won't fire up, it is likely a sticking valve- that is unless the mower blade had struck something hard enough to shear the flywheel key. Did the valve cover get dented? That is enough to keep the valves from closing also. Sometimes to free up the valve, it is necessary to remove the cover. Just be as careful as you can as you pry it off and they typically can be resealed. You could also verify that you have valve clearance. .004" works well enough.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

You really bailed me out. I didn't know a genius worked on Saturday. It was a stuck valve and it runs like a swiss watch. I learned a lot from this problem.
I can't thank you enough, Jim


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Does anyone have some specs on how to realign the cam? Can you describe more on what you actually did? Previous descriptions of the backfiring is exactly what is going on with my 5.5 hp GCV-160-A1AE. Unfortunately I already spent some money on a new carburetor to no avail, I guess I have a spare now.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

I am basically having the same problems. My wife was using the brand new mower last summer with the GCV160A engine. She had been mowing for about an hour, maybe 1 1/2 hours. She took a break, went in the house to cool off and drink some tea. When she came out, the mower wouldn't start. I also tried to start it when I got home from work. Thinking it was some bad gas, I drain the tank, took the carburator off and clean it, even though I couldn't see anything wrong, to include the float and jets. Still nothing more than the backfire mentioned by kjhoffman earlier. I finally gave up until this spring. I have had the carburator off, drained and refilled the gas with fresh, Sta-bilized gas, checked the gap on the spark plugs, and still nothing. Can anyone help? If I knew about the cam I would try that. She also tried my sons mower, a Husqvarna with the same type engine. It happened again with his mower.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

my honda mower is about 10 years old, the valve spring keepers ( washers with a slot )have worn and caused the same symptoms. only one seemed to be sliiping out so I reversed them and was able to use the mower about another 10 times, Finally bought a new mower( another honda, very pleased with the old one) My new one ran like a champ out of the box ( after oil and fuel) two days later wont start... I looked close at it yet... ho hum


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

I too have a starting issue on my Honda "lower end model from Home Depot - HRR2165" bought it last year and loved it! Almost same issue as posted above by HBAV595; wife was using last summer it died and was out of gas she added some that may have been a few seasons old. Fastforward to now and I drained the fuel and added fresh premium gas. No start still... I then removed the sparkplug - lokked OK not brand new but not bad. Then I noticed it was dry? I would assume that after pulling the line for a good 15 min would have flooded it? Or is my logic flawed...

I'll try the fuel into the carb after removing the air-filter -- I know its in warranty but bringing it back is a royal pain as we dont have a truck

thanks in advance

John


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

FOLLOW-UP --

I tried pouring some gas into the carb slit under the air filter. And she started right up... then died. I repeated this maybe 5-6 times.

To confirm the fuel shut off valve should be in line with the gas line correct?


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

I have a similar problem with the Honda GVC 160 on my power sprayer. My son transported it on it's side and the oil ran through the engine and out. I drained it, ran gas through the chamber to clean the oil and cleaned the carb, including the float which is working fine. Also replaced the air filter.

It only starts for a second if I put gas directly in the cylinder and quickly put the plug in...runs on that gas, but no other seems to get to the chamber to continue running.

Do you think the valve is sticking because of the oil that got into it? I was also wondering that somehow the air that mixes with the gas (I assume this is how it works), may be impeded because of the oil.

Thanks for any advice!

Tom


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

I am having trouble with this GCV 160 engine too. However we do not have any manuals on it. I tried everything above except the cam. For the spark plug, does anyone know what the gap should be?


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Hi, I have a Honda GCV 160 5hp engine off of a pressure washer. It cuts off shortly after starting and then after starting the first time sputters and backfires and runs alittle sometimes for a few seconds. I have done the following already: empty tank, fresh gas, pulled and cleaned the carb, needle valve, main jet, and checked the spark. All are good. I took the OHC cover off to examine the cam and valves all are clear and look fine, however I did not check the clearence with the feeler gage. Engine has oil but could use changing. Does anyone have any ideas? and also what should the valve clearence be .004"?


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Valve clearance on these are .006 and .008 they seem to run at .004. Don't ask me how I know... Are you are confident on the cleaning of the fuel system and especially the main jet? If this is the typical pressure washer that has sat a while, gets used a couple times a year kind of thing- it is likely that the valve stems are gummy and sticking as it tries to run. I see that enough on these. What to do- run it up using bursts of carb spray through the venturi. Even as it runs on its own, continue w some burst of spray to help clean it up. It would be a good time to add some MMO/ Seafoam or what ever your favorite witches brew to help things along.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

There are two things anyone can do to prevent most mower engine carb and valve-sticking troubles, particularly on the OHV and OHC engines, and that is to use Stabil Marine (blue concentrate at Wal Mart) stabilizer/cleaner (1/2 oz/2 gal) and Marvel Mystery Oil (also at Wal Mart) (1 oz/gal up to 2 oz/gal). Put the additives in your gas can before filling up, everytime. If you start out with a new engine, you might never have these problems. On a used engine in running condition, this will clean it out over time. For winter storage, you don't have to add anything, and your leftover fuel will still be good next year.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

I realigned my cam, and everything but still no engine start. I know how, contact me if you want, but i just don't know, then again i dont have a pull starter on it, so not much help, unless you fella's have a spare or something.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

I had the same problem. Took back to dealer and he cleaned carb and run fine for a month or so, then did it again. Took it back and he said my gas was dirty even though it was in a new can and new gas. I bought an inline gas filter($2.95) and installed between tank and carb and have had no problems for two years.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

i am having problem with gvc 160 popping thru carb how do you align cam


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re: honda gcv 160 now starts but runs wide open, after i unstuck

wOULD NOT START. i FINALLY OPENED THE VALVE COVER TO FIND A STUCK VALVE. AFTER I PUT SOME 3 in One oil it was freed and started on first pull BUT wanted to run away (wide open). Any ideas


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Bobby- my guess is the throttle shaft is stuck in the carb bore. Some well placed gumout and some wiggling should free it up.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

I owned 2 craftsman mowers with Honda engines. I came to the conclusion that these Honda engines are JUNK - both had the same starting issues as everyone here.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Engine win't start when pulled. Doesn't seem to be getting any fuel. Starts with starting fluid and remains running until I shut it off. Same problem with warm engine - doesn't seem to be getting fuel and won't start when pulled.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

It is a Honda GVC190. This Spring when I started it, it only runs for 5-10 seconds and then dies. If I try to restart it sputters and dies. I have read every post I can find and (jphilli6 on Fri, Dec 3, 10 at 19:08) above, sounds spot on, but no solution was ever posted??? Except I have also adjusted the vales and installed a new carburetor. It still does the same thing. Help, my lawn is out of control!


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

On these engines, you have to have 3 things to run: Spark (at the right time) fuel and compression. These engines are about the worst thing Honda ever made. They work fine, but...Bend the valve cover? Damaged camshaft. There is no "camshaft alignment".


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

I have been shooting starter fluid for first start each time I use the mower. Runs fine after that.Choke seams to operate fine. Any thoughts?


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

I was having alot of the same problems on here...Would only run if I sprayed starting fluid,gas or something into the carb.
Well turns out I could keep it running if I put pressuere on the throttle spring/or the governing spring.(on the left side of motor,running from carb. to throttle lever).
All I did then was there is 2 holes for the throtle return spring. I moved it to the farthest back hole...1/4 inch made a whole lot of difference. If need be email me I can take some camera pics & email what I did.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

This is why I like my mowers with Tecumseh engines. Never a problem ever...and start on the first pull.


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re: honda gcv-160-a1ae & no start

I also have the above referenced lawnmower, obtained from Sears more than five years ago. It has worked very well, although not worked strenuously.

However, today it would not start for the first time attempted this year. 80 Fahr outside.
Last fall, as usual, I ran it out of gas and replaced the oil. Stored outside in a plastic Suncast bin under tarp.
Used a jumper cable to test ignition and wife reported NO SPARK! When my neighbor, who is an experienced power boat engine rebuilder at Bass River, MA, returned from his weekend camping trip, we examined it. R&R of spark plug gave no joy. Ditto for removing the air filter. His in-line spark plug tester showed that ignition system was fine, not as my primitive effort with my wife suggested.

The engine needs only four things to run: fuel, spark, compression, and timing. Fuel is the most obvious problem. So spraying cold start fluid into the air cleaner opening caused the machine to run for a few seconds several times. Ergo, fuel starvation, and I get to uninstall and rebuild the carb, or replace it. Possibly replacing the fuel hoses, and/or installing an in-line fuel filter.

Parts for many Honda GCV 160 lawnmowers, including core engine components, are still available at

Plano Power Equipment http://planopower.com/store/honda/gcv 16a.shtml

at fairly inexpensive prices.

Hope this can help other befuddled fumblers like me,

Jack E. Martinelli Age 65 Ph.D. MIT Massachusetts
END


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Doc, great post but you shoulda got a Tecumseh. All MIT grads were hip to that fact I thunk. Cheers :D


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Simple carb cleaning required . Even though you drained out the fuel enough residual fuel remains to gum up your small engine fuel circuits. A small guage tag wire along with carb cleaner and compressed air will clean out all the needle and seat and orifices within the carb . I usually also use 2 ounces of carb cleaner within fresh fuel to assist with speeding up the final residual varnish removal within the carb .


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Honda 160 1 year old. Stopped while running. Won't restart.
Changed oil, fuel, spark plug, cleaned carburetor and valves (through engine block openings) and ignition coil. Spark present. No start under any conditions including with starter fluid.
Timing seems to be the problem but how to fix? Am I supposed to remove the flimsy OHC stamped cover? Then what?
This mower is one step away from curb. Please help.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

I have a Murray with the same Honda engine and it start every time with gas in the carb/air filter and keep running after. If I stop just a few minutes it will start again but stop for an hour or more and I have to put some gas in again. I little bit of a pain... any ideas to fix that?

Thanks!


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Andre; the Honda automatic choke has been a problem on the GCV160. You might check with your local mower service shop to see if there is a recall on the choke. There has been some discussion of it here too, so you might search for that. Even when working as-designed, this choke tends to be troublesome.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 runs bad

I hope someone can give me some advice on how to fix my HONDA gvc 160. First off its a karcher power washer with less than 10 hrs. on it, i bought it used but its like brand new,the guy i bought it from said it ran good until he put it away for the winter, when he got it out in the spring and started it up he could not get any throutle out of it without it spittin backfireing, I bought it for a song and dance figuring it was either bad gas or plug so i drained the tank and flushed it put a new plug in and took the carb off and cleaned it too with carb cleaner and compressed air put everything back together with new gas maid sure there was no clogs in the fule line and gas flowed ok, and it still ran the same as before (rich) I talked to a honda small engine michanic and he told me to get a new carb and that would fix it, (WRONG) now with the new carb it runs fine as long as the choke is on full. My question is this sence it sounds like its not geeting enought gas is it feasable to drill out the main jet or will that just add to my problem. I am not stupid when it comes to the internal combustion engine as i have been working on cars my whole life but this has got me stumped, I can't believe its timming as with that I don't think it would run but i could be wrong and the same with valves sticking, as all that i have mention i found on other sites. Can anyone out there shed some light on my problem. Frank


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Well Frank, pertaining to the carb- were you able to remove both pieces in the stem and clean them once you had the bowl off? Also, if you have a carb gasket flipped- it won't run well either. Make sure the little hole in in the right place. Also, weaker valve springs on this engine combined with fuel deposits from sitting will cause enough sticking to create issues as well. Once you get it up and running , use short bursts of carb spray to help this along.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Thank you for the come back tomplum, yes i did clean both pices in the stem, the carb. was clean as a whisle no deposits in the bowl or anywear, but that was on the old carb., I bought a new carb with new gasgets and i am sure there on the right way as there is no wrong way i can see because the bolt holes and butterfly hole on carb. will not line up if there on the wrong way. By the way the engine does run, but it acts like its starving for gas but with no ajustment there is little i can do with the carb.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

I'm afraid that you are not correct on the gasket theory. Watch the placement of the small hole as it mates w/ the bakelite spacer especially. Obviously, the gaskets should be new or in good shape.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Ok tomplum if your faceing the engine wear the carb. mates to the spacer plate wear is the small hole located on the left or on the right? Or if you have the gasget on the carb mateing surface that goes towards the spacer wear is the small hole located, (this is when you are holding the carb in your hand) Thanks


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

It will make sense when you compare the pieces. Note the impressions on the old gasket. You will see that the porting on the carb flange and the small hole are meant to mate inna certain way. If this is not correct, it will surge badly. Pay attention to this detail on all the gaskets. The heat shield/ spacer/ gaskets must all be right. To make my life easier, I use a touch of HiTack to hold the gaskets in place- staying away from the passage holes. below is a link for a LB with a GCV. It looks right and you can see the passages, but I don't have one apart in front of me to confirm that.

Here is a link that might be useful: LB 10655


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

I did the comparison on the old gasget, and i put the new gasget on accordingly but i am beginning to wonder if were on the same page as the link you put on your last responce goes to toro, I have a HONDA engine, no # i have will work there even the LB10655 for your link the only model # i have is for the power washer its self.I do have an engine # and carb.# The only gasget i chg. is the one in question the others are good. Do you know of any wear on the web I can get an exploded view of this? Thanks


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Sure.

Here is a link that might be useful: Here ya go


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Well my problem is solved, after I found a scamatic that showed that someone had it apart before me and had everything in the wrong place and none of the holes lined up, seemed strange as the bolts snaped loose like they were tighten from the factory, thats what thru me off, I was trying to put everything back the way it came off. Without the drawing I did not know any better. Once I put it back together from the drawing it runs like a top. Thanks tomplum for all your help and by the way I did find your link afterall, but it took the wife to do it as i am not to savy on the computer. Thanks again


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

My HRR216 160cc was left at a rental property (they were supposed to mow the lawn). I have it back now, not running. The carb is so full of gunk that I will replace it. I pulled the valve cover and found the intake valve stuck open. I can pry it shut and tap it open, but it is really tight. Is there any chance that I will be able to free it up without cracking open the block? Also, can I verify the valve timing while the cover is off?


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

One of two ways should free the valve if it is simply varnished. Usually if you can work in carb spray on both sides it will unstick. Follow up w/ a thin lube. If not, let that all clear away and you can use a heat gun to melt away the varnish. I shouldn't have to say that if one's source of heat is a torch and you have all this combustible liquid things could get a burning real fast if there is a puddle of carb spray inside. If the engine was filled w/ water, then it may need to come apart.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

I have had great success today. I worked the valve back and forth while spraying carb cleaner. I still had to use a needle nose pliers, and it wouldn't rotate. Then I set it with the intake straight up at TDC and filled the combustion chamber with PERMATEX SOLVO-RUST SUPER PENETRATING OIL. It was over 20 yrs old, maybe 40 yrs (found it in the basement). Good stuff, I was ablle to work the valve by hand and rotate it freely within a minute. After about 20 minutes I drained it thru the exhaust valve and had a bunch of rust flakes in the drip pan. Now I have the chamber full of 2 stroke oil to clear out the last of the rust. I think that I'm ready to order the new carb !!!! Thanks for the advice.


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RE: Honda GCV 160 Wont Start

Hi, I have a Poulan mower model no. 96132002000, which has either the GVC160 or the GVC190 according to the manual. Last year it would run, then die. So I took it in, and the guy cleaned the carb, and it worked, although I only needed to use it once before winter. I drained the fuel and ran it dry. In spring, I put fresh gas in it, it ran, then died again. So I took the carb bowl off, was very clean, I cleaned it anyway. Ran for 10 seconds and died. After so online searching, EVERYONE says change the plug. Brand new plug, starts then dies. Double check the gap, all good, but it just wont start! Any ideas, goind crazy, and my lawn is getting really embarassing! Thanks.


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