Small Engine Trouble Shooting

5.5 Hp Briggs and Stratton engine used to power my front tine tiller. Tiller sat in garage for approx. one year before being pulled out two weeks ago to till the garden.

Problem: Engine would not start.
Changed gas and found tank to be leaking. Took off tank and sealed cracks with JB weld so tank no longer leaks. It flipped last year when catching a root and I didn’t notice the cracks.

When fuel switch on, throttle to full run position and choke set to run, engine will not turn over. When all same except choke set to “choke” position, engine turned over for 2 to 3 seconds.

Turned fuel switch to half position and had throttle to full run and finally got motor started. I’m thinking adjusting the fuel switch to halfway and it running and not related but not sure about it. Problem is, engine only runs with choke on. As soon as choke is move to run position(not choked), engine kills.

Ideas or additional info needs?

Totally at wits end about this. I can run the thing with the choke on but I’m figuring that to be a bad idea and I’m probably not at full power from the sound of the thing.

Magneto ignitions are pretty reliable so I’d look for varnish buildup in the carburetor from being in storage so long. Get some good carb cleaner to muck things out and don’t breathe the fumes.

I’ll second Padeye; it sounds to me like the carburetor needs to be rebuilt. If you want to just soak the carb without disassembling it, I’d specifically recommend Yamaha brand carb cleaner, provided you have a dealership nearby. This stuff works and doesn’t attack the plastic parts inside the carb the way that Berryman’s or other carb cleaners can. Personally, I’d tear the carb down and blow out the jets and passages with spray cleaner.

If the engine has a one piece tank and carburetor (I think that Briggs only used these on the smaller engines, but I could be wrong), there’s a chance that the carburetor was damaged when the tiller flipped, but it looks like a bad carburetor from here.

In my experience, nearly every problem with a Briggs & Stratton is a carburetor problem. That or a fouled sparkplug.

The venting and fuel level of the gas tank can also affect carburetion on these engines. Particularly venting – did the gas cap get damaged? The adjustments available for the mixture, idle speed, etc. are set in a particular order, IIRC. You should be able to find instructions online.