First, The Good News

After trial and tribulations, I replaced the battery on the mower. I tried completely  removing said battery, and hooking the charger to it, only to have the message “battery failure” pop up after 10 minutes of charging. I did that twice before bowing down to Murphy’s 1st law;

If anything can go wrong, it will.

$70 later, and the new battery in the mower cranked right up.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that after dicking with replacing the carb on the Mantis till, I could not get it started. The plug is getting wet, and I can see spark jump the plug gap when grounded to the cylinder head.

Fortunately, I got sidetracked on fixing the riding mower, so the Mantis still sits. I even am using non ethanol premix gasoline for that unit; nada. Not even a pop.


I guess I’ll have to mow now.

The okra came up, at least what I planted. Those seeds were years old, and pre-soaked in peroxide. Maybe unnecessary, but they have sprouted after the rains. Guess the rest should go into the ground now as well. I really wanted to use the Mantis to till the last garden  before any planting there.

Also, plenty of weeds out there now.

10 thoughts on “First, The Good News

  1. A small, seldomly mentioned section in Murphy’s law book: “The smaller the engine the finickier it can be.”

  2. Your mixture screws might be out of whack. Also; I had leaf blower give me issues with starting and staying running. Everything looked right. I even checked the spark arrestor on the muffler to see if it was clogged. Nope; perfect. While I had the cowling off I said “What the hell,” and unbolted the muffler from the head. I was ASTOUNDED at the amount of carbon buildup there was in the exhaust port! The point of a pencil would have just fit through what was still open! I cleaned that out and the blower ran better than new!

    Fuel inlet and return lines in the right order? Choke linkage on there right?

    I reiterate; the Mantis tiller has the.most.cantankerous engine I’ve ever used!

    • I am concerned about the hoses running from the tank to the carb…they could be wrong as the grommet completely fell apart when I removed them from the tank…The unit is not that old without a lot of hours on it.

      • There are only two hoses. If you suspect that the hoses are swapped, just swap ’em again and try to fire the thing up. The return line usually doesn’t dip into the fuel in the tank. To be safe though, troubleshoot with the tank only about half full. If you prime the bulb on the carb and you get fuel flow, you probably have the lines right. If they’re wrong, you’ll usually be sucking air when you prime, as it’s drawing on the return line which is hanging in the air inside the tank.

  3. Change the lines and verify the line going through prime bulb ejects fuel back into the tank. Turn the high speed screw all the way in (don’t get rough with it.). Back off 1 1/2 turns and start trying to start it. Choke it for the first full pulls, until it “pops”, and then take it off choke. Some tiny adjustments either direction might be necessary to get it to keep running.

    Adjustments on a 2 cycle are small. When you get it running, adjust in until it runs real smooth, and then back it out a tiny bit until it sounds like it might be misfiring a tiny bit at high speed. It may take a few pulls to get it right, but when it is, you don’t have to worry about it running right for a long time.

    Adjust the low speed screw to allow an idle.

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