As mentioned last week, my lawn mower was broken… and yesterday I fixed it!

For those interested, it was a carburetor problem.  I ended up having to disassemble the carb twice and ask for help from my network of DIY repair warriors in order to get the mower back on its feet.

As it turns out the carburetor on this particular series of engine (Briggs and Stratton Quantum 625 model 120000) has some finicky little quirks.  The most irritating of which is that the needle valve is extremely finicky.  I pulled apart the carb the first time, cleaned it, reassembled, and reinstalled it only to have the mower continue not to work.  At the behest of one of my handy e-friends, I pulled it apart a second time and specifically checked the needle valve by blowing into the fuel line intake (mmm the fresh taste of 93 octane).  The point of that was to check if the needle valve was closing properly when the needle is seated.  In my case seating the needle didn’t block the flow of air, so some obstruction was preventing the valve from functioning properly and flooding the carb.

Anyway, after cleaning the needle valve a few times with a piece of wire, I eventually got it back to functioning properly. Odds are good that there was a little piece of nearly invisible schmutz in there blocking the needle from plugging the seal.  Anyway, after a second reassembly the mower started on the first pull!  Yay, I get to feel mechanical and stuff!

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?