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I was running a weed whacker and it ran for quite a while and then stopped for no apparent reason. It won't start now. I am thinking that I may have used some gas without oil mixed in. I thought is was mixed but the gas was purchased months ago and it is possible I forgot to mix it. Would this cause this and what can I do about it? Perhaps it is something else, how can I tell?

Dale
 

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If you didn't mix oil with the gas it won't run "for awhile" but it run for a short while... ;) If the mixture was a little lite or it was running lean then it can run for a longer time. Without looking at it or knowing what brand/model it is, it's hard to tell you exactly what is wrong.

Does it have spark? If it does will it run if you shoot a little carb cleaner in the carb? If it will run for a few seconds it's a fueling problem, could be the carb is dirty, the fuel filter fell off the fuel line, a cracked fuel line or primer. Also check for loose carb or cylinder bolts (try to move them by hand). One other thing to look for is a plugged muffler.

If there is no spark most likely your ign. coil went bad. But also check that the plug didn't get some carbon on it and closed the gap.

I start basic trouble shooting by pulling the pull rope. Does it have compression? This tells you the general condition of the piston/cylinder. If you can't pull it over check for a bad shaft, blown clutch (if so equipped), trim line wrapped around the shaft (happens more often then you think) or a seized piston.

Next check for spark and the condition of the plug. No spark most likely means a bad coil but could also be the cutoff switch ar even a bad plug.

See if it will fire with carb cleaner shot in the carb. If it will fire, it's fuel delivery problem. Check for dirty carb, filter/fuel line condition.

If it has spark and won't fire with carb cleaner then look for loose cylinder bolts, loose crankcase bolts or loose carb bolts... most likely some type of major air leak.
 

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Awhile = maybe 30 seconds... ;)

Ryobi: Generally the engines are pretty sturdy... the big weak point in the engine is the rod which is just two pices of sheet metal stamped into the shape of a rod. If you run them without oil normally the rod bearing will burn up first. Depending how long you have run it a simple rod/piston replace can fix it. In worse cases the rod will flop around, hit the casecase and it will need to be replaced.

Things to check when not starting:

In most cases it is a dirty carb. Pull off the rear cover and loosen the two screws holding on the carb about 1/2 inch. You will see a single screw holding on the inlet cover on the carb. Remove that and you'll see the inlet screen... clean with carb cleaner and put it back together.

Also check for cracked fuel lines and a cracked primer bulb.

While the rear cover is off, pull the two muffler bolts and remove the muffler. Look at the muffler and if the inlet of the muffler has a screen, it could be plugged... just remove the screen. Look in the exhuast port of the engine to make sure it isn't plugged.

Next check the plug for being dirty and make sure it is the correct one... it takes a DJ8J plug.

If you look at the sides of the motor you will see a bolt on each side that holds the cylinder to the crankcase... make sure they are tight.

Those items will solve about 90% of all Ryobi no start problems.
 
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