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  1. #1
    Gold Member
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    1962 IH B414

    Default Weeeater Poulan XT20 T...help!!

    I've been messing with my father in laws Weedeater/Poulan XT20 T weedeater. Unfortunately, I'm cursed with being somewhat handy and don't mind cleaning carbs, or monkeying a bit. I knew the moment this treasure arrived that I should have junk-piled it.

    It will start, run for about 10 seconds, then die. Does this over and over. It's like it starves for fuel. Hard to start, then if I leave it, it starts easy, but dies the same way after 10 seconds or so.

    First I cleaned carb with ultrasonic cleaner. No real change.Since then I've: replaced with new carb, new carb mounting gasket, new air filter, fuel filter, new fuel lines, tried to clean out exhaust pipe (brake cleaner and compressed air), AND it still runs like crap. . I have not checked compression. The fact it starts and seems to run, rev, but then die....??

    I noticed it had a Champion RJ8 plug. I tried a new Champion CJ8 I had. According to web, the Poulan plug is no longer available and they only give a Poulan part number. The web says it uses a CJ14 plug, or NGK BM4A. Is a new plug going to fix these issues?

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot??

    It is now an OCD overload that I have to see run properly. And I've thrown about $50 in parts at it so the obsession is only getting worse. Thanks for any help you can offer.

  2. #2
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    Farmall H, TC40DA, Farmall 200 F spreader, Dolmar saws, lots of junk

    Default Re: Weeeater Poulan XT20 T...help!!

    Quote Originally Posted by canucklehead View Post
    I've been messing with my father in laws Weedeater/Poulan XT20 T weedeater. Unfortunately, I'm cursed with being somewhat handy and don't mind cleaning carbs, or monkeying a bit. I knew the moment this treasure arrived that I should have junk-piled it.

    It will start, run for about 10 seconds, then die. Does this over and over. It's like it starves for fuel. Hard to start, then if I leave it, it starts easy, but dies the same way after 10 seconds or so.

    First I cleaned carb with ultrasonic cleaner. No real change.Since then I've: replaced with new carb, new carb mounting gasket, new air filter, fuel filter, new fuel lines, tried to clean out exhaust pipe (brake cleaner and compressed air), AND it still runs like crap. . I have not checked compression. The fact it starts and seems to run, rev, but then die....??

    I noticed it had a Champion RJ8 plug. I tried a new Champion CJ8 I had. According to web, the Poulan plug is no longer available and they only give a Poulan part number. The web says it uses a CJ14 plug, or NGK BM4A. Is a new plug going to fix these issues?

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot??

    It is now an OCD overload that I have to see run properly. And I've thrown about $50 in parts at it so the obsession is only getting worse. Thanks for any help you can offer.
    re: spark plug - CJ8 plugs don't seem to work well anymore with the new gasolines. CJ14 should be ok.
    re: starving for fuel - sounds like that could be it. Is the tank vent/gas cap clear to allow air to enter?
    If it starts and runs but then dies after a few seconds of high speed operation, I would also look at the height of the metering lever and try opening the high speed jet screw a quarter turn at a time.

  3. #3
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    Jefferson County, Mo, ... about 35 miles out of St. Louis.
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    Default Re: Weeeater Poulan XT20 T...help!!

    I think the gas cap comment could be the issue. I had a weedeater blower that acted exactly like your trimmer. As it was dying, if I unscrewed the cap the machine came back to life. Easy check.

    Good luck.

    MoKelly

  4. #4
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: Weeeater Poulan XT20 T...help!!

    I wondered about venting too. I did notice gas drip out the cap when I had it turned upside down. I will try that again though.

    MoKelly, I assumed they pre-set new carb at factory, including high idle jet and metering. The H & L screws have a splined top, so I need some sort of special splined screwdriver to tweak.

  5. #5
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: Weeeater Poulan XT20 T...help!!

    well I played some more. I think it vents fine as fuel drips out cap when upside down. It is a little charcoal filter with a rubber plug on it. I pulled plug off, pulled cap off... no difference.

    So out came the compression tester. 95 PSI. I added a couple drips of oil and got 110-115 PSI. Is 95 too low to run proper on these?

  6. #6
    Bronze Member rbstern's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weeeater Poulan XT20 T...help!!

    PSI sounds ok to me. It should run at 95psi.

    Did you replace the fuel bulb? On every Weedeater and Ryobi 2 stroke I've owned, the fuel bulb eventually cracked and needed to be replaced. I imagine modern gasoline with the ethanol blend speeds up that process. If there is a pinhole or crack forming in the bulb, it will allow air into the fuel line and cause a lean condition, starving the motor for fuel.

  7. #7
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: Weeeater Poulan XT20 T...help!!

    this is a strange primer bulb as it's part of the plate that covers carb, and then air filter assembly screws onto the plate. There are no fuel lines on this plate or the primer bulb. the primer bulb must somehow push air to create vacuum to suck fuel (??). Here is a pic.

    I thought 2 strokes are typically around 120 PSI, and 90 PSI is too low. My brother brought over his Echo GT2000 curved shaft weedeater and it won't run. This time I first checked compression. After 4 pulls it reaches 140 PSI.

  8. #8
    Bronze Member rbstern's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weeeater Poulan XT20 T...help!!

    Two different models from two different manufacturers won't necessarily have the same compression. Even so, 95psi dry, and 115psi wet, while a bit low, is in the ballpark. It's certainly high enough for it to run. That fuel bulb's plumbing can't be open to the atmosphere, because it wouldn't create any air pressure. Gotta be air leaking in somewhere, causing it to go lean. Are you choking to start it? Will it keep running with the choke part way on?

    If you can't track down the leak, don't pour good money after bad. That machine isn't worth the cost of a motor rebuild.

  9. #9
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: Weeeater Poulan XT20 T...help!!

    thanks rbstern,

    I thought primer bulb's main purpose was to make cold start easier. But i see what you're saying...if it leaks and allows air in, won't run right.

    I've tried priming by adding fuel through spark plug hole and it seems to just die after a few seconds. Same if I leave it choked. Spark plug is wet.

    Would plug be the cause?? I have a new CJ8 plug which isn't the recommended plug.

    you are way too right on your comment about don't waste time/money on this.... It's become an obsession. I've spent $40-50 on parts (carb, fuel lines, gasket, air filter). It's hard to walk away.... I keep hoping that now it's something cheap and easy.

  10. #10
    Bronze Member rbstern's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weeeater Poulan XT20 T...help!!

    I understand the obsession issue. I am right there with a 8 year old Briggs Intek 18.5 that quit, and not quite sure where to go next with it (if go with it at all).

    It's possible the plug is being extinguished by fuel/oil mixture. If so, it's rich, not lean, and that should be easier to solve. That could be compounded if the plug you have runs cooler than whatever the stock plug is. Not a great idea to troubleshoot without the recommend plug. Hard to understand what variable you might be introducing.

    Have you tried adjusting the mixture screws? I remember working on a neighbor's model of that same Weedeater, and IIRC, the carb has both high and low idle screws. Is it dying at idle, or with throttle applied? You could try adjusting the appropriate mixture screw up or down to see if the performance changes. I assume, since its a new carb, you have them set at or close to the recommend number of turns? Have you adjusted to see if richer or leaner makes a difference?

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