Recycler gas cap vent issue

Patrick L

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Can someone tell me what the deal is with the gas cap on my 2 year old Toro Recycler mower? The mower has always shown classic vent issues (ie after 15-20 minutes, the mower wants to shut down, so if I loosen the gas cap it runs fine. If I re tighten it it runs for another 15 -20 minutes, then the whole thing repeats.)

The cap itself is an odd affair. Its a two piece design. If you take it apart is has an inside compartment filled with something granulated, looks like gas saturated coffee grounds. I would love to just replace it with any universal type cap, but the one I bought (2 1/8 inch, just like what's on there) has a different thread pattern or something. All my old Craftsman mowers just had the caps with either the metal disk of a vented rubber gasket, and they always worked fine.

Any one give me any direction here? I actually like the mower, barring this one issue.
 

ILENGINE

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Welcome to the world of EPA emissions. That coffee ground material is activated charcoal to capture the gas fumes from escaping the tank. If they are gas soaked they become ineffective and basically destroyed and will require the cap to be replaced. The tank should be set up with what looks like a lower internal full mark than older tanks use to be. that is to prevent the gas from contaminating the charcoal, but the issue is people tend to overfill the tanks or cause gas to splash up and damage the cap or in the case of larger engines the charcoal canister can be bricked in the same fashion.

The cap threads were also changed to prevent people from using the old vented caps which haven't been allowed since 2012.
 

bertsmobile1

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Welcome to the new world of EPA idiots saving the planet ( in their own mind ) while making things 1000 times worse.
The granules you see are charcoal designed to trap fuel vapours & prevent them escaping into the air where you mowers fume will kill every living thing on the planet.
Once it get wet, hen dust , pollen etc in the air being drawn into the tank sticks to the carbon rendering them useless then proceeds to block off the air passage so you get a vacuum lock that you have correctly diagnosed.
Usually an earlier cap will be a direct replacement.
Otherwise rip the charcoal out and shove some air filter foam in there to stop fuel sloshing out of the cap.
Also should you do this just remember that tampering with an "anti-pollution device" can leave you open to massive fines in a lot of places.
 

ILENGINE

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Currently not a big issue, but the potential is there for homeowners to be fined up to $3,850/day and $38.500/day for a dealer. Under Trump the EPA has kind of backed off, but during Obama there was cases where the Feds raided lawnmower shops looking for violations. Toro dealers got inspected a few years ago because Toro released some mowers too early and they had arrived at the dealers with the following years compliance stickers.
 

bertsmobile1

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Thanks about the thread update, some thing I have not come across.
AFAIK the only EPA raid down here was at a field day looking for dealers selling off illegal non compliant mowers.
Tier II comes into play july 1 2020 so their will probably be some more around then looking for non compliant chain saws & line trimers.
But the poster must be warned.
What he dose is up to him just so long as he is fully informed.
 

ILENGINE

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As of 2010 in the USA there is nothing from stopping an EPA agent checking homeowners that are mowing their yards.
 

bertsmobile1

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I would guess that it is the same here.
A riding friend used to be with the local equivalent.
He carried his inspectors warrant in his wallet which allows him to enter any property including secret government installations & the card itself states that preventing his entry can earn you 10 years behind bars & fines over $ 1,000,000 .
So he could have walked down the street & checked every lawn mower if he really wanted to but he does have enough common sense not to.
What was interesting was apparently the bulk of the fines issued by the EPA was for refusing entry, not for pollution.
 

Patrick L

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Thanks for all the replies. Your diagnosis and explanation of what the deal was with that cap was spot on!

OK, so how about this. Since the charcoal is saturated with gas, which is highly evaporative, what if I spread it out on something absorbent, like newspaper, and let it dry out. Then I could put it back in the magic cap, and be more careful not to let that happen again.

Then I'd be compliant, no?
 

bertsmobile1

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Glad you have it sorted because this will become a very common problem.
For a lot of reasons which I barely understand but can at least follow ( sort of ) the charcoal can not be revived .
Once it has been saturated it can no longer adsorb fuel fumes unless it it is crushed a bit finer revealing fresh surfaces .
However once fully dried it should vent properly so you would be 1/2 way there and we promise not to tell:thumbsup:
 

primerbulb120

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On many newer engines, the fuel tank is simply vented into the air intake (the idea being that any fuel fumes escaping will be burned by the engine. Haven't seen a gas cap with charcoal in it yet, what brand engine is this?
 
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