Toro Clone Engine Is Killing Me Help!

Normstorm

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Toro Recycler ELECTRIC START Model# 20374 Ser# 400745059 Clone Eng# 1P65F-2. Bought this used about 9 months ago. When I first tried it was amazing. BUT then after emptying bag for 4-5 time and engine was warmed up it became harder and harder to start until it would not start at all. Prob had been mowing 1/2 hour. I have tried everything I can think of and spent way too much. Kinda took it on as a hobbie or Im not going to let it beat me.

Gas is good. Cleaned carb then bought a NEW carb in case I didn't clean the first one well enough. Replaced coil. Air filter new. Oil good. When I got the new carb on it I used it about 3 times to mulch maple leaves. Each time prob re-started it 10 -15 times. Although it destroyed leaves (seems powerfull) It still hesitated to start BUT it did start EVERY TIME. So it was better but starting just wasn't quite like it should be. It would usually "out run the electric start" so I would let the switch out a few seconds until starter could re- engage and then it would fire up but usually after a tiny bit of "backfire" -hope that makes sense.

Then I decided to look at flywheel key. On this engine you could only see the key and groove on the flywheel side NOT the crank shaft so to be shure I removed flywheel and of coarse the key was in fine shape so I don't think flywheel has anything to do with it.

However - just out of curiosity I started engine using the electric start while I still had the blower housing and pull rope housing OFF the engine. Fired up immediatly (cold engine). So i completed installing the housings thinking would run great! NO. Sounded like something was scraping and engine wouldn't start. So I took housings off and tried to see what was scraping. Couldn't find anything wrong. Did this twice just to be sure. Then it started and sounded normal. BUT as it began to warm up and I shut it off and re-started it 7-10 times it became harder to start and I couldn't start it at all using the pull rope. So now I had made it even worse it seems!

There is nothing in the Toro manual about spark plug gap so I guess will try to get a "Clone Manual" + search online for Spark Gap info. Could the engine run great during mowing but be hard to start just because plug gap is a little off?
ONLY thing I can think of is valves. This thing is a 2017 I think and I have a hard time thinking the valves could be messed up on such a newer mower. Should I just toss it in the scrap heap at local dump? Anyone want the old carb? I would mail it to you if you want it.

Any recomendations on what the problem could be? Could fact that it has Electric Start have anything to do with engine starting? Maybe the clown has just kicked my A*&! I think I paid about $230 for it. And now I am probably into it for Another $150 !!! Our gas here has 10% ethenol year round but that doesn't bother my vehicles or other 3 mowers I have. The Honda mower I was hoping this Toro would replace could be 20 years old or more. Still starts 1st or 2nd pull!

Thanks for any advice.
 

Scrubcadet10

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Could be the ignition coil is going kapoot. Some times when they heat up they start to fail...
ALso, is your choke fully opening when you open it...
Will it start easier when hot if you choke it?
 

Normstorm

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Brand new coil & spark plug was fix number one. Coil is maybe 3 months old with very little use. I will look to see about "choke system" since hadn't thought about that. BUT - shouldn't have to do anything like that if unit was operating like normal. I can't say for sure previous owner new about hard starting but since he always has numerous adds on C List for mowers I think he saw me coming 100 miles away! He knew the mower looked brand new and that anyone checking it out would have no clue it had a Chinese Clone and also wouldn't use it long enough to discover hard starting when warm. I didn't even try it out. It looked brand new. And started imediatly and was a Toro which I thought was a quality brand so I "took the bait".

I can't get it to run good enough and I would feel bad selling it for even $50 knowing it doesn't work. My used rusty 15 - 25 year old Honda is far superior. BUT having to pull the cord while mowing a huge lawn causes neck and back pain for days since I aint getting any younger. I thought electric start was the solution to that problem. Maybe I will put it on C List for free or $50 and tell what the problem is with it?
 

jp1961

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Hello,

I looked up this mower on Partstree.com. It has a "thermal switch" (Toro part number 133-9907) on what looks like the carb manifold. Since your problem is heat related I'd investigate this. I'm not sure how this switch functions.

The scraping noise is not normal, I'd check the flywheel brake to see if that is functioning properly.

Also make sure the carb insulator (Toro part number 133-9901) wasn't removed by the previous owner. Hard to know what knucklehead worked on your engine before you bought it off C.L.

Regards

Jeff
 
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Normstorm

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Jeff & Cub Guy - Thanks so much for your replies. The scraping noise stopped after I re-installed both housings for 2nd time. (Fixed I think)
"thermal switch" (Toro part number 133-9907) - this is either an integral part of new carb OR doesn't exist on my engine!? There doesn't appear to be any part held on with 2 screws like in Toro Drawing SO...............??

What about the 133-9919 - SWITCH-STOP, ENGINE? It looks like a micro-switch and I hear it click when I pull back the brake handle so I assume its good. Not a part that would slowely fail causing hard starting is it? Pretty sure it "cuts out" spark wire when you let go of handle as well as engage flywheel brake.

Here is another parts that doesn't exist on my engine!!! 133-9918 - ALTERNATOR -what? tHERE IS NO $30 ALTERNATOR! Would that be IF wasn't electric start or something? There are mounting holes for one BUT engine runs fine W/O an alternator -WTH????!!!!!!

MORE WEIRD STUFF?! - (or maybe normal) Lots of part number changes including SPARK PLUG!, Entire engine head Assy. ($100 part) FUEL CAP - Old one was stripped so I actually did throw on a new fuel cap. IGNITION COIL - Toro list says replaces a previous part number. i KNOW parts tree checked with Toro B4 sending me a coil AND engine runs so prob correct one.

IS THIS AMT OF PART # changes seem unusual or is that normal ?? Man Oh Man like ten new questions and few answers !!!
 
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bertsmobile1

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Jeff & Cub Guy - Thanks so much for your replies. The scraping noise stopped after I re-installed both housings for 2nd time. (Fixed I think)
"thermal switch" (Toro part number 133-9907) - this is either an integral part of new carb OR doesn't exist on my engine!? There doesn't appear to be any part held on with 2 screws like in Toro Drawing SO...............??

What about the 133-9919 - SWITCH-STOP, ENGINE? It looks like a micro-switch and I hear it click when I pull back the brake handle so I assume its good. Not a part that would slowely fail causing hard starting is it? Pretty sure it "cuts out" spark wire when you let go of handle as well as engage flywheel brake.

Here is another parts that doesn't exist on my engine!!! 133-9918 - ALTERNATOR -what? tHERE IS NO $30 ALTERNATOR! Would that be IF wasn't electric start or something? There are mounting holes for one BUT engine runs fine W/O an alternator -WTH????!!!!!!

MORE WEIRD STUFF?! - (or maybe normal) Lots of part number changes including SPARK PLUG!, Entire engine head Assy. ($100 part) FUEL CAP - Old one was stripped so I actually did throw on a new fuel cap. IGNITION COIL - Toro list says replaces a previous part number. i KNOW parts tree checked with Toro B4 sending me a coil AND engine runs so prob correct one.

IS THIS AMT OF PART # changes seem unusual or is that normal ?? Man Oh Man like ten new questions and few answers !!!
There are 2 two ways to fix an engine
1) toss new parts in till you fall over what is wrong
2) diagnose what is wrong then fix it.

Now the engine runs fine without the blower housing off but won't start with the blower housing on, so there is your first clue.
There is some thing that connects to or rubs against the blower housing that is preventing it from starting.
I have found a problem with the microswitch not travelling quite far enough to break the kill circuit.
The switch on these is normally closed so when the plunger moves far enough the kill circuit is opened and the magneto creates a spark.
So tie the bail to the handle and check to see if you have a spark
This engine should have an auto choke so the choke butterfly should be connected to the muffler with a control rod.
This rod can get fouled on the blower housing so either won't close fully or won't open fully/
People have a bad habit of ripping them off if the engine will not start.

As you have no idea what you are looking at please remove the blower housing and take some nice clear in focus photos.

The repair manual for the Loncin engine is on Toro's web page.
Go there and search for you manuals.

Post those photos so we can help you.
 

jp1961

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Hello,

The model and serial number you provided (20374 / 400745059) show it to be an electric start, so it should have the alternator.

The "thermal switch" appears to be a mechanical one, not electrical, so are there any bell cranks on your carb that don't have a rod going to it?

It is possible somebody put a different engine on your mower (sort of a Frankenmower), not unusual or uncommon on C.L.

Regards

Jeff
 

Normstorm

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UPDATE - I wrapped some wire around Engine Stop/Brake Handle so I could keep engine running while I chopped a bunch of maple leaves. Engine started right up and ran great while I emptied bag 6-7 times. About 1/2 hour. Then I took the wire off handle and tried various starting methods. At first electric start wouldn't start it but pulling really hard on rope it engine would backfire then start on one pull. Electric start worked again after awhile (Might Just Be Too Slow Due To Not Fully Charged) Stumped again.

On Cadet Jeff's advice I looked for a second time for the thermal choke device. After awhile I figured out the part is bolted on top of the muffler with a linkage back to the Carb. (The Toro drawing was confusing to me because the muffler isn't shown with the fuel system drawing where the Thermal Device is) Anyhow I figured "this is it! Jeff is a genious" Took part off and it looked like a simple coil spring heats up on muffler and graduly moves its linkage arm about an inch.

OK I realized because I can use the electric start with both housings off I would fire it up and just watch the Thermal Choke Device. Since its bolted to hot metal it heats up fast. It absolutely pulls the choke to open run position so I do NOT think Thermal thing is the issue.
 
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jp1961

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Hello,

No, I wouldn't buy a new "thermal Switch". Backfiring may be a sign the valves aren't adjusted correctly. I'd now look into getting the factory valve lash specs and seeing if they are out of adjustment.

Bert's right about replacing parts willy nilly (been there done that), a good mechanic actually knows what parts to replace (not me). Diagnosing is sometimes difficult, even with these small air cooled engines.

I'm just trying to point you in the right direction, from the info you've posted.

Regards

Jeff
 

Normstorm

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Hello,

The model and serial number you provided (20374 / 400745059) show it to be an electric start, so it should have the alternator.

The "thermal switch" appears to be a mechanical one, not electrical, so are there any bell cranks on your carb that don't have a rod going to it?

It is possible somebody put a different engine on your mower (sort of a Frankenmower), not unusual or uncommon on C.L.

Regards

Jeff-

I didn't realize there would be a separate manual for the engine so I only discovered that today. I found the thermal switch on the muffler then I realized since I can use electric start W/O either housing on I would just watch the engine heat up. The switch worked immediatly to open the choke. Less than a minute so I think it is OK.

Now TRY NOT TO LAUGH. What does the alternator do IF it was on this mower? AND how is it able to run w/o an alternator? This mower has a 12 volt wall outlet style charger. I do not believe there was any system for the Engine to re-charge the battery. (I think some Hondas do re-charge while engine is running?)

As for "Frankenmower" when I first bought parts Toro and Parts tree had to research to find a coil for this engine and they used the engine number on the housing 1P65F-2 since the coil fit and works seems like the engine is "legit" But its still possible. "what do I know" - didn't even know about any thermal switch!

Thanks for your help!
 
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