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When initially started, the engine seems to catch or "stutter" a bunch until I get the choke put in the exactly right spot. Then, upon activating the blade deck, it sputters everywhere from every few seconds, to every few minutes, I cannot cut lower than the highest blade height setting or it will more than likely stall out. I also cannot go any faster than the slowest speed or it will not cut right. I replaced all the filters and liquids when I got it from a friend after it was idle for a year or so. I fixed it up the best of my knowledge.

Also, the blade deck (46" MTD) has a weird grinding sound that I cannot identify but i think it is part of the reason the engine can stall during mowing. I finally found the correct PTO belt (it seems...) so I'm not sure what the problem is. I'm a first-time mechanic learning as I go.

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Not sure about all of your symptoms, but when you have to use the choke to keep it running, it's usually a fueling issue. I'll bet when your engine is sputtering, it's actually running lean. You could possibly test this by having access to the intake tube while it's running, then when it bogs or stutters, shoot a small amount of carb cleaner into it (the flammable type). If it perks up and runs better, it's more than likely the carb isn't providing enough fuel. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jun 18 '19 at 23:41
  • i will probably get a friend to help me with that. also...if its a carburetor issue... what are my options apart from replacing it? – SchoNuff Jun 18 '19 at 23:58
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    Check on the price of replacement, it's usually a lot cheaper than you'd think. While most small engine carbs are rebuildable, I've personally not had much luck doing it. It's worth the extra few dollars to just replace them. You can try cleaning it, though, as a first step to see if it helps. Run some Seafoam through it. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jun 19 '19 at 0:02
  • i do have seafoam. seems it helps with everything. thanks man! ill try it. – SchoNuff Jun 19 '19 at 0:02
  • If it sat all winter, it may well have a clog in the needle valve or dried gasoline goo in the float bowl. I've had good success disassembling carburetors and blowing compressed air through all the holes to clean them out. Just watch how you took it apart, or video the process so you can reverse it. Small engine carburetors are fairly simple, so it should be reasonable for your skill level. – the_storyteller Jun 19 '19 at 15:58

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