OT - Update a 2 cycle carb with a primer bulb
This is a multipart question. I have an older Mantis tiller (probably 15+ years old) that doesn't start easily, and now it doesn't run at all. Cleaning the jets didn't do the job. I may need a gasket kit for the carburator. Does anybody know who manufactured the carb for these and where (other than Mantis, which will be premium priced) I can get a carb rebuild kit? Alternatively, is it economically feasible to replace the carb with a newer one with a primer bulb?
Also, are there aftermarket primer bulbs that can be added to old 2 cycle carbs to make them start easier? Except when it was brand new, this has never been an easy engine to start, unlike newer engines with primer bulbs.
Are there any forums dedicated to this type of problem where I can post this query if you guys don't have the answer on the tips of your tongues?
They are still in business and have a parts dept online. http://mantis.com/mantis-tiller-parts.asp They show a primer bulb on teh website, so you may be able to just order a later carb with bulb. Alternately, you could hit the thrift stores and try to find a weedeater with the same engine and a primer bulb carb. Probably $10 for one. New carb from Mantis may not be much more.
Checking with Mantis
I have my doubts that Mantis will be inexpensive, but I took your advice and inquired whether there is a primer bulb retrofit kit for my carb, or an updated replacement carburator with a bulb.
Is Weedeater the manufacturer of the Mantis engines?
Originally Posted by Mike C.
My tiller is an SV-4 from 1989; older than I thought. I'd be surprised if a carb was only a little over $10 from Mantis, but lower prices from online stores selling replacement carbs wouldn't surprise me.
I don't think Weedeater, Mantis, Ryobi or others actually make their engines. I feel sure they buy standard two stroke made by somebody, just like Murray, Craftsman and Toro use Briggs engines.
The Mantis engine is made by Echo (Kioritz- Japan).
The carb is by Zama. Tha later Mantis use a "C1U-K54A".
I am pretty sure you could retrofit it. The air filter cover may need to be altered.
The carb should be available thru Mantis, an Echo dealer (use the SV-4 engine model to get the part number), or any small engine shop can order it from Zama. Cost should be around $60.
The primer is a nice feature to flush fresh fuel thru before starting. Be sure to use fresh fuel mix. Best if you can find it without ethanol. If you don't use alot of fuel, consider the new canned mix fuel coming out. It is expensive, but has a 2 year shelf life, and no ethanol.
Try Plano Power Equipment in Plano, Texas. You can check their site to see if the parts you want are available. The price is right.
Early in 2010, I had to change fuel lines on 2 2 stroke chainsaws because the gas rotted them, Check for rotted fuel lines.
Another thing to check for on older two strokes is the sponge/filter on the fuel pickup. These can deteriorate with age, and kill your ability to start. Some Stihl chain saws used a foam rubber that turns to goo, and others may too. Check the pickup line in the tank for cracks too, because it is critical.
Responses to comments
Knowing that it's an Echo SV4 engine that takes a Zama carburetor was very helpful.
I looked at the Plano store, but their price for a rebuild kit was double what Zama charges. I don't know how shipping figures into that.
With regard to rotted fuel lines, were they cracked and / or leaking or just obstructed? If not cracked, how do you tell they're the problem?
Thanks for all the responses so far.
Replace all the lines. Its time.
And for sure stay away from ethanol gas.
I don't know if the local gas has ethanol in it or not, although the pumps say it can have up to 10%. I've been using the local gas in the weed whacker and chain saw without problems. It's just the Mantis that's difficult to start. How do you avoid ethanol at the local gas stations? Alternatively, will something like SeaFoam or StaBil mixed with the ethanol gas prevent the ethanol induced problems (whatever it is that it's doing), or as another alternative, could you use Coleman fuel / naptha instead of gasoline?
Originally Posted by henrya
There are a few stations here that sell plain gas so I use them and keep a big can just for small engine equipment. The biggest problem with older machines is that they may or may not have parts that resist ethanol. If not they turn to mush from sitting just a little while with ethanol gas in them.
The next biggest problem is the gas separating and/or taking on water. Then the machine runs poorly, not at all or seizes if its a 2 stroke.
If you can't get anything but ethanol gas, dump the tank and run the machine dry before you store it. And don't try to keep ethanol gas for more than a couple of weeks.
I do use Stabil for anything that might sit a while, it really makes a difference. Seafoam seems good too - it seems to cure start and run problems in older equipment. I don't think either cures ethanol problems.
And there is this stuff called 40 Fuel and 50 Fuel (40:1 and 50:1, gas to oil) respectively. Its expensive but stores for a long time - maybe 2 years if I recall correctly.
Last edited by henrya; 01-30-2011 at 05:23 AM.
The fuel lines I replaced were crap. broken in place, broke even more when you handled them.
Walbro makes carbs and alot of the chinese toy scooters and such use those same engines. Google walbro.
Walbro carburetors & Mantis follow up
I Googled Walbro, but they list their carbs by model number and don't cross reference what engines they went to. Somebody else said that Zama made the Echo / Mantis engine carburetors, and I can find listings in Zama for carbs and parts for SV-4 Echo engines. I suspect Walbro is not the manufacturer.
Also, follow up from Mantis. Their service dept said that the SV-4 engines cannot be upgraded with a new carburetor. There are only rebuild kits available for the old carburetors.
Any Mantis tillers I have seen run the Zama carbs, you may have to remove it to see them, but they all have numbers stamped on the carb body that you need to match the kit, if you go that way. I once put a weed whacker carb directly on a Mantis with no alterations, If memory serves me it came off of a small McCullough weed trimmer, it also had a primer bulb. I think the Mantis I put it on was a mid 80's model. New line is black molded rubber that lips into the plastic tank, and will probably have to come from Mantis.