Ask the Mechanic

Stihl BG 86 Handheld Blower Bugged

Stihl BG 86 handheld blower (Steve Thompson)

PROBLEM: It wasn't used very often, but like many small engines around the farm or ranch, it would not start. The owner replaced the carburetor, fuel, ignition module, air filter and spark plug (three times).

STEVE'S SOLUTION: Here in the USA, we have a wasp-looking menace that has different names, depending on where you live. Its name around here is "dirt dobber." Some areas call it a "mud dauber." And, some regions call it a "dirt dauber." Whatever you call it, it's trouble for small engines, because these "dobbers" like to build mud nests in secluded areas, such as mufflers on small engines. When they do that, the exhaust can't exit the engine, and it will not run.

The muffler shown in the photo has a spark arrester where the exhaust exits, and the screen was stuffed full of dirt dobber nests, along with much of the inside of the muffler. No air out of an engine, no air in the engine. Result: Engine will not run. I cleaned out the muffler, and the blower started the first pull.


-- Write Steve Thompson at Ask The Mechanic, 2204 Lakeshore Dr., Suite 415, Birmingham, AL 35209, or email, and be sure to include your phone number.


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