78 honda express dies often and is hard to start

ive got a 78 honda express, when i got it it barely ran but it ran. now it seems it wont start or it may take 10 -15 minutes of cranking the pedal up and releasing it with starting fluid, and even when i get it started it will only usually run for 10 minutes at most and then it will sputter out and die like its out of fuel. any ideas on what may be wrong?

Re: 78 honda express dies often and is hard to sta

next time it sputters and dies.. or when it's not starting, remove the plug and look and see if it's all wet with fuel. If so you have some kinda carburation trouble.. too much fuel is getting in.

It might not be easy to start with Starter Fluid if the plug is already wet and the carb is still dumping more fuel into the engine while you're starting..

If it eventualy starts and runs you can be pretty sure the ignition is ok.. and that the uneven running, sputtering and dying and hard starting are all related to some carburation or fuel-supply problem.

Sputtering before it dies is more likely to mean the engine flooded out rather than it ran out of fuel. The engine might surge to a higher RPM and then die when it runs out of fuel. But who knows.. Pull the plug. If it's dry as a bone it might be running out of fuel. Why is the question. Trace the entire fuel pathway from gas tank to engine and find the obstruction.

Check for loose nuts / bolts that allow vacuum leaks around the carb. Adjust the carburetor and it's cables.. be sure the choke opens and closes like it should, etc. Do all the fuel-related tune up checks. "Search" this forum and use the "Resources" for ideas about what to check.. Read "Fred's Guide".

Carb problems and your symptom are very common. I think a thorough fuel-system tuneup will find and fix it.

Re: 78 honda express dies often and is hard to sta

Jonas Quimby /

The Honda Express (Especially the ones before 1981) will Always run into this problem due to a rather touchy carb. I assume it has been stored for some time without running?

I suggest you run through my guide to garage sale Express repair, specificly the carb cleaning and readjustment parts as they will most likely get you going again.


Hope this helps you.

Re: 78 honda express dies often and is hard to sta

sounds like it might be overheating

Re: 78 honda express dies often and is hard to sta

Jonas Quimby /

Well seeing as how every single Honda Express ever made seems to run into the problem described after being stored for the winter (mine included) and goes away when doing what's outlined in my guide, I'm going to lean twards a dirty carb.

Re: 78 honda express dies often and is hard to sta

Matthew Scholtens /

I agree with Jax184. He knows his Express stuff. The write-up on Honda Express repairs is great. I used it to figure out my problems and have been happily running since. Thanks Jax184.

Matthew Scholtens

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