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Old 04-19-2020, 09:02 PM   #1
mrlmd
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Default fe290 spitting gas out of carb

My cart was running fine until today when it bogged down and stopped and would not run unless the choke button was kept depressed. I got it home and figured the carb was gummed up (again) and took it apart to clean it and found a fair amount of white-yellow gummy globs in the bottom of the carb bowl. This has happened to me before about 2 years ago and I remedied it by thoroughly cleaning out the tank and fuel pump and installed new fuel lines and 2 filters (before and after the pump) and cleaned the carb. I always put some Berryman's B12 Chemtool in the fuel as the cart is not used every day, just to keep the carbs clean and prevent it from getting gummed up. This has worked well in my motorcycle and in the cart until now. The last time this happened I thought that maybe the fuel got contaminated by water, but the cart is protected underneath my house out of the direct weather, but since I live right on the coast, the air is extremely moist down here and everything metal I own is rusting to **** no matter what I do to it. So it's possible the fuel is just contaminated by excessive humidity?
Anyway, my problem is that since I cleaned the carb, when I go to start it now, it pumps gas out of the small tube or nipple at the top of the carb above the fuel intake nipple and above the adjustment screw. There is nothing attached to this and I assume it is an overflow which should have a little hose attached. You can see where I mean in the diagram below at the upper left of the carb.
I assume this means I need to clean the carb again because the float needle valve is dirty or is there something else going on?
I also had to tighten the starter belt/pulley 'cause it squeaks and takes a few too many seconds to start and what a PIA that is. Especially when all the nuts and bolts to remove the rear seat are totally rusted solid into one mass. This happens down here despite coating everything with oils, lubricants, grease. I need to get all stainless hardware but even that eventually succumbs here. My belt is a little thin and I dread having to replace it, having to remove the drive belt to get to it.
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Old 04-20-2020, 07:38 AM   #2
1arunem
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Default Re: fe290 spitting gas out of carb

Sounds like your float may be stuck or need to clean needle valve.
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Old 04-20-2020, 09:48 AM   #3
Fairtax4me
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Default Re: fe290 spitting gas out of carb

Do you use Regular pump gas with ethanol?
Ethanol gas absorbs moisture from the air. Chem-tool is a cleaning agent but it offers no protection from water absorption or from the other effects of ethanol like corrosion of the insides of the fuel system.
Stabil marine 360 with ethanol treatment is the best ethanol fuel system protective additive that I've used, and it's available everywhere. Start using that in your cart regardless of what kind of gas you use.

Sounds like you'll need to remove the carb again and make sure the float needle moves freely in the housing. Also make sure the float is not cracked and filled with gas. And make sure it moves freely on the pivot rod.

Check the rubber tip on the float needle and make sure it's still rubbery. Ethanol gas can cause the tip to turn rock hard like plastic and it won't seal properly in the inlet hole.
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Old 04-20-2020, 09:58 AM   #4
CP241
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Default Re: fe290 spitting gas out of carb

I've also had a couple carburetors that the needle and seat are fine, but leak gas past the o-ring that seals the plastic seat assembly into the carb body. If I held the float closed and blew into the fuel inlet I could hear air escaping between the seat and aluminum. Good luck getting it out of there though, dont think they're meant to be removed.
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Old 04-20-2020, 01:52 PM   #5
mrlmd
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Default Re: fe290 spitting gas out of carb

OK, took off the carb and thoroughly cleaned it this time, float and needle valve seem to be working fine now (can't blow through the gas nipple with it upside down, easily right side up) but I have a new weird problem.
When I went to start it, the corrugated rubber air intake hose from the air box to the carb inlet was contracting closed with each rpm of the engine as it was trying to start (being sucked closed). I took the hose off the carb intake and a large amount of gas spilled out. Opening up the air box to look at the filter, it was soaked with gas and there was a puddle inside the box. I could start and run the engine but no gas came out of the carb intake. After drying out the box and the filter and hooking it all up again, the same thing happened, the hose and the box partially filled up with gas and the filter was soaked. Again, without the hose on, the engine runs fine and no gas comes out of the carb intake. The engine now smokes a little and on checking the oil, the level is a little high, at the "L" mark on Full above the 4 perforations in the dipstick, probably a half inch higher than normal. The oil doesn't smell like gas but I assume there may be some gas in it when my float needle wasn't seating properly and that is the reason for the smoke. But can this also cause the gas coming out the carb intake when all is reattached and fill up the box and filter again? Probably the gas come out when the engine was rotating and before it started? I don't see that happening when I try to start the engine with the hose off the carb. And there should be suction on that hose, not positive pressure coming out of the carb. No gas comes running out of there when the cart just sits and no gas comes squirting out of the overflow nipple any more so this is confusing to me, and I assume my float needle valve is working fine now.
And how do you get the top of the airbox off? I can open it to remove the filter and wipe out the gas but there is no room to fully raise the top to release the hinge mechanism on the outboard end. Any tricks?
Next up is to change the oil, maybe the other problems will go away when I get the level back to normal.
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Old 04-20-2020, 03:14 PM   #6
Fairtax4me
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Default Re: fe290 spitting gas out of carb

The choke mechanism could be stuck closed, or there is an obstruction in the air inlet pipe that runs under the cart to the filter box.
On the bottom of the box under the cart there should be a couple screws that hold the filter box down, remove those and the box should just lift up so you can remove it. The air pipe is riveted in place which makes it a real wench to try to remove. But usually you can blow out anything that's blocking it with compressed air. Also make sure it's not crushed or full of dirt.
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Old 04-20-2020, 04:14 PM   #7
mrlmd
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Default Re: fe290 spitting gas out of carb

Update - changing the oil, which definitely had the smell of gas, and getting the level down to normal, solved the issue of fresh gas blowing back into the air box.
Once you get it started the engine runs and sounds good.
My air filter is currently getting dried out in the sun and wind after hitting it with a leaf blower, and I'll put it back in when it seems dry but I'll probably get a new one even though this one's not dirty.
Fairtax, thanks for the tip on getting the box out, I'll try that, just to clean out the box and makes sure there's no obstruction to air ingress into it. Can you see the air pipe underneath the cart and which direction does it point?
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Old 04-20-2020, 04:44 PM   #8
Fairtax4me
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Default Re: fe290 spitting gas out of carb

Yes it's easily visible. Runs under the floor on the drivers side along the outer rail. It comes up behind the front left wheel.

You didn't say what yer the cart is but I kind of assumed its a 98+ since you said the air box is hinged and you can't get the top off. I think they used that style from something like '97 or '98 until they quit production of the DS. I know the 08 that we have has that style.
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Old 04-20-2020, 04:46 PM   #9
mrlmd
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Default Re: fe290 spitting gas out of carb

I found those 2 screws holding the air box but there is no way on the planet to remove them other than grinding off the heads or trying to drill them out. Both of them are so rusted they look more like rounded rivets rather than screws and there is no way at all to grab them, so I guess they'll just stay there.
I blew out the air pipe using a small leaf blower attached to the airbox hose with the box clamped shut, and as far as I could tell, there didn't seem to be any obstruction. I could feel some air coming out underneath a little forward of the front end of the airbox, in the middle of a flat black plastic pipe. Is that the air pipe and does it go all the way forward to the level of the seat? Where is the main opening to that pipe? I'm going to try that again with a much larger leaf blower.
My cart starts and runs now with the carb connected to the closed airbox, but if I put the filter back in it dies, so I guess the filter is still wet altho you can see through it pretty easily. If it doesn't work in another day or so, I'll have to sort out another one.
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Old 04-21-2020, 11:33 AM   #10
mrlmd
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Default Re: fe290 spitting gas out of carb

Last update - my cart starts instantly today and runs fine with the filter in place and the air box latched shut, so I guess my filter has totally dried out now. I'm going to order another one anyway, and a new oil filter, from buggiesunlimited, and they have free shipping 'till 4/22 (free plug).

Fairtax - do you know where the opening is on the air pipe letting in air ? Is it along the whole upper surface of the pipe, as in perforations or similar?
And my cart is a 2000 with the fe290, with the model name "Fairway Villager", basically the same mechanicals as every other similar vintage cart.

The lesson to be learned from this thread is all the damage a sticky or clogged float needle valve can do - gas squirting out of the carb overflow nipple, gas getting into and contaminating the oil, gas getting blown into the airbox filling it and soaking the filter. So keep your fuel clean, use stabilizers and filters and keep riding your cart.

Last edited by mrlmd; 04-21-2020 at 12:07 PM.. Reason: changing text
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