I got a Murray mower with a Briggs and Stratton 500e 5 HP engine from a friend. Not sure how long it may have been sitting, but I can start it first or second pull. After it starts, it runs slow, unless I tilt it back until the handle is level with the ground. When it's tilted back it runs like normal, but then it cuts off because it stops getting fuel after a few seconds. I've already cleaned the carb, replaced the gas, checked the fuel filter, checked spring tension on the throttle/choke rod (no actual choke, just a spring attached to a rod to hold the door in the carb open) and that is fine, and I checked the air filter/cleaner "sponge" and that looks clean and the engine runs the same with or without it. Only thing I haven't checked was the spark plug, but I don't think that would be the issue because it runs fine while it's tilted. Does anyone have any idea? Or should I just rebuild the entire engine?

  • what does lawnmower engine repair have to do with home improvement?
    – jsotola
    Aug 14, 2019 at 1:17
  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because Small Engine repair is not in the site scope. Aug 14, 2019 at 14:15
  • Although we do answer these questions quite often.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 15, 2019 at 22:40
  • Started a Meta discussion on if this is really not in-scope. Feedback welcome.
    – Machavity
    Aug 16, 2019 at 0:57

1 Answer 1


For those symptoms, I'd initially suggest that the fuel tank and fuel-line need a flushing and cleaning. The tilting back remedy typically means the fuel tank's screen filter is mostly clogged...assuming it has one or some type of filter.

I don't know the specific engine, but very related to the above is a fuel-bowl attached to the carburetor and most especially the Jet-Bolt that attaches them together.

The fuel-bowl needs to be clean and the Jet-bolt needs to be poked clean with a pin and then blown or flushed clear.

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