Troubleshooting Brushcutters

BC2600 Hydro Series BrushcuttersAre you having trouble with your Billy Goat Outback brush cutter? Whether you have a BC26 with a floating deck, fixed deck or front casters, it’s easy to narrow down the issue. Here’s what you need to
know to identify and fix common problems with these machines.

Before You Begin

Always disconnect the spark plug before working on your brush cutter. If you bump the drive wheels or blade while the clutch is engaged, you might turn over the engine, causing it to start.

If you remove the blade nut, it must be replaced with a new one. When installing the nut, torque it to 40 ft-lbs.

Engine Doesn’t Start

– Check the throttle. It needs to be in the “Fast” position for the engine to start.
– If you have a Honda engine, check the choke. If the engine is cold, pull the knob out to close the choke. If the engine was just running, push the choke in.
– Check the gas tank. Add fuel if the tank is empty. If the fuel is over one month old, or it was treated with a stabilizer and is over three months old, it’s stale. This makes it hard to ignite. Drain the tank and add fresh fuel.
– Honda engines come with Oil Alert. This shuts off the ignition if the oil level is low. Check the oil level and add oil as needed.
– Make sure the spark plug wire is connected to the plug.
– Check the air filter. A clogged filter can keep the engine from getting the air it needs to run. Paper filter elements can be cleaned by tapping them against a hard surface. Honda foam elements should be washed, dried and soaked in clean engine oil. Squeeze out the filter before installing. Briggs & Stratton foam elements can be washed, but should not be oiled.

Poor Cutting Performance

– Remove any clogs in the deck and debris buildup around the blade.
– Increase the engine speed. If the engine is warm, make sure the choke is open.
– If the blade drive cable is loose, it won’t engage the clutch. Use the cable adjuster to reduce the cable slack.
– The blade is dull. Sharpened or replace it. Always use a new nut when putting a new or sharpened blade on the spindle.

Smoke Coming from Belt, or Belt is Slipping

– The belt isn’t under enough tension. Make sure the clutch lever is fully engaged, and check the cable tension.
– The belt has stretched from wear and needs to be replaced.
– One of the pulleys is worn out or damaged, and needs to be replaced.

Clutch Slips or Makes Squealing Sounds

– The clutch will slip when wet. When cleaning, do not spray water directly at the blade clutch. If the clutch does get wet, wipe it down and let it dry out before using your brush cutter.
– Increase the clutch cable tension to get the clutch to engage fully.
– The clutch is worn out and needs to be replaced.

Blade Brake Won’t Engage

– Loosen the clutch cable. It should have some slack when not engaged. The cable spring should stretch ¼ to 3/8 of an inch with the lever closed.
– The brake clutch is worn and needs to be replaced.

Transaxle Won’t Engage (Self-Propelled Models)

– Adjust the clutch cable using the adjuster next to the handle to remove some slack.
– The clutch cable has stretched and needs to be replaced.
– The drive belt is stretched or worn out. Replace it.

Transaxle Won’t Disengage

– Loosen the clutch cable using the adjuster next to the handle. It should have some slack when not engaged.

Engine Won’t Turn Over

– The blade clutch is seized, forcing the blade to be turned with the engine. Replace the clutch.
– The engine needs to be diagnosed by a professional mechanic.

Abnormal Vibrations Are Coming from the Brushcutter

– The blade is loose or out of balance. Check the nut tightness, and rebalance the blade. Use a new nut when putting the blade back on the brush cutter.
– The engine mounting bolts are loose and need to be tightened down.
– The blade belt is worn out and needs to be replaced.

Get the Parts You Need Straight from Your Browser

If you need equipment or engine parts for your Billy Goat, visit We’re an authorized dealer for Billy Goat, Tuff Torq, and Honda Engines, so you can get everything you need from one place. Our site can narrow down your search to your model and show you factory parts diagrams, so you know exactly what you’re ordering. We ship across the United States and Canada.

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