BADASS of New England

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Matt Trakker

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 Having snowblowah issues...

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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Having snowblowah issues...   Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:33 am

Anyone know a decent place in the Reading area maybe that would do a cheap basic tuneup on my '78 Ariens? lol

Luckily we've gotten no snow, but now I can't get the thing to start. It started on the first pull a couple months ago. Last season of use the thing would start running funny and surging when it was warmed up, stalled out a few times too but would restart. I figured it was something to do w/the carb.

I drained the fuel from it tonight and put some other gas in there but nothing changed. Checked the plug, could probably use a new one but didn't seem like it would keep it from running, it wasn't all wet or anything. I tried starting fluid in the carb, fiddled with the choke settings, I had the key on, etc... Mad
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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:13 am

Replace the plug. Put a couple ounces of fuel injection cleaner in the tank. Check the condition of the crank case oil. If bad, replace.
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95brmw



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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:49 am

So is it starting at all now or running with the surge? If its a no start check for spark because engines from that era have points behind the flywheel. If its surging first thing to try is spraying carb cleaner or starter fluid where the carb meets the intake manifold and see if ti changes. A slight air leak on these things can cause it to run like shit. Failing that, time for a carb rebuild or replacement. You can get aftermarket carbs for about $30 on ebay. I base all this on assuming its a tecumseh BTW.
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:25 pm

Hey guys, Dave it IS a Tecumseh. It's your typical ancient orange and white Ariens, 24" cut, a '78 made during the surge after the Blizzard of '78 when everyone went nuts buying them.

It's been a great machine so far until now. I've gotten comments on it akin to people asking about an old car, haha. I assume it's something simple. Even with the issue of it sometimes surging, it did run pretty nice and very strong, didn't let me down and also made me realize that shoveling is pointless.

Currently, it does not start. You just pull the cord and nothing. Fuel does seem to be getting to the carb, because when I prime it a few times, a few drops of gas drip out under the carb onto the ground. I don't know if that's bad or what.
Billy I changed the oil already, also just before I came on the forum after getting home today, I pulled the plug out, and with it attached to the spark plug wire and the key turned to "RUN", there does not appear to be any spark at the electrode...is this a valid way of checking it? I think I'll grab a new plug just for the hell of it anyway, should probably replace it once a year and this one was in the machine when I bought it 2 years ago...lol.

At the beginning of the "season" around Oct., I reopened the fuel shutoff and put some fresh gas in it, and then it fired up on I believe the first pull. I had it ready for when we had that Halloween snow, but I didn't have to use it. I did have it running again after that once.
About a week ago, I put a little Sta-Bil in the gas tank and a couple drops of Heet because it was real cold out, and I planned on checking the running condition the next day. This thing has to sit outside under a tarp, mind you. And now it does not start...


I'd be happy just to get it running again, I wanted to redo the carb and partially repaint some of it to spruce the thing up over last summer but I never got around to it.
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No Moa



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Location : Midcoast Maine

PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:02 pm

Is the plug wet now after you've tried to start it? Hows the gas smell. Remember this shit gas we have now only lasts up to 90 days (maybe) My generator wouldn't start, i had to pull the plug, dry it, drain the gas, put in fresh and got it going and ran it for 20 min. Sounds like if you have some gas dripping it might be flooded. But without seeing it i can't be sure.
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:17 pm

The plug was kind of wet yesterday when I first noticed the problem, but it wasn't soaked. I blasted it with carb cleaner then kind of wiped it off, it still didn't start after I installed it again. I got a brand new can of gas to put in there, but I will run out and get a new plug first too just in case. Would the spark be easily visible with the plug out and connected to the coil wire while pulling the cord?
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No Moa



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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:21 pm

If you ground the plug on top of te head you should see good bright spark. If its real faint, it probably needs a coil or plug wire. But if I had to guess id think fuel. Only because I've delt with so many issues with motors at work.
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:26 pm

Ohhh...I just had it like laying sideways on the top of the engine...and the engine is painted. LOL

I just realized the gas I put in there was about as old as the gas that was in the snowblower, it's gotta be from late summertime at the newest.

I'll get the new plug and see how it goes, got nothing to lose. If it's in need of more, I may take it to someplace if I can find one that doesn't want like 200 bucks to look at the thing and have the carb gone through too... Smile


Last edited by Matt Trakker on Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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sdstick



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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:27 pm

As long as the plug is grounded you'll see the spark.
Usually best with a spare set of hands (even tho we've all rigged it on our own before..lol)
Bad gas is a killer. You swear its good but a 1/4 full tank generates condensation = water
Make sure your carb mounting screws / bolts are tight.
Drain all the existing gas, including the bowl (but dont screw with the float or needle...yet)
Dump it in a can & put it in your car if your feeling thrifty.
When the bowl is off, spray into the carb with carb cleaner.
Reassemble, put in the new plug & VROOOM.
If it doesnt run then....you need to pull the carb off & REALLY clean it.

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Steve


96BBB 28K 3.42 Bolt-ons
95BBB 100K 3.73 383 New DD...already broke fixt the 4L60E twice
95 Black WB4 Hole...ee...grail
96 Black WB4 No holes in this
95BBB 189K 3.08 Old DD Stolen...by Matt. Cool
Whine..eee...Silver LS6
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:28 pm

sdstick wrote:
As long as the plug is grounded you'll see the spark.
Usually best with a spare set of hands (even tho we've all rigged it on our own before..lol)
Bad gas is a killer. You swear its good but a 1/4 full tank generates condensation = water
Make sure your carb mounting screws / bolts are tight.
Drain all the existing gas, including the bowl (but dont screw with the float or needle...yet)
Dump it in a can & put it in your car if your feeling thrifty.
When the bowl is off, spray into the carb with carb cleaner.
Reassemble, put in the new plug & VROOOM.
If it doesnt run then....you need to pull the carb off & REALLY clean it.

Does the bowl have the screw in the center bottom of it, and is that screw a drain for it? It kind of looks like an adjusting screw??? I'm off to Wal Fahht in Nohhth Reddin tah get ah spahk plug.

Thanks guys!


BTW, one time I had the gas in the tank of this thing completely freeze into a block of slushy ice. Looked like frozen OJ. Had to let it thaw out then drain. That was I think late 2010... Shocked
It didn't crack the tank or anything but it goes to show what can happen to the gas in there...
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sdstick



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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:35 pm

Yes it has a bolt.
It holds the bowl on its not a drain.
When you drop that bolt the bowl will drop straight down & you'll see the float pivot downward
Thats what it does when the motor calls for gas.
The float drops (due to lack of gas in the bowl) & allows the needle to unseat which lets gas into the bowl...get it?
If you havent been in that deep before just gently remove the bowl, empty the gas & dirt, spray thru the carb intake & re-install the bowl
DONT touch the float, that is a somewhat delicate...pre-set part with the needle dangling with a thin wire.
You'll be fine, just dont touch it

_________________
Steve


96BBB 28K 3.42 Bolt-ons
95BBB 100K 3.73 383 New DD...already broke fixt the 4L60E twice
95 Black WB4 Hole...ee...grail
96 Black WB4 No holes in this
95BBB 189K 3.08 Old DD Stolen...by Matt. Cool
Whine..eee...Silver LS6
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Cadet57



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Location : Chicopee, MA

PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:02 pm

If you have a no spark, check the ignition control module!

Oh, wait. Thats a '93 Caprice....
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Matt Trakker



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Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:56 pm

Ok, so, new plug in, drained tank, the gas looked "ok", but not great.

I got the bowl off, the screw in the middle was actually a brass thing with what looked like an inside out schrader valve in it. Dropped bowl straight down gently, float (ring shaped) pivoted down at an angle, there was a little dirt and the gas in it looked like crap...there was a "chicken soup" effect to it, maybe water mixed with gas.

Problem, went to put the bowl back on after I cleaned it, and without even touching the float or anything, the thing I assume you were referring to which looks like a thin wire bent into a half-assed paperclip with a small weight on it that looks like a drill bit, fell off and landed in the bowl...LOL

So now I gotta look up where that damn thing goes!!! Mad

Quote :
If you have a no spark, check the ignition control module!

Oh, wait. Thats a '93 Caprice....


Oh god, don't get me started...lol
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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:23 pm

BTW. Is the fuel shut off open? Just throwing that out there Hollywood. Razz
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:15 pm

LOL, yes, it is.

Steve called me RE: the little piece that fell out...I'm just procrastinating/googling images showing how it sets in the carb float bowl before I try to put it back in.

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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:33 pm



That's the pain in my ass. No I did not sit on the needle to cause ass pain.

About to go mess with it now...we'll see what happens. I think this carb needs a good going through, but like I said, if this thing will run I will be satisfied and then some. After looking at some websites I bet I can rebuild the whole thing by myself... Very Happy
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Pooge



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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:21 pm

You have spark right?

Carb needs a complete tear-down and cleaning, willing to bet you have a few small orphices clogged up. Happens every year with snowmobile carbs. It's the ethanol breaking the fuel down and creating a gelatin-like substance that clogs everything up

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1996 Impala SS - 45K original miles - 5.3 LS swap - Brand new Bilsteins...WHAT A DIFFERENCE!
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:48 pm

Heh, in the words of Red Green, "Welp, that didn't work..."



Went to these sites for info-

http://www.lawn-mower-shop.com/carb1.htm

http://www.williammaloney.com/Misc/TecumsehSnowblowerLawnmowerEngineFloods.htm

Still doesn't run. I have a new plug installed, I took apart the bowl on the carb, drained that out, it was actually pretty clean considering. I got the needle back into the hole it goes in, the clip is facing the right direction, and I tightened the bowl back on carefully. I cleaned this out the best I could:



There is a tiny hole in it that a pushpin can't even get into that can get clogged and create problems, but I think it's clear. I know the carb has to be ripped apart for sure, but it did run pretty damn good this way before (aside from the intermittent issues that didn't really happen all the time)...so I'm confused.

I drained all the old gas, put in fresh gas, set to Run, Full Choke, (I primed it but it almost felt like the prime bulb was weak compared to before I took the bowl off the carb and drained the tank) tried starting it to no avail, so I put Sta-Bil in the gas can to preserve that, and some in the tank on the snowblower to help preserve that. Gas still leaks from someplace on the carb, I think it's the gasket up above the bowl. It did this before and ran fine, and only did it when you were trying to start it and pulling the cord.

I honestly don't know if I have spark or not! I had the coil wire on the plug with the plug unscrewed from the block, wedged between the muffler and part of the engine, my dad happened to show up when I was in "I give up" mode, he was watching with me and we didn't see spark on the plug, it was dark out too...I figured this would ground it enough compared to the plug being screwed into the block?

Kind of lost at this point, I'll probably have to take it somewhere and get it fixed. Mad


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1984twodoor



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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:52 pm

Matt, the boss for my side job has a neighbor who tunes up/repairs all of the small engine equipment he uses. Did a tune up on a blower JUST like yours a few months ago. I thought that was the one he was giving me....FALSE I get a 10 year old no name rusty one...but hey Free is free!

I'll get you the phone number tomorrow.
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95brmw



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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:11 pm

If you still don't have spark I'm willing to bet its the points. They usually get corroded just by sitting (even for a season). Make sure its not a kill switch issue (key in this case). Your gonna have to pull the shroud off, pull the flywheel off and clean or replace them. Use an impact to get the nut off easily then use an air chisel to knock it loose. If you dont have one pry up on the flywheel and whack the center of the crank with the bolt on it as to not damage the threads.
You cant try cleaning the contacts on the points with emery cloth or a small file, but that doesn't always get it. If you put the flywheel back on and turn it rapidly back and forth so that magnet on the flywheel passes the ignition coil, you should get a spark. That's the easiest way to see if you fixed it without putitng the whole thing back together.
If you do end up replacing the points, you can sometimes get them at Ace, if that fails go to a mower shop, its an off the shelf part. Once you get a good spark, then we can move onto the dirty carb Shocked
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:54 am

95brmw wrote:
If you still don't have spark I'm willing to bet its the points. They usually get corroded just by sitting (even for a season). Make sure its not a kill switch issue (key in this case). Your gonna have to pull the shroud off, pull the flywheel off and clean or replace them. Use an impact to get the nut off easily then use an air chisel to knock it loose. If you dont have one pry up on the flywheel and whack the center of the crank with the bolt on it as to not damage the threads.
You cant try cleaning the contacts on the points with emery cloth or a small file, but that doesn't always get it. If you put the flywheel back on and turn it rapidly back and forth so that magnet on the flywheel passes the ignition coil, you should get a spark. That's the easiest way to see if you fixed it without putitng the whole thing back together.
If you do end up replacing the points, you can sometimes get them at Ace, if that fails go to a mower shop, its an off the shelf part. Once you get a good spark, then we can move onto the dirty carb Shocked

Thanks for the info, I could probably find the time to maybe jump the kill switch, but I think the points are out of my league given the time of the year and lack of a place to really mess with it (I leave for work at dawn and get home around dusk every day)...and the lack of air tools...I doubt I can fix this thing. Sucks that the points are in a weird spot like that. Mad

I should buy another snowblower and start a snowblower counterpart to your tractor extravaganza you have going on, lol
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mega



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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:12 am

if its the one i think it is, got one at work from 1977.with tech motor and everything we did, every part except new motor and no go as well. seems there pretty finiky blowers.
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sdstick



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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:32 am

If it ran.
1) Make sure there's spark.
2) disassemble the carb , clean & reassemble.
Once they start hunting (surging) they're screaming dirty carb.
If its readily accessible, why not give it a shot?
Just be real delicate with gaskets & o-rings.
Make notes on how the linkages & springs connect.
There's nothing to them....go for it

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96BBB 28K 3.42 Bolt-ons
95BBB 100K 3.73 383 New DD...already broke fixt the 4L60E twice
95 Black WB4 Hole...ee...grail
96 Black WB4 No holes in this
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mega



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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:48 pm

never seen mine run, been down for about 5 years. so i got me a nice new one with electric start. damn im gettin lazy
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:20 pm

From the looks of it, s'not gettin' a spahk...

I think I'm going to look into either Don's Power Equipment or another place in Woburn called John's Small Engine(?)...I think it's near Lannan Chevy somewhere. If it was just a lawnmower I'd probably fix it myself but there's no way I can shovel out the place where I live now. This machine saved my ass last year! Been lucky this winter but I know if I let this drag on, we'll get dumped on with a foot of snow. I wish I had a garage, and two snowblowers... Laughing
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chapel



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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:57 pm

I just paid $400 to have my Ariens ST724 serviced. The carb was cooked. The ethanol gummed up the orifices so bad that the ultrasonic cleaning wouldn't even help, so they needed to get me a new one.
They also changed the oil, serviced the gearbox, the belts and all the other crap that I'm not even remotely familiar with.

I only paid $120 for it last year and it's a $1000 unit... so I'm still happy.
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:34 pm

chapel wrote:
I just paid $400 to have my Ariens ST724 serviced. The carb was cooked. The ethanol gummed up the orifices so bad that the ultrasonic cleaning wouldn't even help, so they needed to get me a new one.
They also changed the oil, serviced the gearbox, the belts and all the other crap that I'm not even remotely familiar with.

I only paid $120 for it last year and it's a $1000 unit... so I'm still happy.

400 seems like a lot, was it Maestranzi? I hear they're astronomical but replace EVERYTHING. Mine was serviced there since new however. I paid 75 bucks for mine, so obviously I'm not looking to dump 400 into it...lol
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chapel



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PostSubject: Re: Having snowblowah issues...   Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:44 pm

no, it was North Shore Power Equipment in Salem on Highland Ave
$35 of it was pickup/dropoff service
it was $270 for the service and $110 for the carb
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