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Snowblower Engine Problem

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Never used,(bought last year), 8HP Tecumseh, MTD 24" Cut. I started it in October and again in December but only ran it for a minute or so and didnt notice a problem.

Starts first pull, runs well for a few minutes and then begins to sputter, almost stalling, if a load is put on it will stall. Sputters and slight backfires and then it smooths out again. I did a couple paths in my back yard today, no problem, took it into the street and it died. Starts first pull again.

I drained the gas yesterday and replaced it with fresh and even added Sta Bil in case I have water in the carb. Better today but still missing. Definitely sounds like water or dirt in the carb, I would retuen it but I cant find the receipt (Home Depot) and I really want to keep it. Any suggestions, should I buy carb cleaner or fule injector cleaner or do I need to pull the carb? Run it for hours, its already run for over an hour yesterday and today. Any help is appreciated.

Next year this wont happen cuz when Charleston starts his up in July, he's gonna remind me how stupid I can be in January.
post #2 of 19
Check the air filter. Did you tip the machine while draining the fuel ? It sounds to me like the air filter got soaked probably with fuel.
Just a thought.
post #3 of 19
Yo High, did you take the choke off. HD will probably exchange it without the receipt. they be good like that. Make sure you let them know, you're not an Eagles fan tho.
post #4 of 19
Did you have sta-bil in the gas during storage? I think you have a build up in your carb. I would try running it for a while. If no good you will need to have the carb rebuilt.
Keep sta-bil in gass at all times. I start mine once a month to keep the carb from building up.
post #5 of 19
Sorry to be a bummer, but if you can get the thing returned to Home Depot for store credit, do it ASAP and pick up an Ariens. MTD and Murray are the same company, and their machines do not hold up and are riddled with problems.
post #6 of 19
I have an 8hp Ariens and in this last storm when mine heated up I had similar symptoms? If I shut it down for 10 minutes i would run fine until it heated up again? any thoughts
post #7 of 19
My machine is a 29 inch Craftsman. It has a 9 hp Tecuseh engine. It runs fine, no problems. I never shut it down. I refuel while it's running. It has not let me down.
post #8 of 19
I have a Murray which is almost 10yrs.old. It ha a 5 hp Tecuseh Snow King engine and not once did I ever have a problem. I always run it with stabilizer in the gas and drain it before storing it for the summer. Also before storage, I change the oil,spark plug,mist the cylinder and grease it up.

Treat it nice and it will take care of you.
post #9 of 19
Tecumseh's are notorious for fouling the carb if fuel is left in the thing even for as short a time as two months. If your not using it its better to drain it completley and then start it up to empty the carb of fuel.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
I think my mistake was in leaving gas since the summer. Anyway, I guess Im gonna pull the carb and see if I can clean it, otherwise its off to the repair shop. I think the Depot would take it back, however if I caused the problem I'll fix it, and I want the machine anyway.

I do think the Ariens they carry now are superior, but Im not looking to go another $500 just so I can have an Ariens, I have one driveway 42 x 21 and a short sidewalk, so the MTD should do the job. BTW, I have a Murray lawn mower, rated a best buy by consumer reports and I havent had a probelm with it.

Thanks for the advice, Im praying for rain all weekend.
post #11 of 19
You may need to have the carb rebuilt. New seals and diaphrams. The gas being left in the machine attacks the rubber or builds a "shilac" on it. Next time leave it stored with the gas in but add Sta-bil to the gas. The carb will not "pump" the fuel!
That machine should be more than adequate for what you need.
BTW The Tecumseh is the top rated snow blower engine. Take it to the repair shop so you have it back before you need it again.
Good luck!
post #12 of 19
Originally posted by 8ball:
Tecumseh's are notorious for fouling the carb if fuel is left in the thing even for as short a time as two months. If your not using it its better to drain it completley and then start it up to empty the carb of fuel.
That is what I did last year and this year had a problem. Luckily I had it fixed before the storm. I posted this in another thread: Do not follow any manufacturer's instructions that say treat fuel drain tank and run gas out until engine quits!!! The first two years I had my snowblower I treated the gas with StaBil fuel stabilizer and she started up with 1 pull the next year. Last year like a dope I followed the instructions in the owners manual and this year the carburator jets were clogged all to hell and of course the blower would not run. My friend who is a mechanic told me to leave it full and treat the gas. NEVER drain it again. All of my other gas equipment with treated fuel works flawlessly. 2 or 4 cycle. My boat always fires right up in the spring also. I use StabBil in all of it.
post #13 of 19
Closing the fuel valve and running the line dry below the valve till the engine quits will not empty the carb of fuel! If you think it will put a rag on your finger after the above procedure and push up on the spring loaded drain pin on the bottom of the fuel bowl on the Tecumseh carb. You will drain about a 1/2 ounce of fuel that is left in the bowl.The engine will not drain the bowl on it's own and it is this residual 1/2 ounce that will evaporate and varnish up the float,needle and seat along with the main jet.

If you are really unlucky it will also absorb moisture which will cause corrosion of the emultion tube in the Tecumseh carb rendering it useless and unrebuildable.

The use of fuel stabilizers retards the deterioration of gas but does little to help with regard to moisture in spite of the advertisements.Our gas has 10% alcohol in it because the Feds. made the use of other additives illegal. The alcohol absorbs water like a sponge and that is why if you leave fuel in the carb in cold weather the fuel often ices in the bottom of the bowl.

In addition Snow blower engines don't have air filters because when they did 50 years ago the manufacturers found out thet ice and snow crystals clogged the filters and the engines stalled.This is the same reason they don't have fuel filters. Moisture absorbed by the gas would freeze in the filter.The remedy was to leave the filters off which in the case of the absent air filter allows snow and ice to get sucked into the engine= more moisture!

Ever notice that Snow Blower engines have their carburetors covered by a metal box that is built around the muffler? The purpose of the box is to trap some heat so the bowl doesen't freeze up due to all the moisture! The problem is if you don't drain the bowl and then store the machine in a cold garage or under a deck, that water is going to freeze.

The answer is to run the engine till it quits after the gas valve is shut. Then drain the bowl using the spring loaded pin in the bottom of the bowl (Honda has a nice little threaded drain screw to accomplish the same objective.I don't know about Briggs as they have just re entered the snow market after an absence that dates back to the sixties.)Finally having done the above, put the engine on choke and push the prime button several times and then pull the starter.Depending on how much gas is left in the carbs fuel circuits the engine will either run for a few seconds or merely pop.Following the above regimen along with keeping your fuel fresh and stored in a sealed can with the vent closed and spout plugged, it is likely that you won't experience carb related issues.
post #14 of 19
Thanks Marc. I did exactly as you described last year and the carb was still "varnished" up. Judging by your post I must not have gotten every last drop.
post #15 of 19
Excellent information.
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