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Snow-thrower won't start

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Snow-thrower won't start

Post  roddie on Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:54 pm

I waited too long to test-run my machine this season.. and it's snowing now with 12+ inches forecast. The Tecumseh 7hp usually starts on the 1st or 2nd pull.. but not today. I think I flooded it.. so I waited 1/2 an hour and tried again.. no joy. I pulled the plug, brought it in the house and took some aspirin. Laughing

The plug was wet.. and dirty with carbon-deposits. I cleaned it up and checked the gap. It was about .028".. which seems a bit tight to me. I reset to .035" and will try again. I don't know the spec. on the gap.



It's an old Champion J19LM plug that's been in the engine since I bought the machine 4 years ago. My fuel has stabilizer added, and ran fine in the lawn-mower this past Fall.

Wish me luck...
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Re: Snow-thrower won't start

Post  Ken Cook on Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:51 pm

Obviously not enough nitro
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Re: Snow-thrower won't start

Post  KariFS on Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:04 pm

Did you check for spark? Remove the plug, put it in the plug cap, secure the plug firmly against the cooling fins and pull the starter cord. Just remember, either hold the plug firmly against the fins with your hand or don't touch it at all. Hold it "cautiously" and you'll get zapped Doh!

Usually the electrodes of a worn plug have turned round from the corners, or there may be a recess in the middle. Usually the gap increases, so the possible adjustment would be decreasing the gap.

Sometimes plugs het damaged if they get wet. The current "strikes through" the wet insulation material and creates an "easier" path for the current so it won't go through the gap, hence no spark. I've had this happen on some NGK brand plugs.

Hope you'll get it sorted.
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Re: Snow-thrower won't start

Post  Admin on Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:28 pm

Assuming you have spark. Do you have a can of carb cleaner or perhaps contact cleaner? With a dry plug in, shoot some carb cleaner down the intake with the choke off and then give it a pull. If it fires once, repeat but with the choke on. Sometimes you need to work some of the old fuel out of the system.

I'm one who usually doesn't drain the carb when I put engines away for the season, all the years I've done it, I had trouble the next season. Sediment dries, seals dry, diaphragms get hard... I rarely have trouble leaving fuel in the carb, although engines don't sit for more than a few months untouched.

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Re: Snow-thrower won't start

Post  NEW222 on Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:46 pm

When I have this happen, I will check for spark, and if so, put a shot of fuel in the plug hole, insert plug and give it a pull. If that doesn't work, I second admin's recommendation, except, I use fuel here as well. That usually gets it going...
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Re: Snow-thrower won't start

Post  getback on Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:27 pm

roddie wrote:I waited too long to test-run my machine this season.. and it's snowing now with 12+ inches forecast. The Tecumseh 7hp usually starts on the 1st or 2nd pull.. but not today. I think I flooded it.. so I waited 1/2 an hour and tried again.. no joy. I pulled the plug, brought it in the house and took some aspirin. Laughing

The plug was wet.. and dirty with carbon-deposits. I cleaned it up and checked the gap. It was about .028".. which seems a bit tight to me. I reset to .035" and will try again. I don't know the spec. on the gap.



It's an old Champion J19LM plug that's been in the engine since I bought the machine 4 years ago. My fuel has stabilizer added, and ran fine in the lawn-mower this past Fall.

Wish me luck...
All good stuff but that plug is fouled looking to me , if you have a new one use it , if not sand blast will bring it around sometimes but has to bee cleaned GOOD afterwards !!
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Re: Snow-thrower won't start

Post  roddie on Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:37 pm

Thanks fella's.. I didn't check for spark... as I was pretty confident that I'd flooded the engine. The plug wasn't seated tightly.. as it took little effort to loosen. I re-installed the cleaned/re-gapped plug and got a pop on the 2nd pull.. fully-choked. 3rd pull got her going with a puff of smoke.. and quickly opening the choke. She was purring like a kitten after a few seconds. I guess that cleaning and re-setting the gap to .035" did the trick.. although spec. is likely .030". I proceeded to do a full clean-up after the engine had run for 5 minutes. The machine ran well. I idled it down for 5 minutes.. after doing the driveway.. and shoveled-off the front deck/stairs.. to finish-off.

The machine is a two-stage 1968 Allis-Chalmers/Simplicity Snow Buster 724 (7hp/24" width) built like an Army tank. It has two forward speeds with reverse.. hard-rubber v-tread tires and a lock-option on the L/H hub. There are no "visible" shear-pins for the auger.. which is powered via a chain-drive secondary/belt-primary. The fan is a "paddle-wheel" style. Unique.. in that it doesn't power the auger via a differential.. like modern machines. It's actually an extension of the auger.. geared higher and rotating on the same axis behind it.. rather than a modern 90-degree fan-impellor/differential design. This older design makes the machine "longer" than it needs to be.. by probably 10-12".. but I paid $350 dollars for it 4 years ago.. with a new carburetor.. and it's been a good little machine. The auger-drive's belt-idler gave me some problems with freezing-up in previous seasons. A side-guard must be removed to gain access. WD-40 would "un-stick" it.. but didn't provide lasting lubrication. Last season I lubed the idler with light-oil.. and there was no hint of "stickiness" today when I used it.



Just above the recoil-starter is a rubber fuel-priming bulb. I pressed it too many times I think, when first trying to start the engine. Now that it's been run.. I'll just close the choke on starting, when I resume use tomorrow morning.  

I've never drained any of my equipment's fuel-tanks for off-season storage. They all have 4-stroke engines. I custom-blend my fuel with ethanol-treatment and Marvel Mystery Oil as a minimum. The snow-blower fuel gets an additional taste of lead-substitute. A 2.5 gallon fuel-mix gets .3 oz. of "Startron" ethanol-treatment/stabilizer, 1.5 oz. of "Gunk"-brand lead-substitute and 1.5 oz. Marvel Mystery Oil.



I use lead-substitute in my 1968 machine.. because its' engine was designed when gasoline had lead in it. Modern IC engines' valve-trains have hardened-seats to cope with the absence of lead in the fuel. 100 octane low-lead can be found at your local airport.. but 5 gal. will cost you about $25... right now. If you have a vintage engine.. it's worth spending the money on the fuel that it was designed to burn. The "aroma" of the exhaust alone, is worth the expense... like smoking a fine cigar.

Thank You for the suggestions! Thumbs Up This reply has been in segments through-out this afternoon/evening. The snow has stopped.. and tomorrow morning will be phase II of the clean-up. I really appreciate you reading this far. A day in my life.
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