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Old 01-04-2013, 02:46 PM   #1
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Default Tecumseh hard to start

I have a friend with a 70's Ariens that has a 7hp Tecumseh on it. The engine can be very hard to start, especially when cold, because it feels like it has crazy compression. Recently trying to start it he ripped the rope through the hole in the handle. He fixed that, then literally ripped the handle apart. He was using hd30 oil and I switched him a few years ago to 5-30 or 10-30 (I forget which) but it's still hard to start in the cold. Any ideas?
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:29 PM   #2
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Default Hard to start

Just sold a Ariens 8 HP the other day that was hard to start. I finally ended up swapping carbs out for a new one that had provisions for a primer bulb along with adding an electric starter. I could not find any other solutions.

Ironically I have another one in the shed right now I may have to do the same thing to.

Wish I had a better solution, that can get a bit expensive.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:19 PM   #3
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The problem isn't the carb, it's compression making it VERY hard to pull over.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:29 PM   #4
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Default Hard starting

If that's your issue, no help. Good luck, hope it's easy to fix.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:35 PM   #5
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it is usually the wrong oil. when you changed the oil a few years ago the new oil may have been cleaning all the gunk out of the motor and now it is like sludge again. I would change the oil out again.

a second thought is maybe the motor is fine. maybe what ever pully/belt set up it is connected to is binding. pully the pulley/pulleys off and try an unloaded motor.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:30 PM   #6
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The other thing to do would be to adjust the valves on the engine. The old L-Head valves wear and if they are not in spec they can prevent the compression release mechanism from opening the exhaust valve when you try to start it.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:01 AM   #7
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You could try using a synthetic oil. I use Amsoil 10w30 in my snowblower. I had a 5hp Tecumseh on my 1996 MTD 5/22 snow blower that became harder and harder to start each and every year. I was told by a mechanic that the flat head engines were notorious for having carbon building deposits up and this would affect how the valves open and close and thus make it harder to start. He says they do a valve job on them and lap the new valves into the cylinder head and that usually takes care of the difficult starting problems. Even when the engine was new it was never a powerhouse anyway. This past summer my 2.8hp Doodle bug developed a leaking float bowel on the carburetor and I ended up stripping the carburetor float bowel by accident while trying to stop the leak and would have need a $35 dollar carburetor to fix it. While looking up a new carburetor I came upon Old minibikes.com where members would replace their gutless 2.8hp with a 6.5 hp Honda clone and I began reading about it. I decided to give the Harbor freight engine a try and I ordered it for $119.99 at the time plus another $6.99 for shipping. I also ordered the Pro-mod engine mounting plate from Hotrod minibikes and let me tell you I was impressed with this engine. Smooth running and powerful and and not for little kids or newbies either. I then decided to get one for my snowblower and I first came upon others who have done it with their snow blowers and all of them were extremely delighted with the Honda clone over the Tecumseh. Being that the Predator 212cc is a single shaft engine vrs the 2 shaft Tecumseh made it a bit more of a challenge. I solved it by flipping the gear box and cutting and flipping and re-welding the gear shift lever as well as flip the auger pulley around to move the belt groove closer to the engine. I then finished the engine installation and tested it out only to find I had a really fast snowblower. I ended up ordering the smallest steel top pulley and getting a larger diameter friction disk for a MTD from Jack's small engines. I also joined this website too. I also ended up putting on my own rendition of the Clarence impeller kit since I had over a 1/2 gap between the impeller and housing. I had a chance to use it since we got an 11 inch snow fall back on 12/09/2012 here in central Minnesota and it cut through the snow like it wasn't even there. The Tecumseh would bog when hitting the snowplow pushed up snow and the Predator cuts through it like a hot knife through butter. Here is my machine in action
Mtd Yard machine 5/22 re-power with Harbor freight Predator 212cc OHV engine - YouTube

Last edited by GustoGuy; 01-05-2013 at 02:07 AM.
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:27 AM   #8
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I too am having a hard time with this... I have a tecumseh 8hp engine and I did the oil drain last night... waiting for this morning to put in new oil and see if it's better. Crossing my fingers
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:16 AM   #9
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Default Carboned up engines

Virtually every blower I've bought with a Tecumseh engine has had alot of carbon on the valves, head and piston. Here's a thread that includes how I go about decarboning the engine:
Evaluating a used engine

So far I have not found one that this has not helped out. If you're willing to do a little work, it may help you out.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:56 AM   #10
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Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I'll pitch some of this to him. Could be carbon in the cylinder, could be excessive exhaust valve clearance defeating the compression release, or I suppose the compression release could be stuck on "not released" somehow. Anyone have a # for a gasket kit? I don't mind doing the tinkering. I may also pitch to him the Harbor Freight engine dealio. I wonder if soaking the cylinder in Marvel Mystery would help it break up the carbon without disassembly.
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