Choke rule of thumb - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-06-2014, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Choke rule of thumb

I'm new to snow throwing and have limited experience with the use of carbureted engines since most of my power tools are electric, used during the summer, and my vehicles fuel injected

I know how a carburetor works and the purpose of a choke. My curiosity is, for cold starts, I'd like to know your opinions on how you use your chokes. For example full choke vs. half choke vs. knowing when to fully turn the choke off based on indicators. Warm up times, etc.

Obviously if the engine won't start or is stalling, the choke approach needs to be adjusted (or it can be other factors). But when it's running and warming up, this is where I'm looking for opinions (especially knowing when to turn the choke off and start tossing some snow! )

Appreciate it. Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-06-2014, 02:45 PM
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When I start my blower, I pull the choke all the way. I leave it choked for only a couple seconds then I take the choke off...if the idle is smooth then I just leave it, if it's hesitating then I'll pull the choke back out for another couple seconds.

As for when to start throwing snow, I leave the blower on idle for a minute to allow the oil to lubricate all the internals, then I'll ramp it up to higher a higher rpm and leave it for a few minutes to warm up...this is when I typically brush the snow off the truck and shovel the stairs. By this time, the blower will have reached operate temperature and is good to go.

1972 Ariens 13/32 restored & repowered
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-06-2014, 04:18 PM
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As Slowrider said full choke to start but you should tell us if you have a primer which is a rubber push action and also you should tell if your choke has 2 or 3 positions namely Full, Mid, OFF.

After your response we will be able to give you a proper procedure to get it going but again as Slowrider mentioned also you have to let the engine get warmed up some, I usually engage the auger to help for the warm up.

Norm

Snow Removal Apparatus I own:
Ariens ST1530DLE, and good ole arm powered scrapper.
The 15 HP is a new Ducar engine sold
by Princess Auto in Canada.
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-06-2014, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Normex. I have a Craftsman 24-in. 208cc Dual-Stage Snowblower (model 88173).

It has a primer bulb. Choke lever has full, half and off. Throttle lever has off, then turtle to rabbit for varying speeds.
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-06-2014, 06:07 PM
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Always use full throttle when operating the machine. You can turn the throttle down as you let it cool briefly before turning it off. Usually it will be full choke, 1-3 pushes of the primer and pull the rope. As soon as it starts switch to half choke and then after a few seconds no choke. Each engine is different so you will have to play around a bit to see how yours runs.

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post #6 of 9 Old 10-06-2014, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. What's the hint the engine is warm and you're ready to shut the choke fully off? Does it oscillate or sputter when the fuel mixture is too rich giving you a hint you need to turn the choke off?
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post #7 of 9 Old 10-06-2014, 07:12 PM
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It may sputter, but remember a rich engine is also relatively cool, as compared to an neutral or leaned out engine. More than likely, you will have to take the choke off, to see if it is ready and adjust accordingly. Some of my machines take less than 30 seconds, others a tad longer.

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post #8 of 9 Old 10-06-2014, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scastro901 View Post
Thanks. What's the hint the engine is warm and you're ready to shut the choke fully off? Does it oscillate or sputter when the fuel mixture is too rich giving you a hint you need to turn the choke off?
This happens almost instantly, it's not a warm-up scenario like a car. The engine will fire and before long it will make other unhappy sounds. Just ease the choke to open and off you go. 2 or 3 go rounds and you'll be a pro.

In many cases it helps to keep a fingertip on the choke while starting. Sometimes the choke will partially reopen when it draws air. If you keep it fully closed it will pull hard for fuel and fire more predictably.
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-06-2014, 10:19 PM
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i've always had my carb on my 8 hp tecumseh to start and emediately let the choke off and stay running with no load. once it's running for 20-30 seconds no load i start the auger spinning for about the same time period and then go blow snow. the pilot screw is enriched so the engine doesn't starve out and die when first started and under extreme loads. same with the high speed jet, i set it up to be a tad bit richer because the machine runs cooler. if you've ever operated a lean machine at night in the dark you can see the orange glow from being hot. by adding some fuel it runs cooler and doesn't glow as much and even starts better in the extreme cold. a lean engine that runs hot also will backfire when shut down unless it is idled down so it can cool off before the engine is shut off.
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