Crafstman 536.881800 running rough, mixture issue? - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 28 Old 12-17-2016, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Crafstman 536.881800 running rough, mixture issue?

Hello,

My Crafstman 536.881800 has started giving me trouble. I used it today with a few inches of moderately heavy snow and it kept trying to stall out. It would get rough and almost backfire, particularly when I had the impeller running. It also seemed to run worse when I was on an incline.

I change the oil every year. Before I put it away in the spring, I run it as dry as I can and then put some gumout and both green and red stabilizer in the tank for storage. I also put stabilizer in the gas can, though I try to not reuse it. I changed the spark plug about two years ago but I have never needed to have the engine serviced. It took longer to get started this year, but it is about 10 years old now and I expect some reduction in performance.

Oddly, the engine seems to need to run on choke after it has been running for a while. This just means that it starts to sputter and switching back to choke is the only thing that keeps it running. This really doesn't make any sense at all so I am wondering if the mixture needs to be adjusted. On my old Ariens, there was a screw to adjust the mixture and that needed to be tweaked from time to time. There is nothing similar visible on this engine (Briggs & Stratton) , so if it has an adjustment, it must be under the plastic cover.

Anyway, are there any suggestions as to what the issue might be? Does this sound like a carburetor, bad gas, gas tank sediment, plugged fuel line, fuel filter, or something different?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated,

LMHmedchem
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post #2 of 28 Old 12-17-2016, 03:59 PM
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The carb is most likley getting clogged up. You can try some fuel system cleaner, like Sea Foam or Berryman's B12. And if that doesn't work. Try cleaning the carb. The carb for that machine is no longer available. But Briggs & Stratton has a replacement kit. You kind of need to know what your doing, as the governor spring has to be changed. The kit comes with a selection of springs. I recently put a kit on, and found I had to use the heaviest spring in the kit. And then fine adjust the rpm's with my tach.




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post #3 of 28 Old 12-17-2016, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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The carb is most likley getting clogged up. You can try some fuel system cleaner, like Sea Foam or Berryman's B12. And if that doesn't work. Try cleaning the carb. The carb for that machine is no longer available. But Briggs & Stratton has a replacement kit. You kind of need to know what your doing, as the governor spring has to be changed. The kit comes with a selection of springs. I recently put a kit on, and found I had to use the heaviest spring in the kit. And then fine adjust the rpm's with my tach.
The carb replacement sound more like something I would need to have someone else do. I don't mind at all doing engine work, but I don't have a garage and it's pretty hard to do that kind of thing outside when it's as cold as it is around here. That's something I could have done in the summer. I guess I could take it apart and get it down the basement if I had to.

Just for my information, what would that kit run and where would you get it? How much should that repair cost in my local small engine shop? I don't really like this snowblower all that much, so I'm not sure how much I would put into it as opposed to replacing it. If I got a new one, I could rebuild the carb next summer and then sell it.

Which would you suggest for the cleaner, SeaFoam or Berryman's B12. I have used SeaFoam before but not the other. I would probably pull the spark plug and pour some cleaner in the cylinder and leave it overnight. Then I would drain allot of the gas and add the rest of the cleaner to the tank and run it out. Does that make sense?

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post #4 of 28 Old 12-17-2016, 08:31 PM
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Here's the link for the carb. Believe it or not Sears had the best price, even cheaper than on Ebay. I'm not sure how much a shop would charge you, maybe an hour? But they may not like you bringing your own parts, you'd have to ask on that. As far as cleaner either one is good. Berryman's is cheaper.

Lawn & Garden Equipment Engine Carburetor | Part Number 594014 | Sears PartsDirect




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post #5 of 28 Old 12-22-2016, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Well, my situation has not improved.

I emptied the gas tank and cleaned it out with some gumout. Then I put in some seafoam and fresh gas and ran it for a minute or so. Then I shut it down, turned off the power switch, primed it a few times, and turned over the engine with the pull rope a few times. The intent was to get the seafoam into the carb and leave it there. I left it overnight.

Today, I can't get it to start at all. It ran for a few seconds and then shut down. I couldn't get it started again. I drained the gas again and filled it with fresh gas without the seafoam but it still won't start. It will start right up with starter fluid, but dies immediately if I don't keep spraying the starter fluid.

It almost acts like it isn't getting any gas and I wonder if the gas line is plugged. the choke position doesn't seem to matter. I took off the gas line and let some gas empty. The flow looks alright, so I guess it's not plugged. I sprayed some gumout into the hose and also into the nipple where the hose attaches to the carb. I took off the bowl of the carb and cleaned that out. It didn't look all that dirty.

I see a little spring loaded screw right next to the choke control. Is this the fine mixture adjust? I have been wondering for a while if this needs to be adjusted some.

Do I take off the carb, bring it in, and try to clean it? Do I just get a new one? I couldn't see the spring you were talking about, is that under the gas tank or somewhere it is hard to get to?

Sorry for all the questions.

LMHmedchem

Last edited by LMHmedchem; 12-22-2016 at 04:12 PM.
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post #6 of 28 Old 12-22-2016, 08:56 PM
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The screw with the spring is for the idle adjustment. And yes, the governor spring is under the tank. Out of curiosity, where are you located?




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post #7 of 28 Old 12-22-2016, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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The screw with the spring is for the idle adjustment. And yes, the governor spring is under the tank. Out of curiosity, where are you located?
I'm just south of Boston. I have been working on this for the last few days because the weather has been reasonable. Around here that can change at almost any time.

I'm a bit in the weeds as to what to do next. I can order a new carb, but that won't get here until next week at the earliest. I am tempted to take off the carb I have and see if I can clean it and get it working again. Is that a difficult fix?

I work on my truck quite a bit and do maintenance like brakes and suspension work. On the engine, I don't do much other than changing the plugs and removing and cleaning the throttle body.

I can't quite explain why it will run with starter fluid but won't light at all. I would think it would at least sputter a bit.

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post #8 of 28 Old 12-22-2016, 11:11 PM
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Its sounds pretty plugged.But you may not get it cleaned enough, as bad as yours sounds. You'l have to make some carb base gaskets, if you pull it off. Just get some gasket material at the auto parts store and if you can get 1 off in 1 piece, you can use it as a pattern. If you have a harbor freight near you , get a gasket punch set. And you will need an xacto knief. The nut that holds the bowl on has tiny holes, they need to be cleaned out.




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post #9 of 28 Old 12-22-2016, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Its sounds pretty plugged. But you may not get it cleaned enough, as bad as yours sounds. You'l have to make some carb base gaskets, if you pull it off. Just get some gasket material at the auto parts store and if you can get 1 off in 1 piece, you can use it as a pattern. If you have a harbor freight near you , get a gasket punch set. And you will need an xacto knief. The nut that holds the bowl on has tiny holes, they need to be cleaned out.
If I have time over the weekend I will try to clean the carb and see if I can get it going again. Is there a vid for the procedure out there somewhere? If I can't get it running, I will probably order a new one next week.

The repair is probably more work than the replacement, so normally I wouldn't try both. Since I can't get the part right away I might as well try the repair if I have some time. At any rate, it will be easier to to the replacement if I have had the thing off and back on again recently. Is it absolutely necessary to replace the governor spring when switching to the new carb? The repair would be allot easier if I don't have to remove the gas tank.

Do I need to put any of the blue silicone gasket grease on the replacement gaskets or do they go on dry?

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post #10 of 28 Old 12-23-2016, 06:09 AM
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Try searching youtube for your specific engine and watch some videos on cleaning carbs. Look for any by donboy73. I'm not all that mechanical and I did mine just from talking to a parts guy where I picked up the carb kit. This was before we had the internet here at the house.

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