Lower power, low compression - Ariens Deluxe - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 28 Old 01-27-2018, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Lower power, low compression - Ariens Deluxe

I have an Ariens Deluxe 30 Sno-Thro Model 921032, four years old so sadly one year out of the warranty period. Had been running fine until recently. Now the engine turns over slowly after I get it started (I'm guessing 60-120 RPMs), and it won't get up to speed. After some minutes running, it engine speed increased, but not by much. At first I thought it might be the throttle control, but I did a compression test on the engine, and it came back at 40psi.

I had clean oil at the start of the season - and it's now quite black. I also see that oil is spitting out of the exhaust. There was more smoke than usual on start up, but not the clouds of smoke you would see with a blown head gasket.

I also heard a knocking sound when it was running.

So I'm guessing I have a significant problem - how do I go about diagnosing the issue so I can get it fixed?

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2015 Ariens Deluxe 30"

Last edited by pckeen; 01-27-2018 at 02:52 PM.
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post #2 of 28 Old 01-27-2018, 03:03 PM
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The knocking sound is disconcerting. The compression reading doesn't really worry me, the compression release will keep that number fairly low, at least with the pull start. I've gotten 35 psi with the pull starter, as I recall, with a Tecumseh that was running OK. With the electric start, you might get a higher reading (my engine does), perhaps the compression release is turning off at the higher speeds.

How is the oil level? Too high? Oil coming out the exhaust certainly doesn't seem good, there's no "normal" reason for that which comes to mind for me, at least.

I guess a small hole in the piston might be able to cause strange oil behavior, if the hole was small enough to still allow some compression. But that's probably a stretch. Does oil come out of the crankcase breather?

Checking your valve clearances wouldn't be too difficult, and could at least help explain a loss of power, if a valve isn't fully closing. But I don't think it would explain oil out of the exhaust, or a knocking sound. I'm assuming that if you move the throttle plate manually, you still get the same behavior. A weird governor problem wouldn't explain oil spraying and knocking, anyhow.

Pulling the cylinder head may be worthwhile, but hopefully others will have better suggestions.

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post #3 of 28 Old 01-27-2018, 03:33 PM
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None of that sounds good, the only way to tell is to take it apart and inspect it.
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post #4 of 28 Old 01-27-2018, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, this is weird. Went outside to make a video of the issue to post on here, fired it up - and it ran just fine....

Can oil coming out of the exhaust occur when repeatedly pulling over by hand - which is what I was doing.

Oil level was fine when I last checked cold - I'll double check again.

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2015 Ariens Deluxe 30"

Last edited by pckeen; 01-27-2018 at 04:06 PM.
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post #5 of 28 Old 01-27-2018, 04:46 PM
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Can oil coming out of the exhaust occur when repeatedly pulling over by hand - which is what I was doing.
No. A whole bunch of pull-starting attempts on a healthy engine won't result in oil coming from the exhaust, without something else being wrong.

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post #6 of 28 Old 01-27-2018, 05:39 PM
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How heavy an oil are you using???
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post #7 of 28 Old 01-27-2018, 10:53 PM
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Did you have the machine tipped up on the bucket? You can have had some oil run up into the cylinder and get out the exhaust.

Another thing you could do is removed the belts just to rule out any transmission issues. Those could causes noises, but not the oil problem.

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post #8 of 28 Old 01-30-2018, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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How heavy an oil are you using???
5W-30

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Did you have the machine tipped up on the bucket? You can have had some oil run up into the cylinder and get out the exhaust.

Another thing you could do is removed the belts just to rule out any transmission issues. Those could causes noises, but not the oil problem.
Not since doing routine maintenance last year.

I should clarify - there wasn't visible (to the naked oil) spitting out of the muffler - but after a lot of pulling over, I noticed a fine spray / dropets of oil on the ground underneath the muffler, and on the body of the blower.

In other news, I did what I often do when in doubt about an issue - replaced the spark plug - it then fired up on first pull in minus 10 degree celcius weather from cold. I'll keep an eye on the oil to see if the spray is still there after running normally...

As for the knocking sound - I'm wondering if it is just an artefact caused by how slowly it was running before.

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2015 Ariens Deluxe 30"
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post #9 of 28 Old 01-30-2018, 08:42 PM
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Is the engine's crankcase breather in the area of the oil droplets? If it had a rubber breather tube, like a lot of the Tecumsehs, that could be a source of an oil spray.

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post #10 of 28 Old 01-31-2018, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Well - it's back up to its old tricks. Ran great this morning when I wanted to clear a heavy snowfall. Then took it out to clear out the driveway from the plough truck...same problem as before. I guess it wasn't the spark plug

Here's a video showing what is going on. Any ideas?


Snowblowers Owned

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2015 Ariens Deluxe 30"
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