Runs only when primed - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-12-2018, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Runs only when primed

Hi All ...

New here ... big storm coming tomorrow so I went out to make sure the snowblower worked. This is a Craftsman 28" 9 HP (247.88790). The electric starter just grinds and has for a little while, probably something stripped, so we have been starting it manually until we can fix that in the spring.

So today I find that if I use the normal manual start procedure -- open the choke, open the throttle, prime twice, and pull -- it starts and fires for 2 - 3 seconds, then dies. It does not restart if pulled again, regardless of choke position, though you can hear the plug firing. It always restarts --- and dies 2-3 seconds later -- in the same way if primed again. Keep doing that and it just floods.

I removed the fuel line connection at the bottom of the tank drained all the gas and refilled with fresh gas, and I put in a new plug as the old one was somewhat blackened. This caused absolutely no change -- the behavior is exactly the same.

The obvious conclusion is it is not getting fuel through the normal route, only through the primer. There is only one fuel line so I don't see how it could be blocked, the primer and regular operation would use the same line -- right? So what would cause this? Could there be a straightforward remedy or is this likely to be a carb rebuild or something? Do I just have to bite the bullet and shovel tomorrow?

Thanks for any help,

Tom
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-12-2018, 10:23 PM
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your fuel line could be collapsing internally or your main jet could be plugged up. i would start by dropping the carb bowl and checking the jet then i would check to see if you are getting fuel flow at the other end of the fuel line
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post #3 of 14 Old 03-12-2018, 10:39 PM
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Sometimes, when an engine will only run for a few seconds, I will slowly keep priming for those few seconds, to see if it continues to run. Eventually, it may stay running on it's own without priming. Sometimes, it works itself out. If that works, you might nurse it through the storm. But that's just a band aid.

A carburetor cleaning, rebuilding or replacing may be in order. If the fuel line is original and the machine is old, it's a good idea to replace the fuel line as well.

The electric start may be weak and not fully engaging the starter gear on the flywheel.

Bolens 824 (re-powered with Briggs and Stratton 14.5GT snow engine)
Simplicity 860 (1691900-17825) - (Backup machine)
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-12-2018, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks very much for the quick replies. They matched my underlying vague idea but with much more detail than I can summon on my own. I appreciate the education.

I doubt I will be able to do much with the carb before the storm, it's too late tonight so it depends what conditions are like in the AM. I suspect shoveling will be the order of the day.

New carb for this machine is about $50 - $70 so that factors into how much time it is worth putting in to repair ...

Tom
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-12-2018, 11:01 PM
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Drop the bowl..move the float up and down a few times....it may be stuck up and not letting fuel into the bowl. When the float is down, fuel should be pouring out of the carb.
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-12-2018, 11:12 PM
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new aftermarket adjustable carbs are around 10 bucks and take a half hour at most to replace
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-12-2018, 11:43 PM
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takes about 15 min to do a quick carb clean on a 9 hp tecumseh
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-13-2018, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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OK thanks!! I'll see if I can do any of this in the morning. I do have an enclosed garage to work in, though not heated, we'll see how cold it is.

Tom
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-13-2018, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Smile

Good news and bad news here .

The good news is it's running perfectly.

The "bad" news is it had nothing to do with the carb. Took the carb cover off, tapped the bowl to see if that would free up the float, but didn't want to open it up all the way because I had a full tank of fuel and no shutoff. After a lot of work I got it started by pulling and priming a lot, but it ran very slow and rough. Tried letting it clean itself up and it started running slightly smoother, but still low power.

Then while hanging around waiting just on a lark I tried nudging the throttle linkage and bingo, full speed! The linkage is through a spring wire and corrosion was preventing it from moving when the throttle handle was lifted. With a little lube it works perfectly and starts easily.

So it really wasn't getting fuel, but the problem was a closed throttle, not a dirty carb.
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-13-2018, 11:40 AM
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Glad you got her going. The thought of cleaning up after a storm by hand is not a pleasant one!
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