Older (1997?) MTD snowblower with HMSK80 - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 22 Old 02-10-2015, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Older (1997?) MTD snowblower with HMSK80

So I have an older MTD snowblower with a Tecumseh HMSK80 engine on it. My parents and I have been using this snow blower for what seems like 15 years if not longer.

Lately this snow blower has begun to show its age with some harder starts, seems a little less reliable when running etc. Small problems nothing too major. Yesterday I think the start motor seized in the extended position and then my father tried pull starting it breaking some teeth on the starter motor and breaking the pull chord.

I was able to repair the pull start with the help of some youtube videos to get it back running again but now I have a few questions.

I am planning on buying a replacement starter motor and already have a new carb to put on this snowblower. If I replace the motor and carb am i right in my assumptions that this should be a reliable snowblower?

I have already purchased an ariens deluxe 28 so this will be a secondary snow blower but I would still like it to be reliable for use. I have seen some snowblowers that are much older and still running. I just want to see if there is anything else I should be doing to keep this snow blower working well.
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post #2 of 22 Old 02-10-2015, 08:44 PM
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Welcome to SBF!!!

I have 3 tecumseh engines dating back to '72...that I brought back from the assumed-dead...and have plenty of life left in them as long as they are cared for. They are very simple engine designs but they do require some tlc.

A few tips that immediately come to kind:
-Familiarize yourself with the tecumseh l-head service manual.
-Install a tach and keep RPMs below 3600.
-Use fresh fuel...preferably ethanol free.
-Treat the fuel with 1% sea foam to minimize carbon deposits.
-Replace the fuel line
-Install a fuel filter and fuel shutoff
-I run my tecs dry every time...you never know when it will be called to action again.
-Maintain oil levels; check before every use.
-Change the oil once / season....or more frequently for heavy use.
-Check the torque on the head and crankcase bolts.
-Check compression.
-Pull the valve cover and check clearances.
-Inspect/check spark plug.
-Winterize; fog cylinder and intake at the end of the season & drain the fuel completely.

The first thing I do with an old, tired engine is check compression, pull the head (regardless of compression) to do a thorough decarb and valve job, check the bore / piston and install a new head gasket.

I dont know much about that blower...im sure someone will swing by to help with that!

Last edited by classiccat; 02-10-2015 at 08:54 PM.
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post #3 of 22 Old 02-11-2015, 09:30 AM
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It's not that old.
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post #4 of 22 Old 02-11-2015, 11:18 AM
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I totally agree with classicat's excellent recommendations on a future maintenance schedule. Adding a new starter and carb will certainly add to future reliability, but as we all know, anything made by man could last one day or a hundred years.

Here is a copy of the Tecumseh flat head service manual to help with current and future maintenance chores.

http://www.barrettsmallengine.com/ma...headmanual.pdf

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post #5 of 22 Old 02-11-2015, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid View Post
It's not that old.
Sid
For a '97 MTD, it is.

Scot


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post #6 of 22 Old 02-11-2015, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sscotsman View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid View Post
It's not that old.
Sid
For a '97 MTD, it is.

Scot
17 years is 17 years period!!!
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post #7 of 22 Old 02-11-2015, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HJames View Post
17 years is 17 years period!!!
Yes it is..but we aren't talking about 17 years in a vaccum, unrealated to anything else.
For a house cat, 17 years is old.
Same with a 1997 MTD.

For a person, 17 years is not old.
If were talking about a 1980 MTD, 17 years would not be old.


So sure, you can say "17 years is 17 years"..but without any context, its a meaningless statement.

Scot


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post #8 of 22 Old 02-11-2015, 06:52 PM
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Very Good engine maintenance recommendations by Classiccat.

Recoils break over time. That is normal wear and tear. If you use synthetic oil you will have a better chance of staring on a cold day if the E-start is not working. Plus you get the other benefits of Synthetic.

If the machine is relatively rust free and the bearings are sound you are likely good to go.

You may need to change out the belts and rubber friction disk but they are not expensive and you can do it yourself. Springs tend to rust over time and can break. I have seen this on expensive Ariens as well as cheaper models in the MTD family. Again they are cheap and replace them if they look suspect.

Post some pics of the machine.

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post #9 of 22 Old 02-11-2015, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sscotsman View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by HJames View Post
17 years is 17 years period!!!
Yes it is..but we aren't talking about 17 years in a vaccum, unrealated to anything else.
For a house cat, 17 years is old.
Same with a 1997 MTD.

For a person, 17 years is not old.
If were talking about a 1980 MTD, 17 years would not be old.


So sure, you can say "17 years is 17 years"..but without any context, its a meaningless statement.

Scot
The context is snowblowers and they age in years just the same, if not why call one old and another new? I have an older Ariens of 1968 vintage and a newer MTD of 1999 vintage. The Ariens is considerably older than the MTD. In the context of snowblowers 17 years is not old, but 34 would be.
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post #10 of 22 Old 02-11-2015, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HJames View Post
The context is snowblowers and they age in years just the same, if not why call one old and another new? I have an older Ariens of 1968 vintage and a newer MTD of 1999 vintage. The Ariens is considerably older than the MTD. In the context of snowblowers 17 years is not old, but 34 would be.
Ah..now I see..you totally didn't get my original point!

Generally speaking, a '97 MTD is much older than a 1980 MTD, when it comes to overall expected average lifespan. Because not all snowblowers age the same..because they are not all equal in build quality when new.

17 years is not 17 years..some 17 year old snowblowers are very young, other 17 year old snowblowers are very old..depends on who built them, and when.

That is what I meant by "for a '97 MTD, it is."

Scot


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