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Old 02-11-2016, 07:09 AM Thread Starter
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Sudden rough idle and cutting out

I have a Toro 826 about 3 years old. Never had any problems with it. Last week I struck something and it started acting up. It started misfiring and idling rough and curting out. I could restart it but when I switched from IDLE to RUN it would begin to misfire and not run smooth and after a few seconds it would shut off. I could prime it and restart but would get the same thing happen over and over. A couple of times it would work if i let it idle for a few minutes before switching to RUN but it wouldn't last for too long. There doesn't seem to be any gas leaking or anything in the auger. What could it be? The spark plug? I'm lost for ideas. THANKS!

T.C.
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Old 02-11-2016, 08:36 AM
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I have a Toro 826 about 3 years old. Never had any problems with it. Last week I struck something and it started acting up. It started misfiring and idling rough and curting out. I could restart it but when I switched from IDLE to RUN it would begin to misfire and not run smooth and after a few seconds it would shut off. I could prime it and restart but would get the same thing happen over and over. A couple of times it would work if i let it idle for a few minutes before switching to RUN but it wouldn't last for too long. There doesn't seem to be any gas leaking or anything in the auger. What could it be? The spark plug? I'm lost for ideas. THANKS!

T.C.
If the engine stalled when you hit that "something" I'd suspect the flywheel key may have sheared. This results in the spark timing being advanced and the engine can then be difficult to start (may feel some kickback in the recoil starter, for example). If the flywheel moved a lot it may also throw the engine out of balance to produce a noticeable vibration.
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Old 02-11-2016, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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If the engine stalled when you hit that "something" I'd suspect the flywheel key may have sheared. This results in the spark timing being advanced and the engine can then be difficult to start (may feel some kickback in the recoil starter, for example). If the flywheel moved a lot it may also throw the engine out of balance to produce a noticeable vibration.
THANKS. You may be right about the flywheel key shearing. How do I go about checking this?
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Old 02-11-2016, 08:48 AM
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Flywheel key would be my thought as well. You would have to remove the flywheel to check it.
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Flywheel key would be my thought as well. You would have to remove the flywheel to check it.
Thanks. When I remove the cover, will it be obvious that the key is damaged or will I have to remove the flywheel?
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:22 AM
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No, it will not be visible with just the cover off. You will need to remove the flywheel.

This is a bit of a discussion topic unto itself. Removing flywheels can be tricky, and if done wrong, you can break something. If you have an impact wrench, for removing the flywheel nut, that is helpful.
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:45 AM
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You may be able to see by removing the flywheel cover (the recoil housing) and removing the flywheel nut and starter cup. You can likely then see the key and keyway. On most engines, the two should be lined up. If they look like this:



it may be a sign that the key has sheared and the flywheel has moved.

Having said this, I've seen Tecumseh engines that use funky offset keys like this:



So maybe don't immediately jump to the conclusion that the key has sheared if the offset is small. Perhaps post a picture of what you see and the make and model number of the engine to help determine if what you see is "normal" or "bad."
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:54 AM
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Hmm, I never saw a key like that, maybe T shaped, but L- shaped? Trying to figure out why somebody would design something like that on purpose. I know there must have been a really good reason.

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Old 02-11-2016, 09:58 AM
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Yeah. I worked on a neighbors Tec-equipped lawn mower in the fall and found this. First time I'd seen it too. Seems to be overly complicating a very simple concept. Maybe this is why Tec is no longer around :P
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:07 AM
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My apologies, if you can check the flywheel key by removing the flywheel nut, but not necessarily the flywheel itself, that would be a lot easier.

If it's helpful, I posted a bunch of info about how I removed some Tecumseh flywheels in this thread:
How hard to remove Tecumseh flywheels?

Impact tools make it easy to remove the flywheel nut. It can be quite tight, and without impact tools, people are tempted to stick a crowbar/screwdriver into the fins of the flywheel, to hold it still while removing the nut. This can break off a fin from the flywheel.

With impact tools, there is no need to hold the flywheel still. The flywheel's inertia is enough to keep it from turning while the impact wrench spins the nut off.

You do need to hold it still while re-tightening the flywheel nut with a torque wrench. But at least the re-tightening torque is lower than the torque needed to remove it in the first place.

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