Toro 518 ZR leaking fuel and surging - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-23-2019, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Toro 518 ZR leaking fuel and surging

Hi all,


Just acquired a Toro snowblower (model 38472) from my wife's cousin. Her husband had passed away 2 years ago and she's too old to use it so wanted it to go to a good home. It had been purchased new Winter 2016 and used that year, then stored properly (fuel had been drained etc, her husband had been a mechanic). He died March 2017.

I got it home, changed the oil, added fuel, primed it twice and it started on the first pull. Ran pretty well, with some minor surging and a little popping.

Figured the carb might be a little gummed up, added 3 oz of Seafoam to the gas (approx 1.25 quarts of ethanol-free 91) and ran it for a while. Let it sit overnight, next morning there was a smell of gas and a small damp spot directly below the carb.

Three days after adding the Seafoam still surging but the popping stopped, the carb was still leaking. Dismantled it, everything was clean and looked new. Thought the bowl gasket was a little squished, but not horribly so. Did some minor cleaning, reassembled it. Still surging and leaking.



Purchased the carb overhaul kit, changed the needle, float and bowl gasket. Still leaking and surging.


The surging is at throttle (no manual speed control) and seems to diminish under load, but otherwise it is continuous once warmed up. Adding choke smooths it out somewhat, but not completely (before pushing the choke lever to flooding stage).



Any ideas? I plan to take it apart AGAIN and check the 2 gaskets between the carburetor and the manifold, but I don't expect to find a problem there... remember this is basically a new machine. But before I do I figured I would ask if there is something else I should look for so I don't do this a 4th time.


madkiwi
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-25-2019, 03:15 PM
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I've read for other brands that surging at idle is normal. Not sure if true of your 518. Example:

https://support.cubcadet.com/s/article/122-1

I'm not a small engine expert, just mentioning I've heard some surging at idle is expected.
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-25-2019, 03:28 PM
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I've had my best luck with buying a new carb. They are about $15 on Ebay, Amazon, etc. Install a fuel shut off. Use non oxy fuel. Good luck. Nice machine. Next on my purchase list!!

Wake me up when the snow's done...
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-25-2019, 09:22 PM
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Leaking carb is always carb gasket or a leaky inlet valve and or seat.

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post #5 of 12 Old 01-25-2019, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madkiwi View Post
Hi all,


Just acquired a Toro snowblower (model 38472) from my wife's cousin. Her husband had passed away 2 years ago and she's too old to use it so wanted it to go to a good home. It had been purchased new Winter 2016 and used that year, then stored properly (fuel had been drained etc, her husband had been a mechanic). He died March 2017.

I got it home, changed the oil, added fuel, primed it twice and it started on the first pull. Ran pretty well, with some minor surging and a little popping.

Figured the carb might be a little gummed up, added 3 oz of Seafoam to the gas (approx 1.25 quarts of ethanol-free 91) and ran it for a while. Let it sit overnight, next morning there was a smell of gas and a small damp spot directly below the carb.

Three days after adding the Seafoam still surging but the popping stopped, the carb was still leaking. Dismantled it, everything was clean and looked new. Thought the bowl gasket was a little squished, but not horribly so. Did some minor cleaning, reassembled it. Still surging and leaking.



Purchased the carb overhaul kit, changed the needle, float and bowl gasket. Still leaking and surging.


The surging is at throttle (no manual speed control) and seems to diminish under load, but otherwise it is continuous once warmed up. Adding choke smooths it out somewhat, but not completely (before pushing the choke lever to flooding stage).



Any ideas? I plan to take it apart AGAIN and check the 2 gaskets between the carburetor and the manifold, but I don't expect to find a problem there... remember this is basically a new machine. But before I do I figured I would ask if there is something else I should look for so I don't do this a 4th time.


I would replace the carburetor. Sometimes, the issue is not the needle or the float, but rather the seat that the needle goes into. That seat is not replaceable, so I would just replace the whole carb. With the EPA regulations, it can be somewhat tricky to get them to not surge after the carb has been gummed up.

madkiwi
Quote:
Originally Posted by djc6 View Post
I've read for other brands that surging at idle is normal. Not sure if true of your 518. Example:

https://support.cubcadet.com/s/article/122-1

I'm not a small engine expert, just mentioning I've heard some surging at idle is expected.
The Toro should not surge at idle. I have had 3 of these, and not one of them surged at idle. I suppose I may have just gotten lucky, though.

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post #6 of 12 Old 01-26-2019, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. Not everyone read my post and understood what I was saying.



Primarily the Toro 518 zr doesn't idle, it has no manual throttle and runs at full speed when it is running. Also, I specified I was running 91 octane, non-ethanol gas.



After taking the carburetor apart again I placed it back on the machine without the shield installed so I could see where gas was coming from. It is coming out of the carb throat, which means the bowl is overflowing and the fuel is coming out the main jet (and probably the others). So the problem is the float needle not sealing.


I used a 10x loupe to closely examine the needle seat, it looks fine. It is not replaceable, there is no rubber seat it's all brass. The tips of both the old and new needles are perfect.


I know that in 2010 Toro had a recall due to the prior model having similar problems. I have emailed them and am awaiting a response. One noteworthy thing, the installed carburetor part number was 127-9053, it has been superseded by 127-9352 so the original may have been less than reliable. But my guess is they'll tell me to pound sand.


New OEM carbs (updated part) are $62 from the dealer, found on Ebay for $51. I'm thinking I will just replace it.
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-26-2019, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madkiwi View Post
Thanks for the responses. Not everyone read my post and understood what I was saying.



Primarily the Toro 518 zr doesn't idle, it has no manual throttle and runs at full speed when it is running. Also, I specified I was running 91 octane, non-ethanol gas.



After taking the carburetor apart again I placed it back on the machine without the shield installed so I could see where gas was coming from. It is coming out of the carb throat, which means the bowl is overflowing and the fuel is coming out the main jet (and probably the others). So the problem is the float needle not sealing.


I used a 10x loupe to closely examine the needle seat, it looks fine. It is not replaceable, there is no rubber seat it's all brass. The tips of both the old and new needles are perfect.


I know that in 2010 Toro had a recall due to the prior model having similar problems. I have emailed them and am awaiting a response. One noteworthy thing, the installed carburetor part number was 127-9053, it has been superseded by 127-9352 so the original may have been less than reliable. But my guess is they'll tell me to pound sand.


New OEM carbs (updated part) are $62 from the dealer, found on Ebay for $51. I'm thinking I will just replace it.

Good luck getting Toro to do something. Their 2010 recall was due to a leaky carb and the potential for it to catch fire. I had a 2011 one catch fire, and they did not want to help me at all. As a matter of fact, they were rather rude about it. I guess it doesn't hurt to try. Maybe I just caught them on an off day.
I would replace the carb with a genuine OEM carb from Toro. That way, you know you are getting the right one.

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post #8 of 12 Old 01-29-2019, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LawnToro View Post
Good luck getting Toro to do something. Their 2010 recall was due to a leaky carb and the potential for it to catch fire. I had a 2011 one catch fire, and they did not want to help me at all. As a matter of fact, they were rather rude about it. I guess it doesn't hurt to try. Maybe I just caught them on an off day.
I would replace the carb with a genuine OEM carb from Toro. That way, you know you are getting the right one.

I got a reply. They say no recall on that. Take it into an authorized service center and if they think it's a warranty item they'll take care of it (it's out of warranty). Otherwise, sorry, we don't care.


I'll bet they didn't log it as a safety issue because if they did they'd have to report it to the government. So I shall report it myself to the CPSC, everyone who has a snowblower with fuel leaks should take the time.


Oh, and I personally will never buy Toro products in the future. Cheap, nasty and unsafe.
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-03-2019, 03:39 AM
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Not for nothing but it wasn't leaking when it was new. You got a FOUR YEAR OLD unit and residual fuel varnish deposits cause leaking carbs all the time so good luck with "reporting them".


There were 2 original recalls, one involved particulates from the crappy Chinese fuel line getting into the carb and the second was an update that changed the needle from aluminum to coated brass and removed 4 slots on the needle that allowed it to become gummed up and jam. Neither of these are your problem hence no coverage.


As far as resolving it you can try polishing the seat with a q-tip with a small amount of lapping compound if you have any. Otherwise just replace the carb.

Last edited by SnoThro; 02-03-2019 at 03:43 AM.
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-04-2019, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoThro View Post
Not for nothing but it wasn't leaking when it was new. You got a FOUR YEAR OLD unit and residual fuel varnish deposits cause leaking carbs all the time so good luck with "reporting them".


As far as resolving it you can try polishing the seat with a q-tip with a small amount of lapping compound if you have any. Otherwise just replace the carb.

You are shouting that I got a FOUR YEAR OLD machine. 2016 to 2019 is 3 years, but it's closer to 2 (Nov 2016 to Jan 2019), so your math is weird.


The carb was clean as a whistle. As I posted in original message the blower was used one season, fuel drained and oil changed, then the owner passed away a few weeks later. There was no gumming, no varnish.


I purchased and installed a new carb, no fuel leaks and no surging either.


But thanks for your reply anyway.
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