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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone, I posted a thread here a few months back about an Ariens I founds on Craigslist this summer. (Found here-http://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum/snowblower-repairs-maintenance-forum/24490-general-maintenance-ariens-910008-a.html)

I'm in New England, so today we got about 5" of snow and it's still coming down. I wouldn't call it wet by any means, it was pretty easy to shovel and plow (which I had to do manually...that's why I'm here obviously)

I opened up the fuel shutoff valve on the bottom of the gas tank, and used the electric start with full choke on and with the left hand lever on 'Park-Fast' and the gear in '1'. It started right up with the electric start, and I let it go at full choke for about 1-2 minutes, before moving it to the middle choke position where it still sounded strong. I tried moving it all the way open, but I could hear it slowing down and wanting to die, so I moved it back to half choke for a while (1-2 minutes more). I then put it to no choke and it was sounding just as good.

I put the auger gear on and started going down my paved driveway. No problem at all on the first line, but as soon as I got to the bottom of my driveway (it's not a hill, just the end of my driveway, about 20 feet long), I put it in reverse, and it immediately died out. I didn't bother trying to pull start it because I had problems with that in the past (where it would get really hard to pull and it seemed like the pull cord was being seized).

So, I pulled it back to the garage, tried to start it up again with the electric start, and it wouldn't start up-I noticed that I had accidently moved the left hand lever from Park-fast to a bit slower, so maybe that was it. I jammed it back into park, and it started up. I got to move it about 5 feet throwing snow out, and it died again. Noticing that there was a sign on the carb cover that said remove when operating above freezing so I took that cover off, and that didn't help.

Went back, this time it started with the choke open, but almost died, so I closed the choke a bit, and kept it running, another 5 feet, and it died on me.

Tried one more time, and it didn't want to start. I saw some sparks around the front of the carb (guessing by the starter?). I gave it a rest while I shoveled, then came back, and it started up again, but died out shortly after (like 15 seconds).

I don't get it. The fuel is good (I think-had stabilizer in it and just purchased a few months ago). The fuel shutoff was wide open (I actually had it open since it got cold out, but I closed it a week or two ago because I smelled gas in the garage, turns out it was leaking out of the shutoff valve) during the whole operation.

The guy I bought it from fixes these things and resells them as a side job, and he put a new fuel filter on it right in front of me and said he had changed the oil and spark plug just a week before I bought it.

Reading online, I'm wondering if maybe the vent on the gas cap is plugged? I could try leaving the gas cap off and seeing how long it lasts this time around.

Also, regarding the snow, was I pushing it too hard the first time? I couldn't just do half off the width of the blower like I've heard you need to do for wet snow, but it was spitting it out pretty well on that first run. Once I had that part cleared, the next path I only used half the width of the blower, but it still died on me.

Here's my guesses, but I'll leave it to the pros here:

1) Possible plugged up gas cap
2) Maybe the spark plug is bad and just needs changed? I also just noticed that the spark plug isn't a standard 5/8, and I don't have a 7/8 deep well socket which is what it looks like it needs.
3) Bad gas
4) maybe the carb needs overhauled/tuned up
5) the left hand lever (with Stop, Slow, Park, Fast on it) doesn't seem to work as indicated. If I leave it on "fast" it was running, but when I tried to slow it down a bit by moving the lever toward STOP, it would just die out...there was no wiggle room in there. The reason I was trying to slow it down because even in gear 1 (on the right side handle), it was moving really quick. I don't have anything to compare it to, but it was moving pretty fast for me...I can't even imagine trying gears 2-4 because I think I'd be running behind the thing.

Any suggestions are more than welcome. I shoveled the whole driveway earlier, but there's an inch or two to play with now.

Here's a picture of the lever on the left I'm talking about

 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here's some more pictures...

Carb cover off, supposed to press the black button if temp is below 10 degrees, but it doesn't look like it does anything:


Top of where carb cover normally is:


Front of blower with spark plug wire detached:


Gas can with cover off..looks like the cap has some rust on it:


Guessing this is the starter?


New fuel filter:
 

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Well, it is obvious something is wrong. Either it is lacking fuel and needs the carb cleaned or is lacking spark and maybe the points are bad. You said it leaks oil right? Maybe oil is leaking onto the points?
 

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could be the valve seats are recessed and when it get warm there is not enough valve lash and the exhaust valve is not fully closing causing lack of power/stalling. this is a pretty common problem with l head tech engines.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, it is obvious something is wrong. Either it is lacking fuel and needs the carb cleaned or is lacking spark and maybe the points are bad. You said it leaks oil right? Maybe oil is leaking onto the points?
No, it's not leaking oil. I left the shut-off valve for the gas tank open for a few months and I noticed gas was leaking out of it the other day, so I shut it before I had to use it today.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
could be the valve seats are recessed and when it get warm there is not enough valve lash and the exhaust valve is not fully closing causing lack of power/stalling. this is a pretty common problem with l head tech engines.
This sounds like something that you can't really mess with, save for replacing the engine...
 

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This sounds like something that you can't really mess with, save for replacing the engine...
This is not a very difficult repair, but it does require removing the head, carb and oil breather to get access to the valves. This is a common problem on Tecumseh engines. What engine is on your blower?

if it is a single shaft engine engine replacement options are many. One of the more popular single shaft engine swaps is the harbor freight predator engines which can be had for less than 100 dollars.
 

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I don't know, but the choke plate/cold weather assist "funnel" (not sure what else to call it) looks to be varnished and charred. It shouldn't be, with leads my to believe that there is a situation that is allowing for fuel and exhaust gasses leaking back through. This may be indicative to the valves not closing completely, and sealing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I don't know, but the choke plate/cold weather assist "funnel" (not sure what else to call it) looks to be varnished and charred. It shouldn't be, with leads my to believe that there is a situation that is allowing for fuel and exhaust gasses leaking back through. This may be indicative to the valves not closing completely, and sealing.
Are you talking about the thing in this picture with the black button?

 

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Discussion Starter #10
This is not a very difficult repair, but it does require removing the head, carb and oil breather to get access to the valves. This is a common problem on Tecumseh engines. What engine is on your blower?

if it is a single shaft engine engine replacement options are many. One of the more popular single shaft engine swaps is the harbor freight predator engines which can be had for less than 100 dollars.
From what I can tell, it looks stock. It still has the Ariens paint (maybe it was a sticker, but it looks like it was painted) that says 'Ariens powered by Tecumseh 7HP'

My main thing is, I bought this used on Craigslist for about $280 I think? At this point, I'm wondering if it's worth dropping another $100 on an engine or not. Besides that, how would I know what would fit? This is the closest thing I can see to what you were talking about: 6.5 HP (212cc) OHV Horizontal Shaft Gas Engine EPA

Would an engine replacement be pretty much plug and play?
 

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Here's some more pictures...

Carb cover off, supposed to press the black button if temp is below 10 degrees, but it doesn't look like it does anything:
That black push button is what "I" call a mechanical primer which in principle, works the same as a bulb type push button primer found on almost all newer engines.
When the weather is below freezing -
1-Turn on gas valve
2-Set choke to closed
3-Set throttle to fast
4-While pushing in and holding the black button, pull the starter cord one or two times. (This causes the fuel to be drawn into the engine)
5-Turn the ignition switch "ON"
6-Pull the starter cord or use the electric start to start the engine
7-Move choke lever to half and allow engine to warm before moving choke to off.

If your carb has low and high speed adjustment screws, you may have to tweak them to make the engine run better. The screw on the bottom of the float bowl is for high speed and may to be turned out a 1/4 or 1/2 turn to richen the fuel mixture. The adjustments are in the manual below. I hope this helps.
http://www.barrettsmallengine.com/manual/tecumsehlheadmanual.pdf
 

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Are you talking about the thing in this picture with the black button?


Well, primarily the intake funnel appears to have a bit of carbonization and varnish. The cold weather assist mechanism does have a patina, and a little bit of surface rust
 

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I give it 90% odds the problem is:

4) maybe the carb needs overhauled/tuned up

my 1971 Ariens (with original Tecumseh) exhibited the same behavior for years..not running well, stalling out, not running well on "no choke" as it should..I fiddled with the carb adjustment myself, not knowing anything about it when I started..got it running "ok" but not great..
I even worked up the courage to take the bowl off and install a carb kit! learned a lot by doing it, but still was far from an expert..

Finally a friend came over, who has WAY more experience than me! and actually knows *fully* what to do..gave the bowl a quick clean, and adjusted the jets *properly*..runs like a top now! :) runs better than it ever has in the six years I have owned it:

Carb rebuild on a Tecumseh - Engines - RedSquare Wheel Horse Forum

http://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum/ariens-snowblowers/30057-adding-my-ariens-collection-3.html

I suspect getting the carb properly adjusted, and cleaned (if it needs it) will completely solve all the problems you experienced..

in my experience, the carb has been the source of, and the solution to, the only problems my '71 Ariens has ever had.

Scot
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I give it 90% odds the problem is:

4) maybe the carb needs overhauled/tuned up

my 1971 Ariens (with original Tecumseh) exhibited the same behavior for years..not running well, stalling out, not running well on "no choke" as it should..I fiddled with the carb adjustment myself, not knowing anything about it when I started..got it running "ok" but not great..
I even worked up the courage to take the bowl off and install a carb kit! learned a lot by doing it, but still was far from an expert..

Finally a friend came over, who has WAY more experience than me! and actually knows *fully* what to do..gave the bowl a quick clean, and adjusted the jets *properly*..runs like a top now! :) runs better than it ever has in the six years I have owned it:

Carb rebuild on a Tecumseh - Engines - RedSquare Wheel Horse Forum

http://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum/ariens-snowblowers/30057-adding-my-ariens-collection-3.html

I suspect getting the carb properly adjusted, and cleaned (if it needs it) will completely solve all the problems you experienced..

in my experience, the carb has been the source of, and the solution to, the only problems my '71 Ariens has ever had.

Scot
Very interesting. I like to tinker with things, but I'm not the most mechanically inclined person on earth. I'm not sure which would be the best option, taking into account cost vs. gain vs. time spent on it.

1) Clean the carb, adjust it. (Just buying the carb cleaner and investing my time)

2) Buy a new carb, install it. ($30-40 on ebay?)

3) Buy a new engine (like the Predator mentioned earlier for $100-120)

4) Comedy option: Sell this thing on Craigslist since I'm not sure if there's anything else wrong with it, for a loss of course, and buy a new one.

More questions:

5) What tools are needed for cleaning or installing a new carb?

6) How do I tell which engine model I have? It's a 7hp Tecumseh, I'm pretty sure, but not sure of the exact model number.

Thanks again for everyone's advice and help! This is a great forum.
 

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Hey guys, so a bit of an update.

As it turns out, I still had an old e-mail laying around from the guy I bought it from, and he remembered me luckily! He said that my gas is too old. He goes with the recommendation of 30 days without stabilizer, 90 days with stabilizer. I think it's due to the alcohol or whatever they put in the gas up here in Mass, perhaps. He told me to drain the gas, spray the carb with carb cleaner and let it sit overnight, put fresh gas in it, and maybe I'd luck out. If that doesn't work he would be willing to rebuild the carb for me, which he said he probably did already.

Well, I went to the internet and saw some quick maintenance tips that I figured I could do and removed the bowl...it looks like a new bowl and gasket, so I think he rebuilt it with some new parts, but there was something in there...take a look:







The main jet looks decent from what I can tell, but theres something in that bowl.

I cleaned it all out with some carb cleaner and put it back together, so here's hoping that fixes it.

Any other recommendations? I also drained all the gas into a container, so I can grab some new gas tomorrow.
 

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Picture number two shows the high speed adjustment screw. The smooth portion between the two threaded sections has a very small metering hole that has to be clear. Some people use the twist tie wire from a loaf of bread, others have gas torch tip cleaners to ream it out.
Hard to tell from the pictures if that is rust or dried up fuel stabilizer in the bowl.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Picture number two shows the high speed adjustment screw. The smooth portion between the two threaded sections has a very small metering hole that has to be clear. Some people use the twist tie wire from a loaf of bread, others have gas torch tip cleaners to ream it out.
Hard to tell from the pictures if that is rust or dried up fuel stabilizer in the bowl.
Yeah, the metering hole was very hard to look into, so I may take apart the assembly tomorrow and clear that out like you indicated.

One other thing that I noticed when I took the bowl off. I was trying to put the bowl back on, and in doing so, I knocked the pin/needle off of the float. I've looked at videos online and it seems like it may be a pain to put the pin/needle back onto the float when it's still installed (so upside down where all the other videos have it right side up).

As to what's in the bowl, it was pretty dark, so I'm thinking in my uneducated opinion that the gas tank may be rusting and rust is coming from that perhaps? If so, it might be a better call to just buy the Predator with new everything onboard.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
nwin -- Perhaps a fuel filter and a new fuel line would be the next step. That's my next project with my '71
That's an interesting suggestion. When I bought it this past Fall, the guy I bought it from put new fuel lines and a new filter on it. It started up great and had no problems, but after we got done talking I noticed some fuel leaking at the fuel filter. He said he'd seen it before and he had bought a bunch of cheap fuel filters and that was a common problem and that he was done buying them. He installed a brand new fuel filter right there for me.

I noticed today when I was draining the gas tank that the lines were insanely hard. I'm guessing this was just due to the cold temperature (below freezing, about 20 degrees outside).

I'd be hard pressed to think it would need a new fuel filter after only starting it up for a total of maybe 40 minutes since I've had it. Do you agree?
 
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