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Discussion Starter #1
Bought a slightly used 2019 model after Christmas.
Not very impressed by the engine on this it runs alot rougher than the BS and Tecumseh engines i had on previous blowers. They always started on the first or second pull.
This one needs 4-5-6 attempts before it fires. it backfires when i adjust the throttle.
Are these engines some cheap china brand? Can't seem to find any branding on the engine at all.
 

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Ariens AX are LCT engines. They are not cheap unless you catch a good sale on one of the discount engine supplier sites. They are no different than all the Honda clone engines out there now coming from overseas. Backfiring and hard starting are usually a result of poor maintenance somewhere along the line, or if it's the EFI version the battery or module.
If you look around the bottom of the block near the right mount you should see the actual LCT etched model number "PW" something (about 20 characters:oops:).
 

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As has been discussed alot on other threads, most engines are now made overseas, and the quality is probably all pretty good. I am guessing that Ariens engines are very good. Newer engines are all set to run lean as possible to minimize emissions, so the fuel systems have to stay very clean. Make sure you have fresh gas, and the carb is clean. What have you checked out on the engine so far?

tx
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I bought it from the dealer with 2 hours of use and haven't done anything to it since it's under warranty.
it's not fuel injection on this. For now its parked. I will consider turning it in to the dealer for a carb adjustment before the next winter.
 

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Yeah, if its that new and under warranty, is best to have them look at it.

tx
 

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That is a Chinese motor and the LCT are not as good as they want everyone to think.
LCT took over Tecumseh, which were not the greatest engines to begin with.
Check your valve clearance on it, they are known for getting tight in a short amount of running time.
They are made by a company that also makes a lot of the Clone engines, as all of the companies in China do, and there are many other companies that copy or clone, and there are no Copyright laws in China, so anything is "Fair Game" to them to copy, except the quality is much poorer than the companies who they "Clone" them from, and most parts do not fit right if you try to mix them from an original to a clone.
Their manufacturing tolerances are not good and the quality of materials they are made from are very poor.
The LCT engines have been known for EFI problems, they are still new with the EFI systems yet and have not perfected it yet.
 

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At least they are cheap and powerful and that is what I liked. The chance of one going bad is low, as long as you maintenance them right. Even with Honda, you still get lemon here and there. You break one, no problem. Replacement is cheap. The 414cc snow-king engine is going for like $250 on Ebay.

I'm still on the ancient Tecumseh 318cc flathead. I worry more about other things that might break. I went with Ariens to eliminate some of that problems.
 

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Bought a slightly used 2019 model after Christmas.
Not very impressed by the engine on this it runs alot rougher than the BS and Tecumseh engines i had on previous blowers. They always started on the first or second pull.
This one needs 4-5-6 attempts before it fires. it backfires when i adjust the throttle.
Are these engines some cheap china brand? Can't seem to find any branding on the engine at all.
Your experience does not seem typical of the Ariens AX engine made by LCT. My 414 cc AX engine is smooth through the operating range and starts first pull even in the coldest temperatures. A former neighbour had the 254 cc LCT engine in a Husqvarna 27" blower that I tried out. It also was very smooth and started first pull every time I saw him use it. Lots of power for his needs. I have not heard of any problems with the LCT engine and my dealer is very pleased with their reliability over the years of use. The stock spark plug is a Torch that some people have criticised in other engines so swapped mine out for NGK after the first year.

I checked the valve clearances this winter and they are stock settings, no changes required in 6 seasons of hard and long use. The LCT makes a good engine so your particular engine needs to be checked out by your dealer as others have said. I have a few Tecumseh engines and B&S engines and they all run smooth too and last a long time.
 

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Ariens AX are LCT engines. They are not cheap unless you catch a good sale on one of the discount engine supplier sites. They are no different than all the Honda clone engines out there now coming from overseas. Backfiring and hard starting are usually a result of poor maintenance somewhere along the line, or if it's the EFI version the battery or module.
If you look around the bottom of the block near the right mount you should see the actual LCT etched model number "PW" something (about 20 characters:oops:).
I thought Honda Clone engines were made to a Honda design. Why do you think an LCT engine is a Honda Clone? I believe the LCT engine is a new design that is not based on the Tecumseh design or any other engine design. I think it is unique.

You mentioned the engine model designation which is a good idea. Under the etched numbers is a paper sticker with the Model and underneath the serial. The serial number gives the useful info. It is composed of 2 digits for the engine build year and 3 digit code ending in H for the horse power (except the 414 cc engine which has 4) and two digits for the month of manufacture followed by a 5 digit serial that resets to 00001 for each month of manufacture year and then an A for the horizontal engine assembly line. So a 2019 Ariens would have the engine manufacture year of 18 (for 2018 year). Sometimes the snowblower can be sold as a different model year so the effects of fuel deterioration can be more severe. Ariens model year cannot be determined from the model serial on the chassis only from the Tecumseh or LCT engine manufacture year +1.
 

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The manufacturer in China is the largest small engine manufacturer, in the world. The quality control is excellent and they have an excellent engineering section. Liquid Combustion Technology both designed and spec'ed the engine ed and retains responsibility for the product.

As to your engine, I'd guess your carburetor is partially clogged. (Are you using Ethanol gas without stabilizer)?

Try this before dragging it back to the dealer. Add a double dose of SEA FOAM to your fuel tank. Run the machine until the mixture is drawn into the carb. Then shut it down and let it set. The longer the better. A day or two is good. I had to wait a week a few years ago. Wouldnt idle and hard starting. After the clogs were dissolved, started easily and idled smoothly.

The Sea Foam will slowly dissolve the clogs. (The jets in a modern carburetor are very small, much small than in older engines. The are subject to clogging easier).

Always add a stabilizer to your gas if it is to sit over 30 days. I use both Sta Bil and Sea Foam as I use gas with Ethanol. (I also use premium as this gas is also used for blowers and trimmers).
 

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I thought Honda Clone engines were made to a Honda design. Why do you think an LCT engine is a Honda Clone? I believe the LCT engine is a new design that is not based on the Tecumseh design or any other engine design. I think it is unique.

You mentioned the engine model designation which is a good idea. Under the etched numbers is a paper sticker with the Model and underneath the serial. The serial number gives the useful info. It is composed of 2 digits for the engine build year and 3 digit code ending in H for the horse power (except the 414 cc engine which has 4) and two digits for the month of manufacture followed by a 5 digit serial that resets to 00001 for each month of manufacture year and then an A for the horizontal engine assembly line. So a 2019 Ariens would have the engine manufacture year of 18 (for 2018 year). Sometimes the snowblower can be sold as a different model year so the effects of fuel deterioration can be more severe. Ariens model year cannot be determined from the model serial on the chassis only from the Tecumseh or LCT engine manufacture year +1.
The LCT engine is another "Clone" of the Honda engine. It is not unique at all.
They are made with the same engineering and copied designs with little changes so they can make them cheaper than the original copy.
All of the Chinese engines are copies or "Clones" of the Honda GX series engines.
There are no "Copyright" laws in China, so they can copy whatever they want.
China has been doing that with the small engines copied from the Honda GX motor since back in the early 90's when Honda had them manufacture their engines for their market.
Honda didn't know China was going to steal their engineering designs and copy them the way they did. When Honda found out what they were doing, it was too late and they couldn't do anything about it.
I remember when all of that happened very well.
Honda tried to sue the China companies and pulled some of their manufacturing out of China back then, but they could not sue them because of the laws that did not exist there then.
Honda "Clone" engines with the Honda name on them were being sold in the USA for a much lower price, that was were Honda could do something about it, they could stop the sale of them in the USA only because of the copyright infringement, but couldn't stop it in any other country.
The only countries in the world who honor U.S. copyright laws are the USA and some other N.A.T.O. countries, but not all of them, and they do not have to honor them outside the USA.
The Chinese companies have no "Quality Control" what-so-ever, that is "Non Existent" for them to do that, it would cost them too much money.
I remember the Honda engines made in China parts did not fit the engines made in the USA or Japan because they had different manufacturing tolerances, even though they were the "Same" engine, and we had to order different parts for them that were made in China because they did not fit properly. The USA and Japan made parts were interchangeable and would fit one another without an issue, unlike the China made parts.
The LCT engine is just like the Predator engine, only more popular because an American company decided to use them on their products because of the extremely low cost of them, they cost pennies on the dollar of any other engine out there.
Maybe give them time, like another 20 years to prove themselves, and they might improve and be a good motor, Like the Hyundai cars when they first came out in the USA.
People do not realize the "Slave Labor" that happens in China. They think the engines are made at only 1 location, and they are not. They are made at hundreds of different locations under the same name, that is another way they can keep the prices so low on them, but give the engines a couple of years and good luck trying to find or get parts for them when they need them.
Usually you just scrap the engine because they are worthless and not worth the money to repair them. You just throw them away and replace them with another motor, its cheaper.
 

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The LCT engine is another "Clone" of the Honda engine. It is not unique at all.
They are made with the same engineering and copied designs with little changes so they can make them cheaper than the original copy.
All of the Chinese engines are copies or "Clones" of the Honda GX series engines.
There are no "Copyright" laws in China, so they can copy whatever they want.
China has been doing that with the small engines copied from the Honda GX motor since back in the early 90's when Honda had them manufacture their engines for their market.
Honda didn't know China was going to steal their engineering designs and copy them the way they did. When Honda found out what they were doing, it was too late and they couldn't do anything about it.
I remember when all of that happened very well.
Honda tried to sue the China companies and pulled some of their manufacturing out of China back then, but they could not sue them because of the laws that did not exist there then.
Honda "Clone" engines with the Honda name on them were being sold in the USA for a much lower price, that was were Honda could do something about it, they could stop the sale of them in the USA only because of the copyright infringement, but couldn't stop it in any other country.
The only countries in the world who honor U.S. copyright laws are the USA and some other N.A.T.O. countries, but not all of them, and they do not have to honor them outside the USA.
The Chinese companies have no "Quality Control" what-so-ever, that is "Non Existent" for them to do that, it would cost them too much money.
I remember the Honda engines made in China parts did not fit the engines made in the USA or Japan because they had different manufacturing tolerances, even though they were the "Same" engine, and we had to order different parts for them that were made in China because they did not fit properly. The USA and Japan made parts were interchangeable and would fit one another without an issue, unlike the China made parts.
The LCT engine is just like the Predator engine, only more popular because an American company decided to use them on their products because of the extremely low cost of them, they cost pennies on the dollar of any other engine out there.
Maybe give them time, like another 20 years to prove themselves, and they might improve and be a good motor, Like the Hyundai cars when they first came out in the USA.
People do not realize the "Slave Labor" that happens in China. They think the engines are made at only 1 location, and they are not. They are made at hundreds of different locations under the same name, that is another way they can keep the prices so low on them, but give the engines a couple of years and good luck trying to find or get parts for them when they need them.
Usually you just scrap the engine because they are worthless and not worth the money to repair them. You just throw them away and replace them with another motor, its cheaper.
That vague narrative does not answer my question. What are the design criteria that makes a Honda Clone and how does the LCT meet those criteria?
 

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Bought a slightly used 2019 model after Christmas.
Not very impressed by the engine on this it runs alot rougher than the BS and Tecumseh engines i had on previous blowers. They always started on the first or second pull.
This one needs 4-5-6 attempts before it fires. it backfires when i adjust the throttle.
Are these engines some cheap china brand? Can't seem to find any branding on the engine at all.
I ran into this on a LCT on a sears blower about two years ago. In my case the fuel pickup tube inside the carberator has a fixed orifice that gets clogged. It requires disassembly of the carburetor. Unless your familiar with this kind of work your better off bringing it to a qualified repair shop. There are some YTUBE videos but working with engines and gasoline is dangerous.
 

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It seems this forum is not an exception on the internet. Don't get me wrong the forum has been very helpful and I have learned a lot. I appreciate the efforts and knowledge of the many posters. Many unsubstantiated claims are made. What drew my attention to this was the statement in a prior post of LCT being the world's largest small engine mfg. I don't know which company is. But after a little looking it seem that they are: Honda, Briggs & Stratton, Kohler, Generac, Subaru and Kawasaki as of a few years ago. Subaru is out of the business as of about 2018. I believe you would "patent" an engine design not "copyright " it. Years ago Sanyo was the largest mfg. of discrete small LED light sources. They were asked by a magazine writer why they allowed outsiders so much access to their factories. The answer was that if they turned the plant over to another company it's products would not be competitive. When asked why the answer was the data on production processes that had been acquired over the years and continued to be acquired on an ongoing basis. That knowledge base allowed them to tweak their production methods to improve the product and yields. So what! Well my conclusion is if production is monitored on a continuing basis and improvements made a better product is the result. Have you been to any of these small engine plants? Have you read any authoratative reports on failure or scrap rates? I know I haven't. There is a segment of posters who view the older Briggs and Tecumseh engines as being the "best" and/or most reliable. However starting to appear are examples of LCT, Loncin and HF engines delivering good service and being more powerful when used to repower older equipment. My point is it is all anecdotal, hard facts are missing. YMMV
Herb

A little Tecumseh history here: Tecumseh Products - Wikipedia
And do you know that Loncin at one time produced the engines for the BMW G650G motorcycle? (I don't know if they still do)
 

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You are correct Burt8810 on the largest engine manufacturers.
I have been in many of the different factories and worked at some of them.
LCT is a small company compared to the others listed.
You forgot to add Yamaha to the list.
Generac engines are made by many different producers with the Generac name on them. That is a reason they are hard to get parts for. There were so many different companies making them that none of the parts were the same and would not work on other engines made with the same name on them. They didn't have a "Dedicated" supplier for their engines, they were made by so many different companies and the parts were totally different.
Your "Patent" and "Copyright" are pretty much the same for the average person to understand, meaning you are not allowed to copy them to make money off of without the parent company's permission.
 

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He might have mistaken China being the largest small engine manufacturer in the world to just LCT being the largest. China engines only became more popular in the US recently, but else where, they have been using Chinese engines, because you know they are cheap. I believe they are a lot cheaper else where. Anything that come to the US become expensive.
 

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LCT is only contracted to build engines for CPC, Janesville Wi, CPC bought the assets of Tecumseh and now Peerless. Fuji Heavy + Subaru small engine division were sold to Yamaha in late 2016-17ish. LCT is a decent
engine for the buck on several Husqvarna badged brands & Ariens. What you will see coming down the road is the cost of parts going up,(Chinese Tariffs) plus these companies increasing the Planned obsolescence of the machine and parts after the warranty period. Its a 2 edged sword fix it? or buy new?

After 35+yrs in this industry, I seen the good & bad in several makes of machines and engines. But its
just personal preference and taste that each of us has.
 
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