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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings from New England!

Me finding this website is yet another evidence that the Internet has EVERYTHING. ;)

I need some help to troubleshoot an 8-yr old Ariens Classic 8524:

The blower passed the pre-season start up just fine: new plug, oil and gas. It started on the first pull and ran a few minutes without issues.

A few days ago I tried to start it again. This time it started on full choke but sputtered a few seconds later after I switched to closed choke. I had trouble start it again on pull string so I tried the electric starter, it would start but stop soon after. It feels something is 'stuck' as the pull string would have unusual amount of resistance, to the point that I feel I could break it.

My first thought was the gas (even it had stabilizer mixed in) so I drained the tank and carburetor and put fresh gas in. It didn't do any good.

I opened the belt housing cover and both belts (drive and attachment) seemed to be properly tensioned.

Now I'm at the end of my mechanical ability.

Any other troubleshooting steps I should check before taking it to the shop?

Thanks in advance,
 

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when it did fire...was there any kind of strange odor or smoke....i.e white smoke
might have had a lil condensation puddle in there.
sounds like some sort of "lock'
i'd try pulling the plug, take off the rewind starter, squirt a lil oil down the cylinder,see if it turns by hand...

when you did the "pre-check" was the motor um, "summerized",i.e gas run out, etc...
could be some gunk in the carb, take it off'n' clean it out ,make sure you dont get the cleaner on any plastic,or rubber surfaces..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No odor or smoke in pre-season warmup. I drained gas from the tank and carb at the end of last season. I also took off the plug and squirted oil in the cylinder bore as part of the off season storage.

Now when I use the electric starter to force it crank, there is a hint of burning plastic or rubber so I checked the belts. I didn't run it hard or continuously for fear of breaking something.
 

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Warning ! don't run the electric starter for more than 15-20 seconds at a time, or you will damage it. - they are EXPENSIVE... It sounds like you may be hydro locked- that is if the gas flows through the carb because of a stuck float/needle ,the gasoline flows into the cylinder,where it becomes trapped. To check , remove and GROUND plug to engine. (you don't want a spark if there is fuel to expell, I burned up a nice lawnmower this way, lol)) pull cord over slowly and see if you expell any fuel from the cylinder through the spark plug hole. If so, your float or needle is stuck,or the float is taking on gasoline and sinking, causing the carburetor to flood. i hope this helps. Larry
 

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This might be worth a try, take the belts off to eliminate it down to the engine or if something on the drive system is stuck. If it is hard to start with the belts off then take the pull start housing off and check for mice nests.
 
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