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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I had a thread going about 3 weeks ago about my 2 year old Craftsman 88999. I thought the problem was fixed, but apparently not. Today, as I was clearing about 9in. of snow off my driveway, the engine quit. It did this once before 3 weeks ago. I thought it had something to do with the exhaust and air intake, but that couldn't possibly be the issue today.

When the engine quit, I tried to use the electric start immediately, but I couldn't get it started. So I then went through the machine thoroughly. I added a little oil, just b/c it looked to be a little low and I cleaned the spark plug with some sand paper. It has never been changed and was certainly black. This whole process took about 30 minutes. I pulled the cord and the machine started right up and was clearing 3ft drifts easily.

About an hour later I stopped the machine to add some gas. Unfortunately, I couldn't get it started again with the pull cord. It was only stopped about 5 minutes. I had to use the electric start to get the engine going. This time the electric start worked. It ran like a champ afterward and was again clearing 3 ft. drifts with no problems.

I want to say the problem is simply the spark plug, it was black and a little wet. Not sure how it got wet, but there were some droplets on it. However, I can't help but think there is something else going on because when the engine was allowed to sit for 30 minutes, it started right up again. However, when it sat for only 5 minutes that one time (although another time it sat for only a few minutes the electric start didn't work), I had to use the electric start.

Thanks.
 

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I'd opt for a new spark plug and see if it does the same.
 

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I want to say the problem is simply the spark plug, it was black and a little wet. Not sure how it got wet, but there were some droplets on it. However, I can't help but think there is something else going on because when the engine was allowed to sit for 30 minutes, it started right up again. However, when it sat for only 5 minutes that one time (although another time it sat for only a few minutes the electric start didn't work), I had to use the electric start.

Thanks.
1. The suggestion to replace the spark plug sounds like a good one.

2. The droplets tend to make me agree with your "something else is going on" assessment.

Anytime I have pulled the plug on a flooded engine, the plug was wet, but didn't have any "droplets" on it. That sounds more like water.
Is it possible you have some gas that has water in it? Not just in the machine, but in your gas can.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well I just changed the spark plug. Hopefully that will solve the problem.

As far as water in the gas can, I doubt it. I just put gas in the can 2 days ago, so it's "new" gas and the can is stored on a shelf.

I'm not sure where those droplets came from. I'm hoping that the plug got slightly wet after I pulled it out. Maybe from my glove??
 

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Well I just changed the spark plug. Hopefully that will solve the problem.

As far as water in the gas can, I doubt it. I just put gas in the can 2 days ago, so it's "new" gas and the can is stored on a shelf.

I'm not sure where those droplets came from. I'm hoping that the plug got slightly wet after I pulled it out. Maybe from my glove??
More than likely the drops come from condensation. If you are concerned, run some isopropyl( red Heet) in the fuel. It will "dry out" the moisture. It really sounds more like your carb is very rich and/or needs some love.
 

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Also check your gas cap vent to make sure it is not plugged.
My Snapper rider has a valve vent on its cap and I left it closed and it ran for about 15 minutes then died. It through me for a loop till I actually put my hand on the cap and then I relized what had happened it had a vacuum lock, my did I feel stupid.
 

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Yep, start simple, and keep it simple. Before you take on a carb cleaning, try the new plug, make sure when handling it that you have dry hands or gloves to eliminate the possibility of the droplets coming from your hands. Get some Seafoam and follow the directions on the can. People swear by it. It may just clear up the problem for you.
 
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