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I came across a free Craftsman snowblower, 536881800 . Let's just say there is a reason this one was free. Covered in heavy rust, and the owner says the engine was seized. Whatever, it's free and if I can fix it without much effort and money I'll be happy.

I've never dealt with a seized motor before so I'm taking this as a learning experience. I tried to pull it, and surprisingly I felt and heard compression (although it didn't feel like much compression), so I questioned if it was seized at all. I the tried to start it with the electric start, and it ran for about one second and died.

My concern to start is the electric start sound. I have an electric start on my old Toro 2 stroke single stage, and it did not sound like this!


Is this how a Craftsman electric starter sounds, or is this the symptom of something else (grinding on the flywheel?)
 

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I don't hear anything out of the ordinary ...at least through my tiny laptop speakers :eek:

if it does sound like something's rubbing, you may want to pull the flywheel shroud and verify...something may have made a nest in there.
 

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mine sounds pretty much like that, on a B&S 305cc engine. Looks the same too. Mine doesn't usually crank that long however, as the engine starts pretty much within a second.
 

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Agree with the others, pretty much normal. Right now I have 4 electric start snowblowers plus several riding mowers and they all sound like that.

Put some oil in the spark plug hole and crank over then let sit.
 

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I've flipped a couple of those, and it sounds normal to me. The carbs are usually clogged up on those. Carb kits aren't cheap. It the carb is badly corroded inside, you'll have to replace it. They aren't savable in that condition.
 

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Good News: That starter sounds like all the others I've heard.

So you are basically going to have to do diagnostics to find out why it won't start or even cough a little.

I'm not sure of your experience level but you can cut to the chase very quickly as follows...

Take the spark plug out, squirt some starter-fluid or carb-cleaner into the cylinder via the spark plug hole.
Put the plug back in and don't forget to re-connect it. (If I had a dollar for the times I've forgotten that!!)
Make sure any kill switches are in the "run"position (if any). Put the throttle in a middle position (in case it has an inbuilt kill switch.. most do)
Try the electric starter again and see if the engine coughs or splutters.

If it does (and 99 times out of a hundred it will) then you know you have spark and compression which leaves you with (probably) a fuel-supply ie carburetor problem
99 times out of a 100 that's your problem.

An alternative to putting the starter fluid into the cylinder is to squirt it through the opened choke on the carburetor.
Your choice.. both work.

You mentioned compression in your initial post..... compression may indeed feel "weak" when you pull it by hand because some engines have a valve timing trick inside the engine to INTENTIONALLY lower the compression at start-up to make them easier to "pull". Not sure if this one has. However... compression is usually the LAST thing to worry about. Fuel supply is usually the FIRST.

Report back with results and we can take it to the next level of diagnostics.

EDIT: BTW.. that engine isn't seized... if it was, the starter motor would not crank it and you'd probably burn out the starter motor or grind its gears to a pulp. So I would not bother with the squirt of oil in the cylinder (for now). That's only useful if you have EVIDENCE that the engine is seized or to help if piston rings are broken. However I see no evidence for either of those (yet) and I'm putting my money on fuel/carburetor issues as a best-guess-so-far. I question the statement from the previous owner when he said it's seized. His loss... your gain.
 

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Good News: That starter sounds like all the others I've heard....
WAIT!!! Forget the spark-plug carb-cleaner stuff in my reply. (Everything else is relevant though)
I just re-read your initial post... you said it ran for a second then stopped..... so we already KNOW you have compression and spark!!!
So you are going to need to do basic carburetor cleaning.
Lots and lots and lots of videos and "how-to"stuff out there. Google for basic carburetor cleaning techniques and always go for videos from donyboy73 ... he's my hero!
He takes a lot of care to get the camera angles just right so you can see exactly what's going on.
If you can find a video that covers your exact carburetor... even better!
 

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WAIT!!! ...
One other thing that I tend to forget more often than I like to admit.... is there a fuel shut-off valve between the gas tank and the carburetor?
As you know (but might forget if the machine is new to you) that needs to be in the "flow" position.

Another thing you might try (just to confirm one more time that it's a fuel problem).... as you crank the engine... keep pushing the primer button to force gas through the carb.
Don't go too crazy with that though... you don't want to totally flood the engine with gas.
If that happens, let it sit for an hour or two or maybe even overnight.
 

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Straight-cut gear teeth on starter pinion and flywheel, coupled with 120VAC motor = noise, noise, noise. Ditto on completely normal.

You can always pull the starter motor out and look for ground metal dust which could be indicative of starter misalignment, but... how often do you really use the electric start?
 
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