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Picked up a Husqvarna ST324p in excellent condition off FB marketplace for short money. I fully understood I was picking up a big box machine (my previous machine was a Toro PowerShift), but still figured it was worth a shot. It was tough to start and backfired, so I reset the valve lash. First snow storm, it ran great and threw well under load. Second storm, the issue returned - this time, I replaced the plug, cleaned the carb, and once again, gapped the valve lash. Next storm, ran great for about an hour, then started to sputter, backfire and eventually stop running. Any thoughts/suggestions ? It runs the 254cc Husqvarna branded engine.
 

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If it has a partially sheared flywheel key, that could cause problems. Does adding choke help? Does it still have a good spark after it dies?
 

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2 things it needs, spark and fuel. When it quit did it still have spark? Does it restart when it cools down?
3 things actually. Air, fuel, spark. :)

If it’s runs for a period of time then dies, but will restart cold... it’s likely the ignition coil.

Run the machine until it dies then check for spark.
 

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With some of the blowers running LCT engines that have the rocker switch for a shut off, you may want to look at the area where the wires connect to the switch as there were problems with the position of the lower tab to connect the wire and if it was not bent down out of the way, it allowed for that wire to contact the linkage and ground out killing the engine, and it would do it erratically as the linkage would move and let it ground and then not ground.

There was a TSB from LTC on this exact problem.

It sounds exactly as the problem you have encountered. Hope it helps.
 

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3 things actually. Air, fuel, spark. :)

If it’s runs for a period of time then dies, but will restart cold... it’s likely the ignition coil.

Run the machine until it dies then check for spark.
You Forgot Timing
 

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3 things actually. Air, fuel, spark. :)

If it’s runs for a period of time then dies, but will restart cold... it’s likely the ignition coil.

Run the machine until it dies then check for spark.
Technically, fuel is air and gasoline together. :smile_big:
 

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It was tough to start and backfired, so I reset the valve lash. First snow storm, it ran great and threw well under load. Second storm, the issue returned - this time, I replaced the plug, cleaned the carb, and once again, gapped the valve lash.
You adjusted the valve clearance twice. Was it out of spec the 2nd time around?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just feeling well enough to get back to this - the valves did seem a bit out, SnowH8ter, but I thought it was negligible. Nonetheless, I re set them. I just now tried to start it, and as before, I pull it several times, it sputters, seems like it wants to start, then BANG ! A very loud backfire.
 

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Since that engine is a 254CC LTC with a Husqvarna sticker on it, did you check the wiring at and near the back of the switch and as well the extra wiring that goes to the plastic key switch.
 

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Actually it is this one , and it is a LTC TSB sent out through Ariens because of the LTC engines used on Ariens as well as many other snowblowers.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Good info - thanks for this - printed up that sevice bulletin, and will try to run through it tonight.
 

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Although the number on my engine did not jive with that service bulletin, I figured it was worth trying - basically the same engine in the bulletin, and the steps required wouldn't drastically change anything. Worked through the procedure, and sure enough, it started right up on the first pull and runs smooth ! (did notice some light charring around that run switch spade connector) Now -hopefully, I won't need it again until next season ;) Thanks for everyone's input !
 

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If it was me, I would throw that LCT engine right in the garbage and repower it with a Honda GX series engine. Those LCT engines have such a bad reputation for poor quality and and extremely poor materials and design that they are manufactured with. They are well known for valve clearance problems. even when they are brand new. The factory that builds them in China has no quality control at all from what we have dealt with from repairing hundreds of them. Tight valves, ignition problems, poor or defective carbs, poor fuel systems, parts availability, poor service support system, poor bottom end problems, some with pistons installed backwards from the factory, factory service support technicians that sound like a bunch of dumb college kids that don't know how to tie their own shoes without looking at their cellphone computers and watching a video to tie shoelaces. At least those engines are very cheap, you can pick up new ones for around a hundred bucks or so, but I wouldn't take one even if it was given to me. We have a 10 cubic yard dumpster filled with them now, new ones and ones with only a few hours on them. They are not even worth fixing, that is how poor they are. I know there are a lot of people that swear by them and would give their life for them, but we have too many bad experiences with them. Maybe give them 20 years and they might improve, but that doesn't do any good now.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I hear you, but I don't think this machine is worth that kind of investment. I hold no illusions that this will be my last snowblower -I knew what I was getting, but it was such a deal I figured it was worth taking the risk. So, we'll see how it goes!
 
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