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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all. I'm new to this forum. I inherited a Craftsman 536.885213 5.0HP 21" single stage snowblower with electric start from my mother's home last spring.

I cranked it last week, and there was a strong "varnish smell". Uh oh.

So, I removed and cleaned the carburator (Tecumseh 640342), cleaned the spark plug, removed and cleaned the gas tank, replaced the fuel lines and in-line filter, and re-assembled.

Electric cranking this weekend - and no start.

The spark plug is "wet" after cranking.

The carb bowl has clean fuel in it after cranking.

I don't know where else to go - and am not experienced with engines at all, although I'm okay mechanically.

I'd appreciate your thoughts on what steps I should go to next. Thanks in advance for any and all help. Phil g.
 

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Check for spark.

I use an adjustable-gap spark plug tester (check ebay, amazon or your local parts store). Set the gap to "SE" (small engine), connect the clip to the engine block, connect the other end to the spark plug lead. Pull the engine over a few times and look for a strong-blue spark.

One word of caution, I usually do this with the plug installed; its a little more compression but you're not creating a fuel cloud next to a spark tester :D
 

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Let it dry out and off, and check your spark. It is also not uncommon for the coil packs to go bad. It's not hard to swap, but you are going to need the engine model numbers. If it's a tecumseh, which I suspect, they will be on the engine tin, near the spark plug.
 

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Check for spark.

I use an adjustable-gap spark plug tester (check ebay, amazon or your local parts store). Set the gap to "SE" (small engine), connect the clip to the engine block, connect the other end to the spark plug lead. Pull the engine over a few times and look for a strong-blue spark.

One word of caution, I usually do this with the plug installed; its a little more compression but you're not creating a fuel cloud next to a spark tester :D
Here's the spark tester in use (no plug in this picture...I just finished rebuilding this engine...no fuel & I was spinning the flywheel by hand :D)
 

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Check for spark.

I use an adjustable-gap spark plug tester (check ebay, amazon or your local parts store). Set the gap to "SE" (small engine), connect the clip to the engine block, connect the other end to the spark plug lead. Pull the engine over a few times and look for a strong-blue spark.

One word of caution, I usually do this with the plug installed; its a little more compression but you're not creating a fuel cloud next to a spark tester :D
Good advice about the fuel cloud. I worked with a tech that checked for spark, well it had spark. He now has burn scars on his face and left arm. He was out of work for several months.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow. Thanks, everyone, for your replies and well wishes. I'll get a spark tester on my way home tonight and will test soonest. I'll report back.

@powershift93: you may be right.

@classiccat: thanks for the caution.

@db9938: if no spark, I'll be following your advice next...
 

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Uh oh, well I'll apologize in advance. I may be off line tonight, it's a state holiday.
 

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Um, football championship.... So if I jump on to here during, I'm not responsible for any of the advice I give.... Which may involve a chip tray, an iPad dock, script "O H I O" cleared from your yard, and a on-board beverage dispenser..... If your ok with that, then my imagination might get the best of us tonight. :D:D:D
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Okay, I'm back. I bought a simple adjustable spark tester, and on the wise advice of forum members, tested it away from the fuel side and with the spark plug in place.

There is considerable spark when I run the electric start. So, what would I test next?

There is also still a varnish odor when I crank it, despite my cleaning the fuel intake and carburator portions thoroughly.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide... Phil G.
 

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Thats some good news!!

Was the fuel supply off & the carb drained when you checked for spark?

My apologies for not including that in the original suggestion!

If there is fuel supply you will flood the engine.

If its not flooded, it could be a sheared flywheel key throwing off the timing.
 

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I would add some Lucas FI cleaner or Seafoam to your fuel to help clean up that smell. Old gas smell could also be coming from the machine where it was spilled when removing the carb. If running a tank or two of cleaner through it once you get it running doesn't get rid of the smell maybe a little engine cleaner and a hose this spring will do the job.

You know you have spark and if the plugs getting wet you know you have fuel. Might try a time or two getting it started without the choke at first to see if maybe it's just getting too much gas.

Does it fire or pop at all ?? Have you tried to give it a shot of starting fluid ??
 

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Plus 1 for stating fluid. Also clean the spark plug (I have a sand blaster for plugs) or with a propane torch to burn off all the nasty crap.
 

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Hello all. I'm new to this forum. I inherited a Craftsman 536.885213 5.0HP 21" single stage snowblower with electric start from my mother's home last spring.

I cranked it last week, and there was a strong "varnish smell". Uh oh.

So, I removed and cleaned the carburator (Tecumseh 640342), cleaned the spark plug, removed and cleaned the gas tank, replaced the fuel lines and in-line filter, and re-assembled.

Electric cranking this weekend - and no start.

The spark plug is "wet" after cranking.

The carb bowl has clean fuel in it after cranking.

I don't know where else to go - and am not experienced with engines at all, although I'm okay mechanically.

I'd appreciate your thoughts on what steps I should go to next. Thanks in advance for any and all help. Phil g.
Phil: I don't know your location. But a single stage 5 HP blower isn't worth putting a lot of time & money in it. My opinion.
 

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Briggs 6.0 HP not starting

Sorry to bump an old thread, but I cannot post a fresh one.

Long story short; not a snow blower, but a Craftsman 4-in-1 lawn vac (247-77055) with a Briggs 6.0 hp motor. Bought it used maybe 2 or 3 years ago and it always worked well (few pulls to start, then ran fine). Last time I went to use it (a few months back), it would not start. I pulled until my arm hurt, then tried starting fluid, but still no luck- would not catch at all.

I am going to do some troubleshooting over the winter in hopes of having it for the spring. Going to start with some basics (fuel, ignition switch, check the plug). I am thinking that fuel problems are the biggest cause for not starting, but my thought is that ether should allow it to start (even if only momentarily). Would like to ask if that is a fair assumption.

If fuel problems were largely eliminated, assuming I would be looking at ignition. I want to start by making sure that I am not doing something truly bone-headed (verifying ignition kill switch and such), and pull/inspect the plug to make sure that it is not fouled. Next I will be picking up a plug tester to see if I have spark. Looking at something like this:


Main reason I am posting is to ask if my assumptions and approach seem correct, or whether there is an error or something significant missing in the process. Any thoughts or feedback appreciated.
 

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Yard vacuum

Did you have the leaf bag and or blower nozzle installed?
There's a safety switch that gets depressed when you install those accessories that is pressed. Until you satisfy that safety there is no spark and it will not run. Take the blower nozzle for instance. It has a piece of sheet metal that when mounted depresses that switch micro switch. If that sheet metal is bent it may not be pressing down on that rubber covered micro switch and again the engine won't start.
My apologies if this has been checked thoroughly.
 
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