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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Folks... newbie to the forum... fixed a lot of things, but I've never torn into a snowblower... or really into a small engine for that matter.

I bought a used Brute / Snowking / Murray 8 hp, Techumseh. The model on the snowblower is F2784050 Code 5265

The machine runs great when it's cold... or at least decent.... the engine is hunting/surging a bit. After the first 300 feet or so, it begins to stutter in forward gears.... it's worse in the lower gears and gets better in the higher speeds. I'm in WV and dealing with 26" of fairly light snow so it's getting a workout.

The first pass down the drive, it kept moving fine with snow topping the augers and darn near topping the shoot! Worked a the bottom of the drive for a bit as it began to stutter... coming back up the stutter got really bad. Let it sit and get cold and it will work better again.

I'm not even sure if my machine is the friction disk or not... it has drive belts under a cover beside the engine. Any help or direction would be appreciated!
Thanks!
Mike
 

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does closing the choke a bit make it run better ? a good carb cleaning isnt a bad idea to start with.
 

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Does the engine stutter or is it just the drive wheels?

Kind of sounds like you are saying just the drive wheels. The friction disc could be getting worn, could just need the cable tightened or the bearings for the 2 discs that intersect could be worn.

Another likely possibility is snow is melting or otherwise getting in the drive system and the water is causing it to slip. Some newer blowers had issues when they switched from the Tecumseh engines as the new engines didn't seal up the belt cover as well.
 

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Wow.. thanks for the quick responses.... not sure if they are related, but the engine does surge or 'hunt' as they say... it doesn't idle steadily...

The drive problem is the biggie.... when cold, it worked great, moved easily through snow over the top of the machine... almost to the top of the chute! Eventually, it begins to stutter.... it will move forward, then stop, then move then stop... maybe moving for 1 or one half second at a time. It's worse in 1 or 2, and better in 3 or 4, but of course you can't cut thru 24 inches of snow in 4. You end up leaning into the machine, darn near pushing it thru the snow.
A final clue? It seems to be leaving a nice trail of oil drips once it gets warmed up.
Is there any pdf of a technician's manual for one of these things out there? Even a generic one that would show the friction discs...? I can't even picture how this works inside there....
I will check if closing the choke helps at all tomorrow....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Also... the cold v/s hot is rather obvious. While you guys were posting, I was out running another pass down the drive. It had cooled for about an hour and a half. It ran better than when I had stopped the last session, but not as good as when it was completely cold earlier in the day. I suspect tomorrow, I'll get a couple good passes down the drive before it starts to get bad.... so heat is a factor.... or use, I suppose.
 

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The heat is probably causing either oil or snow to drip down onto the friction disc. If you are leaking oil be sure to check it often as those Tecumseh engines don't like running with low oil and they will destroy themselves in short order.

Have a look through these videos. They will make the way the friction disc system works crystal clear. There should be some Murray specific videos, but they are all the same basic design.

https://www.youtube.com/user/donyboy73/search?query=friction+disc

And here are some videos for adjusting the cables for the drive system if it isn't tight enough.

https://www.youtube.com/user/donyboy73/search?query=snow+drive+adjust

He also has some carb adjusting and cleaning videos that might help you fix that, but if it is running 'mostly good' I would leave that alone until you aren't suffering from a blizzard.
 

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sorry.....guilty of speed reading the original post !! the engine surging is not related to your drive issue, i agree with the other thoughts, snow/water is getting onto your friction wheel/disc, quite common under the right weather conditions. my old mtd would do it frequently, my quick way to keep going would be to stop, lift the tires off the ground, engage the wheels for 10-15 seconds, then go again. not ideal, but better than pushing !!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok... those videos are awesome! I have no doubt I can get in there and work with the friction disk if needed....

I'm assuming I'd need to drain the oil and gas before setting him up on his snoot like that... correct?

I'm betting that since I'm seeing oil drops... and the only source of oil there should be the engine, which is directly over the friction disk.... that the oil is responsible for the slippage in the drive.... thoughts?

What's the most likely source for the oil leak?

Thanks!
 

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Old engines can leak from many places. The breather tube is probably number one followed by the front and rear crank seals. The breather tube happens a lot when the oil is over filled. Over filling can be caused by putting too much in there or a bad carb float allowing gas to continually drip.

For tipping it up you don't have to drain anything. If you have a high oil dipstick that is on the top of the engine you need to be sure that is tight and keep an eye on it. If you only have low fill ports they shouldn't leak at all. For the gas it will be fine if you have less than half a tank. If you are close to fill the gas cap has a tiny vent that will leak a little. You can remove the cap and then put a plastic bag between the tank and cap to seal it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the info on tipping up the machine! I think that today, I'll start by tightening up the drive cable a bit and see it that improves it. I'll run a pass or two and then if it's still stuttering I'll pop of the bottom and see what it looks like. Right now we're still blocked in by snow, so I really need a good pass or two to get us out.

Also, that will give me a chance to try lifting up the machine running the wheels for 15 or 20 seconds to see if that helps....

I'll keep you posted.... thanks again!
 

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We are officially dug out! In using the machine this morning, the drive problem was consistent from the start... NO period of working great....
I looked at the drive cable, and it seemed okay. Once I had it running, I pulled on the cable itself to see if more pressure helped... it did not. Holding up the wheels for 15 to 20 seconds while turning did nothing to help either.
I did manage to find a sweet spot where I could make a pass in 2, putting my weight against it to help it along, taking a 6 inch or so bite of snow, then come back across in 4 to clean it up..... took all morning, but the drive is open. Also... it didn't necessarily get worse during the morning.... pretty much a p.i.t.a. the whole time.
Plan now is to open up the bottom when I have the time... our office parking lot is waiting on me now, where there is another, used and untried Toro Snowblower ready for it's first real test. We'll see if I'm 0 for 2 on my used snowblower purchases...
Where can I buy a friction wheel and other parts?
Thanks!
Mike
 

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Well..... 0 for 2 on my used snowblower purchases.... our Toro 724 won't stay lit unless it's on full choke.... I'll start a new thread to discuss that one....
 

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We are officially dug out! In using the machine this morning, the drive problem was consistent from the start... NO period of working great....
The friction wheel is a known wear part (like brake pads on a car). Replacements seem to cost between $15 to $20--in fact, I have the same problem with my 1996 Murray Brute 29-inch machine and it's very clear the friction wheel is totally shot.

If you haven't verified this for your machine, and if your machine is anything like mine, it's easy to check and easy to replace To check, drain enough gas from the tank so it won't leak out when you do the following:
Push up on the handles until you have the machine standing vertically on its "nose".

The drive system is in the bottom rear part of the machine (which should now be facing you) inside a covered space. The sheet-metal cover is held in place by two screws on each side. The lower screws go thru slots in the cover--just loosen them. Remove the two upper screws and you should be able to tilt the cover out and slide it up and off.

Grab one of the drive wheels and slowly rotate it while holding a finger on the rim of the rubber-tired friction wheel. If it's worn, you will feel that and it needs to be replaced.
Your owner's manual should detail the replacement process, but it's not hard to do and shouldn't take too long.

I hope that works for you--I just got home with my replacement wheel and will install it tomorrow.

Good luck
 
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