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Hey folks,

I've just become the owner of what I believe is a 27 year old Snowblower, marked as a Mastercraft 8-26. Took it from a neighbour who was throwing it away, and decided to use this as an opportunity to learn something. I'm fairly handy but have had little experience with engines.

Model # on this is 318-586-515 which, based on some googling is an MTD machine. It has a Tecumseh engine.

First challenge was getting it to run at all. I removed the carburetor, cleaned it with carb cleaner and some rags, and put it back together. This was my first time doing anything like this so was quite proud of myself :). Tested the spark plug (good) and put fresh gas in after draining some old stuff. Few pulls in...and the cord broke. Bah! Luckily it was near the end so was able to take the reel off and fix that without too much trouble.

Bit of fiddling with the knobs and some more pulls and voila, got her running! I managed to clear my driveway and now want to address a few issues I'm hoping somebody can help me with.

1) The Engine does not feel like it's operating at proper RPM. If I put the throttle all the way up it sounds like it is revving way too high. If I put the lever about half way down, it stalls out. In addition, if it is revving too high and I engage the auger and drive, it sounds normal...but drop the load and it's nutbar again. I fully suspect I need to adjust some of the screws on the carburetor...just never done it before so any tips welcome.

2) The worm gear on the long rod that turns the snow chute is not making proper contact with the chute. So if I have the machine on the wrong angle, it doesn't contact it at all and the chute just flops around. This one I suspect is probably just a matter of tightening up some bolt or something at the bottom of the rod....I think.

3) The cover for the carburetor (the sheet metal piece) only had 1 of it's intended 4 screws when I received the machine. During the test run the single screw came out at some point (taking the choke knob with it) and they got ... lost in the snow. So now I have the carb cover just dangling. I want to get new screws to lock this back up but don't have any sense of how to figure out what screws I'd need.

Not really sure if many people would think it makes sense to be trying to get something so old running...but if nothing else it's giving me the opportunity to learn something new.
 

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:welcome: to the forum Murraych


If anyone understands you wanting to resurrect an old tired machine, it's US :wavetowel2:

You'll need to get something that you can actually read the RPMs and it's likely you might need to adjust the governor.
Not sure if this video is the same as your engine but Donyboy73 is the man for small engine and snow blower videos on youtube.


You might need to post a photo of the worm gear. On some the bushing that the rod spins in can be rotated. The hole is offset and as you rotate it you will either make the fit tighter like you need or looser.

You can hit a hardware store or big box store and get a few of whatever size looks about right and just return the un needed ones.
That's the lazy answer as I don't want to go out and pull one and try to see if I can measure it. :icon_whistling:
 

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Help with a 27 year old?
I think you have the wrong forum for that! ;)

j/k..

But in "snowblower years" 27 years is nothing..
its downright young compared to machines many people here are using..
My two main snowblowers are both 45 years old! and going strong..

of course previous owner care and maintenance is key..
a 10 year old snowblower stored outside for 10 years, with no cover, can be ready for the junkyard..
while a 40 year old snowblower, always stored in the garage and given proper and regular maintenance, can be ready for another 40 years of reliable service..

but overall, 27 years isnt a big deal at all..if the machine has been well cared for.
age alone means nothing..

Scot
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the welcome :) Good to know this is worth the time. I see so many snowblowers basically thrown away that are probably just suffering from a dirty carb (I know I'm guilty of disposing of a number of lawnmowers for probably the same thing...kicking myself now).

The engine in that video looks very much like mine. I'm going to watch it a few times and see where I get. I also looked in another thread where they recommended base settings for the idle screw and ...bottom screw (name escapes me, still learning!) which I'm sure I don't have right.

First trip to the local hardware store was a bust. Screws I got were too small. But, met a guy who claimed he can order me parts for the engine if I get him the model number from the block, so maybe he'll be able to determine the correct screw sizes for me as well :)

I had a quick look at the bottom of the rod for the chute, and yeah, I'll take a picture and show you what I mean. I can't see an obvious way to get it to stay where I need it.
 

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Since you said your snowblower had a Tecumseh engine, check for your model and serial numbers, the go here:
Tecumseh Horizontal Shaft Engines
Find your engine and open the corresponding link up.
You'll find illustrated parts diagrams with parts lists & number.
Most screws listed as parts have the shaft size and thread number given.

Also, almost everyone has a jar, can, bucket, box, or something with old hardware......screws, bolts, etc. Fish around for something that looks like it might be the right shank size and carefully and gently see if it will thread into the fixing location. If you find something that threads, then use a small finish nail or piece of wire to find the length you need.

My guess you'll likely will need something like 8x32 or 10x32, probably 1/2" or 3/4" in length. If you have the choice, you might want to opt for something hex head rather than a screw head. You can supply a little more fastening force with a small socket or wrench than with a screwdriver. Your local hardware store should be able to supply any common fastener you might need.
 

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Went outside to play with the idle screw and main jet screw (thats the bottom one on the carb, right?). Started idle at 1 turn out and main at 1 1/2. I adjusted the screw on the throttle lever to lower the revs at the high end and it now sounds "normal" to me (i.e not like it's going to explode). However the throttle seems really really touchy, and I can't run it with the choke all the way open (it stalls). If I lower the throttle half way down it stalls, and it's finicky to get started again.

Basic engine science is that you need the right mixture of fuel and air, right? If I open the choke and it stalls, that means too much air, which would imply not enough fuel, correct? Which in theory would mean I would need to adjust my main screw out further?

(I thought this part would be simpler :D)
 

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For what it's worth, theres a couple free smart phone apps that use the exhaust note signature, to measure RPM. I can not speak for their accuracy or reliability, but it might at least get you in the ball park, in a pinch.
 

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Basic engine science is that you need the right mixture of fuel and air, right? If I open the choke and it stalls, that means too much air, which would imply not enough fuel, correct? Which in theory would mean I would need to adjust my main screw out further?

(I thought this part would be simpler :D)

You are correct.
If taking the choke off causes a warmed up engine to stall it's starving for fuel. It could be that you need to open the screw a bit or it could be a float set too low, the passage partially blocked (even if cleaned once) and there's always the chance you have bad gas or some water is sitting at the bottom of the float bowl too.
 

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Went outside to play with the idle screw and main jet screw (thats the bottom one on the carb, right?). Started idle at 1 turn out and main at 1 1/2. I adjusted the screw on the throttle lever to lower the revs at the high end and it now sounds "normal" to me (i.e not like it's going to explode). However the throttle seems really really touchy, and I can't run it with the choke all the way open (it stalls). If I lower the throttle half way down it stalls, and it's finicky to get started again.

Basic engine science is that you need the right mixture of fuel and air, right? If I open the choke and it stalls, that means too much air, which would imply not enough fuel, correct? Which in theory would mean I would need to adjust my main screw out further?

(I thought this part would be simpler :D)

There is also a engine model no. and for a Tecumseh 8 hp. its normally stamped into the top of the blower housing . With the motor rev' d up you can adjust the main screw in and out and it will stall at either extreme so then turn it so that it's halfway between. Donyboy on youtube has this video and shows how to clean the carburetor.
 

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From what you describe, it is starving for fuel. you need to remove the carburetor, disassemble it, and soak the body in a good carb solvent. (overnight) No need to soak the float, and needle. (just clean these with a clean cloth, be gentle) However, these Tec. engines have a neoprene seat in the channel where the needle seats on. These are replaceable. Be aware of this when cleaning. Use a fine piece of wire to clean all those small holes on the main jet. Use compressed air to blow out these orifices. Again, watch that neoprene seat when using compressed air.
 

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Welcome to the forum from another new guy. I have a 21 year young MTD 8/26 and they are generally sound machines. Some of the other posts will get you on the right track and get your engine running smoothly. you may end up rebuilding the carburetor or getting a new one. IMHO, this is where you will spend most of your "fiddling" time. You should be able to get an owner's manual on line from MTD or other source. It contains most of the basic adjustments you'll need for the non engine bits to operate properly. Also, I too would like to see a picture of your find.
 

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My 1969 MTD sno blower has a small piece at the end of the chute crank with 2 bolts that you use to adjust the screw part closer to the chute notches.

Sorry all the pictures I have of my machine does not show that part well.

:D Al
 

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Here she is:



Thanks for all the advice. I've looked at the engine manual and have decided the carb needs some more thorough attention. I found a local tool store (that is now my favourite place in the universe) that had a full carb rebuild kit in stock for this guy so picked that up along with some random screws I hope will put the carb cover back on. The bowl ring when I first disassembled it was pretty stiff so I suspect it may not be producing a good seal (plus the leaking fuel line I'm sure isn't helping either). I'm going to disassemble it again, really soak the thing in carb cleaner and let it sit for a few hours (at the advice of the tool store guy) and put it back together with the kit. Honestly the first time (due to lack of experience) I only really gave the inside maybe a minute or two of spray time.


So the chute:



See how the end of the bar just seems to sit in that slot? The actual bar itself just looks like it has a couple washers on each side so it doesn't come out of the hole...but when it slides away from the machine the worm gear comes out of the slots on the snow chute. I'm having trouble visualizing a solution to this.




So another problem is that this is all exposed. Hopefully the screws I got today will put the cover back in place. Is it normal that there doesn't appear to be any kind of air filter? Also, the muffler is super rusty compared to everything else....I'm guessing it's because it's made out of a different metal alloy combined with (reasons I don't know). I actually tried to remove it to take a closer look and the bolt on the top of the machine snapped. Sigh.

In the spring I might try to clean up a bunch of the rust on the main body and paint it, just because if you're bringing something back to life you want it to look it's best :D
 

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Looks like you are missing a plastic bushing that would fit in the octagonal hole that would keep the worm gear tight to the housing and not pop out if the grooves when operated. You may have to build something yourself if the oem part isn't available.

These blowers don't normally have air filter due to the environment they operate in.

The exhaust bolts can be a problem when trying to remove them as they normally break off in the engine and have to be removed by drill and tap or some other method.
 

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Ah, plastic bushing makes total sense.

I believe This is the list of parts for this, and #7 is I believe the missing bushing.

The bolt for the top of the exhaust did indeed break and the stem is in the engine. I'm going to ignore that problem for the moment :)

When I did have it running, it was throwing snow as expected so I think the auger parts are at least in workable condition. Haven't really looked at any of that yet. I did notice that when I put the drive in reverse it doesn't seem to actually work, and #1 forward seems really weak (But, could simply be the grade of my driveway or simply an incorrect assumption as to the amount of power I should be seeing...first snowblower and all :p)
 

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The carburetor cover is partly held in place, at the bottom, by the small bracket on the carburetor with two small screws, however the weight of the cover I thought when I fixed mine should be carried mainly by two other larger screws higher up.
The muffler gets hot and probably just burns the original finish off and it then rusts easily, especially if it not covered when it rains.
There is hole beside the muffler in the blower housing, in your photo. that I think is where one of the other upper bolts goes that supports the cover. It looks a little bigger than the original.?
When you were using #1 forward and reverse you may need to re-adjust the tension on the hand controls.
 

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Looks like you are headed in the right direction.
 
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