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Discussion Starter #1
Older John Deer electric start (35 years or so, mine since new). Starts fine, runs fine as long as the gas tank drain valve is a little open . Shut valve and machine will not start. Open valve starts right up...shut valve it dies within s minute.
I am really not good a fixing things...forums like this one are my only hope. This issue has me really confused.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Check the vent hole on the gas cap, it's probably plugged.
I did check the cap, "appears OK". Also tried running machine with cap completely off. Had exactly the same issues. Really don't understand how the open gas tank drain valve comes into play.(huh) I would just ignore it, because other wise the machine works fine but the blower goes through a "lot" of gas with the value open.
 

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is the "drain valve" actually the normal fuel shut-off valve?? ie - it should be open to run. Any pictures of the valve in question?
 
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is the "drain valve" actually the normal fuel shut-off valve?? ie - it should be open to run. Any pictures of the valve in question?
This was my thought too. I'm not sure what a tank drain valve is. I personally haven't seen a machine with just a drain from the tank, like onto the ground, but of course that doesn't mean they don't exist.

It being a fuel shut-off valve would at least be fairly consistent with the symptoms.

A picture of the valve, and the fuel line that goes to the carb, would help.

Welcome to the forum, PBILL!
 

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As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

I have never seen a snowblower, from any year, with a separate drain. Even if it did, there is no line going to a drain, unless you are referring to a tank shut-off valve, with the line going to the carburetor.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the imput. It would sure "explain completely", the issues I discribed. I've never used it as a drain,always just run unit out of gas in the spring. If a shut off value can go bad ( 35 years old)sure would explain why gas flows out when it is open I will take a picture in the morning, but I think you guys have it. Did I mention I am not good at fixing stuff. Normally just send it off to the professionals,but it is snowing and would not get the blower back for weeks. Thanks again, your help is apreciated
 

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The fuel valve could have gone bad, or clogged up. They usually had a little strainer screen on the end of them where it goes into the tank and they can become clogged, the vavle could be clogged or the metal pitted so bad that it will no longer allow enough fuel to flow through fast enough to supply the engine with the amount needed.
You could also have a bad fuel line that is swollen internally and is blocking the fuel flow to the carburetor.
Another thing could be is when you think you have it opened, it is actually closed, I've seen that happen many times.
Some of the old engines did have a drain plug on the bottom of the metal fuel tanks, and some people did install a small valve into the tank where the plug was installed.
The gas valves can go bad, especially being it is an older model with a metal fuel tank, and can be clogged with debris like rust, sometimes they just need to be back flushed with solvent and air pressure to clean them, but the rubber gasket seal also goes bad and can either cause a leak at the valve, or a clog of the fuel flow.
Now then by reading the original post, it should stall out after a short time with the fuel valve in the off position, and run again with the fuel valve turned on. That is what it is supposed to do, in that case, there is nothing wrong with it.
 

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If this is one of the older brass shutoffs (metal body, round knob - common on older Tecs and likely others), there is an O ring in the valve that can die and cause it to basically pee when open. If that's the case, either replace it with a new plastic valve, or if you like the metal one, replace the O ring.
 

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Building on ST's suggestions, Maybe the Bowl is full of Water?? Opening the drain allows enough fresh fuel in to fire off...
Unless the bowl is pulled and drained, that water will continue to collect.


GLuck, Jay
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Gas cut off valve gone bad. Saw the gas trying to pee(as discribed) and assume valve was set to empty the tank. Now the fun part will be replacing. Looks easy, but ....
THANKS again for the help and pointing me in the right direction
 

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I use the plastic shutoff valves. They come as straight-through, and 90-degrees. I'd siphon out the tank first, of course, or if you could remove most of the gas, maybe you can get the valve above the gas level by tipping the machine forward on its nose.

If the machine isn't too old, you can clamp the fuel line, then replace the valve, rather than draining the tank. But with the age of the machine, that might just crack the fuel line. I'd replace the fuel line at the same time, to avoid just dealing with a second problem. I got 10 feet of 1/4" fuel line at Lowes for under $10, in the plumbing department. I think they sell shorter lengths in the outdoor-equipment-parts area.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Looking at piece in question and replacement parts on line it is: A bad Gas Cut Off valve. Glad I asked for help and THANK you for your help. Got the old piece off, local John Deere dealer does not have a valve in stock. It is a tight space, not sure a Home Depot in line valve would fit. Wondering what the down side would be to bypass the valve and just run directly to the fuel tank. Haven't use the valve in 30 years.
 

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I use the plastic shutoff valves. They come as straight-through, and 90-degrees.

I got 10 feet of 1/4" fuel line at Lowes for under $10, in the plumbing department. I think they sell shorter lengths in the outdoor-equipment-parts area.
I

I buy a pack of 5-10 plastic shut off valves on line for cheap, could be a buck or less per valve.

Is the 1/4" fuel line at Lowe's the black braided reinforced or the clear or blue plastic?
 

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It's the black reinforced rubber.

PBILL, the shutoff isn't really essential. But of your carb bowl ever starts leaking, for instance, it's nice to be able to close off the fuel supply.

But you could remove the valve for now, if you need the machine running for a looming storm. Then, ideally, replace it later, but you can go without it. Not every machine includes one.
 

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If this is one of the older brass shutoffs (metal body, round knob - common on older Tecs and likely others), there is an O ring in the valve that can die and cause it to basically pee when open. If that's the case, either replace it with a new plastic valve, or if you like the metal one, replace the O ring.
Good to know about the user-serviceable O-ring. I have a few of the metal valves that I would like to fix.
 

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I'd just bypass the defective valve (you stated you didnt use it anyways).
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If this is one of the older brass shutoffs (metal body, round knob - common on older Tecs and likely others), there is an O ring in the valve that can die and cause it to basically pee when open. If that's the case, either replace it with a new plastic valve, or if you like the metal one, replace the O ring.[/QUOTE

Spent the day working on the gas cut off valve problem. Glad I am old enough to just smile.

Went to Lowes to pick up dome tubing and a brass male to male fitting for my bypass work around. Brass fitting was too long to allow tubing to route from tank to machine unless tubing was a foot long and u--turned 90 degrees back to the machine. No place to hide tubing, it is really tight. Ugly

Didn't work, so do it right. Drove to John Deere dealer a few miles away. Original part no longer available but new part will fit, Paid way to much, but more snow on the way. Part did not fit.

Away,love to know where can I get information on replacing o ring?
 

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Oof, sorry this is not going smoothly. Pics of the area may help people better understand what you're up against.

Hopefully you can find the specific o-ring info. But you need to match the required size (there are a lot of different sizes, and multiple thicknesses), and the o-ring material also needs to be gas-compatible. Buna would be something that would work; silicone would not. That may not be a trivial combination to find locally, in a hurry.
 
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