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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Old craftsman 3.5/20 Single Stage Build

Can anyone help me out with this. I just bought an old Craftsman snow blower on craigslist. I went through everything and one of the issues I found is the chain is routed over top the idler sprocket and it's eating into the "hood?". I 'm guessing the chain was replaced and the original person who tried to fix it made it too long and routed it wrong. Seems like the chain should be routed under the idler sprocket and be much shorter.
 

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Can anyone help me out with this. I just bought an old Craftsman snow blower on craigslist. I went through everything and one of the issues I found is the chain is routed over top the idler sprocket and it's eating into the "hood?". I 'm guessing the chain was replaced and the original person who tried to fix it made it too long and routed it wrong. Seems like the chain should be routed under the idler sprocket and be much shorter.
I have that same blower! See "Lil Red" in my signature. :D

you're correct, the chain should be routed below the tension sprocket.
 

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I have that same blower! See "Lil Red" in my signature. :D

you're correct, the chain should be routed below the tension sprocket.
Thank you. I noticed that like yours, mine doesn't throw the snow very far either. I tried it for the first time today and it cleared about 2" from my driveway. Still need to dial in the carb. The thing took about 50+ pulls to get it started and the revs seem low to me. Also leaks gas out the carb so I need to put on a fuel shutoff.
 

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Thank you. I noticed that like yours, mine doesn't throw the snow very far either. I tried it for the first time today and it cleared about 2" from my driveway. Still need to dial in the carb. The thing took about 50+ pulls to get it started and the revs seem low to me. Also leaks gas out the carb so I need to put on a fuel shutoff.
You're welcome!

Mine threw pretty well for it's size/power/age with the old Auger. My new auger is only turning at 1/2-speed ...at the moment ...there's some "throwagra" in the mail ;)

I recommend getting a tachometer to dial-in that engine. Sirometer or a tiny-tach work great. 3500 RPMs is where I run mine; 3600 is the maximum.

If gas is leaking out of the carb, it's time for a rebuild. Rebuild kits are cheap and it's very easy to do. Your float could be flooded (filled with fuel)...and/or set at the incorrect height... and/or the needle isn't seating.

Definitely add a fuel cut-off...along with an inline fuel filter...along with a new fuel line.

Difficulty starting could be a number of things. Rebuild the carb & put in a new J8C plug (assuming this is an H35) and we'll go from there!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Oh...and before you rebuild the carb...be sure to take pictures/notes of the linkage & spring settings.
There were two master links in the chain so I removed one and the length is good.

Couple more questions for you if I may...

Idler Sprocket- mine is very loose. It is not really putting any tension on the chain and I have it all the way down. There is a lot of side-to-side play too. Is there supposed to be a washer between the sprocket and hood? There is no bearing on mine, it just rides loosely on the shaft. I saw you replaced yours with a new unit. Did that happen to be the 13 tooth roller bearing sprocket from TSC for $25?

Chain - What size?

Oil - do I just fill it to the top of the fill plug?
 

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There were two master links in the chain so I removed one and the length is good.

Couple more questions for you if I may...

Idler sprocket- mine is very loose. It is not really putting any tension on the chain and I have it all the way down. There is a lot of side-to-side play too. Is there supposed to be a washer between the sprocket and hood? There is no bearing on mine, it just rides loosely on the shaft. I saw you replaced yours with a new unit. Did that happen to be the 13 tooth roller bearing sprocket from TSC for $25?

Oil - do I just fill it to the top of the fill plug?
My idler sprocket has a bushing on the inside. I’ll take it apart when I get home from work and snap some pics. I had to add 2 washers between the sprocket & hood to get the right spacing.

My idler sprocket is original. What I’m about to change out is the auger drive sprocket (going from 15 to 25 teeth) to account for the larger sprocket on the auger assembly (aka “throwagra”).

Does yours have a dipstick / filler tube? When I found mine on the curb, it was broken off. These engines run very poor if your crankcase isn’t sealed. The H35 takes about 21 oz of oil.


Here's a good shot of the fill level inside the crank case (Note: this is what a governor should not look like)
 

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My idler sprocket has a bushing on the inside. I’ll take it apart when I get home from work and snap some pics. I had to add 2 washers between the sprocket & hood to get the right spacing.




Hope that helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Looks the same as mine, I just need to get the washers. Thank you.

Are you using the original guide wheels on the bottom front of the blower or did you replace them with anything?
 

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Looks the same as mine, I just need to get the washers. Thank you.

Are you using the original guide wheels on the bottom front of the blower or did you replace them with anything?
The one on the right-side is completely original. The left-side I had to fab the hardware out of 3/8" Stainless nylock nut / bolt combo with a stainless steel tubing spacer for the gauge wheel to ride-on; It's not pretty but it works!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I ordered a new carb for $17 shipped on Amazon. Hoping it will fix the hard starting. I think the bowl gasket and needle/seat was bad. A rebuild kit wasn't much cheaper than a whole new carb.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I ordered some MTD steel skids to replace the stupid "wheels" on the front. One of the wheels came off while I was snow-blowing tonight (probably needed a nylock nut because the regular nut vibrated off). One wheel is all seized up and the other one is a makeshift wheel.
 

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I've been on the fence about keeping the gage wheels since you don't have as much flexibility for height and they tend to sink-in further on ground that isn't completely frozen...On the otherhand, if you can get them to roll correctly, they seem to last a long time! I can grab some pics of my fugly wheels if you're interested :eek:.

If the MTD skids don't work out for ya (our machines have a smaller skid hole spacing than standard skids), guys have been fabricating skids out of tough plastic materials...even plastic cutting boards.
 

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Installed the new carb. Started on the second pull...from then on, it was hard to start again. Go figure. Seems to run well once it gets going. There is no primer on the new carb. What's up with that?
 

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Installed the new carb. Started on the second pull...from then on, it was hard to start again. Go figure. Seems to run well once it gets going. There is no primer on the new carb. What's up with that?
Bummer oldcman!

bunch of questions:

  • Was the engine warm when you tried to restart? If so, did you try to restart when the engine was cool again?
  • Did you check for spark when it wouldn't start?
  • Are you using fresh fuel?
  • Install a new plug?
  • Install new fuel line?
  • Install a fuel filter?
Trying to start without a primer also puts you at a disadvantage. You may need a squirt of fuel in the carb throat; I’ve never had a Tecumseh carb without a primer so can’t really help you there (i.e. how much fuel to squirt in). Assuming that your old carb has a good bowl seal, you could use it to gauge how much fuel is produced with 3-5 primer pushes.

Good luck!
 

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Welcome to the forum :D

The bolts the gauge wheels run on can be had at Fastenal part # 1126346
I needed to replace the ones on my craftsman. Need to make sure you have ones with 1/2" hole.

You were lucky and bumped into someone with the same machine. Might be a good idea to add some info to your signature or post a model/serial number when you post a question so someone else might be able to help you out.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Bummer oldcman!

bunch of questions:

  • Was the engine warm when you tried to restart? No If so, did you try to restart when the engine was cool again?
  • Did you check for spark when it wouldn't start?No
  • Are you using fresh fuel? Yes
  • Install a new plug?No, but it looked pretty new when I bought the snowblower. Maybe it is bad now though because I did run a tank of 40:1 oil mix that I had leftover in the tool shed.
  • Install new fuel line? No. This might be a problem. I bought the wrong carb (had a straight nipple on the fuel connection instead of the L-shape so I had to pull the fuel line very tight to get it to fit and it is *sort-of* kinked. I just purchased some new heavyduty rubber fuel line today. Is 1/4" the right size??
  • Install a fuel filter? No. I don't believe it has one. It might to smart to install a fuel filter and a fuel shutoff.
Trying to start without a primer also puts you at a disadvantage. You may need a squirt of fuel in the carb throat; I’ve never had a Tecumseh carb without a primer so can’t really help you there (i.e. how much fuel to squirt in). Assuming that your old carb has a good bowl seal, you could use it to gauge how much fuel is produced with 3-5 primer pushes. I think the bowl seal was bad, it was leaking gas all over. At a minimum, the needle/seat was bad.

Good luck!
Welcome to the forum :D

The bolts the gauge wheels run on can be had at Fastenal part # 1126346
I needed to replace the ones on my craftsman. Need to make sure you have ones with 1/2" hole.

You were lucky and bumped into someone with the same machine. Might be a good idea to add some info to your signature or post a model/serial number when you post a question so someone else might be able to help you out.
Thank you. I am installing new style skids instead of the wheels. There must be a reason why all new snow blowers have skids and not wheels, right?
 

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Thank you. I am installing new style skids instead of the wheels. There must be a reason why all new snow blowers have skids and not wheels, right?
Yep. the skids are stamped steel and cheaper to make.
 

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I asked about the fuel line/filter because it's possible that some old crud got in and blocked-up your new carb.

Definitely install a new fuel line/filter when you’re changing out the fuel line; ¼” ID is correct.

Also, throw in a new spark plug; my old H35 loves the champion J8C or equivalent. If I am going to clean a plug, I only use seafoam & a torch; I avoid using abrasives/wire for fear that something will remain & drop into my cylinder.

Being that it was running, I doubt that it’s an ignition problem but it wouldn’t hurt to have an adjustable gap spark tester in case the problem is intermittent. 1.) Turn-off the fuel & drain the carb (still keep the plug in to prevent a fuel cloud from forming from any residual fuel). 2.) set the tester to "SE" for small engine. 3.) connect the plug wire to the tester 4.) clamp the tester to the engine block. 5.) Pull the recoil watching for a strong blue spark.

I kind of like the old-school gage wheels (aka pizza cutters). :D
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I put on the new fuel line today. The engine seemed to start easier and run much better at idle.

I hooked up my tach and after playing with the mixture screws, I was getting
Idle: 750-800 rpm
Max: 2250-2300 rpm

It sure sounds a lot faster than the low-mid 2000's but I believe my setting on the tach is correct because the idle speed is about right.

I thought I read that these engines run about 3500 rpm?
 
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