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Good Morning. I purchase a Toro Snowmaster 724 QXE about a year ago. The first time I used it, roughly 7 inches of wet snow, it performed perfectly. Ever since then it has had an idle issue. When starting it I put it on full choke and it fires right up. When it warms up a bit I generally slide the choke to the off position but then it starts this lumpy idle like it is going to cut out. If I place the choke in the middle position it seems to level out but then gets lumpy again after a while. This leads to me constantly fiddling with the choke to keep it running smoothly. I've only used it roughly five times because of our light winter last year and I find it hard to believe something has gone wrong that quickly. I haven't even hit the two hours of usage where the oil should be changed. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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My brand new 824 QXE doesn't idle flat either. It surges / pulses just like this one does in Paul's review - 45 seconds in.


Is that what you mean?

Does anyone know if that's normal? At first I was concerned but given that mine sounds the same as the one in Paul's review I'm thinking it's normal?
 

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I have the 824, but I haven't noticed if it does that or not. I've seen that video dozens of times, and to be honest, I would never have even noticed it until you pointed it out. I'm no expert, but I have a feeling it's normal, and there isn't anything wrong with it. Kind'a sounds like a Harley idling....lol
 

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Snowmasters dont idle per ce, they run at rated speed all the time.

When there's no load on the engine it can have the tendency to surge up and down as the governor does its thing.

If it surges while under a load then there's a problem.
 

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I'm guessing it's fine, but it probably depends upon how severe it is, whether it continues with a fully warmed-up engine, and whether it cuts out under load. I've got the 824, and it does idle a bit rough on initial start up with full choke. I need to let it warm up for 30 seconds or a minute, and sometimes take the choke off a little gradually. Sounds like that's consistent with others' experiences. Once warmed up, mine runs smoothly and has never surged or cut out under load.

A little off topic: the 824, i.e., 252cc, choke lever has detents only at full choke and no choke. Mine doesn't have a detent at any partial choke position. Is this the case with the 724 engine's (212cc) choke lever as well?
 

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This is true for the 724 (212cc) as well.
I'm guessing it's fine, but it probably depends upon how severe it is, whether it continues with a fully warmed-up engine, and whether it cuts out under load. I've got the 824, and it does idle a bit rough on initial start up with full choke. I need to let it warm up for 30 seconds or a minute, and sometimes take the choke off a little gradually. Sounds like that's consistent with others' experiences. Once warmed up, mine runs smoothly and has never surged or cut out under load.

A little off topic: the 824, i.e., 252cc, choke lever has detents only at full choke and no choke. Mine doesn't have a detent at any partial choke position. Is this the case with the 724 engine's (212cc) choke lever as well?
 

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Surging is a sign of carb/jet clogs or governor problems. IMO.
I believe you should take the choke off as soon as it starts. Let it warm up with no choke. This is how I have started all my small 4 cycle engines. Two cycle is different IMO, the method you are using would apply to a two stroke.

I would suggest trying the starting procedure as follows, full choke, prime with bulb, throttle on fast/wide open, when it starts open/remove all choking.
You are causing the engine to warm up with a lack of oxygen/air, so it's running rich. IMO.

Also try a few ounces of Sea Foam in a full tank of gas, it may clean the carb/fuel system and solve the surge.
It could take more than 1 tank of gas to clean the fuel system.
 

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At the low engine speed will the engine smooth out with the augers engadged? Does the engine at full speed hunt without the augers engadged then smooth out when they are?

That would resemble partially clogged jets.
 

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OK so I used my my 824 a second time and it started running very rough again. Much worse than last time, and it did not stop when under load. :(

Here's a video I took while idling. I'm moving the camera too much to see it clearly but it was actually rocking the machine back and forth. It was worse before I got out the camera. It was bucking pretty badly.

EDIT: Now that I think about it, this occurred after I used the machine for about 20 minutes, turned it off for an hour, then tried to use it again. I tried to start it without any choke but it wouldn't work. Gave it some choke, it started fine and I took the choke off right away. Let it sit for a minute then started using it.

 

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I have the 724 OE and it does the exact same thing and I had just put a new carburetor on it. So unless they sent me a brand new gummed up carb, this must be the way that it runs. Runs fine under load, just hunts with the auger disengaged.
 
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