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I am 48 and used this Snowbird blower when my dad bought it in mid 80's. It ended up in a barn and sat for years until my son and I restored it. It worked well over the last 10 years but last year and this year it would only run on the choke despite rebuilding the carb. It ran well enough to clear the driveway but was always a frustration. I recently bought a chinese clone carb and was amazed last night that it fired up and ran off the choke perfectly for the first time in years.....until I got to the end of my first pass this morning when it died cold and won't run again unless choked....and now worse than on the old carb. To add insult to injury, the electric start died today and the recoil starter is shot.

I'm starting to think I should just re-power it. I can't easily troubleshoot the carb issue as I have to either replace the recoil (I have a brigs part on the shelf) but it would be a pain in the butt to troubleshoot without the electric start.

Any suggestions are welcome.

Here is the gallery of the rebuild....actually can't include a link. The engine is a Briggs 190412 type 0921.
 

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hello cwood, welcome to SBF! sounds like you still had some bad gas in the tank and it clogged up the carb, I just went through the same thing with one of my toro 521's.
 

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hello cwood, welcome to SBF! sounds like you still had some bad gas in the tank and it clogged up the carb, I just went through the same thing with one of my toro 521's.
I suppose its possible but I had a filter in line between tank and carb and it was a full tank of fresh fuel.
 

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the old gas will dry up in the tank and get loosened up by the fresh fuel, its thin enough to pass through the filter but when enough gets in the carb the machine will shut down. I was almost done blowing snow with my PT 521 and started to smell old bad gas even though I had filled up with fresh gas. the first time it happened was on my HRT 521, it just started running bad then the engine cut off. I drained the tank and fuel line and flushed it with some fresh gas. i cleaned the carb and it ran like it should, oh I had just put a new carb on it too
 

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with an estart issue, a recoil issue, and a fuel delivery issue on a 30+ year old engine......a repower should be a consideration. if the machine is in good shape......a 12v starter equipped engine maybe ?
 

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with an estart issue, a recoil issue, and a fuel delivery issue on a 30+ year old engine......a repower should be a consideration. if the machine is in good shape......a 12v starter equipped engine maybe ?
Thats what I was thinking...but then began the head scratch of mounting points, shaft sizes etc. Princess Auto (Canada) has some good winter engine possibilities in the 300 cc range.

I just went out and wrestled the recoil starter apart and replaced it (had ordered the part long ago but never installed because I had electric start :)) So I can now at least start it. Too dark and late to go back to the carb tonight.
 

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all the info you need is on the princess auto site.....footprint, shaft size, length, height etc etc. i do see that pa has a new line of engines.....or maybe the same ones painted a diff color. i couldnt be happier with my pa repower on the 60's era ariens i use.
 

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all the info you need is on the princess auto site.....footprint, shaft size, length, height etc etc. i do see that pa has a new line of engines.....or maybe the same ones painted a diff color. i couldnt be happier with my pa repower on the 60's era ariens i use.
Yes, I see the mount pdf's....just seems like something that is unlikely to be a straight forward thing. Unlikely the deck to shaft height dimension is same. Mount holes around the shaft etc. Did you have to do much adapting?
 

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Well, I tore down the original carb. Cleaned it extremely carefully, put it back on and it fired up. Then the recoil starter seized! too funny. Pulled that apart and ATF'd the shaft on the ratchet, all buttoned up and seems to be running well!! Maybe it lives another year!
 

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further update...pulled the starter apart and found a wire to a brush that was worn through. Solder and back together and working perfectly. And to think I was going to replace the engine :)

The right test will be a snowfall of course.
 

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i retract my repower suggestion ! you did a fine job on the resto of the complete unit !! however.....if it ever grenades, a repower isnt a major task . just some checking between measurements and maybe some work to relocate the chute rotation rod.
 

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Beautiful job on the restoration WHILE retaining the original powerplant...and teaching the young lad along the way. Well done!

they're powerful, smooth-running engines...definitely worth the time/effort to resolve her issues!

 

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Thanks all. It was one of those red plastic Briggs ones. I put new fuel line in and removed the filter for now during the troubleshooting.

The blower doesn't look anywhere as pretty as it did in those pics now....and that boy is 6 foot 3" now. Where does the time go?
 

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The rubber coating was a pain in the butt....but the innards were pristine so I guess it did its job over the years. Interestingly one brush wire was simply worn through. Took 30 years to do it.

 

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Interesting seeing your Yardman Snowbird. I'd like to compliment you on the very nice restoration.....looks great. Nice job! :goodjob:

I also have a Yardman Snowbird which I inherited from my deceased father, but it is a 1978 Yardman Snowbird 31600-9 (24" x 5hp) model.
It has a Tecumseh engine.
It was actually purchased new in 1982, from a local dealer, so it must have been backlogged inventory either at the dealership or the distributorship.
In short order he had a 110 electric starter installed and the thing basically ran trouble free for years and just had regular oil changes and was lubed in appropriate locations.
Then it developed a fuel problem after the widespread introduction of ethanol and he had to have the carb serviced and then it was fine again.
My dad, and then me, learned to run the carb dry in the spring and put in fresh gas the following fall for winter use.
The machine is a very heavy, solid, beefy machine by the MTD standards of today, and even compared with my newer 826 LE Power Max Toro, its a tank. Heavy gauge steel all around, and certainly more rugged and abuse proof.
That's why it's going on 39 years old and still running.
I'm sure yours is the same way......real iron horses.

Last winter I did some service work on the machine as there were some things in need of attention after 30+ years of service.
That included a new friction wheel, new skids, a new shave plate, and finally some new wheels and tires.
Initially I was just going to pop the old hard rubber tires off and install new.
I found to my amazement however the wheels would not come apart (I assumed they were bolted together at the hub).
That factor complicated immensely the removal of the old rubber and the installation of new pneumatic tires with appropriate Schrader valve fittings.
I see your hubs appear to be just like mine, your original wheels however were pneumatic......saving you lots of grief over what I went through.
I finally gave up on utilizing my old hubs and wheels and found a better end solution.
You can read about my wheel/tire adventure with my Yardman Snowbird here: http://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum/snowblower-repairs-maintenance-forum/72610-my-1978-yardman-snowbird-31600-9-problem-1-tires-wheels.html
 
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