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Discussion Starter #1
Well my "new" toy excitement didn't last too long. :(

I recently purchased what I'm pretty sure is a 7hp 1973 Ariens snowblower. Since I've owned it I've had it running approx. 4 times just to move it around. Today was planning on an oil change, new plug and once over before any white stuff might start appearing.

I went to start it to bring around the house and all it would do is crank over. After a few fairly long attempts(electric start option) I pulled the plug and put in the new one. Still nothing.

Finally I checked for spark and got none....new plug or old plug. The only thing I've done to engine is spray the carb down with carb cleaner and lube all the linkage. I assume the first order of business is to change the condenser? Is there a certain order of checking to do when trying to trace the cause of no spark? Thanks.
 

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Yea, could be the points and condensor need cleaned or replaced. Before tearing the engine apart make sure none of the exterior wiring is worn through. Check the throttle and the key and make sure nothing is shorting out.

If you need a lot of money to fix it you might consider the $100 Harbor Freight engines as well.
 

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Well my "new" toy excitement didn't last too long. :(

I recently purchased what I'm pretty sure is a 7hp 1973 Ariens snowblower. Since I've owned it I've had it running approx. 4 times just to move it around. Today was planning on an oil change, new plug and once over before any white stuff might start appearing.

I went to start it to bring around the house and all it would do is crank over. After a few fairly long attempts(electric start option) I pulled the plug and put in the new one. Still nothing.

Finally I checked for spark and got none....new plug or old plug. The only thing I've done to engine is spray the carb down with carb cleaner and lube all the linkage. I assume the first order of business is to change the condenser? Is there a certain order of checking to do when trying to trace the cause of no spark? Thanks.
Shryp looks like you beat me to the post by a few minutes lol. the first order of business is to check for spark, hook the plug wire to the new plug and ground the body of the plug. Crank the engine and look for a spark at the electrode. Make sure you don't have the throttle in the off position. check for a short in the green wire coming from the coil to the throttle lever and make sure it is not grounded out.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Shryp looks like you beat me to the post by a few minutes lol. the first order of business is to check for spark, hook the plug wire to the new plug and ground the body of the plug. Crank the engine and look for a spark at the electrode. Make sure you don't have the throttle in the off position. check for a short in the green wire coming from the coil to the throttle lever and make sure it is not grounded out.
Thanks for the quick replies. I followed the mentioned procedure to check for spark and got none. Even went out in the dark to be sure I wasn't missing it. I'll have to check the green wire you also mentioned. I do remember a green wire that attaches under the carb cover assembly. I know it was connected to a terminal but didn't trace it.
 

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Thanks for the quick replies. I followed the mentioned procedure to check for spark and got none. Even went out in the dark to be sure I wasn't missing it. I'll have to check the green wire you also mentioned. I do remember a green wire that attaches under the carb cover assembly. I know it was connected to a terminal but didn't trace it.
If that green wire is shorted to any part of the engine or snowblower the engine will not start and you will have no spark. Best to disconnect it for testing purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If that green wire is shorted to any part of the engine or snowblower the engine will not start and you will have no spark. Best to disconnect it for testing purposes.
Excuse my ignorance...If I disconnect the wire, and the engine produces spark, it's possible that the cause of non-spark is the wire shorting out?

But the wire(non-shorted) does need to be connected for the engine to actually run..correct?
 

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The wire has nothing to do with the engine running. The only purpose of the wire is to kill the engine. If the wire has rubbed the insulation off and it is touching metal it will be the same as if the key is off and you will have no spark.
 

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you can buy a new Nova II electronic ignition, it installs with one small screw into the top cover of the engine, and is cheaper than points. it also will last forever. I put one on my tractor and it has been trouble free for over 10 years now, and the machine is stored outside year round and not covered. the Nova II will start even when the machine is covered with a foot of snow and ice.

they are on Ebay for around $12, I buy them 4 at a time and use them on all my machines. I'll use a machine with points as long as it starts, but the day the points fail, that machine gets a Nova II and the points get pulled off.

repair it once with a Nova II and you'll never have to remove the flywheel and cover again.
the problem with my tractor was, the points would short out and quit on the day of a snowstorm. moisture wreaks havoc with points. but these Nova II boxes are sealed in a urethane plastic and I've yet to have one fail on me.

you can put them on the old chain saws, generators, mini bikes, go karts, tillers, tractors, lawnmowers, 2 stroke or 4 stroke.

here is the link- they work on any small engine regardless of magnetic polarity, if the magnet is different polarity, all you do it reverse the wiring. it installs with 2 wires and one screw. if God made an easier ignition for small engines, He kept it for Himself !

it can easily be mounted on the outside of the engine, and if ever there is a problem with it in the future, it can be changed out easily without removing the pullstart cover or flywheel. using this means you never have to remove the flywheel again, unless you have an engine where the coil is located under the flywheel, and the coil goes bad. on all the snowblowers I've worked on, the coil is outside the flywheel so that can also be changed externally as well. the real beauty of the Nova II is, it works with your existing coil, and the flywheel never has to be re-polarized.

 

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points vs. Nova II electronic

I'd like to post a first hand finding on points vs. electronic, this Yardman Snowbird came to me with "spark problem" and the owner gave up on it. He got it with a home he bought, and previous owner had installed new points, condenser, coil, wiring in an attempt to get spark. Still no spark.

I pulled the flywheel to verify, and sure enough everything in there was new. But no spark at all. As it turns out, the "new" points were not closing flat against each other and not making good contact ! Some new points sets are really low quality and will do this, but points in general are finicky like that. Here is what was inside the model 7040-0 5HP Tecumseh Yardman Snowbird with no spark.

the guy was going to junk this nice old machine and was selling it for scrap price $30, and said this comparison right in his ad. Give me junk price.



 

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to install the Nova II, remove the existing points/condenser, and take the wire directly out of the coil to the Nova II box. you can anchor the wire to the old points connection stud is you want to, and ground the coil to the old condenser mounting screw. Put the cover back on the points compartment, but it's left empty.

no pita points to gap ever again. no points or condenser to change ever again. hotter spark, more accurate timing, easier starting, more power.

the machine started right up. this fix cost me some time and $12 for the Nova II on Ebay.

I do have 3 machines with points still in them, that sparked when I got them, but when the points crap out, they will all get Nova II's installed like this one. works on every Briggs or Tecumseh engine I have had so far, even the big 16HP Briggs in my Gilson Montgomery Ward hydrostat tractor.



 

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here's the Snowbird with the Nova II bolted to top cover, and after cleaning the carb. Not bad for a $30 snowblower and $12 repair.

the kicker is, the Nova II is cheaper than the points/condenser, and more reliable, and easier to install. it's a win-win-win-win

I do save all the old points just in case I eventually sell the machines and someone wants to restore them back to bone stock.

this machine now sits outside uncovered, has been rained on many times, yet starts with 1 or 2 pulls. nuff said...

 

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Discussion Starter #14
Been short on time...and daylight :cool: to do much more trouble shooting. Can verify still no spark with green wire disconnected. Probably the weekend before I can get a chance to work on it again.

greatwhitebuffalo...I appreciate your posts, pictures and explanations about this "nova" ignition option. I do have some questions in regard to it but they will have to wait. Just got too much crap going on right now to devote more time to this. Thanks.
 

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Better get on it soon. Now is when time gets short and you'll be up to your knees in snow before you know it!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Managed to pickup a condenser and set of points today. Local place has a bunch of NOS. Problem became pretty obvious from the get-go. One flywheel magnet was loose and hugged up against the other one....which released as soon as I tugged on it. :( Both are still complete and not cracked/chipped. Surprised the loose one managed to hang on.

Research tells me I SHOULD be able to glue them back. Anyone have any luck doing so? I may also have another option....waiting to hear back from a kind member here that may be able to hook me up with another engine that at the least would be a parts resource . :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
A quick update if anyone is interested.

Re-glued the magnets to the fly wheel. Installed new points and condenser and she fired right up. Have run the engine for about 10 minutes twice now. Whether they will hold for the long term is a another matter.
 

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Good show Copperhead, just in time for a blizzard;) Hmm no thanks.
 

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Hey guys, Just started my snowblower for winter. It started after 2 pulls but after 5 minutes the engine quit on me which never happened before! Took it apart and the engines flywheel is stuck, not moving... What should I do... What is Happeneing?
 

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would suggest starting a new thread on your issue and give your sb engine type, model number etc etc.
 
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