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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone -

New member here in need of some help/advice. 2yr old Toro 418 gave up the ghost on me this morning - had been running great all season (Chicago) until today. It started with a single pull this morning...was idling a little rough & surging during warm up, while I opened fence gates to in order to clear my back sidewalks. After about 15 seconds of having the paddles engaged and clearing snow, the engine made a couple of really bad sounds...snaping/breaking sounds...and the engine slowly died.

After determining that I hadn't accidentally hit something, I tried starting it again and it felt way different when trying to pull start it. I ended up pulling the spark plug and gave it a couple of easy pulls while looking in the cylinder - piston inside is not moving.

What type of engine is on the 418ZE? Is there an off-the-shelf engine I can replace the factory engine with?

Any & all suggestions are welcomed!

Bubba
 

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Wow, a 2 year old Toro blew the engine. That is a new one on me. Is this one of the new Chinese ones? Sorry to hear of your bad luck. Best thing to do would be to take yours apart so you can compare it to whatever you try and put in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was really shocked. I just located the receipt (Home Depot) and it looks as though I'm about 5 weeks out of the standard Toro 2 year warranty. :mad:

I'm going to give Toro a call to see what we can work out. What's really frustrating is I've only used this snow blower 2 seasons...maybe 8 times total...to clear sidewalks. I live in the city and don't have a driveway. Yeah, we've had our share of snow this year...but this machine has just not been used very much.

Bubba
 

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Sorry to hear of this. Only two weeks out of warranty really sucks. Hopefully this doesn't turn out to be a trend with the new Toro 4 cycles.

Did you check the oil level? When you call Toro, it would help your case if you can say the oil was not low.

If you don't get any help from Toro, it would probably be cheaper and easier to just buy another used machine rather than replacing that engine. Might want to go with a 2 cycle next time. They seem to run forever. Lot's of 30-40 year old 2 cycle Toros are still running strong.
 

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I really want to know what kind of engine it is. Dang that has to be a bummer.
 

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Sorry to hear this too. Lubrication issues are the number one reason for a 4 stroke engine to fail. I would say low oil level or no oil is the biggest reason for engine failure. Quality of the lubricant can help an engine to survive a low oil incident too. I used to own an old 1995 Dodge stratus ES 2.5 liter V6 years ago and my wife was driving as a regular driver after I replaced it with my Hyundai Elantra. She said it was making a fairly loud ticking sound and I noticed there was a small puddle of oil under it when I went into the garage to check it out as well as a drip line to the garage across the cement driveway. Well I first thought the oil filter gasket blew since it was soaking wet with oil so I changed to oil filter and drain but about 1/2 a quart out of the engine which holds 4 qts. I then added new Amsoil 10w/30 sythetic oil and a new filter and started it up again and seen a steady drip of oil coming from the oil filter area. I shut off the car car and crawled under the car with a light and seen that it was coming from the oil pressure sending unit. I then drove to Napa with my car and picked up a new oil sending unit sensor and replaced the leaking one and it fixed it. The car seemed no worse for it and we drove the car for another two years until I finally sold it at 258,000 miles. My wife said she drove it from St Cloud to home and back and it was ticking fairly loudly all the time and that would be about 20 to 22 miles with critically low oil from the grocery store and back home about 10 to 11 miles. I am convinced that Amsoil protected that engine when it was critically low on oil. There has been several people who said that their car sprang an oil leak and they drove it many miles with out any oil or low oil with out damage with Amsoil. I do not recomend trying it but it may have saved that engine. I see that it was a small 4 stroke engine that failed. It is very important to change the oil once a year at the end of the season so you do not have contaminates over the summer in the oil and check the oil level each and every time before you start the engine.


If the manufacturer does not replace the engine or give you credit towards a new machine it may be possible to repower it with the small 79cc HF Predator 4 stroke with 3hp or you may be able to shoe horn a 212cc engine in there if there is even enough room. Lots of people use the 3hp engine for their kids minibikes since the Predator 212cc is not child user friendly for kids under 13 years of age.

  • Toro Premium 87cc 4-cycle OHV engine
  • 18" Clearing Width & Up to 25' Throwing Distance
  • Ideally used to clear 3-6" of snow at a time on a driveway that can park up to 4 cars
MSRP:$399.99 USD
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I sure appreciate the WTF sentiments on the forum - much appreciated.

I contacted Toro Customer service and they directed me to a couple of local Toro dealers here in the area. I'm new to the forum and am not 100% on the etiquette for discussing various dealers/vendors...but suffice to say 1 dealer here in Chicago was anything but helpful...the other Toro recommended dealer was truly wonderful to work with. They're really backed up with other repairs...so I won't know if the engine will be covered under warranty for a couple of weeks.

Lubrication seems like the clear winner as to what caused my engine failure - I agree 100%. However, had I not changed the oil myself before every season per Toro spec...I would sure be a lot more suspect of low/inadequate oil in the crankcase. Plus, the reality is that snow blower MIGHT have 10 hours on it...I just don't have much pavement to clear. I buzz a couple of the elderly/friendly neighbors sidewalks on my side of the block in addition to mine, but that's it.

I am considering a HF replacement engine, as well as a lightly-used single-stage (if I can find one).

Bubba
 

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This is very discouraging news for those of us considering a new toro...I had my eye on the new 721 but now....hmmm. 2 years and a dead engine from an owner that appears to know how to care for his machine is even more discouraging.
 
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