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Hi everyone,

Sorry for the bit of a story, but thought I should be complete when telling you the history of my problem.

I bought this Toro 521 (Model #: 38052, Serial #: 7000001 - 7999999 range) for $25, previous owner said it ran, just leaked fuel.

Before the snows came, I took it apart and changed all the fuel line, plus the carb with a bolt on one I got straight off Amazon. I also changed the oil because who knows.

I got it to start up a few times, adjusted the throttle screw until I was happy, then left it be. First light snow I tried it out, and it seemed to do just fine (other than the auger always running, so I replaced the belt...).

Second snow I started her up, only a couple inches on the ground but I wanted to get ahead of it. I went down the driveway once, turned around, and coming back up it stuttered and stalled out. I looked in the gas tank and thought maybe it was empty, so I filled it. Tried starting it again, it started to fire, but I saw sparks on the carb side of the engine, so I shut it off and put it in the garage.

A couple days later I started tearing it apart. My thought was last time I took it apart I didn't tighten down the screws for the coil enough and it had dropped down and started contacting the flywheel. I was half right. The coil hadn't moved, but behind the bottom of the flywheel is a bolt holding a shield to the back of the engine. It had backed out and started contacting the flywheel. So I tightened it up, adjusted the coil gap (I neglected it last time, but doing it right this time), and put it back together.

Now it won't start. I started pulling it and it's like it's hydrolocking or something. While pulling the cord I'll hit a hard point that hurts like ****, but then it moves past it, and i'll get a puff of smoke that I can't tell if it's coming from the carb or exhaust. One time I got a decent size flame out of the exhaust.

I checked spark, getting that. My next thought is that there is something wrong with the float and it's just letting fuel pour into the engine and hydrolocking it. So, my next move will probably be to take apart this new carb and look at the float. Other than that I'm open to suggestions! If I can't find anything wrong with the carb I'm either going to rebuild the engine or more likely just go buy a Predator to replace it...

Thanks for your input!

- Mike
 

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As far as the hydro-lock, take out the spark plug and spin the engine with the pull cord. You can also check for spark at the same time if you can ground the body of the spark plug.

I don't think fuel will leak into the cylinder, because on the Tecumseh flat head engines it would have to travel uphill.

FWIW - I did the Predator on my 521 a couple of years ago. Now a monster machine for its size.
 

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Is the flywheel key sheared causing the timing to be off? It will never start and backfire as well if it is sheared.
Exactly my first thought. Remove your flywheel (be very careful to not damage it or break off the fins If that key has the least tiny offset, not even sheared, replace it.PATIENCE AND A GENTLE TOUCH will get you through. Keep us posted.
 

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What they said if you want the satisfaction of resurrecting the Tecumseh. My vote is to join the Borg and make another Predatoro.
 
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