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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some advice.

Ive got an Ariens Snowblower with an 8hp Tecumseh Snow King engine... bought it brand new back in 98 or 99. Its run flawlessly til now, a real workhorse. Every year I pop in a new plug and give her fresh oil and gas, and she goes just fine. Til now.

My normal start procedure is primer 4-5 times, full choke, and she turns over immediately. After a couple minutes of running, I slowly back off the choke and shes running strong comlpetely no choke. Come Springtime, I drain out all the gas so she sits dry. Been doing this process for 10+ years.

This season I find her hardstarting and tempermental even when fully warm. I need to constantly pump the primer bulb to start, and using more choke.

Recent startup... will run for a second or two, then die again.

It wont restart unless I prime it another 2-3 times.

Runs a couple more secs again then dies.

Repeat this process 5x maybe more.

Prime some more til fuel drips from the carb.

Finally catches and holds... full choke engaged.

After running a few mins, I back off choke... wasnt happy completely unchoked, so I kept it 1/4 turn on.

While running for at least 30mins, she started to stumble at high idle. I kept it going only by peppering the choke... full on, then a little less... ultimately it wanted 3/4 on to stay strong. Thats really unusual.

So... any ideas what is going on here?

Should I disasemble/clean out the Carb bowl?

Something else?

It already has fresh fuel and a new spark plug in it.

Help!

 

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No fuel.

Without knowing spacifics about you maching ... fuel pump diaphrams don't like being stored dry ... replace 'em and see what happens.

Add a simple card clean to make sure idle circut isn't plugged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks... doing some online reading now, and yeah I see there are a multitude of carb styles. I dont know which I have offhand. Definitely a float-style though, not diaphragm.

http://www.cpdonline.com/692509.pdf
 

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your carb is probably gunked up. i had the same problem with my snow blower. from what i understand it's becoming more of a problem with the small engine guys due to the ethanol in the gas absorbing moisture and causing it to gunk up faster.

had my carb cleaned and it ran pretty good for a while, then started acting like it wasn't getting enough gas.

i'm gonna start looking for a new carb now.
 

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yep what the said
greg pull of the carb and clean the jets
it shouldnt hav a accelerator pump but it should have a pump similar for high idle
and it sounds like your fload is sticking
 

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Sounds to me like the engine is running lean due to a partially clogged main jet in the carb. You can try dropping off the float bowl on the carb to gain access to the main jet, but you'll have an easier time if you just remove the whole carb and overhaul it. My bro is having the same problem with his blower. He just doesn't have much spare time to fiddle with the carb. Try taking the float bowl off first and see if there is any crud in the bottom. If there is, clean it out real good and then try blowing compressed air up through the main nozzle (the center port on the carb body that the bowl nut screws on to) and then put the float bowl back on and give it a whirl. If it still acts up, you'll just have to bite the bullet and remove the carb. Also, you might seriously consider flushing out the gas tank and installing a small engine inline fuel filter if there is room for one in the gas line.


FWIW, diaphragm carbs are more often used on weedeaters and chainsaws rather than snowblowers.
 

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I keep a 20 gallon gas caddy filled with non-ethanol 93 octane gas and a little bit of fuel stabilizer to put in all my infrequent use vehicles (mower/trimmer/blower/motorcycle) that seems to keep any of those issues away.

...not a good fix for the current issue, but an idea for future use.

With the carbie's, tear it down and overhaul is usually the only way.

--billyM
 

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I keep a 20 gallon gas caddy filled with non-ethanol 93 octane gas and a little bit of fuel stabilizer to put in all my infrequent use vehicles (mower/trimmer/blower/motorcycle) that seems to keep any of those issues away.--billyM
Same here - I use STA-BIL in all small engine gas - seems to work well for me
 

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yep, clean out the carb, replace the gasket and o ring. might need to change out the float needle. you might want to look up a carb rebuild kit for it. there usually relatively cheap, like $20 or so and probably worth it since youll spend a few bucks replacing the gaskets and such, all which would come in the kit.
 

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don't worry greg, I'm sure you'll actually enjoy it when you get into it! it's definitely fuel supply related, that's for sure. Take everything apart and inspect it You may aswell clean it while it's apart, and that may be the problem.

While I was at work in the summer, we started work at 7:00am and doing interlock, we were aware of everybody else going to work. I saw a neighbour put out two lawnmowers on the curb for garbage pickup. One looked only a couple years old and had a B&S 4 horse on it. I took it home and found out it had exactly the same symptoms you are describing. It would run for about 15 mins then it would die

The problem lied in the diaphragm fuel pump which was integrated into the carb (carb bolted to the fuel tank). and the carb was made of plastic. Once the engine got warm, the plastic flange on the carb would expand and warp ever so slightly to expose the crack in the diaphragm along the edge, or at least, release pressure from it. It would lose fuel, and die.

I cleaned everything for good measure and bought a new diaphragm form the B&S dealer for $10.30. worked like a charm! I even treated her to some mobil 1 oil. so i've got myself a $10 mower!

inline fuel filter is always a good choice. In my experience the ones for mowers or blowers suck. They're small and usually have semi-transparent so it's hard to tell when they are dirty. if you go to your local lawn and garden store have a look at what else they have there too, you might find something better. I put a couple filters on my snowmobiles, and they're really nice...large, and clear.

Don't be discouraged about the fuel stabilizer or your storage method, sometimes things just break! My Dad and I usually drain all of the small motors of gas and run them dry until they die, and empty the bowl (there's almost always some fine dirt, even with a filter). Sometimes we go the extra step and fog them, but at the very least we put oil in the cylinder(s). Not practical to do so on larger stuff...I put sta-bil in the supra. We've never had any storage problems and you take great care in the maintenance aspect, so don't lose sleep over your methods....issues arise when you do nothing.

I hear you have a float carb (with a bowl and all that) so my story doesn't really apply, but I'm just trying to give you hope that this will be something simple and easy to resolve! just get in there and see what's what. That's the best part about small motors, they are small with less parts!

best of luck! I'd like to know what you find!
 

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yea, i too have gotten free lawn mowers, power washers, snow blowers, all with the same issues. clean out the carb, fresh gaskets, maybe some other small little cheap parts, and they run like a top again. i gotta say though, i never do any winterizing to my small engines and they all start right up after months of sitting and run with no issues, my lawn mower is going on over 15 years and ive never had to touch it. my old snow blower was probably older then me and i never did any of that when we had it and i sold it running great. maybe its luck, i dunno.
 

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yea, i too have gotten free lawn mowers, power washers, snow blowers, all with the same issues. clean out the carb, fresh gaskets, maybe some other small little cheap parts, and they run like a top again. i gotta say though, i never do any winterizing to my small engines and they all start right up after months of sitting and run with no issues, my lawn mower is going on over 15 years and ive never had to touch it. my old snow blower was probably older then me and i never did any of that when we had it and i sold it running great. maybe its luck, i dunno.
most winterizing issues revolve around the gas going bad in some shape or form. it could have something to do with the gas you've been buying, how old it is in the tank at the gas station, ho sealed/vented your fuel tank is, moisture collection in the tank due to temperature changes, how long you let it sit etc. It's not really that you are guaranteed to have issues if you leave it, just you have a higher chance of it.
 

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from what i understand it's becoming more of a problem with the small engine guys due to the ethanol in the gas absorbing moisture and causing it to gunk up faster.

Perhaps the Ethanol may also be attacking the rubber parts in the diaphragm carbs and causing said parts to dry out and otherwise deteriorate over time? My bro has both a weedeater and a chain saw with a diaphragm carb that act like they're not getting fuel. It makes sense to me that exposing the rubber diaphragm & other rubber parts to even small amounts of gas blended with Ethanol (E10) over time would cause them to dry out and malfunction.
 

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I keep a 20 gallon gas caddy filled with non-ethanol 93 octane gas and a little bit of fuel stabilizer to put in all my infrequent use vehicles (mower/trimmer/blower/motorcycle) that seems to keep any of those issues away.
So where does one get their hands on non-Ethanol blended gasoline in this day and age?? Do you use aviation fuel?
 

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Do a search for non-ethanol or "ethanol-free" gas in your area. Mine came up on a google search, went out there and sure enough, big signs "non-ethanol gas!". It runs about 5% more expensive, but I figure the cost of my time fuggin with my trimmer, chainsaw, leafblower, and mower it's well worth it, plus they use about 5 gallons a year, total, might as well shell out for the good stuff. The rest goes in the bike (which also uses about 5 gallons a year, lol).

--billyM
 

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I've heard about ehtanol eating the floats in the carb (often plastic) on some specific carbs.

in canada, shell v-power (91 octane) contains no ethanol. It's what my supra gets.

you can get 94 octane here (equivalent ot 93 octane in the states) from sunoco, but it contains 10% ethanol. I've adjusted my timing in the supra to run on the 91...since it has no ethanol, and i get air miles with it :) small motors usually get that too, for the aforementioned ethanol reasons, doesn't amount to much money since they use so little.
 

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In the Western states in the winter, all street gasoline is now at least 10% ethanol (replacing the MBTE additive). However some states have mandated at least 10% ethanol all year round to [buy off farmers] show commitment to alternative fuels.

I've opened up ball and float carbs and found naplam (jellified gasoline, looks like yellow jello).
 
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