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Snowblower runs only when primed #934751
03/13/18 02:16 AM
03/13/18 02:16 AM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 781
Massachusetts
T
tom07 Offline OP
Handyman
tom07  Offline OP
Handyman
T

Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 781
Massachusetts
Big storm coming tomorrow so I went out to make sure the snowblower worked. This is a Craftsman 28" 9 HP (247.88790). The electric starter just grinds and has for a little while, probably something stripped, so we have been starting it manually until we can fix that in the spring.

So today I find that if I use the normal manual start procedure -- open the choke, open the throttle, prime twice, and pull -- it starts and fires for 2 - 3 seconds, then dies. It does not restart if pulled again, regardless of choke position, though you can hear the plug firing. It always restarts --- and dies 2-3 seconds later -- in the same way if primed again. Keep doing that and it just floods.

I removed the fuel line connection at the bottom of the tank drained all the gas and refilled with fresh gas, and I put in a new plug as the old one was somewhat blackened. This caused absolutely no change -- the behavior is exactly the same.

To me the obvious conclusion at this point is that it is not getting fuel through the normal route, only through the primer. There is only one fuel line so I don't see how it could be blocked, the primer and regular operation would use the same line -- right? So what would cause this? Could there be a straightforward remedy or is this likely to be a carb rebuild or something? Do I just have to bite the bullet and shovel tomorrow?

Thanks for any help!


Tom
Re: Snowblower runs only when primed [Re: tom07] #934759
03/13/18 10:52 AM
03/13/18 10:52 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,484
Hudson Valley, New York
bilvihur Offline
Carpal Tunnel
bilvihur  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,484
Hudson Valley, New York
I hope you mean "close" the choke, producing rich mixture during cold start, then slowly opening it as engine warms up. You should also tighten any fittings which might allow vacuum leak. Run some Seafoam thru it if you get it started. Good luck!


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Re: Snowblower runs only when primed [Re: tom07] #934762
03/13/18 12:28 PM
03/13/18 12:28 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 16,909
Cape Spencer, New Brunswick, C...
JasonB Offline
Sharp -Shooter
JasonB  Offline
Sharp -Shooter
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 16,909
Cape Spencer, New Brunswick, C...
I'd suspect something has caused the main jet in the carburetor to be blocked. When did the machine last run correctly?

Bilvihur has some good suggestions as well - Make sure any bolts on the intake assembly, especially carb-intake and intake-cylinder bolts are well tightened. An air leak here is as good as a fuel blockage.

If everything there is OK, try this: Shut off the fuel supply, either by closing a valve if equipped, or pinching off with locking pliers. Look at the carburetor - The float bowl is held on by a brass "bolt". This is the main jet.

Remove that brass "bolt", and catch the quarter cup of gasoline released as you do so. Spray the "bolt" liberally with carb cleaner. Spray up where it goes as well.

Inspect the float bowl and wipe out any debris.

Re-assemble. Open the fuel and try it.

If this doesn't do it, I'd suggest a more thorough carb tear-down and cleaning, but in my experience, it usually is enough.

Good luck,

J


er, somethin'....
Re: Snowblower runs only when primed [Re: tom07] #934775
03/13/18 03:02 PM
03/13/18 03:02 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 781
Massachusetts
T
tom07 Offline OP
Handyman
tom07  Offline OP
Handyman
T

Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 781
Massachusetts
(Yes I meant closing the choke ...)

Thanks for the ideas! I got it running and in the end it wasn't any of that. After a lot of work I got it started by pulling and priming a lot, but it ran very slow and rough. Tried letting it clean itself up and it started running slightly smoother, but still low power. Then while hanging around waiting just on a lark I tried nudging the throttle linkage and bingo, full speed! The linkage is through a spring wire and a little corrosion was preventing it from moving when the throttle handle was lifted. With a little lube it works perfectly and starts easily. So it really wasn't getting fuel, but the problem wasn't the carb.


Tom
Re: Snowblower runs only when primed [Re: tom07] #934776
03/13/18 03:17 PM
03/13/18 03:17 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 16,909
Cape Spencer, New Brunswick, C...
JasonB Offline
Sharp -Shooter
JasonB  Offline
Sharp -Shooter
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 16,909
Cape Spencer, New Brunswick, C...
LOL, that's great!

It's a good idea to check and lube governor (throttle) linkages when you do other maintenance on the blower, like oil changes and greasing.

Basically, your engine was stuck at dead slow idle?

J


er, somethin'....
Re: Snowblower runs only when primed [Re: tom07] #934777
03/13/18 04:05 PM
03/13/18 04:05 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 781
Massachusetts
T
tom07 Offline OP
Handyman
tom07  Offline OP
Handyman
T

Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 781
Massachusetts
Exactly! Hard to get it started on that setting ...

Now I just have to wait for the snow to stop. Too windy to make any headway right now, it will just drift back in.


Tom
Re: Snowblower runs only when primed [Re: tom07] #934778
03/13/18 04:13 PM
03/13/18 04:13 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 16,909
Cape Spencer, New Brunswick, C...
JasonB Offline
Sharp -Shooter
JasonB  Offline
Sharp -Shooter
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 16,909
Cape Spencer, New Brunswick, C...
Heh, good luck. Snow's due to start here in an hour or so. Could be anywhere from 6" to a foot, depending on if/when it changes to/from rain. Coastal living, you know!

J


er, somethin'....

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