Can't start tecumseh engine snowblower

Old 12-07-03, 10:49 AM
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Unhappy Can't start tecumseh engine snowblower

We just got 15 inches of snow. I have a 4 year old snowblower with a tecumseh 8 HP engine. I believe the snowblower is from Murray. My engine started and I was able to clean 1/2 of my driveway with the gas I had from march. My snowblower stopped because it ran out of gas. I was able to refill my tank and clean the other 1/4 of my driveway and then it abruptly stopped. I've been trying to start it ever since. I think my ignition is ok because I can see a spark when I take out the spark plug and try to start it (it is a very black though). I tried it with the choke fully to the right and left but with no success. I tried starting it at high and low power also but with no success.

I did get three successes with the choke fully to the right and low power. The engine ran for about 30 seconds and quit the first time and the second/third time it ran for 10 seconds and I switched it high and it quit. Ever since these three successes, I haven't been able to get the engine going.

I have no clue what a carburetor is but I figured it is something important and is related to the gas and air mixture. I saw in the engine manual (5 pages) that there is a carburetor bowl. I closed the fuel valve and pushed the bowl drain to empty it. I reopened the fuel valve, primed 3 times until gas was dripping out, and tried but still no success.
Next, I saw a bolt at the bottom and unscrewed it and managed to take out a bowl. The inside of the bowl looked OK, I just used some bounty towels to wipe it dry and clean.
I tried again to start it but no success.
I'm trying to get this fixed myself if possible because the snowblower is so large that I won't be able to take it to a service center. It won't fit in my suv and I have 1/4 of the driveway to go.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Old 12-07-03, 05:29 PM
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Because you mentione earlier that your spark plug looks really black, it could be possible your sparkplug is really chared up, probably due to oil burning. The first thing I would do is replace the spark plug. If you still have a problem that is probably is the carb. But lets not not jump 5 steps ahead of ourselves. Replace the spark plug and let us know how it goes.
Old 12-07-03, 09:16 PM
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Hello rickc5!

Try this: remove the spark plug and squirt a little fuel (1/2 tablespoon or so) into the hole and reinstall the plug and try to start it with the choke off and at full throttle. If it starts and runs for a second and dies, you have a fuel problem. If not, there may be other problems. Changing the plug never hurts. Let us know what happens.
Old 12-08-03, 06:07 PM
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Thumbs up

It starts!! Replacing the spark plug did the trick. I was shocked that it works and relieved that I don't have to lug this big thing to get it fixed. Time to finish the rest of the driveway

Thanks Everybody!!
Old 12-08-03, 09:45 PM
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Awesome! It's always good to change that plug, but so often it doesn't fix anything. Every once in a while it does the trick!
Old 12-13-03, 05:24 PM
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I've always had trouble with old gas. My Tecumseh carb. would gum up quickly if given old gas. I'd give the carb. a good cleaning.

I started running my blower on 100LL (low lead) Avgas toward the end of the season. You get it at the airport. It's expensive (about $2.50 a gallon), but it never varnishes up. I never had carb. problems after I switched to Avgas.

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