Bolens Snowblower runs poor HOT


Old 01-15-08, 11:52 AM
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Bolens Snowblower runs poor HOT

I have an older Bolens snowblower (serial #0600374) with an 8 hp Tecumseh engine. The engine starts first pull every time, but after running approx. 15-20 minutes, it begins to intermittently sputter. It does not stall, but slows considerably for 3-4 seconds, then revs up and puffs black smoke out the muffler for a few seconds (and shakes badly). I have replaced the spark plug, rebuilt the carb, replaced all the fuel lines and the gas cap. I'm beginning to think it may be an electrical problem? It has also begun to randomly vibrate quite badly, at any engine speed, but sometimes is smooth as silk. One last thing, I've noticed the muffler gets "cherry red" while running ( may be normal?). I'm just not sure what to check next. Anyone have any ideas??
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Old 01-15-08, 03:38 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: St. Louis
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Remove the bowl nut(main jet) and clean the 2 holes at the bottom and the tiny one about midway up, I usually use the wire from a twist tie. Refer to the picture below. Have a good one. Geo
Old 01-15-08, 06:14 PM
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I've already done that. I cleaned the holes with carb cleaner and compressed air, plus run small drill bits through all the holes just to be sure.
Old 01-15-08, 06:30 PM
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If you're sure the carb is clean (you did soak it in a bath??) than another thought is ignition. Do you have an air gap type ignition tester you can put inline with the spark plug?? if so, try to check spark with the engine running when it's acting up. Does the spark seem to stop?? It may be time for points & a condenser, cus as points wear, they upset the timing, causing spark to be early...& the red muffler. Looks cool, tho, Right?? The condenser may cause a missfire (as well as the points) that load up the engine with fuel causing the black smoke. I ran into this just a week ago, almost the same symptoms, & using an air gap type spark tester I was able to verify & concentrate on the ignition system.... Have you checked the clearance on the valves?? Another ""HOT"" engine gremlen to check, Good luck, Roger

Last edited by hopkinsr2; 01-15-08 at 06:36 PM. Reason: Slight humor added
Old 01-16-08, 08:32 AM
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I pulled the flywheel this morning to R&R the points and condenser, and found that I have electronic ignition, kinda blows that theory. I did find the wire from the coil to (eventually) the ignition switch chaffed in a retainer clip. I repaired the wire and put it back together. Both magnets are tight and have good pull. Added some Seafoam to the gas and a bit in the crankcase. I'll have to wait until the next snowstorm to see if the Seafoam helps, unless anyone has any other thoughts?
Old 01-16-08, 01:25 PM
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Hopefully the chaffed wire was your culprit. If not, I still suspect a fuel
problem. The red muffler could be from running lean, or it could just be normal...depending on what type muffler, how hard the engine is working, and how red it's getting. The black smoke is an indication of rich running, so it sounds like the engine is basically surging...running lean, stalling until it gathers enough fuel to rev back up, then starving again, etc.... which is a classic symptom of fuel starvation. The fact that it takes 15-20 minutes for this to begin happening makes me wonder if the gas cap isn't venting.

If the cap isn't venting well enough, it won't let air in fast enough to displace the gas as it's used, and the tank will begin to develop a vacuum, reducing the flow of fuel. Try loosening the cap if it starts doing the surging again, and see if that straightens it out.
Old 01-16-08, 04:10 PM
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Cheese, Thanks for your input, good advice. I actually have tried that as that has happened to me before with this same snowblower. I even went and bought a new gas cap as I know this can be a problem. But my problem still persists. As mentioned in an earlier post, I have rebuilt the carb, but I didn't soak it in a "bath". (I'm not even sure if any shops have carb soaking solution anymore with all the EPA regulations). That's why I'm trying the "Seafoam". It's supposed to snow Friday, so I should get a chance to try it out. Keep your fingers crossed! And Thanks for the suggestion.
Old 01-16-08, 04:21 PM
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Location: new hampshire
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Yes shops do have carb soaking solutions. And you can also buy it. Gunk has a 1 gallon carb cleaner to soak you carb in.
Yes, it does not work as well as the pre- EPA stuff, but it does work. Just have to soak it longer.
Old 02-12-08, 12:14 PM
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I'm back again after 6 snowstorms to report that my snowblower is running GREAT! I believe that adding "Seafoam" to both the fuel and crankcase did the trick. I have run my 'blower many hours, and it hasn't missed a beat. My big problem now is the "frame" housing is cracked around most of the engine, but I hope to milk it the rest of this year. Anyways, I just wanted to thank everyone for their help and information.

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