MTD 8/26 Snowblower not starting

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  #1  
Old 01-27-09, 06:32 AM
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MTD 8/26 Snowblower not starting

Hello all!

I have a MTD 8/26 (what it says on the blade cover) snow blower with a Tacumpsa engine. I'm at work, so I don't have the specific engine model at the moment.

Tonight we're supposed to get a bit of snow. I pulled the snowblower out of the garage and gave it a try and it would not start. Here are the symptoms:

1) Replaced the spark plug with a known good and working plug

2) The gas line valve is open and I primed the line

3) Speed to full, choke is on, key is in all the way

4) Gas is fresh, but I don't use fuel stabilizer

5) Using the electric starter, I plug it into the wall and push the button. The engine cranks and wants to turn over, but doesn't. I pulled the spark plug out and I think I smell gas in the combustion chamber.

I've done some looking around and narrowed it down to two possible reasons. Either something's wrong with the carb and I'm not getting enough gas to turn it over OR something's wrong with the coil and I'm not getting any spark to the plug.

I'm mechanically inclined, but I've honestly never worked on small engines like this. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can narrow in on the cause or ways to help my situation?

Thank you in advance for anyone who may be able to offer assistance!

----

I should also add that any specific step-by-step instructions would be VERY appreciated! :-)

-Mike
 

Last edited by MikeHas80d; 01-27-09 at 06:40 AM. Reason: Forgot a detail
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  #2  
Old 01-27-09, 06:57 AM
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Have you had it running this season?
 
  #3  
Old 01-27-09, 07:13 AM
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No, I haven't had it running at all this season.
 
  #4  
Old 01-27-09, 07:30 AM
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To check spark, pull the plug from the engine and with it attached to the plug wire ground it against the engine. Hold it carefully, or get another pair of hands, and pull the start to turn the motor over. If your spark is good you will see it.

If spark is good, try a shot of ether (starting fluid) right in the carb. If it tries to start/run on ether but dies, then you have a fuel issue. It could be a stuck float in the carb. Try tapping the carb bowl or disassemble it to see what is going on. I have an old Bolens tractor that when it sits for an extended period will only ever start with a shot of ether.
 
  #5  
Old 01-27-09, 01:35 PM
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Posting what some others here have told me.

1. You may be flooded, no need to prime unless it is REALLY cold out.

2. Get some sea foam, available at auto parts and walmart. It is in the stabilizer area. Pour a teaspoon into your plug hole and manually (slowly use your recoil) turn over about 10 times. Then pour a teaspoon of good gas directly down the plug hole. Replace plug and give it a try.

Good luck!
 
  #6  
Old 01-27-09, 03:56 PM
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I'm finally at home and gave some things a try. Here is what I have found...

I took out the spark plug with wire attached and grounded it. I do see a spark - so spark delivery is good.

I took some carb & throttle plate cleaner and squirted it inside the intake. When I cranked it, it ran for maybe a second and shut off. I also drained all the gas out of the carb and tried again. Same result.

So, it seems that carb cleaner is getting in there and burning, but not gas. I'm not familiar with Sea Foam... I don't have the ability to slowly crank the engine with a pull string (that broke years ago). But the electric starter works. Can a squirt the Sea Foam into the intake?

Thanks for the help guys!
Mike
 
  #7  
Old 01-27-09, 04:20 PM
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While I am not sure about the Sea Foam; the procedure to use it is here Sea Foam
if you have spark and it will start or attempt to start on carb cleaner, I would agree that you have a fuel delivery issue. Most likely the fuel delivery is the good old gravity type. Pull the fuel line from the carb and make sure you have fuel coming in. If your getting fuel and it still wont run then I would pull the bowl and check the float. You mentioned you had drained it once already...did you pull the bowl and check the float?
 
  #8  
Old 01-27-09, 04:47 PM
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Yes, it is gravity fed. Just this evening I tried draining the carb bowl and gas just kept running out, until I realized I still had the fuel line valve open. So, I closed it and was able to completely drain the fuel from the bowl. So, yes, I know fuel is at least getting to the carb.

Now, you say remove the bowl and adjust the float. I've never ever worked with a carb before. Does anyone have any friendly advice on removing the bowl or adjusting the float?

Thanks!
Mike
 
  #9  
Old 01-27-09, 05:06 PM
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If it has not been run at all this season, The whole carb needs to come off, apart, soaked, and a new kit installed. The inside of the carb is varnished up. A total cleaning is the ONLY way to remedy the problem.
If you have no experience with carbs, it may be better to spend the $$$ and take it to a pro.
 
  #10  
Old 01-27-09, 06:13 PM
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This operation is not that dissimilar to the operation going on in your toilet tank. Float goes down when you flush (or hit the throttle) when the tank reaches it full point the float shuts the valve. The float is connected to a valve regulates the amount of fuel that is delivered to the bowl. As the fuel level rises in the bowl the float lifts and shuts of the fuel delivery to the bowl. As the fuel in the bowl is fed through the carb and consumed by the engine the level goes down and so does the float opening the valve thus maintaining the level of fuel and making for consistent fuel level in the bowl.

When these things sit as Indy has indicated they can get gummed up. You are getting fuel to the bowl when you removed the bowl because the float dropped. What you need to do next is with the bowl removed and fuel valve closed spray the pivot point on the float as well as the valve. Work the float thus working the valve. Get a coffee can or what ever will fit to catch gas and while holding the float up and valve closed open the fuel shut off. Again work the float up and down to make sure the valve is working with the float.

When you put the bowl back on the screw at the bottom that holds it all together is what regulates the delivery to the engine. DO NOT OVER TIGHTHEN. Snug it and then back it off slightly. Try starting it. If it wants to start or starts and wont run tighten that screw just a little. Too tight and you will get less fuel. Too loose and you get to much fuel.

There is not too much to these things as long as you do not have a failed component in the mix. If all else fails, put it back together, claim innocence and seek professional help.
 
  #11  
Old 01-28-09, 06:10 AM
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In the future when you post give MODEL numbers, etc. for your equipment. This will make it easy for others to help.

At the link below, you can download Tecumseh service manuals. This manual covers the carburetor well.

Steiner Saw Service Is Great

Although, I have no idea what engine/carburetor is on your snow blower these links may help:

http://www.greenindustryeducation.co...s/Tecumseh.pdf

Tecumseh Carb Cleanup

SER FAQ: LMFAQ: Cleaning Craftsman (Tecumseh) carburetors
 
  #12  
Old 01-28-09, 08:59 AM
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Some info from when I worked on my MTD 8/26 snowblower (model 315E640F000):

Removing the float and valve is easy, but make sure you look for and keep the 'spring' that connects the valve to the float - it can pop/fly off...

Putting the valve (looks like a micro-sized Washington monument with a pointed end) back on can be a chore.... took me almost a half hr just to get that back on.

A local shop that works on MTD's said, when setting the bottom screw, start with it alll the way in and then back it off 1.5 turns.
 
  #13  
Old 01-28-09, 10:43 AM
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Excellent! When I get home, I will check this information out. I noticed when I drained the bowl that the main screw and spring holding the bowl on was very loose. Not screwed in snugly at all, as described earlier. I will try to tighten and back off a little first. If that doesn't work, I'll remove and clean.

Also, I never listed the model number because the original question wasn't model related. When I get home, I will try the suggestions posted. If they do not work, I would be happy to post the model number specifically.

Thanks for the help everyone!
Mike
 
  #14  
Old 01-30-09, 08:28 AM
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Hello. I still have not had the chance to play with the carb. I will try the suggestions this weekend and report back. I want to thank everyone again for the help and suggestions. It's been an excellent learning experience.

Mike
 
  #15  
Old 02-01-09, 12:09 PM
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Hello!

Today I had the chance to play around. I removed the carb and the bowl. I cleaned it out well with carb cleaner. The choke and throttle plates open smoothly. I looked at the float when I removed the bowl and it moves freely as well.

I cleaned everything well and put it back together. I adjusted the float as described... Still doesn't start.

I'm going to buy starter fluid today when I go out, but my next question is... How does gas get into the combustion chamber? This whole system seems gravity fed. I ask because if the carb is working (or so it seems), I'm getting air, I have spark, and fuel is getting to the carb... What's the next step for the fuel after the carb on it's way to the chamber? Maybe there's a problem after the carb.

Thanks!
Mike
 
  #16  
Old 02-01-09, 12:18 PM
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THE MONSTER IS ALIVE!!!

Craftdad, thank you. Actually, thank you to everyone who gave help and advice on how to get this working. I think it was a combination of cleaning and troubleshooting that got it going. But Craftdad, your advice on backing the float screw off 1.5 turns is what made the engine turn over and start!

I was going on the advice of tightening it snugly and backing off a little. Actually, "a little" wasn't enough, but 1.5 turns was perfect! She started right up!

Thank you so much everyone for your help! I can't tell you how happy I am that I got the experience of working on this and the satisfaction of knowing I did it with my own hands and not giving it to the repair shop.

Take care!
Mike
 
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