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Author Topic: Snow blowers on am  (Read 18913 times)
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WA1GFZ
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« on: January 22, 2005, 09:07:30 PM »

My Dad and brother in law had problems with their snow blowers and the repair shop suggested "fuel activater" at $12 a bottle. This is due to
the poor quality of today's gasoline. I went out and bought premium gas
thinking I would just make the carb run richer.
Today I fired up the old beast to make sure it was ready for the big job
coming down tonight. Well my machine would not run without the choke
partially on since it was 6 degrees outside. The carb screw ran out of range and I couldn't get it rich enough.
The repair guy said today's machines run lean for emissions. My beast
is 20 years old so I figured I would be ok. This was not the case.
It was snowing when I decided to buy some of this stuff. The local car place suggested card cleaner additive rather than octane booster.
I wanted to drop in some 106 juice based on gear head roots.
My Dad has only seen the stuff at his local repair shop where he buys his parts.  snowblowers modulate to zero and will produce tall side bands
on each side of the drive way.
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KL7OF
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2005, 09:24:33 PM »

Take the carb apart and clean the gum outa the main jet...That 20 yr old beast should run on any grade gas..Gum just builds up and most of those "snake oil" fuel additives don't have enough scrote to remove large buildups of gum quickly...Once you get the thing cleaned out ........then treat the fuel and keep the tank full when storing..........Good luck with the snow........Steve
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Jim, W5JO
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2005, 09:38:31 PM »

Quote from: KL7OF
keep the tank full when storing..........Good luck with the snow........Steve


Steve you sound like a pilot.  Good advice for any gas tank, especially those seasonal use engines.
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WA1GFZ
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2005, 09:46:18 PM »

Carb was rebuilt a short while ago but the repair guy told my dad that gum was part of the problem. yup I store it with gas. It has a fresh tank a couple weeks old. We only have 5 inches now but the storm still well South. The coast may get 30 inches.
Man I'm glad I got the extra bracing in this fall at the new qth.
going to have some serious snow load tonight.
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WA1HZK
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2005, 10:23:10 PM »

Every year I have to take the main & low speed jet outta my machine and blast them with carb spray. No way around it. It's regular required maintenance in December.
Keith
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2005, 11:00:26 PM »

clean the carb...... new sprk plug werks oh tay... put a trouble light under the 'blower a few hours before sno throwin to keep it a little warm ( caus your having problems).  plug wire clean and dry ( dirt/grime +  cold = wet = more problems)... a lot of little things can make for a bad day.... ( lighter fluid is gas stabilizer,  but Fresh is gud.... spel checker not worken  klc
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W1UJR
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2005, 02:56:41 AM »

Steve's right, fuel left sitting in the carb float bowl or even in the tank, tends to gel. The lighter componets evaporate and the heavier gums get left, leave some gas out in a can for a few weeks and you'll see what I mean. My Honda snowblower went from a 1 time pull to 15-20 times until I cleaned it out.

Since that experience I have a new rule, fill the tank and add a product called "Stabil" to the fuel tank each spring. http://www.goldeagle.com/sta-bil/ The stuff is cheap, about $6.95 a bottle, and you only need a very little for a small engine fuel tank.

You can also run the tank and fuel bowl dry between seasons but this risks rust in tank.

Best bet to correct is to clean jets and needle valve with carb cleaner, available at any auto parts store. It's usually a simple matter to remove the bottom of the carb bowl.

Then after snowblowing run fuel bowl dry.
On my Honda I can do this by shutting off the fuel with the engine still running. Then when I want to start again I just turn on the fuel feed and gravity takes care of the rest.

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wavebourn
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2005, 03:00:29 AM »

Nice gear Bruce!
Can it trim a grass?
It looks like this rainy winter brought so much grass so I can't live without appropriate haircut...
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W1UJR
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2005, 03:37:16 AM »

Tolly, right now I am ready to see grass!

Snow, snow snow, its like I am back in Buffalo!
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wavebourn
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2005, 04:07:47 AM »

Quote from: W1UJR
Snow, snow snow, its like I am back in Buffalo!


More than in Eastern Siberia, when you wake up and see in the window heaps of crystal light and clean white shiny snow covering tall cedars? Smiley

I miss that!
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w3jn
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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2005, 08:23:24 AM »

THe problem with gas in the Northeast is the winter formulation used to lower emissions.  Older engines don't deal with it too well.  I don't have a suggestion for you, Frank, other than to keep everything clean as others have said.  I think higher octane gas may make the problem worse, as the octane is intended to minimize the gasoline's tendency to pre-detonate.  Because leaded gas is no longer available, manufacturers achieve a higher octane rating with all kinds of strange additives that, coupled with the junk they put in during the winter time, will probably cause trouble with carbureted engines.

Summer formulations also cause trouble, as anyone who has an antique car will attest.  My dad's '38 Cadillac 75 never had a vapor lock problem until 1985 or so; then, it vapor locked all the time when the temp got about 70 degrees.   The fuel line runs directly over the exhaust manifold; however, an electric fuel pump easily solved the problem.

His '41 Lincoln Continental has never had the problem, probably due to much better fuel system design on the V-12 engine.

73 John
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W1RKW
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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2005, 08:23:41 AM »

My piss weak little snow blower is run throughout the year as well as my other small engines. I try to start and run my small engines once a month for 30 minutes or so at mid throttle then top off the tank afterwards.   My neighbor down the road cracks up when he sees me outside in the middle of the winter running the lawn mower and string trimmer. No fuel additives required with this method.  Also, it's important to keep the gas can air tight to reduce or eliminate evaporation.  

The blower has a Tecumseh engine, and knock on wood, I haven't had any trouble with this engine as I have with previous Tecumseh's. I never empty the fuel bowl with the gas turned off. I've been told that's not good for the carb and it's O-rings and gaskets. Leave the bowl full.

I put all my power into one sideband when blowing.  Everything goes to the USB and into the woods bordering the driveway.
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KL7OF
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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2005, 10:48:37 AM »

For the truly anal retentive......Av gas ...... 100LL is a high octane leaded gasoline that is formulated to be stored for much longer periods of time than auto gas...Does not go to gum......works well in older leaded gas engines...Has 4cc of lead per gal....(the old regular leaded auto gas had 1/2 cc lead per gal).....Available at your local airport.....
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Roy K8VWX
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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2005, 03:14:21 PM »

I always empty my 2 stroke blower off gas/oil mix every spring and run it dry. Never use stale(old)fuel. If you have 4 Stroke engines and can not drain out the fuel when storing, use the product called Stabil or any other product similar to stabilize the fuel and prevent forming varnish. In 50 years I have never had to clean a carb and I have 10 two and four strokers here. Maybe I,m just lucky.
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WA1GFZ
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« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2005, 08:17:43 AM »

My Dad reminded me my machine was 30 years old not 20. He bought it when my brother and I moved out and he was without slaves. My sisters just couldn't handle it. I didn't want to tear down the carb at zero so bought a can of injector cleaner a for 3 bucks and gave it a real heavy dose. I cleaned my driveway and side walk with partial choke then adjusted the full speed jet screw for max power. Then went over to my Dad's and helped him. Later came back and cleared the stuff the plow
pushed back on the side walk. By the end of the day it was running perfect
with no choke. My Dad's new machine still has to run some more to clear it  out. I've also had good luck with Stabil if I remember to use it.
I usually just throw the tarp over the machine in the spring to help forget
about winter.  
Running the carb dry sometimes hurts the gaskets. I think the best thing to do is remove the carb and store it. But that cuts into ham radio time.
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Ian VK3KRI
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« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2005, 06:32:57 AM »

Its supposed to be 31 Degrees (Thats Celsius, 88 F) tomorrow. I might walk down to the beach and go for a swim.   Have fun playing in the snow.....
                                                                               Ian VK3KRI
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WA1GFZ
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« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2005, 08:20:27 AM »

It might get up to 31 F this weekend and I may also take a ride to the beach. -9F Yesterday morning.
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Vortex Joe - N3IBX
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« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2005, 02:08:08 PM »

Quote from: WA1GFZ
The local car place suggested card cleaner additive rather than octane booster.
I wanted to drop in some 106 juice based on gear head roots.
My Dad has only seen the stuff at his local repair shop where he buys his parts.  snowblowers modulate to zero and will produce tall side bands
on each side of the drive way.


You'd be wasting your money on "octane juice" for your snowblower. Even if the engine you have is a modern OHV type, the compression ratio can't be higher than say 9 to 1. With a "good old flathead" like most of us still have, I doubt the comp ratio is higher than 7 to 1. The extra octane additive wouldn't make a difference and is used to keep higher compression engines from detonating (pinging). I have a '66 Yew Norker with a 440/Carter AFB/dual exhaust I have to use that stuff in (as well as lead additive) to keep the pistons from popping out of the cylinder heads.

The best bet would be to keep some "Stabil" in the tank when you store it with gasoline. I use it in my generators, tractors, snow plow, leaf blower, etc etc and never had any problems with cold starting.
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Joe Cro N3IBX

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« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2005, 02:11:22 PM »

Detroit Iron
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Keith
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WA1GFZ
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« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2005, 07:11:31 PM »

Joe,
I agree but this dumb fo didn't add stabil last spring so there was a varnish build up. I ran it a while  ago and everything seemed fine.
I added injector cleaner at a high dose to clean the passages not octane boost but Iwas thinking about it as a gear head.
Old flat head machine 7 HP.
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