1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Snow Blower Tuning

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by mayhem, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    Used my new to me Ariens ST824 last night for the first time since I got it at the tail end of last season. Fired right up with the electric start and ran well after it warmed up a minute. I did notice that it seemed to be sputtering a bit and it stalled on me halfway through clearing my path...it was not under a load when it stalled. I also noticed that the muffler was glowing bright orange on the inside and threw the occasional spark out the exhaust into the snow.

    I'm guessing the carb is probably running marginally rich, but I'm uncertain how to correct this properly. I verified the choke was in the off position while running and I was running the motor at full throttle while clearing.

    Using the pull start was impossible while cold, pulled fairly hard...could be thick oil, cuold just be because its stored outside...electric start it fired on the first burst, stalled a couple times and got it on the third try.

    I have changed the plug with a new one, spritzed the carb with gumout and put some seafoam into a half tank of new gas, which I used last night. Other than that, the blower is as it has been for years. Need to do the oil obviously. There is no air filter, nor do I see a fuel filter.

    Can anyone help me out with some advice? Motor is a Tecumseh 8hp single cylinder, blwer dates to the late 80's or early 90's.
     
  2. AC2717

    AC2717 Senior Member
    Messages: 669

    i Have the same machine, mine is a 1996 with a Tecumseh 8hp single cylinder

    Give the screw in the bottom of the carb a little turn inward (up into the carb) Adjust while running. You are running way to rich
    also make sure only 87 octane fuel. No matter how cold or how long outside, mine is a max 2 pulls to crank, and I do not have an electric start, add a champion EZ start plug, in fact only use a champion plug.

    In fact I just sent mine in for service for the first time in its 13 years of life, worn out differential they think, hopefully just a bearing so the cost will not be too much
     
  3. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    Cool, thanks. I assume this adjustment should be made after the thing is warmed up and the choke is off. Run it at full throttle, slow or doesn't really matter?

    Its a great machine...chewed right through the 2'+ drift I had behind my house so I cold get to my walkway...though it did tend to lose traction while making the initial break. It has older turf-style tires with chanins...but I can't complain...i was free and it runs!
     
  4. AC2717

    AC2717 Senior Member
    Messages: 669

    Run it at full throttle and then adjust.
    You should be able to tell by listening to the machine where it should be.

    Remeber what you did though, because when it is cold you migth ahve to find a happy medium, but it only takes a minute or two to get the engine up to running temp.

    Also inbetween the spark plug and where the muffler is, when facing the machine from the front. there are what looks like fins under a black metal frame (spark plug goes through the black metal frame). Make sure that area udner the frame and inbetween the fins is clear from debris. that is like a blow out of some sort for air or something, I am not sure but I know when snow gets in there is gets blown right out or if a leaf gets caught in there it wil, i think it is a cooling set up (no fluid). I do know if that is full of Crap or blocked it will help to overheat the engine
     
  5. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,495

    I don't know anything about engine tuning, but store that thing inside if at all possible. Also make sure you change the oil before the season starts. Starting that thing in the cold with crappy old oil in it is not good! I like the SeaFoam and use it also. Keep running that through it every tank of gas, should help it run better. Some will say it does nothing but I think it helps.
     
  6. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    Another question. Are recoil starter strings universal or are they engine specific? The string snapped on my Simplicity last night, which has a Briggs 8hp SnowTec motor. Can I just pick up a universal rope and attach it or do I need to find a Simplicity dealer and find the model specific part?
     
  7. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,495

    Pretty much any string of similar thickness.
     
  8. AC2717

    AC2717 Senior Member
    Messages: 669

    WIPensfan is correct.
    More importantly, when recoiling make sure that spring is wound nice and tight as much as you can make it, or you will have the handle hanging out of the pull start and will have very little amount of rope cranking the pull starter
     
  9. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    There are three adjustment screws, do you mean the lower screw on the side of the carb, or the vertical one at the very base that you can get to easily? I tried messing with that one with poor results...engine bogged before I got it one full turn in, returned it to the starting position and it picked right up again...turned it in slightly till it bogged and backed off slowly till it ran smooth...then it stalled the second I turned on the auger.

    I pulled it into my walkout basement last night and got the cover off the carb...that thing was dirty! I coated it with gumout and then scrubbed it with a toothbrush and sprayed it some more...carb is now nice and clean and I can start back at square one with initial tuning.

    Suggestions? Its an old machine...it may need to have the carb rebuilt or a new needle...or it may be fine and just needs to be tuned properly.
     
  10. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow blower

    you have a high idle-full throttle screw adjustment , and a low idle screw adjustment which requires a warm engine. I am sure you have crap and varnish in the fuel tank and fuel bowl and cleaning the entire fuel system from tank to the fuel bowl will be needed as the carburateur is pumping the crap into the cylinder head which explains the crap on the plug. use gumout in the intake and a lot of it to soak and break up the junk. The damage is done with all the junk in the fuel system and will take time to clean out either by hand or using gumout and seafoam, if the fuel bowl is easliy accessable remove it to clean it and check the float to see if it is free to move. The fuel system is clogged and gummed up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  11. AC2717

    AC2717 Senior Member
    Messages: 669

    I agree if you are adjusting the screws and it is just bogging out then it appears then all it will need is a patient cleaning out and a run through the fuel system
    you are almost there and that will be spinning like a top in no time
    I meant the verticle screw so yes you were moving the right one, but I think he is right on saying that is is the fuel system full of crap now that you tried that
     
  12. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    I'll stick with the heavy cleaning for now then and see where it leads me, thanks.

    The fould plug in my other thread is in a second snowblower...a Simplicity with an 8hp Briggs motor; the plug in the Ariens looks pretty good. No gunk on it, a little bit grey is about it. Surprised me since I'm running rich enough to have the muffler glowing from the unburnt fuel.

    Would I be better off to just drain the fuel system and remove the carb and soak it in a big coffee can of carb cleaner or maybe I'm better just sticking with what I'm dong now?

    Thanks for the help. I'm a competent wekkend mechanic, but small engines and small carbs are new territory for me.
     
  13. AC2717

    AC2717 Senior Member
    Messages: 669

    if you do not have the time, yeah
    pull the fuel tank and take the rubber fuel lines off, that would take all of 20 minutes to do even shorter
    Then since you have the cover off, i would do the coffee can thing with the carb, let it soak
    I would not want to take it apart and put it back together only to find out it did not work.

    Keep us updated, plus since weather looks clear this week and possibly next you have nothing but time. let it soak for a couple of days and then put it back on and see what happens