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1978 Craftsman 3-stage snowblower, engine upgrade

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by Plasmech, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. Plasmech

    Plasmech Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    First post! Hello all!

    I have a 1978 Craftsman 3-stage snowblower. It has a 6 HP Tecumseh engine. Some may see this unit as a throw-away, but I really like the fact that it has a very high 24+ intake height and the upper auger is very unique.

    The engine is completely missing the air filter, I think the carb and governor are both in need of work, and 6 HP is just NOT enough power in my opinion. So...what I want to do is upgrade the engine, to a 9 HP or thereabouts. The rest of the unit, while it may look rough in the pictures below, is actually pretty much built like a tank, and I got this thing at a steal. My first question is: do snowblowers usually use gear reduction engines, and if so what it the normal reduction factor? I can't really tell but it looks like there might be a gearbox on the side.




  2. mayhem

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

    Snowblowers don't use air cleaners, so you're ok there.

    I say give the carb a good scrubbing with some gumout, change the plug and dump some seafoam in the tank with fresh gas and give the starter a pull. I bet it runs and the 6hp might do ok for you. Nothing to lose by giving it a shot.

    Cusrious to know if 3 stae blowers are/were a more common item or was it a Sears gimmick? How does it work? Looks like the second auger is really there just to bust up super deep snow?
  3. Plasmech

    Plasmech Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    All new snowblowers and engines come with air cleaners, guess maybe it's not a horrible idea.

    Based on a lot of testing I've done after the two recent storms, I am 100% certain that I want to upgrade the engine to something much more modern with a lot more torque. I just want the engine to not even be in the equation. The question is, what engine with what reduction will work/fit on this unit.

    The "3 stage" thing kinda helps cut into drifts, I guess. Really it's technically a 2-stage with a two-part first stage, it's not truly a 3-stage. 1970's marketing at work there I guess.
  4. Milwaukee

    Milwaukee 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,180

    Diesel for sure

    If it was mine I would choice this one http://www.carrollstream.net/servlet/the-24/10HP-Diesel-Engine-With/Detail

    <object width="660" height="525"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/gNZYOD2hI7E&hl=en_US&fs=1&color1=0xe1600f&color2=0xfebd01&border=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/gNZYOD2hI7E&hl=en_US&fs=1&color1=0xe1600f&color2=0xfebd01&border=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="660" height="525"></embed></object>
  5. Plasmech

    Plasmech Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    Carrol Stream? Never heard of them. Are they a Chinese knock-off?

    Diesel would be *very* cool...just raw torque which is all you need. Wonder what the chances of getting it started in the winter are however.
  6. Milwaukee

    Milwaukee 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,180

    Yes it China but lot members buy them and put on tractors at mytractorforum

    Some members claim it run 600 hours no issues but hard start in winter it best if you put heater on it.
  7. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    two stage snow blower with snow breakers

    If you want to repower you can by a Hatz Diesel of that size with no problems


    The Hatz diesel engines are direct injected with no bleeding necessary and have easy spin starts even in cold weather with decompression release at start up.

    The Hatz 1B40 engine is the size you need to match the 6 horsepower gas engine.

    you can download all information you need for your engine size from the home page or look for it here as I uploaded a lot of information about the smaller Hatz engines.

    The Hatz 1B40 engine equals the ratings a 6 horse power gas engine in a smaller
    cubic inch/ Cubic Centimeter category and has a wider power band.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
  8. mayhem

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

    Maybe not, dunno.

    Neither my Ariens 8hp nor Simplicity 8hp 2 stage blowers have air cleaners. The Ariens has a provision for one since it has removable attachments so you can use it to mow your lawn, chip brush and other summertime fun activities, but the manual specifically says to avoid running the motor with an air filter on it in the winter because it'll ice up. The Simplicity doesn't even have a provision for an air filter.

    The Ariens is probably a 20 year old machine and the Simplicity is about 5 years old.

    I like the idea of a small deisel. That would have all kinds of torque.
  9. Hubjeep

    Hubjeep Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    rollin' coal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  10. AC2717

    AC2717 Senior Member
    Messages: 690

    I had one that was a 1980, 8hp, with the drift breaker, it was a tank, took 4 people to lift it in and out of a truck, and towards the end it always knew when it was going to snow because it broke down almost every time

    BUt beisde that i loved it, lasted till 1996
  11. keitha

    keitha Senior Member
    Messages: 133

    No typical modern snow engines have an air filter. They would plug with snow. A typical snow engine does not run in an environment requiring one.
    What they do have is a "heater" box
    that protects and directs some warmer air towards the carburetor.
    No reduction, straight crankshaft driven. Some used an extended camshaft for driving/ reversing.
    As said clean the carb, put a fresh plug in it and run it. An old 6 hp is not the same thing as a "6 hp" today.. LOL:laughing:

    Small engine warehouse :http://www.smallenginewarehouse.com/default.asp
    offers replacement engines. Will most likely require new pulley's ,belts, belt,guards...ect.
    And you still end up with an old box store machine. Albeit it's better than some new ones.

    An excellent small engine forum: http://www.perr.com/phpBB3/
  12. openbook

    openbook Junior Member
    Messages: 6

  13. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow blower

    black smoke problem is always traced back to one of two problems or both ata the same time.

    1. plugged air filters.

    2. worn injectors/pumps which allow more fuel to enter the top of the cylinder prior to the compression/explosion stage rather than the metered amount.

    The little engine are great with fuel and the engine quality is top notch and the units have a smaller engine which reaches the desired power level much more quickly.

    DAFFMOBILEWASH PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,602

    Those older cast iron blocks might make just 6hp but the tourque is the key part of the equasion. I would rather have the old engine to the newer Honda with the same HP rating. Myself the 6hp should be all you need perhaps you have overlooked something WRT the carb???

    Ive got the same old relick at home but only the 2 stage. It's been a great machine but took some time to get it running good since it was sitting around for years in someones attic.
  15. Plasmech

    Plasmech Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    Note: I am resurrecting a 10 month old post, sorry for any confusion.

    This post goes along with the one I just made about buying a new blower. I still have not done anything about the old one.
  16. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    The motor has plenty of power I've got the same on an old Troy Bilt tiller and it runs great after some cleaning up.
  17. Plasmech

    Plasmech Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    Any idea how much torque it has?
  18. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    No clue on the torque specs sorry.
  19. ScoobyRex

    ScoobyRex Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I own one of these had recently have a couple issues with it. Mainly wondering if anyone knows where I could find a manual online for it?

    With the one I own now and had bought one previous to it, they both have had leaky carburetors. I'm not all that familar with small engine repair, but wondering how complex they can be (debating looking into it myself over taking to mechanic)?

    Any and all info would be greatly appreciated.
  20. Plasmech

    Plasmech Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    Believe it or not, www.sears.com has it. Punch in the model number.

    edit...I know for a fact that Sears.com has a complete parts list, which is probably all you need (?). I *think* they have el Manuel as well. Let me know how you make out.