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Tecumseh - Problems starting

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by Remsen1, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. Remsen1

    Remsen1 Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    One of my snowblowers is a 9 HP Tecumseh. Since new I have had problems starting it under certain conditions. Today for example, was one of those days, except today was not typical of the extreme conditions when I have problems starting it. Usually I have difficulty when the temperature drops below 10F, and it is almost impossible if the temperature drops below 0F. Well this morning it wouldn't start. I think the overnight temp was around 15F. I kept the snowblower on the back of my truck to save time this morning and I do this many times when we are not expecting too much snow. Most of the time I use the recoil to start it, but sometimes like today I like to start it with the electric start and warm it up at my garage before heading out. Normally she fires up instantly with the electric start, except as I mentioned previously, when it's wicked cold. Not the case today, and I think I may have cooked my starter turning it over too much. Would not even fire with starter or pull start. This cold blooded pig has me ticked off beyond reasoning. I'm thinking of pulling the starter off and taking a look at it for corrosion etc. Does anybody else have any tips before I take a sledge hammer to it? I'm also looking for tips for the cold bloodedness. I keep it in my garage when I know it's going to drop below 0F, but I don't want to have to do this for 15F and above.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2006
  2. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,362

    My old 1990 Toro 521 with a 5 HP Tesumseh Snow King engine has really no problems starting even when it's 10F or below. My Grandpa's 2000 JD snowblower with a 8HP Tecumseh Snow King engine is a real bear to start, warm or cold. Maybe the newer Tecumseh's have more problems than the old ones? Check to make sure your gas is on, and that the gas isn't stale. Also, you might want to put dry gas in the gasoline you use, in case the fuel line is freezing. Hope this helps! :salute:
  3. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    One trick you can do till you get it sorted out is to use a blow dryer or heat gun (use caution around the gas) and warm the carb before starting, when it is that cold. You shouldn't run the starter for more than 10-15 seconds at a time, then allow time for it to cool down between tries.
    Try to find out why it won't start, when you are not under pressure to get out and work. Pull the plug and look at it the next time. Is it wet with gas or dry? Is it flooding? Maybe the float needs adjusting or needle and seat are dirty. Not getting gas at first. Maybe the float is hanging up, not allowing fuel to flow. Rap lightly on the fuel bowl when it wont start and see if thst helps. If that helps, you likely have a sticking float or worn or incorrectly installed needle/seat. Between uses, I suggest shutting off the fuel valve if you have one and running the engine out of gas or draining the float bowl. Place a large rag or small container below the fuel bowl and press the little button on the bottom. Upon restarting, open the valve and give it a few seconds for the fuel bowl to fill.
    Not getting gas at first. Maybe the float is hanging up, not allowing fuel to flow.
    A problem I have encountered on the Ariens 926LE is the chute control cable has rubbed on the ground wire lug where the throttle adjustment sits next to the shroud. This shorts to ground and kills the engine. If this is the blower you have, all you need to do is remove the cable guide loop from where it bolts to the shroud and reverse it so it is pointing down. In the up position as it came from the factory it allows the cable to get pinched and cuts the plastic so it shorts out when the chute goes full right. Hopefully something in here will help. The blow dryer will save you lots of grief in extreme cold.
  4. Yaz

    Yaz PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,061

    After checking the gas as MKWL said. Also check you gaps, spark plug and magneto from flywheel. It may not be hot enough because the gaps are too big.
  5. RJ snow

    RJ snow Member
    Messages: 41

    Small engines are very basic and your first step should be to check for FUEL/AIR/SPARK Cold weather problems.. First check your plug to see if its fouled from fuel or oil and gap then check your air filter to make sure its not clogged and restricting air flow which will drive the fuel mixture way rich or flooded. When I start mine dead cold I put on full choke for 1 or 2 cranks then back the choke off a notch until it fires even if only once. then back it of another noth till it starts. Always make sure that your sparkplug is clean and un-fouled and gapped properly and a good rule of thumb is if you can smell gas its probably flooded. If flooded remove the spark plug and warm it up with a lighter and then clean any soot off before reinstall it'll probbly start with no choke after doing that.

    If this unit is a few years old you may want to check the plug wire for arcing, usually a 4 stroke small engine has more problems with spark than the other 2 requirements. check out at the parts store what the next hotter plug for your engine would be and try that.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2006
  6. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    I have had nothing but trouble from the 10 horse I have. Bought it last year and it isn't used much, but has still been to the shop 3 times for starting issues twice this year. Next year I am solving this problem I am going to trade it in and get a HONDA.
  7. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    I have used every brand of asmall engine in most conditions. Honda's are a good engine, but overpriced. Tecumseh is the ONLY company to make a snow and cold weather specific engine, and I'll take on of those over any other any day of the week.

    As RJsnow said, they are simple machines. There is little that can go wrong. The biggest problem I have found in snow is water in the carb. If you have no shield over the carb snow melting tends to seep into the carbs and when it gets cold (usually really cold) it freezes and the carb ceases to function. It also rusts the carb from the inside out. I have 2 blowers that are down this season from rusted carbs- both have holes in the float chamber. Plastic gas tanks crack, those vented gas caps leak and water gets in the fuel. First check the basics, Air-spark-fuel. You'll find the trouble, IF you search for it in the same conditions as the problem occurs- one of mine would fire every time on the 2nd pull all summer long.... then on the first snow nothing. knowing the float bowl was full of h20 explains it.
  8. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    Yes Honda is more expensive. But like the ol saying goes you get what you pay for. I have never had a problem starting my honda I have on my wood splitter rain, snow, cold, warm. First or second pull everytime. Except of course when I have forgotten to turn on or turn on gas. The Tecumseh has had same problem 3 times already. twice this year which really boils down to I have yet to be able to use this year, becuase we have only had 5 storms worth anything. But I missed 2 becuase wasn't working. And 2 times becuase didn't have becuase it was in shop. Other time just didn't need to use. So to me more money for the dependability is well worth it.
  9. DuceNova

    DuceNova Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I've worked on small engine (and big engines for that matter--F-4 Phantom II in the Navy!) and it's all basic things: combustable fuel, correct spark, and air/oxygen.

    Air/oxygen is usually NOT the problem as you can't change air unless you run it inside a air tight garage and use up all the oxygen. But then you'd be dead and wouldn't have to worry about snow. LOL!

    Spark: the right spark plug with the correct gap EVERY year. Air cooled engine tend to run hotter than liquid cooled engines. This means that everything has to work harder in an air cooled engine therefore it requires more maintenance than a liquid cooled engine.

    Fuel: I CANNOT EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH: USE FUEL STABILIZER! USE IT IN EVERY FUEL CONSUMING DEVICE YOU HAVE THAT SITS FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME! Equipment like: chain saws, weedwackers, lawn mowers, tractors, race cars/trucks, boats, airplanes, generators, power washers, etc. THEY WILL NOT RUN ON DEAD/STALE FUEL! If you take a sample of the fuel in the tank with a large screwdriver, move away from the unit you are working on, and attemt to light it with something like a lighter or BBQ starter and it won't burn, then (Captain Obvious here!) IT WON'T RUN IN THE ENGINE EITHER! DUH! Today's gasoline goes stale/dead in a month. So, if you don't stabilize it, at the end of ONE month it doesn't have enough combustable ethers in it to burn. NEVER use a metal gas can with today's gasoline as the fuel today contains alcohol which is very caustic = rust the can = debris in your fuel system = won't run. NEVER use dry gas (isopropal alcohol) to clear out water as it is corrosive and will eat the aluminum parts in the fuel system, IE: carburatror. The ONLY way to remove water from the fuel system is to take everything that comes off OFF and drain it (fuel bowl, fuel line, fuel tank). I put fuel stabilzer in my fuel can (and use synthetic two cycle oil with the stabizer in it) in all my fuel cans therefore I am allways putting stabalized fuel in my motorized equipment. I don't know about you, but there is NOTHING fun about an motor that won't start ESPECIALLY when there's work to be done!

    Tecumseh builds the only residential winterized motor for our domestic snow throwers and have been doing it for years (Briggs & Stratton dallies in it but hasn't been as sucessful or a well known as Tecumseh). They do not start hard (again) if the spark plut is new (and the right one), and there is stablized fresh fuel in them. Amazingly, they'll start on the first pull 99.9% of the time or second pull the other .1%. I use NOTHING but synthetic crankcase oil in all my equipment. It is much more temperature stable and lubricates all parts of the engine much better than conventional mineral oil.

    Honda: I'll grant you that they do run smoother but IMHO, they are over priced for what you get. The old saying goes that you get what you pay for BUT you can also pay too much when you ASSUME that you're getting something worth more when it isn't. Price a carburator or crankshaft for a Tecumseh and a Honda. You'll be VERY suprised at the cost difference between the two (or unpleasntly if you own a Honda).
  10. tkrepairs

    tkrepairs Senior Member
    from maine
    Messages: 186

    this thread almost disappeared lol, but it has been revived a brief 19 months later.