Snowblower Engine Repair Question - Won't Start

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  • Bill2905

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    I have the proverbial Toro snowblower that won't start. It's a 2010 21" Power Clear with a R-Tek 2-cycle engine.

    It's been a good starter (1-2 pulls) for years but the past two years it has been taking 3-4 pulls. Two years ago, changing the spark plug improved this but last year, it didn't help. I tried starting it this past week for the first time this season. I do drain the fuel system and run it dry at the end of each season. I have done the following troubleshooting;
    • The fuel and oil mix is fresh
    • Installed a new spark plug
    • Confirmed that the spark plug was wet with fuel
    • Confirmed that it has a spark
    • Visually verified that the primer is moving fuel to the carb
    • Disassembled and cleaned the carb with carb cleaner. It looked pretty good upon disassembly.
    • Confirmed that the fuel line is flowing freely
    About ready to take it to a repair shop but figured I would ask if there is anything else that I have overlooked. I would appreciate any suggestions you may have. Thank you.
     

    Grogmister

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    Sep 13, 2012
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    I always gap the spark plug wider than called for on 2 cycle motors. I’m sure there will be mechanics telling you it makes no sense but has worked for me. Worth a shot at least before you take to someone. Gap it wider and see what happens. Bigger arch could do the trick.
     

    Jon Smith

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    Aug 30, 2021
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    What type of fuel are you using? Maybe yours is new enough that it will be ok with the ethanol. I don't own anything that new so I buy non-ethanol gasoline. I had trouble with my mower a few years back and the repair man said that the carb seals didn't like the ethanol in the gas.
     

    Bill2905

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    What type of fuel are you using? Maybe yours is new enough that it will be ok with the ethanol. I don't own anything that new so I buy non-ethanol gasoline. I had trouble with my mower a few years back and the repair man said that the carb seals didn't like the ethanol in the gas.
    It's regular unleaded 87 octane from a local gas station. Their pumps say up to 10% ethanol added but that's what it has been running on since it was new.
     

    55fairlane

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    Jan 15, 2016
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    2 stroke engines, my favorite form of self abuse.
    Why don't they run? Bad crank seals (sucking air), bad carb to engines e gasket(sucking air) plugged air filter? Plugged main jet? Idle jet? Needle jet? Stuck float? Cra ked fuel line/primer bulb? Alcohol in the gas absorb water? Gas fowled spark plug? Weak coil? Bad head or base gasket? Low on compression?

    Just a few things to think about....
     

    churchmouse

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    I would suggest putting a carb kit in it first. Cheap, and the diaphram usually goes south, but is not necessarily obviously defective.
    This is usually the main issue. The :bs: imitation ethanol loaded fuel they push on us ruins the fuel systems in small engines that sit more than used. My pressure washer was used this last spring. It sat all summer until fall and when it was pulled out to clean the deck it would not start. Ran on starter fluid briefly. Pulled the carb and it is beyond repair. The ethanol ate it up. So I have a new carb setting on my desk waiting to be installed. My lawn mower is doing the exact same thing as we have not used it at all this year because the SIL takes care of the yard. Started it in the spring and now it won't run save for a shot of starting fluid. So, I have "Another" $50 OEM carb in the mail as I type.

    Hit it with a shot of starting fluid and if it pops off its the carb.
     

    firecadet613

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    Dec 24, 2012
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    This carb does not have a diaphragm. I have considered getting a new carb from ebay or Amazon. For $20, it's probably worth a try.
    Then once you find a carb that works, buy one or two more to keep on hand. They are too cheap and easy not to just swap out.

    I had to do this with both my push lawn mower and blower this year... no idea how the original carbs made it this long on the crap gas...
     

    churchmouse

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    Then once you find a carb that works, buy one or two more to keep on hand. They are too cheap and easy not to just swap out.

    I had to do this with both my push lawn mower and blower this year... no idea how the original carbs made it this long on the crap gas...
    Step up and Buy OEM parts. They fit with no adjusting of this and that and are made better as has been our experience. You may pay $40 over the $20 but cheap out is not the answer.. Most often something is different on the knock offs on ebay.
     

    firecadet613

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    Step up and Buy OEM parts. They fit with no adjusting of this and that and are made better as has been our experience. You may pay $40 over the $20 but cheap out is not the answer.. Most often something is different on the knock offs on ebay.
    So far the cheap knock off is good. For my generator I bought a spare OEM carb but for the 18 year old lawnmower, the cheap one is good so far. We will see what the spring brings.
     

    Bill2905

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    This is usually the main issue. The :bs: imitation ethanol loaded fuel they push on us ruins the fuel systems in small engines that sit more than used. My pressure washer was used this last spring. It sat all summer until fall and when it was pulled out to clean the deck it would not start. Ran on starter fluid briefly. Pulled the carb and it is beyond repair. The ethanol ate it up. So I have a new carb setting on my desk waiting to be installed. My lawn mower is doing the exact same thing as we have not used it at all this year because the SIL takes care of the yard. Started it in the spring and now it won't run save for a shot of starting fluid. So, I have "Another" $50 OEM carb in the mail as I type.

    Hit it with a shot of starting fluid and if it pops off its the carb.
    I didn't try that yet. Will get some starting fluid tomorrow.
     

    Bill2905

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    I always gap the spark plug wider than called for on 2 cycle motors. I’m sure there will be mechanics telling you it makes no sense but has worked for me. Worth a shot at least before you take to someone. Gap it wider and see what happens. Bigger arch could do the trick.
    Tried 0.034" but no go.
     

    91FXRS

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    IMO it is always a good idea to do a compression test on a two stoke before you start spending money on it. They run the damn things so lean for emission standards that yes that carb probably does have issues but did it run you lean and take out the top end already. :twocents:
     

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