Never trust old tecumseh carb gaskets.

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Nov 19, 2020
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A few months ago I picked up a cheap Craftsman snowblower on FB marketplace. It's a weird one, has a vertical shaft 3.8HP Tecumseh with a belt drive to the single stage auger. The engine ran great, replaced spark plug and changed the oil (looked like it had probably never been changed) with ST 5W-30 HM. Spent $50 for a new auger paddle kit since the ones that were on it were totally worn down, and bolts, nuts and washers to attach it (since the original ones were riveted on), It worked perfectly, ran great. I got two good uses out of it. Today I go to start it this morning, and it doesn't want to stay running without choke on. Sigh, carb is gonna be clogged up, pull carb bowl off, clean out the dirt. Then, I realize the bowl gasket is dry rotted as heck, and cracked. I try to put it on, think it's fine, then use it for about 45 minutes.

Hours later I go to use it again, won't start at all now, and now I see gas pouring out the back of the carb bowl. ****. Pull it off again, it's not broken in half and there is no way to get it to stay in. Ordered a rebuild kit from amazon but it won't arrive till Monday. At least I got most of the snow this morning, but ugh, I should have done it months ago. But it was running great and wasn't leaking so I didn't worry about it. That it seems was a mistake.

It's one of these weird ones. Worked excellently until it didn't. Moral of the story? Don't trust old tecumseh carb gaskets.
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JC1

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Nov 29, 2008
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I had the same issue with a Tecumseh carb gasket on a 10.5 HP motor. Leaked like a sieve after I cleaned the carb and put it back together and gas stench came from the garage into the house. I ended up buying a cheap Chinese knockoff adjustable carb from Amazon.
 
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Moral of the story? Don't trust old tecumseh carb gaskets.
That is the most silly statement I have read in a while. Old paper gaskets go bad on any brand engine. You don't suppose it could be because it's nearly 20 years old?
 

K.Aoi

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That is the most silly statement I have read in a while. Old paper gaskets go bad on any brand engine. You don't suppose it could be because it's nearly 20 years old?
It's rubber- and I've seen older Briggs engines with gaskets in good shape.
 
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It's an economic reason. People who don't have any knowledge with small engines and do not know how to repair them usually think otherwise.
I've had two and they both have had issues that they shouldn't have. One was the internal governor and the other was the OHV timing.
 
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I have five and they have been reliable. One being made in 1972 and is still in use. It's a mechanical device, things can happen just like any other engine.. I can understand your bitterness in Tecumseh if you had to throw them in the trash because you couldn't fix them.
 
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I have five and they have been reliable. One being made in 1972 and is still in use. It's a mechanical device, things can happen just like any other engine.. I can understand your bitterness in Tecumseh if you had to throw them in the trash because you couldn't fix them.
But I didn't throw them in the trash and I did fix them. I just won't buy another. You can add B&S in the gas tank carb engines to the list too. Sometimes stuff is just engineered to be junk.
 
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But I didn't throw them in the trash and I did fix them. I just won't buy another. You can add B&S in the gas tank carb engines to the list too. Sometimes stuff is just engineered to be junk.
They seem to be able to take more abuse and neglect than most car engines. All that, they still keep going.
 
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I rebuild/clean a decent amount of snowblower carbs every season. Unless I know it's been done recently I usually budget a replacement gasket into the equation, as they will likely crumble/break apart when the bowl is taken off. An old dried up gasket won't seal well, and can cause the engine to run lean. Not as much of an issue on an older machine with an adjustable main jet, but on the newer fixed jet engines it will not run smooth until that gasket and/or bowl is replaced. Sometimes the bowls can corrode around the gasket surface which will prevent them from sealing as well.

Storing them completely dry during the off season does help.
 
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Yup. I buy them 100 at a time. When I do run into a bowl gasket that 'looks' like it's in decent shape, I hang it next to the new ones. After drying out and shrinking a bit, they usually work great. If you don't have a new one, just let the old one lay out in the air for a couple hours until it shrinks up a bit.
 

K.Aoi

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New kit arrived this morning, threw on the new gasket, and all good to go. I was shocked how much smaller it is than the old one
 
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the last new Tecumseh engines i bought are actually very good and much better than the old ones i had. they even get light commercial use and have lasted 8 years. synthetic oil is the key. tecumseh was doomed when they lost the sears contract
 
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