Old Tecumseh snow engines

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Apr 15, 2010
I just had one come in for service on an early 1960s Ariens. I gave it a tune-up, cleaned and adjusted the carb and it runs like brand new. This ~50 year old machine starts first pull and runs with no smoke. Granted, Tecumseh engines don't have the best reputation, but I've seen many of these old snow engines still around running great. Anybody have one they'd like to share? I meant to get pics of this one but I forgot until after the owner had picked it up. It was probably the oldest Snow King engine I had ever seen. It had a primer that you had to push against the carb to block of the air inlet and suck in the fuel as you slowly cranked the engine a few times. It also had a 1" screw on canister muffler. Since this is BITOG, I filled it with PP 5w30. laugh
Nice work! looking forward to some pics to view. I don't have any snow blow pics to share (*sorry*) Oh and BTW: don't hit any stumps, ok? *j/k* Q.
I maintain an Ariens snow blower with a 8 hp Tecumseh Snow King from the early 70's for a relative. The engine seems to be indestructible with decent oil, good gas and the occasional fresh plug. I know Tecumseh engines have a reputation for frailty, but I don't think that applies as much to the 8 hp Snow King models.
Nothing against Tecumseh. I've always had great luck with them, but IMO, the longevity of these engines stems from their particular usage and storage. They don't run at a high RPM, they pull clean, cold winter air and depending on the season, can see very light usage over the years. Couple that with being garage kept out of the elements in the off-season and any simple old-school engine can last 50yrs.
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I have a 28 year old Lawn Boy gear drive snowblower that has an 8 HP Tecumseh engine. When I lived in eastern PA, I did an entire cul de sac and three or four driveways every time it snowed as the township never came to plow us out until late in the day. I moved four years ago to central PA and that good old engine just keeps on running. I change the oil every year, keep everything greased and run the carb dry every spring. I fill the gas tank in November, pull the cord a time or two and she fires right up
For all the grief Tecumseh engines can get, in general the Snow Kings were a solid, simple power solution and did their thing for a very, very long time. A pretty tough engine to kill. I've got one of the later versions on my now 8 or 9 year old Toro, and my neighbors affectionately refer to the machine as the snow beast!
I've seen 3 blown up Tecumseh engines, two of them had low/no oil and the 3rd was over revved. The issue is that the governor linkages on the snow kings sometimes stick wide open and the machine just revs at wide open throttle ungoverned. The average operator doesn't notice until it is too late and there is a hole in the side of the block. I've caught a few of these just in time. They had been over revved for a bit and the connecting rod had sustained a ton of heat to the point where it started turning color.
I have a 4 hp Tecumseh/Lauson on my 1971 Ariens 922002 snowblower. It needed the carb cleaned out to be a fine runner. Whoever put those bolts where they did needs to be shot IMO. Only way to get at them is a open-end wrench. Mine has that similar style primer, or at least the mount where it was at one point. Mine gets a slow pull to suck in a bit of gas, then a hearty yank. Fires up first pull. Mine didn't need the carb rebuilt. All it needed was a thorough cleaning to work good as new. It'll likely need a rebuild kit since the gaskets are fairly old, but it's holding together so far.
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Heh heh, My 2 Ariens both would run for 20 minutes and die. I rebuilt the carbs , stole parts from other Tecumsehs. No Joy. I got a 20% off coupon and bought a 212 CC Predator from Harbor Freight. It isn't a direct fit, but close enough to make adapting it easy. Problem free for the rest of the winter. The "Chonda" starts easily and runs quietly. My BIL has a 4 hoss Ariens that is at least 40 yrs old. It starts and runs great. The Little Engine That Could. It would blow snow as deep as the air box grin2
Catso: I believe that is a 2 cycle engine. I would try cleaning the carb out real well first then looking for a rebuild kit. You can find rebuild kits on partstree.com by typing in the brand and model number of your machine. thumbsup
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I'm pretty sure the 7hp OHV Tecumseh on my YardMan 7hp/24" snowblower will outlive the rest of the machine. It's a 1999 model year. I've never had to touch the carb on it even. Love that little OHV.
I have no idea how old it is, but I have a 5hp Tecumseh on what I think is early 80s Noma/Estate 523 snowchucker. I got it for free from a friend that ran it into the ground and then left it outside of his storage shed without any covering, missing the gas cap, and the carb heater box dangling by the wires from the key. He laughed when I said I'd have it running in under a month. I pulled it all apart except for removing the piston and rod and went through everything I could get to. Carb rebuild, new head gasket and decarboning, valve adjustment, cleaning up the magneto, fresh oil (that stuff was putrid), fresh gas (I cannot describe the smell that green stuff made), junk yard tires and rims from a Toro 724 that bolted right on, and fabricating my own axle as the original tires were welded on so bad the original axle had to be sliced in half. I used it for the entire season last winter, and loved it as it was much lighter and smaller than my previous 30" beast. I now need to find a taller chute to retro onto it for better placement of the snow. So far, I think I have about $80 into it, and that also includes adding an electric starter that I don't use. It was originally going to be for my SIL as the first machine I found for her is just too big for her.
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