Snowblower Engine Issue

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Dec 18, 2007
Madison, Wisconsin
So, I was eating lunch with a friend of mine the other day and he mentioned his snowblower died last year and he was trying to figure out what to do. It's a 30 year old beast, and he's not too sure if he will try to fix or buy new. I like old iron so would fix, but don't like giving that advice and getting blamed when the next thing breaks either... smile Here were the symptoms. It just started bogging down and slowly stopped. Now he can't turn the crank. No screeching, no bang when it stopped. Any thoughts? I'd assume something seized, but what would cause those symptoms? Oil level was ok when it happened, can't comment on how much abuse it took during it's life. I think it's a Tecumseh motor.
Was it two-stroke? If so, did it take pre-mixed gas or did it have a metering pump for the two-stroke oil? If it had a metering pump, I'd bet the pump died thus causing the engine to seize.
Tecumsehs seem to be known for seizing up.Happened to us back in the 70s.It was a 1972 Ariens ST724 with the HM70 engine.We ran straight 10W oil and kept it full.Well,the piston rings eventually welded themselves to the cylinder wall.They had to install a new block reusing everything else (but the rings),they said never run 10W again,always use 10W30,because 10W after its broken down is too thin to protect. A former co worker bought a new MTD machine around 6 or 7 years ago (its like 12hp),and its now froze solid.My guess is he never changed the oil period,but nonetheless its a lawn sculpture now (under a tarp).Of course,Tecumseh powered.
Slap a new motor on it. The steel is thicker on the old machines, the auger gearboxes and everything are better built, etc. Repowering takes about half an hour, it's just a few bolts, and the patterns are standard between briggs, tecumseh, and "chonda". (And if they aren't, you can drill!)
i sold an ST724 to a coworker last year for $100, it was an early 90's and was a husqvarna, with tecumseh H80 I think. An over-rated 8hp, that ran alright but bogged down too easy to I got rid of it. Biggest problem it had was the gearbox frame had cracks in it and started giving way and in forward the chain would skip on the sprocket under load especially going up my driveway. And it was a bad design anyway, snow shoot had a plastic worm gear and plastic holder that would flex and fall apart. that being said, if you were to buy a new motor for yours go over the frame and drivetrain real good and make sure it's worth a new engine. I ended up getting an hs928ta off craigslist and that solved all my problems smile
I did suggest that he swing down to Harbor Freight and buy one of their motors and bolt it up. He's thinking about it, but I think he's afraid of being nickle and dimed by a 40 year old snowblower. I understand that. But I also think the build quality on this thing is probably far better than anything he could buy new, if it's been treated decently at all. If it's an Ahrens/Simplicity some other brand like that, I may offer to take it off his hands. Could be a nice little repower/flip on Craigslist project. But that may not be wife sanctioned given the three week old baby in the house.. crazy So does the piston on these Techumsas just stick in the bore then when this happens?
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Make sure it is an engine issue and not something attached to the belts, I would remove the belts and spark plug then try pulling it over before condeming the engine. Unless you have already done that. I know it is overkill but I change the oil in all our snowblowers before the winter season and at the end of the season and put them away with fresh oil. For a homeowner that is about three quarts a year for their snowblower. A lot easier than shoveling.
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