Small Engine Start Problems: Tractor Engine Repair Rebuild  -- Tractor Maintenance Discussion Forum and Review Small Engine Start Problems: Tractor Engine Repair Rebuild -- Tractor Maintenance Discussion Forum

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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Tractor Engine Repair Rebuild Forum

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 01-27-2004, 20:08 Post: 75250
cutter



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 Small Engine Start Problems

This should generate a number of theories. I am trying to help my brother-in-law repair his snow blower. He has four kids, a huge old house with a heat bill to match and no $$. A few days ago he was unloading his 60's(??) era snow blower from his truck and the ramp fell, allowing the machine to drop a foot or two to the ground, but it landed on it's wheels and appeared no harm done.

The machine has a 7hp Tecumseh horizontal shaft engine that ran like new but it will not start since the fall. The most it will do is backfire through the carb. I have pulled the head, checked the valves, changed the plug, checked the points and re-gapped, cleaned and adjusted the carb settings to initial starting points and am running out of ideas.

The key-way on the fly wheel is straight and true with no play and it appears that no matter how little or much fuel the machine gets it will not fire. I even tried a shot of starting fluid with a few drops of gas after cleaning and reassembling the engine tonight. The spark seems to be adequate and I verified the firing point as being at the start of the down-stroke while the head was off.

I am puzzled and my bad shoulder is sore from pulling on the rope! Not being a fan of that particular brand of engine makes me all the more frustrated.

Any ideas would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Cutter






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 01-27-2004, 20:41 Post: 75252
Art White



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What did it do when the ether was used?






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 01-27-2004, 21:09 Post: 75257
Chief



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kinda sounds like it has a stuck valve.






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 01-28-2004, 04:19 Post: 75268
cutter



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Art it back fired through the carb. I checked the valves Chief, that was my first thought. It appears they are operating correctly. I cleaned the seats when I had the head off. Still a mystery!






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 01-28-2004, 07:56 Post: 75278
Chief



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If it back fired through the carb.; sure sounds to me like a valve is not closing all the way. Have you run a compression check? That should conclusively identify that problem if it exists.






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 01-28-2004, 07:59 Post: 75279
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I'm guessing that the backfiring was when the starter fluid was used. I'm also guessing that you think its compression is normal. Strange! Compression, fuel and spark usually equals starting unless the timing is radically off.

I imagine it's a magneto ignition. I'd try cleaning the gap and flywheel. I'd also try gapping a plug much narrower than normal. Loosening a spark plug is an old M/C mechanic's trick--especially for testing old Brit 441's. Air gap resistance is higher under compression. A weak spark that fires in the air may do nothing under compression.

Another old trick is cupping a hand over the carb bowl. I say 'a hand' because I probably wouldn't want it to my hand if was backfiring through the carb, and especially not after using starter fluid unsuccessfully. As you probably know repeated unsuccessful use of starter fluid may create safety problems and also break an engine.






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 01-28-2004, 08:20 Post: 75283
Billy

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 Small Engine Start Problems

Could it be when the engine had the big jolt, it dislodged some gunk in the fuel tank?

Dirty or old gas can make it do some weird things, like backfiring.






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 01-28-2004, 11:21 Post: 75302
AC5ZO

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 Small Engine Start Problems

I would stay away from the ether. If the spark and compression are good, a few drops of gasoline applied to the carburetor throat should get the engine to attempt to start. It may not run, but if it seems to want to start, it could be a fuel problem. If that works, then the carburetor probably needs cleaning.

As others have said, it sounds like a stuck or leaking intake valve to me. You may also have two things going on. It would not surprise me if you did need to clean the carburetor, but the drop from the truck could have done something too. Turn the engine over with the head off and see if the valve timing looks OK, but only after you have confirmed that fuel/carburetor is not the culprit.






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 01-28-2004, 17:52 Post: 75327
cutter



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Here is a list of checks I have done:

Had head off, cleaned and inspected. While it was off I watched the operation of the valves and in fact checked to see that the plug was firing on the down-stroke after the intake stroke.

I removed the inspection plate and examined the valve springs and lifter clearance in operation. All appears to be good.

I cleaned the flywheel, adjusted the gap in the magneto with .015 stock (a guess at the gap adjustment, sort of an average among various engines). I set the points at .020 after determining the timing, again a guess as there are no markings on the flywheel or block to reference.

The unit has a new plug set at .035 and the spark appears strong. I will try the gap adjustment Tom suggested.

I sparingly used starting fluid knowing of the inherent danger of this stuff. When I shot a small amount it the carb intake it backfired. After I performed all the above operations, I dripped a bit of gas into the plug hole and tried to start it. All I got is a backfire through the carb again. I am running out of ideas, the valves are no different than they were when it was running except perhaps a bit cleaner.







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 01-29-2004, 07:16 Post: 75352
TomG

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Dang--this is sounding pretty frustrating Cutter!

If you're pretty sure the valves are seating on the compression stroke and it's firing around TDC (and nowhere else) about the only thing that comes to mind this morning is valve timing. I don't know how it's done on this engine but I have heard of old automobile engines jumping a gear or two on seriously worn timing chains.






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