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Old 12-27-2010, 10:56 AM   #1
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Another snow blower question v 2


Greetings from buried under NJ

My husband had to get out this morning to go to work, and used the thrower for the second time since last night, when it worked perfectly.

It's a 6hp Sears Craftsman self propelled.

This morning he said he was pushing it hard as he was in a hurry, and saw small flames coming from the muffler area!!! As well, he said it would not go in reverse.

The oil was checked last night and was full.

But, the conditions last night and this morning were pretty awful, and he said the snow just about filled the entire auger area.

I can't get the repair person on the phone to ask what he thinks the problem might be.

This is a fairly new machine that hasn't been used all that much. We had it serviced for winter 2009 and it ran perfectly until this morning.

Any ideas?

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Old 12-27-2010, 11:19 AM   #2
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Another snow blower question v 2


Are you the mechanic or is he? "Flames in the muffler area" sounds like spilled fuel on the engine being ignited when he was in to big of a hurry, but you could check all the screws and bolts around the carberature to make sure they are tight and make sure the hose clamps for the gas line are on the ends of the hose where they are supposed to be and snug. Check the engine oil level when the engine is cold. The level should be FULL and unless the engine has an oil filter DO NOT USE Multi grade oil as in 5w-30 or 10w-40. Engines without oil filters require straight weight oil like SAE10 or SAE 20 or SAE30. The forward-reverse part should be left to Sears as they have a hundred different ways to mess up a good idea and you really don't need to help them with more.

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Old 12-27-2010, 11:24 AM   #3
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Another snow blower question v 2


He's the mechanic He did check the oil level when it was cold and did read full. I'm not sure of the weight he used. I suspect he was rushing and may have spilled fuel, but I'm not sure. I know the few times I've used it, I spill fuel.

Thank you so much for your advice!!!!
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:59 AM   #4
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Another snow blower question v 2


please be extremely cautious when filling with fuel. Make sure the machine is off and it really needs to be allowed to cool some. I have a friend whose entire face was severely burned by a fueling incident. It doesn't take much fuel to make a really big blast.

Before getting too worked up, somebody needs to clear the auger (obviously with it turned off...the entire machine, not just the auger action) as well as the rest of the machine. Then try to operate the machine (without trying to clear any snow) both the drive system and the blowing system. Do this in an area without any snow. You are just checking for operation.



Sometimes it is just snow compaction along with being in a hurry and everything seems to be not working. Sometimes snow will pack into areas and not allow levers to be fully operated. That can prevent a transmission from changing gears sometimes.

Do you have a heated garage? If so, let it set in there so any snow will melt away. Then (outside of course) test it for operation.
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:00 PM   #5
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Another snow blower question v 2


All good input. Also, in regard to the fuel, suggest to him that he let it warm up, and then make sure that the choke is fully open. On a cold nasty morning, it can be easy to just be thankful that it starts, so while fumbling with heavy gloves, trying to keep the snow off your face, grumbling that you're going to be tied up in traffic by the time that you get going, and everything else, it can be easy to overlook the obvious.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by nap View Post
please be extremely cautious when filling with fuel. Make sure the machine is off and it really needs to be allowed to cool some. I have a friend whose entire face was severely burned by a fueling incident. It doesn't take much fuel to make a really big blast.
Yikes... I had no idea. Thank you for the warning.

Quote:
Before getting too worked up, somebody needs to clear the auger (obviously with it turned off...the entire machine, not just the auger action) as well as the rest of the machine. Then try to operate the machine (without trying to clear any snow) both the drive system and the blowing system. Do this in an area without any snow. You are just checking for operation.


Sometimes it is just snow compaction along with being in a hurry and everything seems to be not working. Sometimes snow will pack into areas and not allow levers to be fully operated. That can prevent a transmission from changing gears sometimes.
Well, I suspect the auger may have been clogged/frozen and he may have overworked it, because he's out there using it now.

Quote:
Do you have a heated garage? If so, let it set in there so any snow will melt away. Then (outside of course) test it for operation.
Not heated, but the insulation generally keeps it at around 40 in the winter. Snow does melt from it eventually.

I really appreciate all the advice and encouragement.
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:52 PM   #7
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I really appreciate all the advice and encouragement.



glad to hear it has been resolved.
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:40 PM   #8
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Flames and not working in reverse could be separate, unrelated issues.

Flames coming from the muffler could be caused by incomplete combustion.....possibly caused by overworking.

When you say it was serviced last year, I assume you mean it includes changing the spark plug and running the fuel dry to prevent gumming.
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:42 PM   #9
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Another snow blower question v 2


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Originally Posted by Grampa Bud View Post
Are you the mechanic or is he? "Flames in the muffler area" sounds like spilled fuel on the engine being ignited when he was in to big of a hurry, but you could check all the screws and bolts around the carberature to make sure they are tight and make sure the hose clamps for the gas line are on the ends of the hose where they are supposed to be and snug. Check the engine oil level when the engine is cold. The level should be FULL and unless the engine has an oil filter DO NOT USE Multi grade oil as in 5w-30 or 10w-40. Engines without oil filters require straight weight oil like SAE10 or SAE 20 or SAE30. The forward-reverse part should be left to Sears as they have a hundred different ways to mess up a good idea and you really don't need to help them with more.
I have never heard of not using multigrade oils for engines that don't have filters. In fact, most of the equipment I have (generator, mower, pressure washer, etc.) all recommend this type of oil.
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:41 AM   #10
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Another snow blower question v 2


my Sears' blower's owner's manual states that multigrade oil may be used; I think 5w-30 was the spec.
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:09 AM   #11
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To handyman and Bob22. The straight weight oils will leave their combustion products to settle out in the bottom of the engine when it is running or not. The multi-grade oils have detergent in them to continuosly scrub the inside of the engine (crankcase, crank, cam, valves, rods,seals) clean of 90 percent of the dirt and combustion products, plus the detergent action holds all of this in suspension. When there is no filter to run the oil through and trap these contaminants the action of lubricating the engine becomes more like abrasive abuse to such things as bearing surfaces and rubber seals and the areas that the seals touch. Small engines, without oil filters, require straight weight oil. Any engine, with an oil filter, can use whatever lubricant will keep it running.
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:31 AM   #12
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Another snow blower question v 2


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Originally Posted by Grampa Bud View Post
To handyman and Bob22. The straight weight oils will leave their combustion products to settle out in the bottom of the engine when it is running or not. The multi-grade oils have detergent in them to continuosly scrub the inside of the engine (crankcase, crank, cam, valves, rods,seals) clean of 90 percent of the dirt and combustion products, plus the detergent action holds all of this in suspension. When there is no filter to run the oil through and trap these contaminants the action of lubricating the engine becomes more like abrasive abuse to such things as bearing surfaces and rubber seals and the areas that the seals touch. Small engines, without oil filters, require straight weight oil. Any engine, with an oil filter, can use whatever lubricant will keep it running.
Your points sound correct in theory, but keep in mind these small engines that you're talking about. They have very short operating durations and are not continuously used. It's not the same as driving car for 3000 miles without an oil filter or operating farm machinery.

The simplest solution may be just to have more frequent oil changes where you may use maybe 1/2 quart. Oil changes are quite easy for these small engines.

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