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25" inches of snow, and now the snowblower decides to leak gas

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by daveswoodhauler, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Ok, just got done doing the majority of the snow clean up (thank god) and the snowblower was running really bad. Thought it might be getting low on gas, but it was ok.

    So, when the blower was running, there seemed to be gas coming out of the bottom of the carburator, so I was thining a stuck float valve or something. So, I turned the fuel line off, and the dripping stopped....turned the fuel line back on, and it started leaking again. It looks like it was coming out the bottom of the carb, but that was not the case.

    I took the housing off the area to see a little better at the carb, and then turn on the fuel line switch to on....the gas seemed to be leaking out the middle area of the carb...almost looked like it was coming out the opening with the little butterlfy valve that adjusts the choke, etc. Would run a little then die. So, I guess I am at the point where the fuel is not flowing correctly to the engine, and I am by no means a small engine guy. Any basic things to check before I bring it into the dealer?

    Also, there is a little screw and spring on the bottom of the carb. When I press the screw up, the gas comes out, and when I take my finger off the gas stops. (The gas is still coming out the middle section of the carb, so the spring thingy seems to be working accordingly)

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  2. festerw

    festerw Member

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    My guess, it is a stuck float. Pull the bowl off make sure you see how the flat attaches and remove it and spray some carb cleaner at the whole deal and reassemble.

    It's running out of the intake because the float is stuck down allowing the gas to feed straight through the carb.
    daveswoodhauler and Swedishchef like this.
  3. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the help. There looks to be a nut on the bottom in the middle, and also a screw with the spring towards the side of the bowl. Should I remove both, or just the nut in the center?

    Also, when I remove, is there anything going to drop down and fall out? ...I vaguely remember doing something like this on my generator many moons ago, and I think when I took the bowl off there was a small spring that fell down and took me a while to find it :(

    Just want to be sure what to expect when the take the bowl off? (Wish I had a garage as its only 12 degrees out right now, lol)

    Edit: It the float part of the nut assemble that I am going to remove?
  4. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    festerw is probably correct. Although Its really not the float that sticks as much as its the "needle" and "seat" assemble. The needle and seat create the valve that controls the flow of fuel into the fuel bowl. The idea is to keep the fuel at a certain level much like a toilet tank.

    Pull the hinge pin from the float assembly and then remove the needle. It should move freely within the seat. If it doesn't, its gunked up and needs to be cleaned. Many times a small bit of rust or dirt will keep the needle/seat from sealing off. Also inspect the typically polymer tip on the needle to make sure its intact. If the needle or seat are damaged they may require replacement. Nice times out of ten though they are just dirty with old gas or crude and can be cleaned up.

    [​IMG]
  5. boatboy63

    boatboy63 Member

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    Another suggestion is to check your oil level. With many engines, when the needle sticks open, it is possible for the gas to drain thru the back of the carb (without you knowing it) and this gas will go into your cylinder, drain around the rings, and get into the oilpan. If the oil level is significantly higher than it should be, I would not start it until carb is repaired and oil changed. This is because the gas will thin the oil and can cause permanent damage to the bearings and cylinder.

    If it is good and you do get it started, you can always mix a little carb cleaner into your fuel tank to help clean any additional varnish from the carb.
  6. festerw

    festerw Member

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    Without seeing it I'd say if you remove the nut the bowl should come off. I usually put a pan or something to catch anything that may fall out, started that after I spent half an hour hunting for the pin the float swivels on one time.
  7. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    The little gizmo with the spring is a drain for the bowl. Gas should come out when you press it. It has a little gasket that can leak, so I just leave mine alone.

    +1 on either a stuck float or dirt in the needle/seat, and if there's gas in the oil, I also say you should drain the oil and replace it. Thinned oil will not lubricate at all well.
  8. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    That won't happen on most snowblowers (big prob for lawn tractors tho) as the carb sits at the bottom of a long intake manifold that 90's up into the engine. They're designed so that you flood the *iss outta the intake manifold/carb for quick starts in sub-zero weather.

    Doesn't hurt to sniff the oil to check for gas tho.

    All this fuss could be caused by a couple things. Could be a deformed seat, dirt in the needle/seat assembly, sticking float pin/needle valve, a float stuck to the bowl, or a "sunk" float. Take the bowl off (remove the nut, leave the screw alone) and carefully remove the float pin. The float and needle valve will come out easily now. Give the float a shake, feel/hear fluid inside? If so, she's sunk and you need a new one. If not, I'd pick up a needle/seat kit for it and swap them out.

    If you install a new float you should check the float height before you button everything back up. The top of the float should be 3/16" from the bottom of the carb body with the needle valve closed. It will appear to be slightly above level.
  9. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Ding Ding Ding....we have a winner on the flaot/valve assembly. Thanks to you guys, took off the bowl (was clean except for around the rim where it meets the seal) And although the float did seem to move freely up/down, there might have been something lodged in the valve/pin area. Sprayed it all out with carb cleaner, managed to get it back together, and now runs back like normal. Thanks very much folks....you saved me about $80 in repair costs and the hassle of digging out the trailer to get it over to the shop. Again, just wanted to say thanks very much!
    MasterMech likes this.
  10. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    That's good.

    Most times when this happens to me, and I try the quick shoot-it-with-carb-cleaner thing, I just end up taking it all back apart because the needle/seat was just too gunked up for the cleaner & required disassembly to get it all out. I usually just take the carb off from the start & take it all apart - then you're sure to get all the jets clean too.

    I'd get some Seafoam & run that through it too - there could still be some gunk in there that might be cutting your flow a bit and creating a slightly lean condition that might not be noticeable in the way it runs. But can be hard on your engine.

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