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Snowblower ran for 1 hr with no oil - now what do I do?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by oconnor, Dec 27, 2008.

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  1. oconnor

    oconnor Minister of Fire

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    My MTD Blower with a 10.5 hp Tecumseh was run for about 60 mins before it quit. (Hint - never store your blower at SOMEONE ELSE's house if, when you changed the oil last year, you didn't have the 0 W 30 synthetic oil that you've used since new 8 years ago to go back in, so you decided "I'll just put it in it before I start it next year, I'll remeber, I always do"), because someone else will try to use it first. :mad: )

    I brought the poor girl home, took the plug out and oiled the cylinder, added oil to the case, and was able to turn it over with the crank bolt, then the electric start, and then the pull cord. I was able to start it, then drained and filled the oil twice, and ran it until warm before I drained and filled it the third time. When I pull it over with the cord (plug out), she makes a kerclunk klunk pause kerclunk klunk sound (say it out loud for effect :) )

    It is a Snow King, ( http://www.smallenginesurplus.com/tecumseh-hmsk105159908-lh358sa159908-snow-king-p-3495.html) with the added 1:2 camshaft pully/PTO that drives the drive wheels, so there aren't a lot of them around here. I am in Canada, so my options look like this:

    Run it as is - I suspect that eventually, something is going to break, and then I'll be in for a new engine, but who knows how long that will take.

    By new engine - site linked above will run me 650 Canadian plus takes to my door - new blower is 1100

    Buy short block - Can get one delivered for 550 taxes in.

    Replace the parts that could be warn - haven't had a small engine apart in 15 years, but have the skills to do it. - worst case on parts is about 250-300, depending on how far I go.

    For those out there who fix what guys like me break, what is your opinion on the best option?

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  2. beau5278

    beau5278 Member

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    I'd pull the head off and see how bad the cylinder is scored,if it doesn't look to bad,I'd consider rebuilding your engine but you may want to check Tecumseh parts prices first.Most times in a situation where an air cooled engine is run without oil,most of the damage is done to the crankpin/connecting rod or the bushings in he block that support the crankshaft.The good news is that aluminum cleans off of the steel crankshaft pretty easy.If the rod was what started to seize,you may get lucky and only have to replace that but I'd put a set of rings in while I had it apart also.If it started to seize on the bearing journals in the block,they can be bushed most times also.If your cylinder is badly scored,you would probably be better off with a short block,unless you could do the machine work on the lock to fit a new piston,the parts and labor will probably be close to what your quoting for a short block.
  3. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I would tend to say the same, although I'd point out that if you decide an engine replacement is in order, you don't have to put the same engine on that came off it... My understanding is that as long as you stay with the same general size engine, they are pretty much bolt in, interchangeable replacements - just get the same shaft orientation, diameter, and rotation.

    I haven't done the price shopping myself, and I don't know how the CDN prices would compare, but I've heard it is possible to pick up one of the Chinese Honda / Subaru-Robin clones engines for considerably less than a new Tecumseh or B&S;engine, and have something that will work at least as well... That might be your best bet for a least cost / effort fix.

    (BTW, hindsight is always 20/20, but I know that I was taught long ago that if I was leaving an engine w/o oil for longer than it took to put some in, then I should pull the plug wire, or put a hunk of tape over the ignition key slot w/ a tag on it saying "NEEDS OIL!" This has saved me from similar problems a few times...

    Gooserider
  4. oconnor

    oconnor Minister of Fire

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    I remember thinking about the tag idea, but I don't remember doing it....

    The one issue I have with the clones is the extra camshaft PTO (2 seperate pulleys) - MTD special ordered these engines from Tecumseh, so not a lot of them around from what I can find, and they run twice the price of a similar Tecumseh w/o the PTO - Any websites that you know that deal in the chinese engines? My googling hasn't found 'em yet.
  5. They Call Me Pete

    They Call Me Pete Member

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    Nothern Tool has motors
  6. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Harbor Freight also has some motors, but you may be right on being limited to just that one motor if it's something really strange. What is the PTO shaft used for? Is it something you can skip, or is it driving a vital function? (I can't think of what it might be - my Ariens does everything off the main shaft via pulleys and belts.) You might also need to replace the drive pulley setup, as that also looks like an oddball output shaft setup now that I've actually looked at the engine you linked to...

    This seems like a bit of an esoteric problem - you might do well to look for a specialist snowblower site. I haven't checked This OPE site billed as "The Best Snowblower & Lawnmower Forum" out myself, but a couple of other folks here have suggested it... They might be able to give a more expert opinion as to repair options, or what you could do for a lower cost replacement engine. As a side note, my understanding is that Tecumseh is going under, so if you do need to have that exact engine, it might be worth getting it now before the supply goes away...

    Gooserider
  7. oconnor

    oconnor Minister of Fire

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    PTO shaft (actually a pulley off the camshaft end runs 2:1 to the crank) runs the drive gear, while the crank runs the auger. I guess they wanted to save on gearing in the guts below, so they used the cam to get the ratio they wanted.

    [​IMG]

    I may actually just buy a used unit of another brand that doesn't use the odd camshaft pulley - engines for them are 1/2 the price.

    Thanks for the link Gooserider, I'll check it out.
  8. beau5278

    beau5278 Member

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    Your going to be limited on engines that you can use,the other reason they run that pulley off of the camhaft is that it runs in the opposite direction of the crank,so your going to need an engine with that setup to run whatever it is you need on yours.The only other engine that I can think of off the top of my head that used that setup was 5hp B&S;engines that ran rototillers back in the '60s and '70s,they used it for a reverse on those tillers.You could try checking ebay for an engine or parts,sometimes you get lucky.
  9. Reggie Dunlap

    Reggie Dunlap Feeling the Heat

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    I'd put a 454 in it.
  10. Jimbob

    Jimbob New Member

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    Princess auto has some cheap Chinese Honda knock-offs. Look for them to go on sale sometimes. They won't have the extra shaft though..
  11. Beanscoot

    Beanscoot Member

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    Hey.. an opportunity to start a new hobby. Small engine rebuilding. How badly does it smoke now? I would run it cautiously, and as soon as the knocking gets a bunch worse shut it down. Hopefully you can use it as is until spring, then round up the parts for rebuild in the summer.

    I can't see doing much more damage running it now, except for the con rod breaking and holing the block. That's the thing to avoid, by careful monitoring of it.
  12. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    If you sell the blower to some handyman for $200 you can add $900.00 to it and have a new, more modern machine.

    I bought a new Cub Cadet this year...has a 308cc Briggs engine. Many of these new machines have a "power steering" deal that makes 'em way easier to steer than the old machines.

    I LOVE old cars but hate old snowblowers... my vote is buy a new one.
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