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Aquanaut


Location: New York
Joined: Jan 1, 2008
Points: 4

Ariens 11.5 hp snow thrower surging/stalling and Sea Foam fix
Original Message   Jan 1, 2008 10:41 pm
My experience with an Ariens ST11528LE snow thrower and surging/stalling problems:

I bought an Ariens snow thrower in the fall of 2005 and I couldn't wait to use it.  The season went without a hitch and I was very impressed with my new machine.  It performed flawlessly.  I always add fuel stabilizer to the gas for any small engines that I own, therefore I added fuel stabilizer to the tank every time I refueled.  Then I stored it for the season.

The next fall, with the first snow fall, the engine surged and then stalled after about 5 minutes of operation.  After cooling down, it would start and then stall again after about 5 minutes.  I called the local dealer and arranged for the thrower to be picked up and serviced under warantee (or so I thought).  After the dealer disassembled the carburetor, cleaned and reinstalled it, it cost me about $75, not including $50 for transportation to/from the dealer.  The dealer told me that bad fuel was not covered under the warrantee.  I told the dealer that I had added fuel stabilizer to the gas before storage, but he said that I should have drained the gas.  I felt that I had been ripped off for $125.

The thrower worked just like new.  It was back to its new performance.  Then come the next fall and the Ariens did the same thing:  surging and stalling after about 5 minutes.  Well, I wasn't about to spend another $125 for repairs, so I thought that the main issue must be gas contamination, even though I had added stabilizer to the fuel.

Then I remembered a 250 HP outboard engine that was causing me missed firing problems that were solved with "Sea Foam".   I cleaned the Tecumseh engine with a big dose of Sea Foam and the problem went away.  I added about 2 to 3 oz of Sea Foam to the gas tank.  It at first ran rough, surging, and after about one minute I heard an improvement in the firing of the engine.  It continued to improve, and after about 5 minutes, the engine was running smooth without any surging or roughness.

I have since used the Ariens with the last snow fall without any problems.  The engine runs smooth and powerful, just like new.

You can purchase Sea Foam at any Napa dealer.

Hope this helps fellow snow throwers.  Let me know of any similar occurrences.

I am convinced from spending a day reading internet forums that the lean carburetor dictated by the EPA is causing a lot of problems with Ariens snow throwers.  Ariens should address this problem with an update on fuel additives, or more importantly, redesign their carbs to support the new restrictions.
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MountainMan


Overpowered is Usually Adequate


Location: Connecticut
Joined: Feb 19, 2003
Points: 1564

Re: Ariens 11.5 hp snow thrower surging/stalling and Sea Foam fix
Reply #3   Jan 2, 2008 8:29 pm
I use Fuel stabilizer in most of my equipment, but I still run stuff dry for out of season staorage. Cant be too carefull.

Ariens 1128PRO- Honda Generator_ Husky 480-257 Jonsered 2050Turbo- Shindiawa T2500 SCAG Mower -little wonder blower-Sears track blower-Coleman Generator- Bombadier ATV-Stihl HS-45 Etc-Etc-Etc
automatic1stdown


Joined: Oct 30, 2007
Points: 8

Re: Ariens 11.5 hp snow thrower surging/stalling and Sea Foam fix
Reply #4   Jan 2, 2008 10:49 pm
I bought an Ariens 9526DLE Pro this past October and have used it about 5 times so far this season.  The first time I fired up the Tecumseh OHV 9.5HP motor, it worked really smoothly and I could run the engine with the choke completely off.  Each time I used it after that, the engine would surge and die completely if I didn't have the choke on.  I couldn't understand what the heck was going on since this was a brand new engine with maybe 2 hours of runtime on it.  Even after letting the engine idle and warm up for 10 minutes, it would surge and die when turning to 1/2 choke.  Turning to no choke will cause it to die immediately.

I called my dealer (who has been fantastic by the way) and told him what was going on.  The first question he asked was "Are you running old gas?".  I said I bought it fresh from the gas station maybe 1 week prior to using it.  The second question he asked was "Did you put Stabil fuel stabiizer in it?".  I said of course and mentioned I always pour in some when I fill up my gas canister.  His response was "Ahhh, that's your problem.  Mixing Stabil with gas during the winter is a big no-no.  The stuff just does NOT mix at all when its cold and ends up gumming up your engine and carburetor."  He advised me to buy a can of Sea-Foam from NAPA and mix it with fresh gas that has no Stabil in it.  After draining the old gas out of the Tecumseh, I poured in the Sea-Foam mix and fired her up.  After maybe 5 minutes the engine was running smoothly again.

I willing to bet your problem is that using fuel with fuel stabilizer is causing your surging/stalling.
borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: Ariens 11.5 hp snow thrower surging/stalling and Sea Foam fix
Reply #5   Jan 2, 2008 11:00 pm
automatic1stdown wrote:
I bought an Ariens 9526DLE Pro this past October and have used it about 5 times so far this season.  The first time I fired up the Tecumseh OHV 9.5HP motor, it worked really smoothly and I could run the engine with the choke completely off.  Each time I used it after that, the engine would surge and die completely if I didn't have the choke on.  I couldn't understand what the heck was going on since this was a brand new engine with maybe 2 hours of runtime on it.  Even after letting the engine idle and warm up for 10 minutes, it would surge and die when turning to 1/2 choke.  Turning to no choke will cause it to die immediately.

I called my dealer (who has been fantastic by the way) and told him what was going on.  The first question he asked was "Are you running old gas?".  I said I bought it fresh from the gas station maybe 1 week prior to using it.  The second question he asked was "Did you put Stabil fuel stabiizer in it?".  I said of course and mentioned I always pour in some when I fill up my gas canister.  His response was "Ahhh, that's your problem.  Mixing Stabil with gas during the winter is a big no-no.  The stuff just does NOT mix at all when its cold and ends up gumming up your engine and carburetor."  He advised me to buy a can of Sea-Foam from NAPA and mix it with fresh gas that has no Stabil in it.  After draining the old gas out of the Tecumseh, I poured in the Sea-Foam mix and fired her up.  After maybe 5 minutes the engine was running smoothly again.

I willing to bet your problem is that using fuel with fuel stabilizer is causing your surging/stalling.



That is very interesting information.  I don't use Stabil but it's good info to have nonetheless. 

Thanks for that.

uconncuzinvinny


Go UCONN!

Location: Milford , CT
Joined: Nov 6, 2003
Points: 47

Re: Ariens 11.5 hp snow thrower surging/stalling and Sea Foam fix
Reply #6   Jan 3, 2008 6:06 am
I've been using PRI-G (super-concentrated not the small engine version) in all my OPE for years, 1 oz treats 16 gal it's the best stuff around.  Never had any problems with it and it mixes well in the winter too!

Their website is very good with tons of info, see the link below.

PRI Products Link









This message was modified Jan 3, 2008 by uconncuzinvinny


Ariens 824 with R3 Drive Update,  Toro 6.5 HP personal pace Lawn mower, B&S Generac 2700 PSI pressure washer.
mml4


Snow is good,
Deep snow is better!


Joined: Dec 31, 2003
Points: 541

Re: Ariens 11.5 hp snow thrower surging/stalling and Sea Foam fix
Reply #7   Jan 3, 2008 7:44 am
automatic1stdown wrote:
I bought an Ariens 9526DLE Pro this past October and have used it about 5 times so far this season.  The first time I fired up the Tecumseh OHV 9.5HP motor, it worked really smoothly and I could run the engine with the choke completely off.  Each time I used it after that, the engine would surge and die completely if I didn't have the choke on.  I couldn't understand what the heck was going on since this was a brand new engine with maybe 2 hours of runtime on it.  Even after letting the engine idle and warm up for 10 minutes, it would surge and die when turning to 1/2 choke.  Turning to no choke will cause it to die immediately.

I called my dealer (who has been fantastic by the way) and told him what was going on.  The first question he asked was "Are you running old gas?".  I said I bought it fresh from the gas station maybe 1 week prior to using it.  The second question he asked was "Did you put Stabil fuel stabiizer in it?".  I said of course and mentioned I always pour in some when I fill up my gas canister.  His response was "Ahhh, that's your problem.  Mixing Stabil with gas during the winter is a big no-no.  The stuff just does NOT mix at all when its cold and ends up gumming up your engine and carburetor."  He advised me to buy a can of Sea-Foam from NAPA and mix it with fresh gas that has no Stabil in it.  After draining the old gas out of the Tecumseh, I poured in the Sea-Foam mix and fired her up.  After maybe 5 minutes the engine was running smoothly again.

I willing to bet your problem is that using fuel with fuel stabilizer is causing your surging/stalling.


I'm curious as to what the temperature threshold is before Stabil won't mix. I have been using it for years and haven't had a problem.

Marc  

SnapperV210P,Toro22177,TroyBilt42010Snowthrower,Craftsman Shredder,American Turbo Pressure Washer HondaGX200,Stihl011Saw,EchoPas260Trimmer Edger,EchoPB602Blower,EchoHCR150Hedge Clipper
Jonathan


I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house. -Zsa Zsa

Location: Near Albany NY
Joined: Sep 12, 2004
Points: 320

Re: Ariens 11.5 hp snow thrower surging/stalling and Sea Foam fix
Reply #8   Jan 3, 2008 8:00 am
This is my 4th season using Stabil in my snowblower and it has almost always started on the first pull and has never had a problem running.

2004 Ariens 11528LE, Troybilt Horse "Big Red" Tiller (original), Troybilt Tuffy Tiller (original), Sears LT1000 mower, Lawn Boy 7073 21" mower, Stihl FS55 RC trimmer, Poulan Countervibe 3400 chainsaw
mml4


Snow is good,
Deep snow is better!


Joined: Dec 31, 2003
Points: 541

Re: Ariens 11.5 hp snow thrower surging/stalling and Sea Foam fix
Reply #9   Jan 3, 2008 11:16 am
I have been thinking about this all morning and I did have an opened bottle of Stabil go bad .There was about a 1/3 of a bottle left and it became dark and viscous. Kind of like the thickness of 3 in 1 oil and no longer the color of Maraschino Cherry Juice. I chucked it but it makes me wonder about the shelf life once the seal is broken.

Marc  

SnapperV210P,Toro22177,TroyBilt42010Snowthrower,Craftsman Shredder,American Turbo Pressure Washer HondaGX200,Stihl011Saw,EchoPas260Trimmer Edger,EchoPB602Blower,EchoHCR150Hedge Clipper
Aquanaut


Location: New York
Joined: Jan 1, 2008
Points: 4

Re: Ariens 11.5 hp snow thrower surging/stalling and Sea Foam fix
Reply #10   Jan 3, 2008 3:05 pm
mml4 wrote:
And if you are running a Tecumseh place a rag on your index finger and push up on the spring loaded drain pin on the bottom of the carb bowl.Even after the engine has run dry with the gas valve off there is still some left in the bottom of the bowl.

Marc


Thanks for that tip.  I just checked my Tecumseh and it did indeed have the drain pin on the bottom of the carb bowl.
Aquanaut


Location: New York
Joined: Jan 1, 2008
Points: 4

Re: Ariens 11.5 hp snow thrower surging/stalling and Sea Foam fix
Reply #11   Jan 3, 2008 3:45 pm
automatic1stdown wrote:
I called my dealer (who has been fantastic by the way) and told him what was going on.  The first question he asked was "Are you running old gas?".  I said I bought it fresh from the gas station maybe 1 week prior to using it.  The second question he asked was "Did you put Stabil fuel stabiizer in it?".  I said of course and mentioned I always pour in some when I fill up my gas canister.  His response was "Ahhh, that's your problem.  Mixing Stabil with gas during the winter is a big no-no.  The stuff just does NOT mix at all when its cold and ends up gumming up your engine and carburetor."  He advised me to buy a can of Sea-Foam from NAPA and mix it with fresh gas that has no Stabil in it.  After draining the old gas out of the Tecumseh, I poured in the Sea-Foam mix and fired her up.  After maybe 5 minutes the engine was running smoothly again.

I have used a product called Stor-N-Start for many years in my former snow throwers and have had no past problems with cold weather.  It is recommended for cold weather off season storage (like for lawn mowers).  It contains naphtha.  Sta-Bil contains a petroleum distillate, most likely naphtha, and a red colorant.

Sea Foam contains pale oil, naphtha, and IPA (my guess for IPA is isopropyl alcohol; ie., dry gas).  Since Sea Foam both removes carbon and stabilizes gas, I will switch to Sea Foam.

It is hard for me to believe that naphtha won't mix with gasoline in very cold weather.  However, this would be easy to test.  Just put some gas in a clear glass container and add some Sta-Bil, shake it up and observe any mixing problems.
Aquanaut


Location: New York
Joined: Jan 1, 2008
Points: 4

Re: Ariens 11.5 hp snow thrower surging/stalling and Sea Foam fix
Reply #12   Jan 3, 2008 3:50 pm
mml4 wrote:
I have been thinking about this all morning and I did have an opened bottle of Stabil go bad .There was about a 1/3 of a bottle left and it became dark and viscous. Kind of like the thickness of 3 in 1 oil and no longer the color of Maraschino Cherry Juice. I chucked it but it makes me wonder about the shelf life once the seal is broken.

Marc  


I just looked it up on the Sta-Bil web site.  The shelf life is two years once the bottle has been opened.

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