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Location: Clay, NY
Joined: Feb 20, 2006
Points: 4

Tecumseh Stalls after 30 min
Original Message   Feb 20, 2006 3:00 pm
Hello all, long time reader first time poster and such.

I'm having a problem with my fathers snowblower, it's a 3 yaer old mtd(I know) with a 10 hp Tecumseh L-head engine. It will run fine for about 30 to 40 minutes then it will start surging and stall. It won't start again until it's sat for an hour or two. I'm assuming it's cooling down. I changed the oil and the plug and it seems to run great right until it stalls. It does it in all temps and in both powder conditions or heavy slush snow.

Any ideas on why it's doing this? Thanks in advance.


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Location: Clay, NY
Joined: Feb 20, 2006
Points: 4

Re: Tecumseh Stalls after 30 min
Reply #6   Feb 21, 2006 7:37 am
I'll try the gas cap thing.  I doubt it's bad gas. The machine has had 15-20 tanks of gas run through it this year, being that we live just north of Syracuse, we get a lot of snow.

I assumed that if the coil was bad, it wouldn't spark correctly at all. Thanks for the suggestions. I'll update after the next storm.


Joined: Feb 20, 2006
Points: 273

Re: Tecumseh Stalls after 30 min
Reply #7   Feb 21, 2006 10:53 am
  tecumseh's fuel caps had a metal disc in them as you look at the inside. there were some problems with this disc coming off and blocking the fuel outlet of tank.  they redesigned them now. these actually are really bad.  as you look at the cap now there is a piece of rubber just pressed into the cap,  the fall and you get the vacuum problem.  this redesign started about 2 yrs ago.

Joined: Feb 23, 2006
Points: 3

Re: Tecumseh Stalls after 30 min - Mine is Brand-New and did the same thing until.....
Reply #8   Feb 23, 2006 7:41 pm
I purchased a new Ariens 926LE at the end of January. This unit has the Tecumseh LH318SA Snow King engine. After having assembled it according to the instructions, I started it up and ran it through a typical post-assembly test run. I ran the engine for about ten minutes and It ran beautifully - idle, top speed, it didn't matter. All was well. Now, I would eagerly await a good snow storm to put my new toy to the test. Last week, my wish came true. We had about 14 inches of dry powder here in Northeast Massachusetts. I fired the unit up and within 10 minutes and having barely finished the driveway, it starded to intermittantly sputter and than shut down. I restarted and again, after throttling up, it inexplicably shut down. I was not able to get it to run long enough to make it back to the garage. The next day, being somewhat engine savy, I decided to try a few things before any consideration would be given to loading the beast into my truck to bring it in for warranty work. Something I dreaded since I do not have ramps nor the time. The first thing I did was to confirm that I had fuel - I did. I than disconnected the fuel lines and checked for proper flow. A-OK. Next, I dropped the float bowl and confirmed that I did not have a perforated float. Inspecting it through the clear glass of a drinking cup full of gasoline, the float functioned properly. I next unscrewed the carburator jet and everything looked great. I had considered the fact that I might just find some foreign substance that may have been overlooked or lodged during the manufacturing process. Everything looked clear & clean. After all of this diagnostic meandering, I put the parts back together and started her up. It ran like a charm. After confirming proper function and feeling quite relieved, I reinstalled the engine shield and rolled it back into the garage. I proudly declared to my brother that "I had fixed the new snowblower and that we would not have to bring it in." 3 days later while working in the yard, I decided to start our new snow blower just to kind of play-around with my new toy.  One pull of the handle and the unit started up. Sounded a little rough though. I allowed it to warm up and than began to increase the throttle and, oh rats, it died. I started it again and it died, I tried increasing the throttle slowly and no luck - quickly, the same. Our brand-new Ariens 926LE all of a sudden didn't work again.

This morning, I decided to put in a call into Ariens Customer Service before rallying some of my neighbors for the hernia-inducing effort of loading it into the back of my truck. After discussing the situation with "Linda", she asked me to take a look at the area where the Chute Deflector Cable (#06900018) is attached to the engine with the Cushioned Clamp. She did not go into details but just suggested that I look there to make sure that the cable was not somehow interfering with something or other. I told her that I would do that and If I didn't see anything interesting that I would call her back for a list of local dealers who would be willing to do warranty work on a Home Depot purchased unit.

Upon first observing the cable and cushioned clamp, I was a bit stumped as to why Linda would have considered any opportunity for this particular area to be of any concern. Things looked quite simple and the cable, in no way could have physically interfered with the carburation or throttle linkage. Ummmm,  I thought. Upon closer inspection however, I noticed that the Chute Deflector Cable had some chafing on it just around where it meets the cushioned clamp. Looking closely, I could see a bit of the steel inner winding of the cable that had been exposed from the chafing. I than noted that the chafing had been caused by the cable rubbing against the electrical connector running from the key assembly to the primary electrical connection. The green wire from the key assembly is simple pigtail plugged into a male connector extension. No insulation, no rubber housing, no protection for the poor Chute Deflector Cable sheath!!!  I pulled the cable back toward the rear of the unit thus clearing the bend away from the exposed electrical connector and eureka. IT WORKED! The exposed electrical connecter had worn away the plastic sheath of the cable enough to expose the steel core of the cable thus grounding out the engine. This is exactly how the push-in key works to prevent someone from starting the unit when the key is not in it. Removal of the key grounds the engine electrically. So the chafed cable did a very efficient job of preventing the engine from running. Except that with the vibration from the engine, the cable core would only make contact with the electrical contact intermittantly which made it appear like a fuel and or carburation type issue.

I promptly called Ariens customer service and enlightened them to my findings. After some prodding, the gentleman confirmed that the company has received a few reports of this having happened on other units. I believe that this issue is probably occuring on many of the units! I asked if he might suggest some Ariens approved fix for the situation and he pretty much stated that I should just come up with some method to prevent the cable from rubbing up against the exposed starter key electrical connector. He confirmed also, that he would bring the issue up within the company. I hope that this helps and can prevent some of the readers from going through the long and winding road that this problem became.




You want it done right?...You better learn how to do it yourself!

Ariens 1128DLE
Ariens 8526LE
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Location: Honesdale, PA
Joined: Dec 19, 2004
Points: 171

Re: Tecumseh Stalls after 30 min
Reply #9   Feb 23, 2006 8:15 pm

Great find!  Those kind of problems can drive you bonkers! 

I had an intermittant blower fan problem in my Toyota years ago. I found the reason the fan did not work was that the heater core was not filling to the top with hot water which was not telling the thermal circuit which was located at the top of the heater core that the water was hot enough to allow the blower fan to operate.  The reason the heater core was not filling to the top was because I had a blown head gasket which was pumping air bubbles in the engine cooling system!

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