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joed


Joined: Sep 1, 2008
Points: 84

What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Original Message   Dec 26, 2009 11:24 am
I purchased a brand new Ariens Platinum deluxe 24" snowblower in October of 2009.  I paid $2000 Canadian with tax.  A few weeks ago, I used the machine for the first time to clear about 5 cm of snow.  Unit started up well and removed the snow.  Then, when I went to shut down the unit, it backfired and two flames/sparks came out of the exhuast.  I went to start the machine up again and it wouldn't start even though it had been running for 20 minutes.  So, I opened up the choke, primed the unit and it started.  Upon shutting down, the backfiring happened again and again it wouldn't start.  So, I contacted Ariens.  There response was:
1. Put the throttle down to half, let it idle for about 30 seconds and then shut it down.
I did that and still the backfiring happened.  So back I go to contact Ariens.  They tell me to take it back to the dealer.  I did and they:
1. changed the camshaft
2. started 4 other Ariens machines and they all did the same thing.
3. Contacted Briggs who told them the backfiring is caused by the engine running lean so that they could make it through emission restrictions.  They also told the dealer to tell me not to worry about it.

At this stage, I'm frustrated.  I find it unacceptable to pay $2000 for a machine and have it backfire right from the get go.   Interestingly enough, the dealer had a single stage toro 421 and a powerlite.  Both units come with the 4 stroke Chinese made engine from Loncin.  He started those up and neither one of them backfired.  

I don't understand how Briggs can let this go.

Now, I don't know whether to:
1. Just keep the unit.
2. Push Ariens to do something about the unit.  Ariens uses the snow series Briggs.  I wonder if the Snow Max series does the same thing.
3. Push Ariens to give me my money back.

Any idea/feedback?
Replies: 1 - 29 of 29View as Outline
amazer98


Joined: Dec 7, 2009
Points: 46

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #1   Dec 26, 2009 12:30 pm
I also bought an Ariens Platinum 24 a few weeks ago.  I've only used it once-- when it was time to shut down, I let it idle slow for 10 seconds or so, then turned off the throttle.  It backfired once, but I didn't see any flames or anything dramatic.

I also called Ariens and spoke to a technical rep.  He confirmed that it's good to idle low for a few seconds (no need to do a full 30 seconds) before shutting the machine off and said not to worry about the backfire.  I haven't started/stopped the machine since, and probably won't worry about it if it only backfires once.  But if it were to repeatedly backfire and emit flames, I wouldn't be a happy camper.

But dealers have the tools to adjust the mixture, I believe.  Why couldn't your OPE just tweak the engine to run a tad richer, if that would eliminate the backfires?  Otherwise, could you run it with the choke turned on just one click?  Maybe that would stop the backfire-- or turn on the choke one click a minute before you shut down the machine.
iLikeOrange


Joined: Nov 18, 2005
Points: 120

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #2   Dec 26, 2009 1:55 pm
My 2005 Tec /Ariens backfires about half the time when shutdown. I  let it slow idle maybe  10-15 seconds before killing it.

mech12


Joined: Feb 20, 2006
Points: 273

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #3   Dec 26, 2009 4:51 pm
 if the engine has idel use it.  what happens when u shut down the engine from full throttle. the engine has no spark, of course u shut down.  now thw piston is stille moving up and down and pulling fuel into engine. now it doenst burn, no spark, and goes on out thru the HOT HOT exhaust   =  backfire
Knee_Biter


Wicked Pissa

Location: just outside of BOSTON
Joined: Dec 14, 2008
Points: 147

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #4   Dec 26, 2009 5:07 pm
If it is backfiring while running then you have a problem.  If it is only at shutdown then use idle as stated.   A little popping and sputtering at throttle is because they are tuned lean for EPA and that is the nature of the new beast.  But flaming backfire while running is not normal.
This message was modified Dec 26, 2009 by Knee_Biter


joed


Joined: Sep 1, 2008
Points: 84

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #5   Dec 26, 2009 6:04 pm
Thanks for the responses.

The engine only backfires when I'm shutting it down not when it's running.  The dealer did change the camshaft but that didn't solve the problem.

I still find it unacceptable for a brand new engine to do this.   I own several pieces of outdoor power equipment: 2 commercial lawnmowers, commercial trimmers, backpacks, chainsaw etc.  They're all 2-3 years old and none of them backfire.

I don't know if this is a problem exclusive to the snow series engines or if the snow series max engines do the same thing.


I'm going to contact Ariens again next week and see what they say.


I posted another thread about Honda snowthrowers the other day.  Right now, I'm wondering if I shouldn't have just forked over another $1000 to get a good, reliable, quality machine with a quality engine. 
Knee_Biter


Wicked Pissa

Location: just outside of BOSTON
Joined: Dec 14, 2008
Points: 147

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #6   Dec 26, 2009 6:25 pm
This is my opinion and only mine.  Not looking for a fight.   I own an Ariens dle pro with with a Tecumseh OHV engine and love it.  I own several Hondas and love them.   I own several other brands all with the Tecumseh L head and love them.  At work we purchased a brand new Ariens 1128 with the Briggs engine.  I hate it.  Not only the engine but the entire machine.  The worst machine I have used and I have used a lot of machines.  I can tell you that if you spent the money on the Honda it would have hurt at first but after the first storm it would have been joy.   My Ariens was the last year of the tried and true platform then they started changing things such as engine, chute control, trigger controlled differential, etc.  Not sure how the new models are now but Honda has had the same platform for years with no change.  If it works leave it alone.
This message was modified Dec 26, 2009 by Knee_Biter


amazer98


Joined: Dec 7, 2009
Points: 46

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #7   Dec 26, 2009 7:25 pm
Knee Biter... don't quite understand why you hate the new Ariens blowers so much.  I ran my new Platinum 24 the other day for the first time and it oirked like a charm.  The engine ran smoothly and powerfully and the blower shot the snow with alacrity and panache.  It handled fine and the chute controls were very convenient.

I admit the engine backfired once when I turned it off, but I interpreted that only as a protest against having to quite work early.  Really, though, what's's to hate about Ariens or the new B&S engines?
This message was modified Dec 26, 2009 by amazer98
Knee_Biter


Wicked Pissa

Location: just outside of BOSTON
Joined: Dec 14, 2008
Points: 147

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #8   Dec 26, 2009 7:34 pm
The Ariens at work was purchased new 2 seasons ago.  The first year for the Briggs and trigger control.   The engine just does not fit right on the machine.  Very hard to work the throttle and gas valve. 

The trigger control works and does not work.  The drive slips when the unit gets wet and then the machine sits and there is no way to move it unless you push.  Ariens came out with a mod for this but does not help.

   The balance of the machine is off.  Way back heavy.  The tires are way too small for the machine. 

  The rust in 2 seasons is horrible.   The engine runs strong and smooth but thats about all that does.

  Maybe they have made some better changes in the last 2 seasons. 

 My 1128DLE is from 2003/2004 purchased new and love it. 

  Have a 94 824 purchased new and love it.  Have had many older units and had great luck with them as well.

amazer98


Joined: Dec 7, 2009
Points: 46

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #9   Dec 26, 2009 8:57 pm
Wow... well, hopefully the new models have fixed some of those bugs.  Haven't experienced slippage yet, but will know it when I see it.  Hard to believe that such a specialized company as Ariens could blow it big-time on key design execution.
joed


Joined: Sep 1, 2008
Points: 84

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #10   Dec 26, 2009 10:31 pm
Knee_Biter wrote:
The Ariens at work was purchased new 2 seasons ago.  The first year for the Briggs and trigger control.   The engine just does not fit right on the machine.  Very hard to work the throttle and gas valve. 

The trigger control works and does not work.  The drive slips when the unit gets wet and then the machine sits and there is no way to move it unless you push.  Ariens came out with a mod for this but does not help.

   The balance of the machine is off.  Way back heavy.  The tires are way too small for the machine. 

  The rust in 2 seasons is horrible.   The engine runs strong and smooth but thats about all that does.

  Maybe they have made some better changes in the last 2 seasons. 

 My 1128DLE is from 2003/2004 purchased new and love it. 

  Have a 94 824 purchased new and love it.  Have had many older units and had great luck with them as well.


Good observations.

I'm finding the same issues with my new Ariens, especially:
1. The drive does slip when the unit gets wet.
2. The machine is back heavy, making it tough to turn.  Equivalent Toros of the same weight are much easier to turn.  One thing I've noticed is that the Ariens units are shorter than Toros.  So, I think is more evenly distributed on the toros than on the ariens.

My brother-in-law bought his Ariens in 1999.  10 years later, he's had no problems.  Something seems to have happened to Ariens quality control since they went into Home Depot in 2002 or 2003.
specialkkl


Joined: Dec 27, 2009
Points: 8

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #11   Dec 27, 2009 11:00 pm
I heard from my dealer new engines have emission requirements that cause them to run a little different than in past. My platinum deluxe 24 did the same thing when idling down. Make sure your choke is all the way off also.
mfduffy


Location: Wisconsin
Joined: Jan 8, 2008
Points: 50

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #12   Dec 29, 2009 9:33 am
I don't understand all the fuss on this one.  Is it affecting performace or damaging the equipment?  If so, it should be fixed.  Otherwise, turn it off and go inside for some hot coffee.  My Dad has a 15 year-old Ariens (obviously, Tecumseh L head).  He never does anything except change the oil and lube the auger shaft -- that's it.  Since day one, it has been nearly impossible to turn off the machine without a backfire.  You have to creep the throttle down ever so slowly and then MAYBE it won't backfire when you cut the spark.  I have a four year-old Simp Pro with B&S OHV.  It's backfired on me just twice.  However, because of my experience with the Tecumseh, I always carefully throttle down to stop the machine.  And I never cut the spark.  The two times: Once, I was starting to get ready for the season.  Machine started up, but I didn't get the choke off fast enough.  It sputtered, stopped, and backfired.  The other time was when I took the throttle down too fast, the machine stopped and backfired -- just like my Dad's.
borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #13   Dec 29, 2009 10:01 am
I've seen Briggs engines in other applications back fire just about every time they're shut off. I have a friend with a Toro lawn tractor that has a 16 h.p. single B&S engine. Big bang pretty much every time he shuts it down, no matter what method he uses. Personally, I think it might be residual fuel in the hot exhaust igniting as soon as it has enough oxygen mixed with it. The "EPA/lean carb setting" is a little mysterious to me. One would think that setting the carb extra lean would deprive the opportunity for fuel to accumulate and ignite. If the back firing is due to fuel in the exhaust, all it would take is a glowing metal shard or burr inside the exhaust to ignite it. It's not uncommon for parts of an exhaust system to glow cherry red after only a few minutes of use.
Tim123


Joined: Sep 14, 2009
Points: 5

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #14   Dec 29, 2009 7:09 pm
If I where in your position  I would, contact Ariens  and get your money back!!!!!!!! You paid $2000.00 .

Don't let another day go bye, Do you want to deal with this problem every time you use it . Time is running out. Don't live with buyers remorse you paid $2000.00

Axis


Joined: Dec 25, 2012
Points: 20

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #15   Feb 12, 2013 9:39 am
Add me to the list.

Bought the same model as the OP, US version and it's now two years old.  Finally had some snow so first time used.

It backfired shutting down and even changing speeds from, what's it called now.... rabbit speed to tortoise speed idle.

Will this damage the engine, or just scare the heck out of whoever's using it?
carlb


Joined: Nov 16, 2010
Points: 279

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #16   Feb 12, 2013 10:06 am
borat wrote:
I've seen Briggs engines in other applications back fire just about every time they're shut off. I have a friend with a Toro lawn tractor that has a 16 h.p. single B&S engine. Big bang pretty much every time he shuts it down, no matter what method he uses. Personally, I think it might be residual fuel in the hot exhaust igniting as soon as it has enough oxygen mixed with it. The "EPA/lean carb setting" is a little mysterious to me. One would think that setting the carb extra lean would deprive the opportunity for fuel to accumulate and ignite. If the back firing is due to fuel in the exhaust, all it would take is a glowing metal shard or burr inside the exhaust to ignite it. It's not uncommon for parts of an exhaust system to glow cherry red after only a few minutes of use.

What happens on these extra lean running engines is that the muffler gets very hot as a result of the lean burn condition of the engine.  If you turn off the engine at full throttle when the engine is hot all that is happening is that the spark is killed to the spark plug but fuel is still being dumped into the engine because the throttle is wide open.  The unburnt full is then pumped out of the cylinder into the burning hot muffler.  When enough air is mixed with the unburnt fuel BOOM.  This will not harm the engine in any way but running that lean might.  If you have a throttle idle the engine down slowly and let it sit for a minute or two at idle for the muffler to cool down some before turning it off.

Carl
hirschallan


If it aint broke don't fix it !!


Location: Northern Hills of NY
Joined: Aug 25, 2005
Points: 327

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #17   Feb 12, 2013 11:46 am
carlb wrote:
What happens on these extra lean running engines is that the muffler gets very hot as a result of the lean burn condition of the engine.  If you turn off the engine at full throttle when the engine is hot all that is happening is that the spark is killed to the spark plug but fuel is still being dumped into the engine because the throttle is wide open.  The unburnt full is then pumped out of the cylinder into the burning hot muffler.  When enough air is mixed with the unburnt fuel BOOM.  This will not harm the engine in any way but running that lean might.  If you have a throttle idle the engine down slowly and let it sit for a minute or two at idle for the muffler to cool down some before turning it off.

Carl


Great insite !!!!!

Loblolly77


Joined: Mar 17, 2010
Points: 32

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #18   Feb 13, 2013 9:20 am
Like the other said, the lean carb jetting, and it could be the ignition timing setting. Your dealer is never going to help you because the factory will void the warranty if the dealer changes what needs changing (carb tuning and maybe the timing) pus the legal issues.

The muffler could also have a catalytic converter inside- take off the muffler and look for a honeycomb plate or chamber inside. You can decide haw to handle that.

I stopped buying the newer OPE and only buy and fix older units. EPA is sheeiit.

hcbph1


Joined: Sep 20, 2012
Points: 16

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #19   Feb 13, 2013 10:41 am
I hear your concern.  Something someone did and mentioned the process on another forum for a clone engine was open up the jets.  He said that he couldn't get any other size jets for his engine so he took them out and used dental floss and some mild abrasive to open them up a little.  Said it got rid of all his surging and other issues relating to the engine.

Obviously I don't recommend this if you have a warranty but if it's out of warranty, it's sure worth looking into whether you can change out the jets or not, or be able to modify them a little.

trouts2




Location: Marlboro MA
Joined: Dec 8, 2007
Points: 1328

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #20   Feb 14, 2013 7:41 am
     There's no backfiring B&S OHV here at the moment to try the following on but it might work. 

     Get the machine to it's lowest idle then punch the primer to choke it off.  That might work.  It depends on what exactly is causing the backfiring. 

     The new B&S OHV designs backfire and the older properly running L head Tecumsehs never did.  The older usual reasons for backfiring don't seem to apply.  Your dealer suspected a very likely valve issue so replaced the crank.  Nothing changed.  Good running to spec B&S designs just backfire. 

     One possibility for the backfiring might be the design of the idle circuit and high speed for better compliance with the EPA.  The backfiring happens when the rpm is low and engine shut off i.e. coil grounded. 

    The engine is still spinning and the venturi speed slowed way down.   The carb then would be transitioning from high speed to the idle circuit or just on the idle circuit.  The new design may be dribbling the last gas from the high speed or pulling from the low which is just starting again to get enough gas to the head for a backfire with the spark grounded.  It's just the right amount of air, at the right flow and gas get to the head to fire.   Modifying that may make a change. 

    The air flow can be changed by putting on full choke.   That will also richen the mix.  The amount of gas can also be further changed by a few stiff pumps on the primer for a flooding condition.   A lot of gas will go to the head, less air and what gets there will be less atomized than usual.  The flooding might just work and quickly dry in the head and not interfere with a quick restart.   
snowday


Joined: Feb 6, 2013
Points: 11

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #21   Feb 14, 2013 11:02 am
i have a 2012 Ariens deluxe 30 with the 342CC engine.  Mine will backfire every single time i idle down from full open to idle.  Even trying to slowly return the throttle would almost alwasy result in a backfire.  I called my dealer and they call Ariens, they said they know of the problem and the ignition coil needs to be changed.
carlb


Joined: Nov 16, 2010
Points: 279

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #22   Feb 14, 2013 4:27 pm
I have a 16hp briggs on an lawn tractor and to help stop this type of problem they installed a solenoid where the bowl nut normally goes and a plunger plugs the jet as soon as the ignition is turned off to stop any additional fuel from entering the engine.  Personally I find it to be a pain in the ass.

Carl
Bill_H


Location: Maine
Joined: Jan 12, 2008
Points: 354

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #23   Feb 14, 2013 8:42 pm
carlb wrote:
I have a 16hp briggs on an lawn tractor and to help stop this type of problem they installed a solenoid where the bowl nut normally goes and a plunger plugs the jet as soon as the ignition is turned off to stop any additional fuel from entering the engine.  Personally I find it to be a pain in the ass.

Carl


Lots of new engines have those fuel shutoff solenoids now. Yet another thing that has to be tested whenever you have a problem.

#$&$^&$% you, EPA.

Who the hell let all the morning people run things?
carlb


Joined: Nov 16, 2010
Points: 279

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #24   Feb 15, 2013 8:58 am
This isn't even a new engine.  Its a 1992 briggs and stratton i/c gold made in the USA before they epa really had much to do with these small engines.  I am in the process of rebuilding this engine because the rings finally wore out after 20 years of very very hard use.  The rest of the engine inside looks like new  the bore looked great but a little glazed,  honed the cylinder put a new ring set on and new gaskets and it should be good to go.  I will be removing the solenoid and just put a regular bowl nut in its place because when i pulled the terminal off the bottom of the solenoid the tang on the solenoid broke off and I have bowl nuts laying around and the solenoid is around 40 dollars and not worth replacing.  I always throttle my OPE down before turning it off and don't expect to have a problem.  If it pops out of the exhaust when i shut it off i really don't care the muffler is pointing out of the front of the tractor anyway.
aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2434

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #25   Feb 20, 2013 7:39 pm
I had a Toro lawn tractor with a B&S engine and it does the same thing, always backfire during shut down.  The effect can be lessened by throttling down before shutting off, but it does so still.  Very annoying.

My other Toro push mower has a B&S side valve engine.  It rarely backfires.  However, it is difficult to restart once the engine is hot.

Both engines have been reliable so far, not knocking on B&S engines, but they are annoying engines that leaves me not too fond of them.  Seems like B&S just thinks they're good enough to leave them alone and not take care of these things.
slinger


Joined: Sep 22, 2010
Points: 158

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #26   Mar 10, 2013 10:36 am
My Ariens w/Briggs OHV engine did the same thing when new.  Just have to throttle down PAINFULLY slowly.  And always throttle down before shutoff.   It seemed to do it less and less as time (seasons) went on, or maybe I just have the procedure down by now! 
friiy


Location: Las Vegas, The Desert
Joined: Apr 12, 2008
Points: 600

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #27   Mar 11, 2013 9:23 pm
Depending on what year,engine costs, and size. engines may come with a main jet solenoid that cuts all fuel off at shutdown,   this is to reduce exaust and stop backfires.  Most or all need a battery to run the solenoid when starting.  I imagine that the solenoid can be found or modified to fit about any engine made by Briggs with a fuel bowl..

Good Luck,

Friiy

mkd55


Location: wisconsin
Joined: Dec 16, 2005
Points: 155

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #28   Mar 12, 2013 7:26 am
my 1986  8hp tecumseh ariens used to backfire on shut down also. by richening up the high speed mixture setting to help cool the combustion temps and idling it down for 20 - 30 sec's before shutdown it doesn't backfire anymore. i would guess that  newer engines with non adjustable mixture settings  are set to run lean from the factory and a cooldown period before turning the engine off would  be the only thing that might prevent backfiring. my 2002 koehler 2 cyl. 18 hp cub cadet lawn tractor will backfire if run hard and not idled before shutdown and i have learned thru the years to idle it down before shut off as well. the exhaust port area in the heads is hot enough to ignite unburned fuel and by idling the engine down it helps reduce temperatures and elliminate backfiring during shutdown.
carlb


Joined: Nov 16, 2010
Points: 279

Re: What to do with my backfiring Briggs Engine on My New Ariens Snowblower
Reply #29   Mar 12, 2013 8:55 am
There are two causes of backfiring in these engines.  One is the lean mixture that they now run due to EPA regulations causing the mufflers to get much hotter than a slightly richer running engine and the fact that raw unburnt fuel is injected into the very hot muffler when the engine is shutoff.   When you turn the key or engine switch off it stops the spark but fuel is still pulled into the engine as it is spinning down and the unburnt fuel is being sent into the muffler and this is what causes the backfire. 

If you have an engine with a fuel shutoff you can first idle the engine down and turn the fuel off.  This will allow the muffler to start to cool being the engine is idling and the engine will shut off on its own when the fuel in the bowl runs out.  This will not allow any unburnt fuel to get into the muffler thus no backfiring should happen.

If you dont have a fuel shutoff idling the engine down for a minute or two before shutting the engine off will also help greatly.

If you don't have an engine with a throttle but you do have a fuel shutoff, shutting off the fuel and letting the engine die due to lack of fuel should also work pretty well.

Carl
Replies: 1 - 29 of 29View as Outline
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