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Old 01-15-2011, 01:49 PM   #1
MooseMan
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Help with idle on Craftsman snowblower

Hey backyard motorheads...

I have this Craftsman snowblower I got from a neighbor moving out. Model 247.888160. Works fine, except the idle is terrible. Revs up and down at any throttle preset. Engine speed normalizes and runs fine when under load (auger engaged and throwing snow). Here's a video so you can hear it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWZQMjoMGI4

Any suggestions?

I live at ~7500 feet. Wouldn't expect altitude to be causing this sort of flux.

Thanks!
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:39 PM   #2
Goodview
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Re: Help with idle on Craftsman snowblower

Most motors that size are governed by a 'wind vane' that connects by a spring to the throttle. If somebody has gotten some lube on the shaft of the vane, or if the spring is just dragging against something, the idle will go wild. It's probably a Tecumseh, but the throttle part is much the same on Briggs & Scrapiron. My Craftsman about 24 years old and was owned by a guy who claimed he only blew snow on Sunday.

Yeah, I know.....

If a visual proves the spring is OK (don't stretch it) six or so screws and the blower cover is off, then remove the little shaft and clean it as well by running a Q-tip through the plastic vane's hole. Use WD-40 as a solvent or maybe just alcohol cuz it should be un-lubricated when you're done. Use a heavy toothbrush, air hose and various poking tools (bicycle spoke) to clean out any oily debris that's down in between the engine's cooling vanes.

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Old 01-15-2011, 02:58 PM   #3
MooseMan
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Re: Help with idle on Craftsman snowblower

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodview View Post
Most motors that size are governed by a 'wind vane' that connects by a spring to the throttle. If somebody has gotten some lube on the shaft of the vane, or if the spring is just dragging against something, the idle will go wild. It's probably a Tecumseh, but the throttle part is much the same on Briggs & Scrapiron. My Craftsman about 24 years old and was owned by a guy who claimed he only blew snow on Sunday.

Yeah, I know.....

If a visual proves the spring is OK (don't stretch it) six or so screws and the blower cover is off, then remove the little shaft and clean it as well by running a Q-tip through the plastic vane's hole. Use WD-40 as a solvent or maybe just alcohol cuz it should be un-lubricated when you're done. Use a heavy toothbrush, air hose and various poking tools (bicycle spoke) to clean out any oily debris that's down in between the engine's cooling vanes.

Thanks! I will look into that.
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:02 PM   #4
MooseMan
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Re: Help with idle on Craftsman snowblower

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodview View Post
If a visual proves the spring is OK (don't stretch it) six or so screws and the blower cover is off, then remove the little shaft and clean it as well by running a Q-tip through the plastic vane's hole. Use WD-40 as a solvent or maybe just alcohol cuz it should be un-lubricated when you're done. Use a heavy toothbrush, air hose and various poking tools (bicycle spoke) to clean out any oily debris that's down in between the engine's cooling vanes.
OK. I've located the spring, which looks to be in decent condition. So assuming you are correct and that the vane is in need of cleaning. When you say take the blower cover off, do you mean the flywheel cover where the pull-start is attached? Or are you referring to something else?

Here's what I'm looking at

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Old 01-15-2011, 05:24 PM   #5
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Re: Help with idle on Craftsman snowblower

That is a very common issue with the Tecumseh engines. Under a load they usually work well. Live with it or try replacing the carburetor.
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:09 PM   #6
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Re: Help with idle on Craftsman snowblower

If the above suggestions don't work, try some stabil in your fuel. Ethanol really messes with small engines.
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:00 PM   #7
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Re: Help with idle on Craftsman snowblower

I notice that kind of fluctuation on idle with my Craftsman (looks pretty much identical to the one in the video; purchased 2003), but not to that degree and only for a minute or so while warming up. And the issue disappears under load. Once it's warm, the idle is steady as a rock.

I would endorse the Stabil suggestion. Maybe a 1/4-ounce in the tank with a fill-up. It's a good idea to have your fuel Stabil-ed in the gas can anyway.
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:01 PM   #8
MooseMan
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Re: Help with idle on Craftsman snowblower

Quote:
Originally Posted by bikerbudmatt View Post
I notice that kind of fluctuation on idle with my Craftsman (looks pretty much identical to the one in the video; purchased 2003), but not to that degree and only for a minute or so while warming up. And the issue disappears under load. Once it's warm, the idle is steady as a rock.

I would endorse the Stabil suggestion. Maybe a 1/4-ounce in the tank with a fill-up. It's a good idea to have your fuel Stabil-ed in the gas can anyway.
Good advice all around. I'll throw some of that in there... I've also put some (sea-foam?) through. But am going to try and locate the vane. Not that it really matters, the darn thing works. But it's the principal of the matter!!!

While I'm in there it's half tempting to tweak the arm that connects the carb and get a few more RPM's out of the thing for those big snowfalls. Got to be careful, but hey that's what the Amsoil is for, right?
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:10 PM   #9
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Re: Help with idle on Craftsman snowblower

It could also be a clog in one of the jets in the carb. If you can remove the carb and take the bowl off of the bottom and take a paper clip or a pin and try to clean them out. Also try some carb cleaner and blow some air through them. That might work also.... Good Luck
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Old 01-16-2011, 05:01 PM   #10
Goodview
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Re: Help with idle on Craftsman snowblower

After seeing the photo, I think yours has the governor inside the crankcase, not it the air stream.

I can spot the lever on the right side of your float bowl, which loads the spring. If you're low on oil you may have the same idle problem.


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