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toro snowblower won't start

This is a discussion on toro snowblower won't start within the Small Engines forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I have a Toro snowblower model #38040. It has a Tecumseh engine. I took the spark plug out and it


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Old 11-14-2008, 05:51 PM   #1
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I have a Toro snowblower model #38040. It has a Tecumseh engine. I took the spark plug out and it was dry. I put a little gas in the socket but still won't start or even cough. It does have a good spark. All the limit switches are set ok. There is a 120v electric start and it works great. Help?

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Old 11-14-2008, 06:50 PM   #2
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Hi & welcome to TSF.

OK - 1st off - if an engine has spark, fuel and compression - all at the correct time - it just has to start. So if your's won't - one of those must be missing.

So as a 1st suggestion - have you tried a little ether ("Easy start" / "Aerostart" spray etc) spray into the air intake - see if that gives you some indication that it is even trying to start. (Whilst tipping fuel into the plug hole works - you need to be very careful and only use a very small amount, otherwise you will hopelessly flood the combustion chamber at the engine wont start ).

If the ether in the air intake doesn't work - then, even though you say you have spark - maybe the plug is old / sick and is failing under compression - so unless you are confident that the plug is in good condition - then for a couple of $s - I would try a need (manufacturers spec) plug.

Lastly, is your fuel any good?? - is it relatively fresh?? - or has it been hanging around in the tank // tin for months & months??? Stale fuel can also be an issue with difficult starting - although I would expect at least a 1/2 hearted cough / splutter - even if it wont run

Given you have a mains voltage (120v) electric starter - then the engine should be turning over easily fast enough to get it to start - so if none of these suggestions get you going - we are going to have to look at more serious causes.

Let us know how you get on

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Old 11-15-2008, 07:03 AM   #3
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Good time of year to get the snowblower running..... never wait til you actually need it, that might prove too late.

Do as MrChooks suggests for starters.

I'm showing your model was manufactured between '78-'87. Is this correct??

I have seen in rare instances where a spark plug looks like new but fails to ignite the fuel in the combustion chamber. How are you verifying spark??

At any time did you find something unexpected buried in the snow that stopped the motor?? If this has happened at any time, you will need to check the flywheel key..... it is made to "shear" in the event of sudden engine stoppage.

Chooks has you well on your way and his advice should be followed... I only wanted to make a few comments.
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:52 AM   #4
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Strange. I had a Toro #38014, may it RIP, that seem to had the same problem as you have- would not run, even on ether. The plug was brand new. Compression felt good.

One thing I really noticed was the color of the spark, not blue but more of a "straw" colored. Whilst the plug was firing out side the engine, I am thinking that it would not fire under compression. Compression changes the way the plug fires.

The fly wheel and pin were good, in it.

(For those interested my I said Rest In Peace (RIP) is because I used the wrong tool to remove the fly wheel - I knew better and it broke)

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Old 11-16-2008, 07:44 AM   #5
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Thanks for the information. I'll get to it first thing Monday. No stores open here today being Sunday.
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:07 AM   #6
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When did Sunday have any bearing on a business being closed?? Although I believe that the Sabbath should be observed, that does not close many stores in my area.

Many auto stores will carry parts for your snowblower.... you do not have to go to a Toro dealer or garden supply to find them. My first stop for any auto part or equipment part is NAPA..... I worked for an indepent "jobber" in the late 60's early 70's.
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Old 11-16-2008, 01:11 PM   #7
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ezgoit - just a tip for the future once you get your snow blower going again (& as I live in Sydney - where a really cold winter day is 45 deg (F) - I am no expert on snow blowers - here, they are about as handy as a fly-screen on a submarine!!)

But with all my small engine equipment - when I am about to put it to bed for the off season - whether it be my shredder, mower edger etc - I ALWAYS run the fuel bowl dry. I have installed fuel taps on all my gear so that on completion of the last use for a while, I just park the piece of equipment - turn off the fuel supply and run the engine at about 1/2 throttle till it dies due to lack of fuel.

I was taught to do this years ago, and the logic is that it stops old fuel evaporating, waxing and leaving deposits in the carb. The float and jets inside the carb are all very delicate and it takes only a tiny amount of muck / residue to screw them up - hence when you go to use the engine in a few months time - they wont go

Anyway - just a tip - but the process has always worked for me
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Old 11-16-2008, 02:11 PM   #8
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Re my earlier post on shut downs before an extended period of "non-use" I forgot to mention one last thing (I am getting sillier as I get older ) -

Once the engine has stopped - pull the engine through until you can feel it is well into the compression stroke (you can feel this by noticeable increase in resistance to turning the engine over - but you need to use the manual / recoil start - not the electric start). Once in the compression stroke - BOTH inlet & exhaust valves are closed and that helps prevent any corrosion setting up on the valve seats whilst the engine is sitting waiting for the next seasons use.
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Old 12-06-2008, 01:50 PM   #9
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ive just gone through this myself. the spark may look strong, but may not be strong enough. what you want to see it a blue spark, and hear a snap when it fires. check the ignition points gap and condition, and the condenser.

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