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I've acquired a Toro 824 snowblower (like most things free) of questionable background and upkeep.

Day One.
Blower wouldn't fire up at all. Previous owner had filled tank with gas.
(Again like anything free, gasoline of unknown quality or age).

Day 2
Replaced spark plug, gave a quick hit of starting fluid inside compression chamber (through empty spark plug hole). Engine fired up, but ran very briefly 1 - 2 seconds.

Day 3

Cleaned out gas tank, checked/cleaned fuel shut off, removed float bowl from carburetor. Fuel dripped out, not what you would call "flow".

A few questions:

1. Does the fact that the engine fired briefly with starting fluid eliminate electrical problems. I am getting a spark if engines fires, right?

2. What kind of fuel should be coming from open float bowl? Drip or more of a stream?

3. Will old gas really prevent a machine from operating? I thought maybe poor detonation or a rough idle, but total failure?

4. Are there other, more obvious variables that I am missing?

Thanks in advance for the help.
 

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The fact that it ran would signify fuel trouble.

The first thing I would do it to drain the tank.

I think the reason that you got no fuel inside of the carb and correct me if Im wrong is this.
When you pulled the bottom of the carb apart it is a diaphram type.
When that it removed look at the bttom of the carb and you will see a brass nut like 5/16 in size.
Unscrew that being careful not to loose the little spring inside.
Use a little spray carb cleaner to shoot through from where the fuel line connects and out the little hole.
If it is really plugged you can use a bread tie with the plastic melted off to clear it out.
Reassemble with fresh gas and 2 stroke oil and give it a try.
 

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First of all, the 824 has a Tecumseh engine with a float-type carburetor, so most of Pat's post above is not applicable for this model.

If you drop the bowl on the carburetor, there should be a steady stream of fuel coming through. (Enough to fill a little tuna can in a few seconds). If not, there's definitely a blockage somewhere. You can narrow that down by removing the fuel line from the carburetor (with the fuel shut off). Then open the shutoff, there should be a solid steady stream of fuel coming through. If there, is the blockage is inside the carburetor, if not, the blockage is either in the tank, fuel lines, or fuel shutoff.

On an engine like that, old fuel will make it very difficult or impossible to start. Priming it with fresh gas will usually get it started, once started it will usually run OK. And yes, because you primed it and it fired, you can usually write off ignition problems and concentrate somewhere else.

I think it's simply not getting enough gas.
 
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