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Help me un-seize my snowthrower.

  1. #1
    Posting Freak number9's Avatar
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    Help me un-seize my snowthrower.


    So I ran my father-in-law's snowblower (You know why it was my father-in-law's? Because God hates me, that's why.) without oil for about 20 minutes, and it seized. No oil was my fault, I put Sta-Bil in it instead (because I used the pre-mixed gas from the wrong fucking gas can)... but I would like to fix it without costing an arm and a leg.

    The motor is a Tecumseh HSK630, it's a 98cc single-cyl two-stroke producing a whopping 3.5hp.

    Anyway, when it seized, it just stalled: it's not like it made horrible noises or anything. When I went to pull-start it again, I couldn't pull the cord more than a few inches (because it's seized, I guess) and then I felt like a right tit.

    So... how do I unseize the thing? Last night I propped the engine up so that the spark plug was pointing vertically, then pulled the plug & poured a bunch of Marvel Mystery Oil down the plug hole onto the top of the piston.

    Not knowing shit from shinola about two-strokes, what's the most likely result: that I seized the piston to the cylinder wall, or that I seized the crankshaft to whatever bearing surface it runs on?

    And, if I want to unseize it (so I can get the piston out to see how bad it is), how best to do that? Just pull on the starter cord until it moves? That doesn't seem like a good idea. It has electric start too, I could try that way.. but if it's seized, won't the starter motor just chew the fuck out of the ring gear on the flywheel? Or should I just pull the head off and then try pulling the cylinder (barrel?) off?

    To unstick the piston, should I get a long, hard rod, stick it down the spark plug hole & hit it with a mallet? Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope.

    #9
    resident Ass-clown

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  2. #2

    Help me un-seize my snowthrower.

    Hopefully, it's just a piston-to-wall seize. They are usually recoverable. The thing was probably making a eee,eee,eee noise before it stopped, no?

    Try to pull cycle it a couple of times now the oil has got to the rings, then try the electric start for a short burst. Taking the head and barrel off that thing will be very easy if you need to.

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  3. #3
    Posting Freak number9's Avatar
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    Help me un-seize my snowthrower.

    Thanks Degsy -- a new piston is $20 and a ring set is $10, so obviously that's what I'm hoping for. And a light hone of the cylinder walls? I really can't remember if it was making noise at all, it was pretty noisy on the street at the time because every man and his dog had their snowblower out (most schools/businesses called a snow day).

    I know fack-all about two strokes. How is the valvetrain "timed" to the crankshaft, or is it not timed at all? I mean, if I pull the head off, am I going to have to do the equivalent of (on a four-stroke) figuring out where TDC is?

    Also, how hard should I pull when trying to pull start it? Meaning, am I at risk of pulling the rope off the actuator (that I presume connects to the crank), or am I kidding myself that I can pull that hard? Insert jokes here --> .

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  4. #4
    Lifer
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    Help me un-seize my snowthrower.

    Take out any shear pins or disengage the auger(s) and try to pull it over, or turn it over with a wrench on the end of the crank. If you need to take it apart two strokes are simple - The air flow timing is controled by fixed ports in the cylinder - you can not change it. Mark the stator plate before taking any screws out if you need to remove it to make sure the ignition timing is in the ball park.

    More then likely just take the head and cylinder off, see if the piston is scuffed (replace and hone as needed). Rotate the crank a few times to see if there is a sticky spot or any blueing of the metal. If it spins smooth, use new gaskets and toss it back together.

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  5. #5
    Posting Freak number9's Avatar
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    Help me un-seize my snowthrower.

    Quote Originally Posted by SSearchVT View Post
    Take out any shear pins or disengage the auger(s) and try to pull it over, or turn it over with a wrench on the end of the crank. If you need to take it apart two strokes are simple - The air flow timing is controled by fixed ports in the cylinder - you can not change it. Mark the stator plate before taking any screws out if you need to remove it to make sure the ignition timing is in the ball park.

    More then likely just take the head and cylinder off, see if the piston is scuffed (replace and hone as needed). Rotate the crank a few times to see if there is a sticky spot or any blueing of the metal. If it spins smooth, use new gaskets and toss it back together.
    Thanks mate, you're a champ!

    Do you happen to have any generic pictures of where/what this stuff (augers, shear pins) is? I'll try finding some now myself, I just thought you might have some.. you know... lying around :p

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  6. #6
    Posting Freak number9's Avatar
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    Help me un-seize my snowthrower.


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  7. #7
    Lifer
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    Help me un-seize my snowthrower.

    Quote Originally Posted by number9 View Post
    Thanks mate, you're a champ!

    Do you happen to have any generic pictures of where/what this stuff (augers, shear pins) is? I'll try finding some now myself, I just thought you might have some.. you know... lying around :p
    Believe it or not - No, I don't have them... The auger is the part of the snowblower that spins and launches the snow. Look at the shaft in the center of it and you should find a really cheap looking pin. This is there so if you hit a Tonka toy buried in the snow (ask my Dad about it - he was pissed :-) ) the auger breaks free and limits the damage to the rest of the machine.

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  8. #8
    Hiding from BCT748 wylee's Avatar
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    Help me un-seize my snowthrower.

    Quote Originally Posted by SSearchVT View Post
    Believe it or not - No, I don't have them... The auger is the part of the snowblower that spins and launches the snow. Look at the shaft in the center of it and you should find a really cheap looking pin. This is there so if you hit a Tonka toy buried in the snow (ask my Dad about it - he was pissed :-) ) the auger breaks free and limits the damage to the rest of the machine.
    I don't think this little machine has a shear pin.

    It's a little powerlite or something similar right?


    EDIT: I gues some of these little suckers do have a standard auger....disregard my post.

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    Last edited by wylee; 12-21-07 at 05:47 PM.

  9. #9
    Posting Freak number9's Avatar
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    Help me un-seize my snowthrower.

    Quote Originally Posted by SSearchVT View Post
    Believe it or not - No, I don't have them... The auger is the part of the snowblower that spins and launches the snow. Look at the shaft in the center of it and you should find a really cheap looking pin. This is there so if you hit a Tonka toy buried in the snow (ask my Dad about it - he was pissed :-) ) the auger breaks free and limits the damage to the rest of the machine.
    Hmm, I'm not sure I understand. Do you mean it's the long axle to which the snow-throwing blades attach, or it's the equivalent of the drive-shaft that drives that axle?

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  10. #10
    Posting Freak number9's Avatar
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    Help me un-seize my snowthrower.

    Actually, I got it un-seized with only a light pull on the cord. The piston seems to be moving up & down the bore just fine (I took off the muffler & watched through the exhaust port).

    Should I pull the head off to look at the bores just to make sure, or just throw the muffler back on & go nuts?

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  11. #11
    Posting Freak number9's Avatar
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    Help me un-seize my snowthrower.

    I just pulled the top off, I wouldn't call it a "head" because it's not an OHV (is there such a thing as two-stroke OHV engines?). Really, it was just the cover for the top of the piston & the hole for the spark plug. The top of the piston looked 98% perfect to me, it was pretty black and there were a couple of old-looking pits where the black color was a little inconsistent. There was no obvious damage to the top of the piston at all.

    The cylinder looked about 95%. Right under the very top of the cylinder, about 2-2.5mm from the top, there was a small -- about half the size of a grain of rice? -- pitted area on the cylinder wall. I ran my finger over it and could feel something slightly "scratchy", but it was really very small in reality. My basement is poorly lit so I'll try and get a photo up tomorrow.

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