12-19-2014 9-29-35 AM

Since the last “Maine” post was about snow blowers, I decided to do another one on the same topic. What’s the fun in shooting dog turds through the snow blower if the snow blower isn’t running right?

The first time I tried to do some mechanicin’ on my snow blower beyond an oil change, I thought: How hard can it be? I can work on cars, change tires, change oil, and all that jazz. This will be a snap.

The mission: Pull the carburetor, clean it, put it back on, fire up the snow blower, and listen to her purr.

This snow blower was purchased used by a friend. I got the snow blower from said friend in exchange for a laptop (that’s a different story about that trade). Even after two owners, me being #3, the Toro was still in good shape. The engine misfired some and didn’t like to idle at a low RPM after I had it for a couple of years. No biggie.

Prior to the snow flying a few years ago, I decided I would fix the issue and clean the carb. I watched some online videos that made it look easy. I’ve got this.

I find the carburetor and didn’t have the torx-type-screwdrivers-whatever-they’re-called-thingies to remove it, so I make a trip to Lowes. I return with the proper torx doohickies and get to work. I put vinyl gloves on, get gasoline all over them when draining the carb, and remove the carb.

My carburetor looked nothing like the one in the videos I watched. Crap!

I didn’t know what the parts were in this thing. It looked fairly clean and not grubby like in the videos. The more I mess with this thing, the dirtier I’m getting by way of dripping gasoline, smearing it from my hands to my arms, and stepping in it.

I finally give up (briefly), go inside, grab the netbook, bring it out to the shed with me, and pull up the online videos. Step by step, or rather second by second, I play the video back while I inspect the carb in my hands. This isn’t going well.

My carb is an alien life form from Mars and nothing like the video. CRAP!! Snow storm is due to hit the next day. I’m in trouble.

I start looking for more videos for my carb, and come up empty. Swearing ensues.

In my peripheral vision I see something small fall in the grass, but I don’t know what it is or where it went. I look at the carb in my hand and a major piece of it falls off. I’m screwed. I can’t find the other little piece…still not sure something even fell, but I get the impression the little piece was important because the other half of the carb keeps falling off. I’m thinking that’s not supposed to happen.

This must be one of those parts that’s “extra” of course. I don’t really NEED to have it, right?

I rig the carb, manually holding it together while I shove it back on the snow blower and torx wrench-screwdriver that thing back on. Looks good from where I’m standing. I prime the engine and fire it up.

Gasoline squirts out in a steady stream from the primer button.

That DEFINITELY shouldn’t happen. I start laughing. My laughing gets harder. I finally get my brain in gear to get something to catch the gasoline spilling on the grass and turn the engine off. I’m laughing while catching the gas still coming out of the primer button even though the engine is off.

Finally the stream of gas stops, and I am now certain that the lost part wasn’t an unnecessary extra. I resort to tearing up the grass, pulling it out of the ground, and holy cow, I find the little brown rod that slipped out. It slides perfectly back into the carb and holds the two parts together. I get the Martian carb back on the snow blower and fire it back up.

No gasoline shooting out of the primer button this time. Good.

The engine is maybe slightly less rough running. I’ll take it. I at least have it running well enough for the impending storm.

I get a new carb ordered and installed once it arrives a week or so later. The Toro purred in a way it has never purred for me before. I did keep the old carb just in case I ever need to remove the newer one and that little bar holding the two Martian parts together decides to take another hike.



Image from sxc.hu