I picked up this free vintage hunk of Americana a few years ago, and while it ran, it needed work.

It would start with gas poured down the spark plug hole, and run OK, but once I put it to work that first winter it started backfiring, SHOOTING FLAMES, and generally not working well.

So I parked it.

The next spring I ordered a new $2 Champion spark plug, a $15 Chinese carb from Amazon, put them on, and was amazed to find after a few pumps of the primer, it ran FIRST PULL. Yay. We got enough snow last winter for me to use it, and it was running beautifully until I got to the apron of my driveway. For some reason, every time it was on an angle it was refusing to keep running.

I’d pull it back onto the sidewalk, get it running, and then again it would quit. Then the idler spring for the blower drive broke, AND it stopped wanting to start altogether.

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So I parked it. Again.

Last week I decided to dig into it, figuring that either the China Carb was sticking due to the ethanol in our gas (per some rumors I read online, so I took the bowl apart and made sure everything was clean and moving properly), or that the fuel shutoff-filter-fuel shutoff-fuel line to carb setup it came with was causing an issue with fuel delivery.

So I put the carb bowl back on, put some gas in it, turned the FIRST shutoff valve on... and it started dripping gas. OK, no big deal, opened the second valve and the line that snakes across the motor starts DUMPING gas. Hrm. I think I found another issue.

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So I took it all apart, found a cut in the line where it was rubbing on the motor (she vibrates A LOT), and replaced it. I also replaced the shutoff valve and grommet with just one new one, and deleted the filter since the shutoff valve has one built in that sits in the tank.

Opened the valve, had no leaks, primed the carb, and again it started on the first pull. Let it run till it was warm (sorry neighbors, its loud) and readjusted the carb. She runs like a champ, even with the janky choke controls I made.

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I re-bent the idler spring, did some other fine tuning, and ran it again. Started right up and ran great. I shut off the gas, let it run the carb dry, and parked it.

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Hopefully we get some decent snow this winter so I can see if I can break something ELSE on it.