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Starting Neglected 2-Cycle Equipment #5281985 12/01/19 12:40 PM
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Astro_Guy Offline OP
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I am being gifted a 2-cycle snow blower of vintage 1996. It wasn't ever used a lot, but I think it hasn't been started in at least six years, possibly ten. Odds are pretty good that it was left with gas in the tank at that time. One can only imagine what might be left in the carburetor or fuel tank. My thoughts were

  • check to see if there is anything liquid in the fuel tank, then remove it.
  • Add a little premixed Ethanol free gas.
  • Hit it with a good dose of starting fluid.
  • Cross my fingers and attempt to start.

Does this sound like a reasonable plan, or should I try other things like soaking the tank with some serious fuel system cleaner first? Pull the plug and clean it up first? Other???

This won't be my primary snow blower, but I was always impressed with the way it would clean right down to the surface. The auger is equipped with rubber tipped blades that actually contact the surface. If I can get it running I will use it for the final passes afer the heavy snow is gone.


'01 Volvo V70XC, 247k, 5W-30 M1 EP
'16 Accord, 45k, 0W-20 M1 EP
Re: Starting Neglected 2-Cycle Equipment [Re: Astro_Guy] #5282003 12/01/19 12:58 PM
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Dave9 Offline
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Definitely dump old fuel. Premixed ethanol free is not a bad idea but it's not something that this event in particular needs. You may need a carb rebuild kit. Seals and diaphragms can harden with age, particularly if the equipment is not being used, but first thing's first, to just change the fuel and see how it runs.

Some people would first put a squirt of 2 cycle oil in the cylinder and turn it by hand a few times in case the cylinder has corroded while sitting.

Otherwise, it's still an old 2 cycle. Odds are good that sooner rather than later you'll need a primer bulb and fuel lines. If it has a fuel filter, fuel probably sat in that and gummed up too. "IF" you can take the muffler off without stripping the bolt holes (leave it on for now if it resists your efforts), check for carbon buildup on the exhaust port and clean that if needed - need not be spotless, just not obstructed much.

You may need to pull it all apart as old parts succumb to the stresses of use again, but first I would inspect the tank to see how it looks, maybe put some Techron fuel system cleaner in the first tank of fuel at double the normal rate prescribed for cars, which is one ounce per gallon, so two ounces per gallon, and run the entire tank through it in one session. If it runs rough, let it keep running to clean it out a bit before jumping into taking it apart.

Sometimes they just need the carb/air cleaner bolt tightened down because the seals compressed and caused an intake leak. Don't overlook the simple things.

Last edited by Dave9; 12/01/19 01:06 PM.
Re: Starting Neglected 2-Cycle Equipment [Re: Astro_Guy] #5282008 12/01/19 01:07 PM
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You could put fresh gas in it and see if it will run, that's a decent place to start but there is a good chance it won't and you will have to get that gas back out.

Check for spark and if there is spark spray some gas in the carb and see if it will run. That way you know that any problems it has are fuel related.

You are most likely going to have to clean the carb at minimum. Even if it does start with fresh gas, it probably won't run right after sitting for so long. A lot of the time it is a carb issue that causes old machines to be mothballed.


99 Toyota Tercel CE 5EFE/C151
Re: Starting Neglected 2-Cycle Equipment [Re: Astro_Guy] #5282009 12/01/19 01:07 PM
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SatinSilver Offline
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Originally Posted by Astro_Guy
I am being gifted a 2-cycle snow blower of vintage 1996.


What brand is it?

Re: Starting Neglected 2-Cycle Equipment [Re: Astro_Guy] #5282019 12/01/19 01:17 PM
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Ethanol gas is a better cleaner than non-ethanol. try that first with some 2 stroke oil.

Pinch and wiggle all of the hoses and replace the ones with cracks. Make sure the tank is clean. Give her a go.

When your arm gets tired, remove the carb and see if it matches a cheap one from Ebay. Many people have good luck with the cheap ebay ones. usually cheaper and less time consuming than rebuilding the old one that might have corroded metal parts inside.

Re: Starting Neglected 2-Cycle Equipment [Re: Astro_Guy] #5282020 12/01/19 01:17 PM
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Warstud Offline
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Remove Spark Plug and pour a bit of oil in hole and pull cord after 10 minutes. Then try starting it.

Re: Starting Neglected 2-Cycle Equipment [Re: Astro_Guy] #5282028 12/01/19 01:29 PM
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Audios Offline
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Definitely get something down the plug hole to free things up. Ive had luck with running a solid dose of a cleaner with my initial fill and freeing things up


2002 VW Golf TDI-T5 10/30
2007 Mercedes GL320 CDI- M1 0/30 ESP
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Re: Starting Neglected 2-Cycle Equipment [Re: Warstud] #5282031 12/01/19 01:33 PM
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Astro_Guy Offline OP
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Originally Posted by SatinSilver
What brand is it?
Yard Machines maybe? Something MTD for sure.
Originally Posted by danez_yoda
Ethanol gas is a better cleaner than non-ethanol.
Ethanol free Tru-Fuel is all I have on hand or use in my 2-cycle toys. I also have some Redline SL-1 on hand and could run a pure dose of that thru and let it soak for a week or two.
Originally Posted by danez_yoda
When your arm gets tired...
Electric start - not to worry. Thus my comment about running a pure does of SL-1 in it. It would be very easy to do.



'01 Volvo V70XC, 247k, 5W-30 M1 EP
'16 Accord, 45k, 0W-20 M1 EP
Re: Starting Neglected 2-Cycle Equipment [Re: Audios] #5282033 12/01/19 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Audios
Definitely get something down the plug hole to free things up. Ive had luck with running a solid dose of a cleaner with my initial fill and freeing things up
Okay - easy enough considering I want a look at the plug anyway.


'01 Volvo V70XC, 247k, 5W-30 M1 EP
'16 Accord, 45k, 0W-20 M1 EP
Re: Starting Neglected 2-Cycle Equipment [Re: Warstud] #5282035 12/01/19 01:35 PM
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Drain the fuel from the fuel bowl also. You can tell a lot by removing and looking at the fuel bowl.

Re: Starting Neglected 2-Cycle Equipment [Re: Astro_Guy] #5282137 12/01/19 03:38 PM
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cronk Offline
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Avoid starting fluid in a 2 stroke engine, remember the fuel is also the oil, and starting fluid has no lubricant in it.
Remove the spark plug and give it a few squirts of oil down the cylinder, 2 stroke oil if you have it, but any oil is better than nothing. Crank it over slowely to give the cylinder a coating of oil.
I'd get any old gas thats in it out, put a small amount of fresh gas in the tank, slosh it around and dump that out to rinse the tank.
Check fuel lines and primer bulb for cracks.
With fresh fuel/oil mix and a new sparkplug, try to start it.

May need a carb if its sat that long

Last edited by cronk; 12/01/19 03:40 PM.

2008 Ford F350
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Amsoil lubes and filters!
Re: Starting Neglected 2-Cycle Equipment [Re: cronk] #5282152 12/01/19 03:52 PM
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FastGame Offline
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Originally Posted by cronk
Avoid starting fluid in a 2 stroke engine, remember the fuel is also the oil, and starting fluid has no lubricant in it.


The starting fluid's for sale where I live say upper cylinder lube and list for use in outboard motors and chainsaws.

Re: Starting Neglected 2-Cycle Equipment [Re: Astro_Guy] #5282238 12/01/19 05:34 PM
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my aunts 1986 toro S620 snow thrower responded to starting fluid + a new spark plug , check manufactures sites + you tubes. 2 strokes are simple but their intense vibration is hard on them, + carbs with diaphragms can have issues but some repair kits are available as things change little over the years.

Last edited by benjy; 12/01/19 05:35 PM.
Re: Starting Neglected 2-Cycle Equipment [Re: Astro_Guy] #5282338 12/01/19 07:42 PM
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BrianF Offline
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In my lawnboy blower I just unkooked the fuel line and drained out the oil and sludge, flushed the tank with gas oil mix and let some drain out the fuel line. I refilled it with fresh mix and got it started.

This was after I inspected it for cracked lines.


2006 Trailblazer LT. QSUD, Fram Ultra.
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