3HP Toro engine start

Its snowing and there's 6 inches on the sidewalk with more to come. As usual its a bitch to try to start the gas powered snowblower at the start of the season. Its a 3hp Toro with the fiber auger, a small model but ideal for what I want to do.
Cleaning the spark plug didn't solve the problem. So I used a paint stripper to heat up the cylinder block since I already had the front panel off to reach the spark plug. It started and spat out a lot of smoke, cleared all the excess fuel and perhaps last season's stuff as well. Did my snow clearing and the blower ran for 30 minutes without trouble and ran with a clean exhaust.
Its just below freezing now and sometime later in the season the temperature can drop to minus 20 or minus 30 deg C and I will have a problem starting the motor again. Last year I took in into the house to warm it up and of course there is a wet mess on the landing I would like to avoid this season.
My solution is to take advantage of the 3/4 inch restrictor nozzle attachment that came with the paint stripper to heat the engine block without having to unscrew the metal control panel. So I eyeballed a position over the engine block top, but away from the spak plug rubber cable, and drilled an enlarged 3/4 inch hole that will let this heater nozzle snuck into the hole. So far it looks pretty good. I'll let the snow blower freeze as usual and try out my hot restart for the next job.
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Buy new gasoline. Put the old stuff in your car's gas tank. (last year's gas goes flat, don't know why.) Change the oil. use 5W30. Clean or replace the breaker points (if equipped). Check the gap from flywheel to coil. Should be about the thickness of a matchbook cover, or spark plug box cardboard.
Good luck, let us know how it worked out.
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Preheating the engine is a great idea. Another help for small engines that stand idle for a long while is gas stabilizer added to the gas in the storage can. From Sears, HD, etc. Also, you surely are familiar with starter fluid sprayed into the air intake before starting. That's the old standby for starting a stiff or worn engine on a cold winter day. But it will work better if you warm the engine first.
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Won't work as there is a weather housing covering everything and won't let me access the engine. I suppose this design prevents users from getting scalded by a hot engine or the mechanism getting snow packed. The only cutcout is for the outside face of the muffler. That's why I had to unscrew the metal panel that forms the control panel in order to reach the spark plug. Since the 3/4" hole is cut into this metal I don't have to worry about the hot heater nozzle melting the plastic weather housing..
The controls are the primer bulb, the ignition ON-OFF and a choke lever. No throttle or clutch. The chances of flooding the engine are pretty good on a cold start and that compounds the startup problem.
Tried the start today and hot dang it works like a dream.
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Those primer bulbs do get hard or leak causing starting problems. Also either run it dry of gas at the end of the season or use gas stabilizer in a full fuel tank and run it long enough to get stabilzed fuel into the carb. A fogging spray in the cylinder prior to storage will keep rust from forming too.
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Leaving gas in an unused machine leads to varnish buildup in the carburator. It is best to store without gas. Check your choke operation. You carb is probably partialy clogged, primer not working, not allowing enough gas for a cold start. An Electric stripper to heat the motor? Gas fumes ignite easily, a good way to burn your garage down. Fix your machine right so it works .
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On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 09:42:52 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

Used to fix equipment for a living - office machines, big iron computers, oilfield equipment, and just about anything that has a screw or nut and needs juice to run. I believe I know what I am doing. I still have all my body parts and no health problems.
I posted my solution because I think its pretty neat and simple. The heat plays on the top of the engine and even at max it won't come close to normal the working temperature of a hot engine. There is not enough wattage output from the stripper gun and the outside air is winter cold. There are no leaked gas fumes. I do take the precaution not to run a gas engine inside a garage and risk carbon monoxide poisoning, or at minumum, noxious gasses from fuel combustion.
All I need to do is stick the heater into the panel hole, switch it on to warm the engine block for a minute or so and I can start right away. Can't ask for anything better.
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