Snowblower electric start


A friend who does snow has a Sears 8.5hp 27" 2 stage snowblower with 120v electric starter. It doesnt seem to have an option to put on a 12v battery for the starter, since its commercial use off a truck pull starting is difficult. Is there an easy way to hook up a battery or could a inverter off the truck be used, its a large starter for a snowblower, I dont know what amps it takes but could a inverter handle a surge load like a starter and would the magneto burn our charging a battery continously. It has an electric headlight option so its made to do some charging. Its commercial use getting started maybe 20 times a day when it snows, its a hard machine to start so the load and use would be great. Why do they even make 8.5hp 800$ snowblowers you have to pull start, I guess to save money.
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I'll bet an inverter would do it, you might look here: http://www.invertersrus.com / I'm mister overkill, but the top of the line ones are over $400. you could give them a call & see where the sweet spot is for your application. I have a little motor generator 12v in 120v out, that I use with an electric chain saw, but that is old school. There used to be a kit to put an electrical outlet on your vehicle alternator for running power tools, but I haven't seen one since battery powered tools became popular.
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Let's start with what we know. The starter is made to plug in to any 120V outlet, which means it must draw less than 15 amps. I would bet that it draws a lot less than that. Given that you can get 12volt inverters that are 1500watts or more, means that it should work. I'd start by measuring how many amps the starter draws. Or if you're real lucky, maybe there is a rating label on it that you can find or info in the manual, website, etc.
The magneto charging question leads me to believe that you want to mount a battery and inverter to the snowblower. While in theory I would think that it would work, that wouldn't seem to be the easiest solution to me. Why not just use the inverter connected to the truck to start it? Once started and warmed up, mine will re-start with one easy pull of the recoil. It's the initial start with a cold engine at 20F that is harder.
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On Fri, 1 Jan 2010 05:38:51 -0800 (PST), ransley

Why not just have the snowblower fixed so it starts on one easy pull like everyone elses? Mine is about the same size as what you describe, and has the electric starter. I never use it. If you don;t have the strength to pull start an 8.5 hp snowblower, you don't have the strength needed to operate it safely, either.
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote in wrote:

Speak for yourself, Tarzan. Maybe I'll drive over to your house and shove your snowthrower into a snowbank, with you still hanging onto the handles. Then I'll whack you on each butt cheek as I operate the plow from side to side. lol.
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On Fri, 01 Jan 2010 09:42:03 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Not necessarily true. My bad shoulder made starting my big blower a problem last year, but operating it was never an issue. I replaced it with a smaller blower that is easier to start, but takes more work over-all.
I'd be looking at putting a 12 volt starter on it instead of the 115 - with no charging system. I'd plug it into the truck for charging. The battery doesn't need to be very big.. Tecumseh does make 12 volt starters but I'm not sure if the tooth pitch is the same.
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On 01/01/2010 08:38 AM, ransley wrote:

I have a Yardman 8.5hp with 120 volt electric start Tecumseh. Why don't you park it near an outlet? I have an extension cord out to my shed that works great. It also starts equally well with the pull cord; one pull and it starts. Maybe you need a tune up.
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Van Chocstraw wrote:

Yeah, a really long extension cord that reaches to where all his customers are.
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On 01/01/2010 10:53 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

pull start it.
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wrote:

Why not replace the 120V motor with a 12V motor. I have both types in my scrap motor bin and they both mount identically.
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Like others have said, get it fixed. I also have a 9 hp with the 120 electric start and pull start. It has a primer bulb that I push about 3-4 times, put the choke on full, flip the on/off to ON, then one EASY pull and it is running. Snow blowers are built to start in cold weather ( rich fuel settings, heavier flywheel, igniton timings, valve timing and etc). I think it is operator error or the snow blower needs repaired. Fixing it would be cheaper than putting in a battery, starter switch and the labor to do it, if it can be done.
About the converter..........again what would it cost as compared to the cost of getting the blower fixed? If it would work at all.
Hank
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On Fri, 01 Jan 2010 05:38:51 -0800, ransley wrote:

Who makes the engine? Wouldn't surprise me if that same engine isn't used in all sorts of equipment, and there isn't a 12V starter available on one that would just bolt right in. The simple solution would be to just put the motor on and jump power straight to the starter's terminal from a nearby car battery (that's what I do with my lawn tractor)
If you wanted to get fancy you could always add a battery holder, solenoid, key-start etc. :-)
cheers
Jules
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On 1/1/2010 7:38 AM, ransley wrote:

As others have mentioned an inverter will work.
I would question the wisdom of spending money on that snow blower. I'm not knocking Sears, but their products aren't really built for commercial use. I have owned many Sears products and have always been satisfied with them. I would not hesitate to recommend their products to a friend for average use.
A homeowner would likely get many years of satisfactory use out of that machine. I would be surprised if the thing lasted the season being used twenty times a day. I live in western Canada and have a 300' driveway. Your friend will probably use that machine as much in one day as I would use my snowblower in a year.
If your friend is just trying to make a few bucks on the side then go for it. If he is trying to run a successful business maybe he should be looking at equipment built for the task.
LdB
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LdB wrote:

For snowblowers, Sears = MTD, last time I looked. Like you said, good enough for homeowner, but not likely to live long used for full shifts. I'm quite happy with my Toro-labeled MTD (24" 2-stage), but my driveway is only 20x60.
-- aem sends...
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On Fri, 1 Jan 2010 05:38:51 -0800 (PST), ransley

I doubt an inverter/battery on the blower itself would make sense. I'd start by putting synthetic oil in the thing, that should make it easier to start. If you still want to keep using it after that and need easier starting, small generators are made that are two cycle and can be carried in one hand. I'd spend the money on one of those, then you could use it for other things.
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On Friday, January 1, 2010 8:38:51 AM UTC-5, ransley wrote:

I have added lead acid batteries and 12v starters to a few machines I have and ones I have sold. I used 1 or 2 batteries with plastic cases and bought weatherproof push buttons. I have a video on youtube under "snowblower imp eller kit" which is part 6 of 6 of my videos. Check it out. I show some of the machines. I do not have charging on board so I just charge them before and get a few/several good starts. I have not discovered how many though. Y ou can always put more, or bigger batteries for more starts. You may call m e or email me if you have any other questions. snipped-for-privacy@msn.com 484-557-8519 .
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