I usually start my 50 year old Airens Sno-Thro (Yes, 50 years old) in
our garage with its 120 volt electric starter motor, and only use the
pull starter if I have to stop the engine outside for some reason like
refilling the fuel tank.
With all the snow and below freezing weather we've been having here in
the Boston area lately I've been using the blower quite a bit. A couple
of times in the past week I needed to use the pull starter while outside
and the line pulled and retracted freely but the starter wouldn't engage
the flywheel and crank the engine.
I had to schlep the Airens up our sloping driveway back to the garage by
hand to use the electric starter, not a task I enjoy.
The next day I tried the pull starter and it engaged fine. The
temperature in the garage where the Airens was sitting then was about 40 F.
I figured that there had to be water in the pull starter which froze
while I was using the Airens outside in below 20F temperatures. Because
outside air is pulled through the starter area when the engine is
running the starter wasn't being warmed up by engine heat.
I took the pull starter off today. There were some beads of water
sitting inside it.
Right now the pull starter is sitting in our kitchen oven at 170 F
drying out. I'll leave it there for a couple of hours, let it cool off
and spray some WD-40 on the moving parts before putting it back onto the
Anyone else had a similar problem with snow blower pull starters
"freezing"? Am I on the right track here?
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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