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J.R.
J.R., Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 7444
Experience:  Owner of outdoor power equipment business, repairing all makes and models.
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My snowblower engine wont start. its a yard machine by MTD

Customer Question

My snowblower engine wont start. it's a yard machine by MTD and tecumseh 5.5 engine. I cut the wire going to where the key should be inserted cause i dont have the key(misplaced it) and now it doesnt want to start. I thought by cutting the key it'd eliminate the cut-off switch option. any suggestions
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  J.R. replied 5 years ago.
Take the spark plug out and then attach it to the wire. Touch the electrode end of the plug to clean metal and then pull the rope and see if you have spark at the plug. If you have spark, the carb is likely plugged up and needs to be taken apart and cleaned.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

the wire that I intially cut, should I splice the rubber off the end of the wire, exposing the copper and then attach that to the spark plug which I removed from the top of the engine mount?

 

The electrode part is the none oiled part right?

Expert:  J.R. replied 5 years ago.
Do not touch the wire you cut to anything. The electrode end of the plug is the end that goes inside the engine.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
in your prior message you said "take the spark plug out and attach it to the wire" what wire are you referring to?
Expert:  J.R. replied 5 years ago.
Attach it back onto the sparkplug wire.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

ok I removed the sprak plug and I attached the spark plug wire and put the bottom part of the spark plug to clean metal. I then pulled on the start cord and it didn't start nor did it spark.

 

Engine Type: Tecumseh 5.5 hp. If you google it and look under images. it's the 2nd result shown.

 

I need to get this machine running! lol

 

 

 

 

Expert:  J.R. replied 5 years ago.
OK, The wires that you cut. Did you connect them together or leave them separated?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I only cut one. I cut the left most one connecting to the area where the key should be inserted. Should I cut the other one and connect them?
Expert:  J.R. replied 5 years ago.
Is there only one wire coming up to the switch?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
there are two wires. the wire I cut obviously has two ends. one end coming from nearby the choke lever(still attached) and the other end going to the key area(I cut that). Then there's a second wire, you can't see the origination of the wire by the other end of it is attached to the same metal plate to the right of the choke lever
Expert:  J.R. replied 5 years ago.
Cut the other wire and keep both of them from touching any metal and then check for spark.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I cut the second wire. both are not disattached from their original attachments. I attached the spark plug to the spark plug wire and left the electrode(bottom part) on clean metal, and cranked the start cord. got nothing. then I put the spark plug back in, tightened it, then put the spark plug wire on top, cranked the start cord. got nothing again.

 

 

Expert:  J.R. replied 5 years ago.
If you have no spark with both of those wires unhooked then you may have a bad ignition module. Take the recoil starter off of the engine. The entire side cover will come off of the engine. You will see the ignition module with a small wire that plugs into it. Unplug the small wire. Keep that wire from touching metal and then put the cover back on. Check for spark again as above. If you have no spark the ignition module is bad and needs replaced.

Edited by J.R. on 12/20/2009 at 8:02 PM EST
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

that's alot of uneccessary work just for an assumption of the problem.

Expert:  J.R. replied 5 years ago.
That is the only true way to know if the module is bad. I have seen lot of times where mice will get under the cover and chew through the wiring close to the ignition module and the wire will touch metal and cause a no spark condition.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

when you say "no spark condition" are you refering to the lack of the machine starting? or an actual spark?

 

by the way. what if I screw in the spark plug. attach the spark plug wire. and then connect both wires that I cut. will that work?

 

Expert:  J.R. replied 5 years ago.
I am referring to actual spark. The machine will not start if you connect the wires.

Edited by J.R. on 12/20/2009 at 8:18 PM EST
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
so what was the idea behind cutting BOTH?
Expert:  J.R. replied 5 years ago.
I am not sure which one is going to the module and which one is going to the ground.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

the one i cut first was going from a metal piece to the RIGHT of the choke(rabbit and turtle) lever to the key area(left most area) I cut the wire by the key area. then I cut the 2nd wire by the metal piece by the choke lever because the other end of the wire is going to the ignition module(I assumed that because I couldn't see the other end).

 

Does this clarify?

Expert:  J.R. replied 5 years ago.
That is fine. You need to pull the recoil cover off and unplug the small wire.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

the recoil cover is what I took off this morning?(I had a problem with the start cord ripping) so I took off that piece and reattached the start cord by re-tightening the pulley and re-attaching the cord. Take that off again??? when I took it off this morning I didn't see anything but a rotating cycle. No wires anything. do u mean take off the piece with the rabbit and turtle?

 

Please reply quickly this is taking a long time and the snow is turning into ice. please!

Expert:  J.R. replied 5 years ago.
No take off the recoil housing. You will see the spark plug wire go to an ignition module. On the backside of this will be a small wire that plugs into it. Unplug the small wire.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
what does unplugging the wire do?
Expert:  J.R. replied 5 years ago.
It takes away all of the unit wiring so that you can isolate a no spark condition to the ignition module.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
and then?....I dont see results from this.. explain please
Expert:  J.R. replied 5 years ago.
Once you unhook that wire you keep it from touching metal. Put the recoil cover back on. Pull it over with the recoil and check for spark at the spark plug again. If you have no spark, then the ignition module is bad and will need to be replaced.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I took off the recoil cover like u said. the wire in the back was the other end of the SECOND wire I cut from the ground. I re-attached everything. and cranked the start cord with the spark plug completly screwed in with the cover on the spark plug. and nothing. the engine is JUST about to start then nothing
Expert:  J.R. replied 5 years ago.
Did you crank it over with the small wire unhooked directly from the moduel like I stated? Take the spark plug out and put a little bit of gas directly into the spark plug hole and try to start it.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes. it didn't work. I want a refund. I spent the whole day talking to you. and waiting for your timely replies that aren't thorough and confusing and aggrevating at times. I want a refund in full.
Expert:  J.R. replied 5 years ago.
If it did not start with the small wire unhooked from the ignition module then the ignition module is bad and needs to be replaced.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I think after using this service, my snowblower is in worse shape. Now there are no wires running to the ignition module nor the grounds or the key insertion. I'm very dissatisfied
Expert:  J.R. replied 5 years ago.
The snow blower is not in worse shape. This is part of trouble shooting a problem. Like I said before I was not sure which wire was cut originally so I had you cut the other one to make sure we were not still connected to the ground side of the ignition module. With both wires cut I had you check the spark hoping that you would have spark and then we would not have had to pull the recoil housing off. Once the wires were both cut then we had no choice but to pull the recoil housing to access the ignition module to make sure the wire was not grounded under the cover. Once you unplugged the small wire and then checked for spark and found that it had none that tells us that the ignition module is bad. I am sorry that you feel dissatisfied. If this was my unit and I did not have a key for it I would have immediately taken the cover off and taken the small wire off at the ignition module. I was trying to help you avoid pulling that recoil cover off. Once again, I am sorry you are disasppointed.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
give me my money back
Expert:  J.R. replied 5 years ago.
I sent in a refund request.

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J.R.
J.R.
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Owner of outdoor power equipment business, repairing all makes and models.