Return to the Tool Shed Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

Posted by just_pete (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 7, 10 at 17:10

Hi all, first post, thanks in advance for anyone that can help give me an idea what to do next with this blower.

I've tried everything to get this, like new, Poulan made Craftsman blower started. It's just out of warranty, but looks like I bought it last week.

It began with a dry corn husk being sucked into the vac that wound up around the impeller and bogged out the motor.

It was too tight to get the unit restarted, so I took it apart, removed the husk, reassembled and pulled the start cord. It started, ran for about 5secs and I've been unable to get it started since.

Since then I've done the following:

Checked spark with gap tester: GOOD
Checked plug: though in descent condition, replaced with new
Visually inspected cylinder and piston: Ring was stuck slightly on exhaust port side: Replaced with new piston and ring.
Checked compression: 3pulls/100psi (enough to start and run)
Checked carburetor: siphons gas, lines all flexible and sealed.
Completely dismantled unit and checked flywheel for timing and key damage: good, no damage.
Removed flywheel and checked bearing seals: Like new, no leak evident or shaft wobble.
Checked kill switch operation: good
Changed fuel and checked fuel filter: good.
Check for any seal leaks piston-crank case or other: Good
Check exhaust for clogging: good
Check fuel delivery: After a few pulls, pull plug, electrode slightly damp, but not fouled. Good.

I'm at a loss here. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Normally I'd have had this thing running in minutes, but I can't find anything wrong with it.

What's they do? Make these things with a secret failure in them so you'd have to spend more money? I've got 20year old garden machines that run better. Heck ... they still run!

Thanks for any help

Pete


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

Did you see spark at the plug when removed and laying on the jug (grounding) and pulling the rope? IF so Only thing I can add would be to pull the plug spray some carb. cleaner into the combustion chamber. Pull the rope several times to wash out any mix residue, spray the plug off and install it. It should fire right off the carb. cleaner. IF so keep priming it with carb. cleaner and it just might take off on it own.


 o
RE: One more thing

Does that if have a reed valve under the carb.?


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

rcmoser - I used a spark tester which has a larger gap and window. Engine techs say if it will jump the larger gap, ignition voltage isn't the problem. It grounds to the cylinder and plugs into the wire.

I tried carb cleaner shot into the carburetor with the filter removed.

I'm really at a loss here as to why this darn thing won't start. Changed the fuel too.

No reed valve on these.

On reassembly I checked everything twice to make sure it was all properly assembled.


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

Doesn't make sense to me ! 2-Stoke Engine you have Compression , Fuel and Spark but no ignition. Priming the Engine with carb cleaner and or fuel mix and replacing the plug and no fire ? Just defies logic , the kill switch was what I was going to suggest but you have indicate good spark , so ignition module and kill switch appear within spec. Don't know what to suggest with compression at at least 100 Psi Cold .


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

We have a similar situation with a Poulan Pro PVB 200 blower. It has started twice and ran for weeks after dressing the bottom skirt of the piston that seized. No damage was done to the ring or cylinder in the compression area. Are some of these engines low compression during starting and builds compression after it starts? I can not feel good compression while pulling trying to start the blower. Checking compression with my finger, I can not hold the compression in the cylinder. It had run before with what feels like low compression, good fuel and fire but not this time. Ill hope to check the compression with a gauge soon. What is the lowest compression that will not allow the engine to start?

Thanks!
JOW

PS. I do have a Poulan made Craftsman blower that runs good after rebuilding the carb that had a bad diaphragm and restriction from old fuel. As has been stated it is hard to believe your Craftsman is not starting. Unless, it is not firing under compression. Have you checked the plug wire with your ohmmeter and move while testing looking for a break. Is it trying to fire? Good Luck!


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

Thanks for replies ... I've checked everything. It's a mystery that seems to have everyone stumped.

I even tried a little starting fluid and couldn't even get a hiccup out of it.

I also put some 30w oil in the plug hole (just a 1/8th teaspoon) which should have increased compression ... and it did. I could feel the increase. Still nothing.

Using an ignition tester it easily jumps an almost 1/2" gap. According to factory ... if it will jump a tester gap, that eliminates the ignition module as the culprit.

I'm stumped.


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

Did you make sure the flywheel key was good and in-place to ensure good timing? Is it the model at the address below (please copy and past to open)? Noticed the name that I gave the "Monster" ! It whipped me good thinking it was a deteriorated fuel line only (since it would fire primed) vs a bad carb diaphragm and fuel restriction in the carb.

http://i1019.photobucket.com/albums/af312/JOW_06/WhippedByABlower.jpg?t=1278878138


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

The link won't work, loger.

The key is cast into the flywheel and it as well as the drive shaft it slides into are perfect.

This is a link to the blower I have...

http://images.krillion.com/static/images/products/blowers/craftsman/craftsman_gasoline_blowers_358794770_lg.jpg

Whatever they did when manufacturing these, they must have left one heck of an Achilles heal.


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

Our blowers are probably 20 years apart in age. I find new equipment with less quality and basically not designed for major repairs vs replacing. I got a report that my image posted was deleted. My blower was probably built before 1990. Good Luck!


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

Just pete,

Did you find the bug in your blower? Usually my mystery problems will solve themselves once the overtime and extra effort runs their course.

I have worked on small engines since about 1968. My challenge from 1970-90 was to get any problem engine to run or prove why it w/n vs just saying it w/n run. That was a fun run and I have not purchased a lawn mower since building my first from 5 parts mowers. Im on my 3rd mower since 73. I have serviced too many and given at least 10-15 away after servicing them. Friends and etc knew I recycled mowers and would pass the problems to me as they upgraded. Some newer low end equipment is not worth the money and time to put them back in service (but I like to see or show the problem).

loger


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

Dear Just Pete,
I have a problem that sounds almost exactly like yours. It is with a Sears blower. For info on this see the topic "2-cycle engine trouble shooting" that is about 20 topics after (higher up on the list) than this topic.
Please keep in touch. I"m hoping you will find a solution that will solve both our problems.
Best of luck in your trouble shooting.
Slim50

Here is a link that might be useful: GardenWeb


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

I checked my "older" Craftsman by Poulan Blowers compression (20 + years maybe, model 358.796981) and got a pleasant surprise and a surprise after it has sat at least two months.

1. The compression per pull, 1st = 75 PSI, 2nd = 100 PSI, 3rd = 115 and 4th I saw about 125 PSI.

2. Since last running, it runs like it has a governor to regulate speed up & down vs knob accelerator.

3. I did have to pull the top to re-install the starter rope but no linkage was involved nor a governor.

4. When I get back to it, Ill pull the gas cap to see if a vacuum is occurring, otherwise what??

loger


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

The blower ran fine today at a constant speed with the fuel cap on and off, "With A Full Tank Of Fresh Fuel". I fell the blower as most equipment needs to be used vs sitting. loger


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

I have the same almost new looking machine, have replaced the ignition module but still no spark. Can disconnect the kill switch and still no spark. What is the correct gap setting for the coil? Have tried 2 thicknesses of paper as feeler gauge setting but still no spark. Am drawing blanks here . . .help!!!!!!!!!


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

My old Poulan chainsaw's module's air gap is .008 - 012. An index card is said to be in that range and I have used many.

The last "old" Craftsman/Poulan blower I donated to a friend is running good for him. I feel its due to him using it vs me sitting it on the shelf as a backup. Good Luck! loger


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

HMMM! Seems to me that Sears/ Craftsman should have advertised those machines as A "2 use" machine"!
you would use it as intended, then when it would no longer run, it would make a good boat anchor! Neat idea, eh? RJ


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

Leaf blower (Craftsman 358.796981) will start but run for only about 3 seconds. If I immediately try to re-start it, it will fun for 2 seconds; a third try and it will run for about 1 second. Then it won't start at all. If I wait about 5 minutes, the same pattern occurs. A carburetor repair kit has been installed; the gas lines are free of foreign objects; the filter is good; the spark is good; the needle valves have been adjusted according to the manual. Could this possibly be a bad reed valve? Or a bad metering diaphragm? Or anything else you can suggest. All help will be appreciated. Thanks, Don


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

"you would use it as intended, then when it would no longer run, it would make a good boat anchor!"...Actually with Craftsman outdoor power equipment you will save yourself a lot of time and aggravation if you never try to use it for it's intended purpose and convert it to a boat anchor as soon as you get it.


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

craftsman blower model 358796981 won't run did everything
still won't run


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

Loren Harris lharrisjr1@cfl.rr.co
craftsman blower model 358796981 won't run


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

I have a craftman blower/vac model 358.797180 that I was using to blow leaves and it overheated and locked up. After cooling down it unlocked but will not start. It has fire and fuel. However, I checked the compression and it's 50-55. What could be the problem and how do I fix it.'any and all help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, OMB


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

Pull the muffler and look inside the cylinder. If the cyl and rings are scratched/scored/burned vs slick, that is your low compression problem.

Non commercial grades are not worth rebuilding IMO. Think back on the history to see if you got some good use or what could have caused it to fail. Such as: lack of a good oil mix, blocked exhaust, lack of quality in the blower or Etc..

Please post a good close Pic of what you see inside the cyl with rings and cyl wall showing with good light if possible.


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

Sorry for the delay. The piston appears to have a scratch around it. If this minute scratch is around and not from top to bottom, would this cause pressure loss? This is the best I can do for pics, sorry.;4


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

I con not see a clear Pic but you can and sounds as if you feel cyl/ring are good.

Suggestions:
1. Try a 2nd compression gauge (4-5 strokes/pumps) if you have access to one.
2. You should not be able to hold the compression in the cyl with your finger while pulling.
3. Add a teaspoon of oil to the cyl to see if the compression improves..
4. If the compression proves OK by 2nd gauge or finger, manually prime with a t/s of fuel mix and try it.
5. I did have the exp of one running with low comp like there was comp/release for easy starting that I c/n find.
6. The same blower ran a month w/o a problem and just stopped (I was told). BUT! I w/n willing to give my time again.


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

Thanks for the info Loger. I poured oil in cylinder and compression improve more than 50%. So I am looking to buy a new one. Any recommendations for a new one? Thanks


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

1. If the piston, cyl and ring looked good, can you move the ring on the piston to know carbon is not the problem? What price range was the blower?
2. I have no idea about quality of blowers vs Echo mid level 200.00 trimmers. I’m sure others will have experiences to share as there might be one on the mid trimmer level.
3. Personally I rake tight areas into openings, collect with mower’s bag as grass, rem the bag and get a 10 to 1 ratio to add to recycle or reuse if needed for mulch.
4. Blowing for cleaning depending on area is a broom for me still in my 70’s mode. LOL!


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

This was bought for mr by daughter who paid $130 10 years ago. I am going to check the piston,ring and cylinder and let you know what I find. Thanks


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

1. Try to rotate the ring to know it’s not stuck from carbon debris.
2. See if it starts with oil added to improve compression. This has worked on cars.
3. The bottom line, you did get 10 yrs but it might be a minor issue if you have the time/interest.
4. Post a pic or link to the unit. I doubt it's as old as the attached.

Good luck and Please post your results!!!


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

1. Try to rotate the ring to know it’s not stuck from carbon debris.
2. See if it starts with oil added to improve compression. This has worked on cars.
3. The bottom line, you did get 10 yrs but it might be a minor issue if you have the time/interest.
4. Post a pic or link to the unit. I doubt it's as old as the attached.

Good luck and Please post your results!!!


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

Another Pic of Old Craftsman, Weed Eater Models I had success with “BUT WORK”!

1. I must “ SAY AGAIN”, they take Time and Interest. I would look for ring movement in the piston vs trying to rotate.

2. Try to feel for piston ring’s compression with your finger or dowl feeling for drag, rotating slow w/o oil before too much time is spent.

3. This old models which have only had bad fuel lines and carb problems are personally all I plan to touch (in my volunteering mode) vs compression teardown issues. They are normally plentiful at Estate/Garage Sales. My20 + yr old blower was 15.00 with a demo that it worked.

4. Replacing fuel line can almost become a teardown until you learn the tricks of fishing, feeding and pulling line.

This was a 70’s Hobby before moving to Computer Applications/Cad and Comp Repairs as a Hobby to keep my job. Call them Hobbies vs Jobs and they become More Fun vs Nightmares. LOL


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

In a last effort to try and start it b4 dissambly to check the piston,ring and cylinder and after about 3 pulls it started grinding real bad. See pic Thanks for all your help.


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

1. Are those scuff/scratches that were not visible from the exhaust port with the muffler off?
2. Was the wrist pin that connects the connector rod and piston stiff/freezing to cause the damage?
3. I hope there w/n much additional work to get to that stage but good experience if that was your first.
4. Should there have been sound with your file attached?

Good Luck With Your Next Blower!!


 o
RE: Craftsman/Poulan blower won't start ... unusual problem.

Thanks for the response Loger. No, I do not believe this damage was there b4. When I would try to start it, it would not grind. Once it started to grind it almost locked up. It had carbon buildup behind the ring. The ring appeared to be frozen where the scratch is. It seemed to be pinched in there. FYI Thanks


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Tool Shed Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here