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Its pretty quickly moving toward the first real snowfall here in Maine. Sometimes that happens before Thanksgiving and other times not for many more weeks. Its time, however, while its still reasonable out to get things ready. As I do every year, I dragged out the old snowblower to give it the once over. Its nine years old now, and for small engines that means a little extra maintenance from time to time. I must have failed to properly drain the carb this spring because it was full of old fuel that had turned to varnish and some kind of blue crystal structures. Rebuilding a carb for an 8 horsepower motor isn't difficult. There isn't much to them. A few bits to remove and a good soaking in parts cleaner usually does it. Putting it back together, you have to adjust the screws that regulate the float level and idle mixture. Like nearly all small engine carbs, this one is set by gently turning the screw all the way in (to the right) then backing it out two and a half turns. That's never quite perfect, but it will almost always get you started and running. From there you can make your adjustments by listening to the engine. Lots of manufacturers make these carbs. They come on a variety of engine brands, models, and sizes. Isn't it comforting though, that you can pretty much always just make two and a half turns to the left and get them all running? I wish all technology could be so simple.
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