We got quite a bit of snow over the weekend in the northeast and we probably got at least a foot to 16" of snow here in the Albany area. So, Sunday I needed to try to fire up my Bolens Estate Keeper to snowblow my driveway. Earlier in December, I got the Sno-Caster attachment (and my plow blade, just in case we has some wet snow earlier this winter...) out of storage and I even bought online the correct attachment arms that I was missing that I needed to mount these to my Estate Keeper. So, I figured I was all set to go once the snow hit.
Well, unfortunately, my Estate Keeper had other plans! I had a hell of a time trying to start it Sunday. Part of the problem was with the extreme cold, I think the battery was having a hard time holding a charge and it was cranking over very slowly. So, I had to put a battery charger on it to try to charge it up and to make sure it had enough charge to crank over the engine. However, even after that and the starter was able to spin the engine a bit faster, it was not starting. I tried choking it since it was so cold out, but it still did not want to start. Then I noticed a major problem - after cranking over the engine for a while, I saw gas just POURING out of the carburetor! I have no clue why it is doing this, but it looks like it is leaking gas badly out of the air intake. I also noticed that it seems like the main gasket between the two halves of the carburetor is not sealing and it looks wet around there, like it is leaking gas around the gasket as well.
I'm just BEYOND pissed with this stupid carburetor right now!! I JUST rebuilt this carburetor last spring, including a new needle and seat, all new gaskets, new mixture screws, O-rings, etc... This thing should be running like brand-new now, not leaking gas out of everywhere it could possibly leak gas from!!!
At first, I thought maybe the floats were not set properly, which would be causing the bowl to overflow and leak gas everywhere. So, I pulled the carburetor off the engine, took it all apart, and bent the floats back down so that hopefully it would seat the needle sooner to stop the flow of gas and prevent the bowl from filling up too much. I also tried to dry off the carburetor body from all the excess fuel and dry off the gasket before putting it back together. Unfortunately, I didn't have any black RTV silicone or anything to try to put on the gasket to make sure it really sealed well, but I tried putting it back together anyways to see if it would do any better after the float adjustment.
After I put the carburetor back on the engine, I turned the gas back on and tried starting it. I did manage to get a few pops out of it at first, but then it was doing nothing again. So, I decided to pull the spark plug to check it out. It was completely BLACK with carbon deposits from apparently running exceptionally rich! So, I tried cleaning it off to see if that would help any. I managed to finally get the engine to start and run for a little while, but it would only really idle well and as soon as I tried to give it any kind of throttle, it would just die out. I tried adjusting the main mixture screw (at the bottom of the bowl), but nothing I did would make it run decent at all at higher RPMs. It just kept coughing and sputtering and dying out. As soon as I dropped the throttle back to idle though, it would run fine and was nice and smooth at lower RPMs. I don't get it. (Plus, even after I fiddled with the carburetor for a while, I could STILL see the carburetor leaking, especially after the engine just stalled out. It was also still leaking from the main gasket, despite adjusting the floats.)
So, I'm thinking that even after completely rebuilding this carburetor this spring, somehow it is just a piece of garbage and it is pretty much beyond repair at this point! I have no idea why it is not working now after it worked okay and got me through mowing my lawn all last summer. I apparently can't stop it from leaking gas everywhere right now either for some reason. IDK what else I can do as I feel like I have tried absolutely everything I can and it has failed!
Does anyone know where I could either buy a brand new Zenith carburetor that will fit the Wisconsin TRA-10D engine or know of anyone with a good working original Zenith carburetor that they would be willing to sell? If I can't find a good original carburetor to put on this engine, are there any options for a carburetor upgrade that would work for this Wisconsin engine? Like, would any model of Briggs and Stratton carburetors fit this engine by any chance? I'm just sick and tired of constantly having to fiddle around with the carburetor that is on this engine now and rebuilding it only to have it still not work!!
I'd appreciate any help anyone could offer me! I just need this tractor to work again ASAP, please!!!
Edited by MailmAn, January 22, 2019 - 12:51 PM.