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Miller Bluestar Tecumseh OH160 Won't Start


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  #1  
Old 06-18-2019, 03:53:07 PM
bugle bugle is offline
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Default Miller Bluestar Tecumseh OH160 Won't Start

Tecumseh OH160 170079A won't start. It has good spark, compression and fuel. Spins over fine. Even tried starting fluid but can't get so much as a "pop" out of it.
This is my first Tecumseh, every other engine I worked on would start or at least sputter or backfire if it had fuel, spark and compression.

OK, here is the long story. This is a Miller Bluestar 2E I did a valve job a couple months ago. It ran and welded fine then one day it quit and I found the throttle shaft had broke in half. I replaced it and the plate, and it hasn't started since. First it had a vey weak spark. I cleaned and adjusted the ignition gap to .010 and replaced the spark plug, gapped at .030, now it has a hot spark.
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Old 06-18-2019, 04:30:11 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Default Re: Miller Bluestar Tecumseh OH160 Won't Start

Point gap is supposed to be .020! Set at 10, spark may be too late. Check your plug. Is it wet with fuel? If so, toss it, crank the engine over a few times with the coil wire grounded, and clear out the combustion chamber. Install a new plug. crap gas they make now days shorts under compression. You will have spark out of the engine but under pressure, the plug will short out.
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Old 06-18-2019, 04:58:41 PM
bugle bugle is offline
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Default Re: Miller Bluestar Tecumseh OH160 Won't Start

Thanks for your reply, I'm at my wits end. This one has an electronic module, not points, the manual says "Adjust the system so that a .006/.010'’ (.152/.254 mm) clearance exists between the ignition unit and the long trigger pin in the flywheel."
I only use non-ethanol premium gasoline in my small engines and it's fresh. The fuel pump won't let it gravity feed but I pulled the bowl and it was full. You would think it would at least try to start on ether. I replaced the spark plug, had it and the last one out several times. The compression seems good just using my finger while spinning it over. Are these just real finicky engines?
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:24:08 PM
keith1944 keith1944 is offline
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Default Re: Miller Bluestar Tecumseh OH160 Won't Start

I assume it has the original crankcase pulse pump mounted at the carburetor. Check the fuel pump. Make sure the reed valves are functioning and look for oil on the engine side of the diaphragm. DO NOT overfill the crankcase or the oil will advance into the pump and dampen the action. Sometimes the pump will look like it's doing a good job when you take the fuel line off the carb and spin the engine but won't supply when attached.

As Mr. Mackey said the gap is .010 for the long trip pin and module. but plug gap should be .030 according to my Tecumseh shop manual.

Keith Van Atta
Roseburg Oregon
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:58:13 PM
radiodoc radiodoc is offline
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Default Re: Miller Bluestar Tecumseh OH160 Won't Start

Andrew I think his mention of .010 is the gap between the armature and the flywheel?
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:35:04 AM
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Default Re: Miller Bluestar Tecumseh OH160 Won't Start

Thanks for the replies. I pulled the fuel pump apart this morning. There was a little oil in the crankcase side which I cleaned out. That didn't get it started though. It has the LMH 1A 77 carb and it doesn't show any moisture after spinning it over with choke closed, but still, it won't even burn starting fluid regardless of quantity. I tried it several times, charging the battery and letting it sit overnight in case flooded, also pulling plug many times. Starting fluid gets on the plug and it has spark, seems it should do something.
The .010" gap I referred to is between module and pin on flywheel.
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:40:43 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Default Re: Miller Bluestar Tecumseh OH160 Won't Start

Yes Radiodoc, space between mag and timing on flywheel

How is the spark you are getting? Bright blue and 'thick' or a pale blue and thin? You may have a bad coil. The fact that the fuel bowl is full means that the carb is getting fuel. Does that carb have an antibackfire valve in it? it is a selenoid operated plunger that stops gas from flowing thru the jets after the ignition is turned off, to prevent hot spots in the combustion chamber from igniting fuel after spark is shut down. If there is something wrong electrically (bad switch or busted wire) or the selenoid is bad, the gas cant get into the engine, The fact that you cant even get a puff on ether points to an ignition problem, either a weak magnet in the flywheel or a bad pick up in the coil. Here is something to try - close the gap between the flywheel and the mag to .005" Turn the flywheel by hand to make sure it does not hit the mag, and see if you get a better spark. One other thing to check - is there any rust on the magnets? If so, that may intefere with the coil operation. Let us know what you find. One last thing - flywheel key correct and installed properly? I have seen some keys installed upside down, which changes timing if it is an offset key.
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Old 06-19-2019, 02:16:52 PM
MNGB MNGB is offline
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Default Re: Miller Bluestar Tecumseh OH160 Won't Start

I have 3 Tecumseh OH160 engines all are cold blooded require choking to start and keep running until warmed up, your post said the butterfly broke did you remove the head to assure that no parts were drawn into the engine maybe a piece is holding a valve open just a bit
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:35:09 AM
dkamp dkamp is offline
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Default Re: Miller Bluestar Tecumseh OH160 Won't Start

I have a Miller Bluestar with the Tecumseh OH160... and it's seemingly bulletproof aside from the idle-down solenoid being damaged by previous owner... I had to remove, unwind, and rewind it to affect a repair, as they're NLA, but it works great now.

All the above being what it is, the first thing I would do, is shut off the fuel, disconnect the fuel lines, drain the bowl, make sure it's completely dry... then pull and clean the plug, check spark (as Andrew says... nasty-mean white snappy)... then basic compression check with thumb-over-plug--hole (valves closing, yes?)

After that, I'd introduce something slightly flammable into the intake (no gas in the carb!) and see if it pops.

If it does, then the problem is most likely a little water in the bottom of the fuel tank... which would be shorting the plug, rather than igniting fuel. It's a rainy, humid, cool spring, so moisture (especially with ethanol) takes over rapidly... don't as how I know...
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:59:20 PM
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Default Re: Miller Bluestar Tecumseh OH160 Won't Start

Thanks for the replies. The spark is hot, the fuel is fine and it has compression. I always thought if these 3 things were present an engine should start unless the timing was off. But there is one more thing.
I checked the compression and it was consistently 50 PSI !
I had been in denial about one tiny throttle plate screw that was unaccounted for, so I pulled the valve cover to check the valve lash. Lo and behold the intake rocker was off the pushrod. Just pulled head and found that screw. Doesn't look like any significant damage. I even have a spare head gasket. Will keep you posted.
Thanks again for all the replies which helped get my head out of it's box.
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Old 06-20-2019, 03:10:26 PM
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Default Re: Miller Bluestar Tecumseh OH160 Won't Start

OK, back together and running fine. Thanks, again.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:12:03 PM
dkamp dkamp is offline
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Default Re: Miller Bluestar Tecumseh OH160 Won't Start

Yeah, that'd kinda hurt valve lift and intake vacuum!

Now that it's running, enjoy it- this flavor of BlueStar is quite a horse... short, heavy leads will make it willing to push a nice bead with a surprisingly heavy rod... it's my favorite do-all portable welder, and I have a few...
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