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I was given a LawnBoy 1871 Snowthrower w/ a small 4cycle engine. The engine starts fine, with pull or electric start, but this thrower has a "engage" lever on the handle to get the blades to start turning. When I engage the blades, the engine sputters then stalls. It will run un-engaged just fine. I replaced with new spark plug, but dont know that much about engines.

Can this be repaired by me, or better to find a used one to purchase? It is from 1980 if that helps. Thanks
 

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idk much about engines either... but it sounds like its losing a lot of power.
check to see that nothing is stopping the blades from spinning.
check compression.
oil change?
when was the last time the valves were re-seated?
i would say if you feel up to a challenge do a complete over-haul.
if not, buy a new one.
 

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Don't service any snowblowers down where I am, but I would check to make sure the auger moves freely and there is nothing binding like a frozen idler pulley or whatever setup this unit has to drive the snowblower, if that all checks out then like Roperman said check the carburetor sounds like it's running too lean to carry any load, adjustments or cleaning may be in order.
 

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Great suggestions. Another easy test to see if the problem is a dirty carb (that's my bet) with engine warm and running, engage the blades/auger. When engine starts to stumble quickly hit the choke on and off or the primer bulb whichever it has. If engine springs back to life carb is clogged somewhere.
 
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