Instructables
Picture of Repairing a Garbage-Picked Snow Blower for $7
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I found this snow blower on the curb a few months ago. I checked it out and it seemed like everything was intact and the motor would turn over, so I took it home to work on it. It took a little longer than I expected, and I nearly gave up on it, but it now runs great and this week it cleared about a foot of some very heavy snow. I fixed it for only $7 and a few parts I had lying around my garage.

This is a 2-stroke 3hp Snapper single-stage snow blower. The model number is 3201s but there are many different models that are nearly the same. It looks like Snapper made almost the same model, with slight differences for at least 10 years but I think they last made them in the 80s. I guess this is almost 30 years old, but I can't tell for sure. This one seems to be one of the better ones, because it has the electric start option.
 
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Step 1: Assess and Tear Down

When I first saw this thing on the curb, I pulled the cord to see if it would turn and it did. There was no gas in it so that is as far as I went. I folded the handle down and put it in the back of my car.

When I got it home, my first troubleshooting step was to put a little gas in it and pull the cord to see if it would start. Nothing worked, so I pulled some more and all I succeeded in doing was breaking the handle free from the rope, which ran away back inside it's hole. I tried the electric start and while that didn't start the motor, the electric motor was very strong and worked perfectly.

I took off the top and bottom covers, which were in decent shape. They had some cracks in them, and a few of the fastening holes had broken tabs, but they would still stay on and keep snow out. The top cover is held on with just nuts and studs at the top end, and carriage bolts from the inside of the auger housing. The housing has square holes that hold the square collar on the carriage bolt and prevent them from turning. Once the bolt loosens up it will spin freely and you will have to hold them tight to the housing. I had to use a lot of WD-40 to unfreeze these bolts and I ended up holding the carriage bolts with some locking pliers. Since a lot of snow builds up on the top of the auger housing, I expect most snow blowers would have the same issue.

I was hoping to find a service manual, but there aren't any online. I found the original operating manual here but that is only 3 pages so it isn't much help. I also found some parts diagrams on this website. They can be helpful, if only to see how things come apart. I also found this better operating/service manual but that only shows how to service the auger belt and fold up the handle for storage.

Update: I found the parts manual for the 3200, 3201, 3202 and 3203 models. I attached the PDF below.
muddog156 months ago

That is exactly what happens to most old engines, ect. Most people don't even bother fixing stuff, and just throw it out and spend more money.

BluStem6 months ago

This is the part your missing. It bends in and out to adjust.

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BluStem BluStem6 months ago

After looking closer at your photos I see you have this part. It just needs to be bolted to the carb. Sorry about that. I should have looked closer. Hope the photo helps.

Fikjast Scott6 months ago

I was given two of these, once I went thru them, they were great. Actually better than my new one. What really helped me was using seafoam. Also there is a screen inside the gas tank - reverse flushing helped the gas flow. On both - the chute would vibrate around while using. I tried several different spring set ups and finally just added a metal spring clamp - holding the chute to the frame.

ProfMuggs (author)  Fikjast Scott6 months ago

Before this, I only ever had an electric one made by Toro. Compared to that, this little Snapper has so much more torque.

For the Chute, is the adjustment spring missing? Mine has a rod that comes down from the chute handle and pops between the teeth on the cog around the collar where the plastic meets the metal. This rod has a spring that keeps the rod between the cog's teeth until I squeeze the handle.

It was all there, but while using either turned to the right or left the chute would vibrate back to center. Well, anyway if this is not happening for you, its not a big issue. Still great snow blower.
ttaft6 months ago
I have one just like this. Mine was missing a very fine spring on the carburetor governor spring.
ProfMuggs (author)  ttaft6 months ago

What did you use to replace the spring?