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Prepare Early – Don’t Get Stuck in the Snow!


  • Comprehensive list of exact spare parts and maintenance items you should purchase
  • Step-by-step instructions on changing oil and replacing a spark plug
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You may want to review my “The Ultimate Resource Guide for John Deere 1330SE Snowblower“.


With inevitable snow season starting soon, I wanted to do some quick preventative maintenance on my John Deere 1330se snow thrower. Based on my previous experience, I also recommend you purchase these spare parts on hand so you are prepared.

  • Drain & Replace Engine Oil;
  • Replace Spark Plug;
  • Lubricate and adjust Traction and August Control Cables and Linkages;
  • Check for loose bolts and nuts;
  • Check for leaks;
  • Inspect Auger and Drive belts;
  • Check Engine Compression
  • Clean Carburetor;
  • Check Carburetor RPM settings
  • Check Shear Pins
  • Adjust Scraper and Skids
  • Replenish with high octane fuel;

In general, a seasonal tune up costs somewhere around $200 (not including pickup and drop off charges) so it is worth doing the work yourself. In addition to saving money, you will be better prepared to fix a broken part.


One of the biggest problem with small engines is that they rely entirely on air to cool for cooling and excessive heat greatly impacts the engine durability in a bad way.

Once the engine is compromised by heat, you can experience all sorts of performance and environmental issues like:

  • Loss of power to drive through snow
  • Weak thrust in throwing snow
  • Exhausting partially burned fuel causing carbon build up, etc.

To prevent such problems, I highly recommend that you change the oil for your Briggs and Stratton engine on your John Deere 1330SE snowblower every 20 hours of use (or at the end of the season).

Required Materials

I personally use and recommend a synthetic 5w-30 oil as it gives me the widest temperature range and it provides excellent lubrication (obviously I don’t use my snow blower when it is hot outside but I do perform maintenance work at twice during summer and fall).

Otherwise, you need to use a detergent oil classified “A.P.I. For Service SF, SH, SJ, SL or higher”. Do not use SAE10w40 as it may not provide proper lubrication.

You need approximately 19 oz (0.59 quart, 0.56 L or 2 1/3 cup) of oil. I just purchase one of the following 5 quart containers since these are also good for portable generators.

You will also need some rags, small oil change funnel and oil change drain pan (or you can use an aluminum pan then pour it into a used gas can for disposal).

Oil Disposal
Used oil and oil-contaminated materials such as rags containers should be properly disposed (meaning they should not be thrown out as regular trash).

Contact your town or county to find out about “Hazardous Material” drop off dates.

Required Tools

  • Medium Adjustable pliers

Oil Change Instructions

Oil change should be done every 20 hours or at the end of season.

  • Step # 1 – Park snowblower on a level ground
  • Step # 2 – Run engine for 3 minutes to warm up oil
  • Step # 3 – Stop engine (please note that metal parts around engine may be hot so be careful)
  • Step # 4 – Position drain pan under the drain cap
  • Step # 5 – Remove drain cap
  • Step # 6 – Remove the oil fill cap/dipstick by lightly pressing it down and turning it counter-clockwise (quarter-turn)
  • Step # 7 – Drain oil (you may need to raise the front auger assembly by 5-6 inches)
  • Step # 8 – re-install the drain cap (do not over tighten)
  • Step # 9 – Position funnel into the oil fill cap/dipstick tube
  • Step # 10 – Slowly pour approximately 1.5 cups of oil
Total engine oil capacity is approximately 2 1/3 cup (or 19 ounces, 0.59 quart or 0.56 liter).
You want to add oil incrementally as not all used oil can be extracted.

You DO NOT WANT TO OVERFILL as overfilling will increases foaming which will reduce lubrication.
If you do overfill, simply drain some oil Step #7
  • Step # 11– Remove funnel
  • Step # 12 – Install and tighten dipstick cap
  • Step # 13 – Remove dipstick and check oil level
  • Step # 14 – You want the oil level to be between ADD and FULL (closer to FULL is preferable)
  • Repeat Steps #10 – 14 until proper oil level is reached


If you have a difficult time starting your snowblower or have a sputtering engine, your spark plug may be fouled. Use the following troubleshooting steps to check and verify the condition of your spark plug and replace if necessary.

Although there should only be one spark plug model used in John Deere 1330SE snowblower, you should check the engine code (stamped on side of a metal cam cover marked “OHV”) to ensure compatibility.

Model 2# 1M314, Type # 0118E1, Code # 100812YD

Required Materials

I highly recommend that you purchase 2 or more spark plugs to have as spare. But please buy them in individual packaging (i.e. don’t buy the ones that come with packs of 2, etc.) to reduce the chance that you will receive non-genuine parts.

Quick links to buy spark plugs:

Required Tools


To access the spark plug, the snow hood must be removed first.

  • Step # 1 – Remove the carburetor choke control knob by gently pulling on it (take a photo before moving the knob)
  • Step # 2 – Remove the ignition key
  • Step # 3– Remove two (2) snow hood mounting screws
  • Step # 4 – Gently lift the snow hood as the primer button hose and ignition wires are attached to it (no need to disconnect them) and put it aside
  • Step # 5 – Remove the spark plug wire by pull it it out straight; if it does not budge, gently rock side-to-side; if that doses not work, use the adjustable pliers (use a small piece of fabric over the rubber book before grabbing it with your pliers)
  • Step # 6 – Remove any dirt or small debris around the spark plug area with compressed air (you do not want them to possibly get inside the engine)
  • Step # 7 – Fully seat the 13/16″ (long body) socket over the exposed spark plug (if the socket is seated crooked, you will break your spark plug)
  • Step # 8 – Turn the socket wrench counter-clockwise to remove the spark plug
  • Step # 9 – Visually check the spark plug; if the electrode is pitted or burned, or porcelain is cracked, replace the spark plug
  • Step # 10 – Check electrodes gap and reset to 0.030″ (0.76 mm)
  • Step # 11 – Coat thread lightly with graphite grease to insure easy remove in the future
  • Step # 12 – Hand thread the spark plug firmly into engine. Use torque wrench to 18-23 ft-lbs (24.4-31.2 Nm);
  • Step # 13 – Reinstall the ignition wire (you should feel metal clicking onto the spark plug)
  • Step # 14 – To re-install the snow hood, verify that the primer button hose and the ignition wire are connected
  • Step # 15 – Mount the snow hood to the engine and reinstall mounting screws
  • Step # 16 – Align the carburetor chock control (using the previous photo as a guide). If the choke control knob is not installed correctly, the choke will not operate!
  • Step # 17 – Reinstall the ignition key


John Deere 1330SE uses unleaded gasoline. The manual also goes on to state that that ethanol blended gasoline may damage the equipment but as you know, most gas stations (especially in the northeast) only sells ethanol blended gasoline.

Why Is Ethanol Gasoline “Bad”?
Ethanol (a.k.a. “E10”) destroys gasoline in short amount of time (around 30 days) because ethanol absorb water 50 times greater than pure gasoline.

Not a problem if you fill up your car because you will most likely use up a tank of gas in 30 days.

So what can you do? You may be able to purchase 92 octane (a.k.a. “premium”) “pure” gas (limited gas stations sell this product).

The other option is to add some type of a fuel stabilizer (fuel stabilizer is a mixture of antioxidants and lubricants designed to repel water and limit evaporation) to your gas.


I mainly use STA-BILE 360 Ethanol Treatment and Fuel Stabilizer (latest price check) which has a very good reputation because it’s been around for a very long time.

What should you do if you left gas in your snowblower for months? You will need to remove the old gas and most likely disassemble your carburetor to remove chunks of “gels”.

Required Materials

  • Fresh gasoline or TrueFuel 4-Cycle – TrueFuel is expensive but it’s worth trying if your snowblower is running bit rough after long term storage; I would NOT MIX TrueFuel with old gas (also, do not use TrueFuel 2-Cycle product with your snowblower)

Required Tools

  • Fuel Siphon Pump (buy one siphon pump for gas and another one for oil; do not mix)
  • Portable (red) plastic fuel tank


  • Make sure the area has a plenty of ventilation
  • Remove the gas cap and insert the stem of a siphon into the tank
  • Insert the flexible hose end into the plastic tank
  • Repeatedly pump and siphon handle to create negative pressure to draw fuel into the portable tank
  • Once all gasoline is removed, add fresh fuel (or TrueFuel) and reinstall the gas cap


The Carburetor is calibrated by Briggs and Stratton so there are no calibrations that can be done by a owner.

If you operate John Deere 1330SE at altitudes above 1930 m or 6,000 ft, you may require a special high altitude main jet (you will need to contact your local John Deere dealer for this part)

Also, possible engine surging may occur at high RPM with gear in neutral and the augers are disengaged. This is a normal condition due to the emission control system.

Required Materials

Required Tools

  • Small quantity of fresh gasoline
  • Q-tips
  • Flexible plastic scrapers (you can use disposable floss – see pix)
  • Rags
  • Flat and Phillips Screwdrivers
  • Adjustable pliers
  • Shear Pins – You can’t have enough of these around; I usually have anywhere between 8-12 on hand each season (sounds excessive but sometimes you run into a steady stream of hidden wet newspapers); Please make sure to purchase the correct shear pins as wrong ones may damage your engine! Briggs & Stratton Part #1687404K Shear Pin Kit; when you get them, check to make sure you have those smaller pieces; those are called cotter pins, designed to bend to hold the shear pins in place;
  • Check tire pressure – Maximum of 14 psi; remember, slightly under-inflating tires gives you maximum surface area thus giving better traction (if you don’t have a tire gauge, I recommend the JACO ElitePro Digital Tire Gauge.


By doing some simple tasks upfront, I am hoping to avoid any major breakdowns….

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The Ultimate Resource Guide for John Deere 1330SE Snowblower —

Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

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