Did I blow it -- literally?

CEFreeman(DC/MD Burbs 7B)April 19, 2011

HI all!

Last year, my Craftsman lawn tractor of 2003 started stalling out about 20 minutes into my 2 hour mow. I had to cleaned & mystery stuff done it it and it was running beautifully.

I got it out for my 1st mow this year and I probably mowed hours or so. I stopped to take a picture, and when I engaged the blades, it started stalling out!

It would turn over in a puff of black smoke, but when I engaged the blades, it stalled.

Finally, it started again, but did a big, jerking CLUNK and stalled again. I noticed it had blown chunks out of the engine. They looked ceramic, but were too hot to fool with. I saved them.

Now here's the weird one that worries me. It had a lot of white smoke just curling up from under the engine. It didn't blow away. Just curled around and around itself .

Is my mower toast?

If anything, it's going to be the biggest lawn ornament in history, since I can't move it!

Christine

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lbpod

"I had to cleaned & mystery stuff done it it and it..."
Hmmmmmmmmm. . . Okay, I give up.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 8:35AM
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1saxman

Sounds like an oil problem and/or overheating caused it to blow up. Take the air shroud off and see if the cooling fins are blocked with chaff/dirt. This something you have to check every year. Have you been changing the oil at least yearly and checking the oil level before each cutting session?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 11:30PM
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damnfingers(z8 MS)

Yep...sure did.

If something besides smoke came out of your engine then it's dead...and you said something resembling ceramic pieces came out.

As for the smoke just curling around and around the bottom of the engine...why would this worry/bother you more than the actual pieces that came out of the engine? Just curious....

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 11:36PM
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orangedotfever

"...it started again, but did a big, jerking CLUNK and stalled again. I noticed it had blown chunks out of the engine."

Sounds like you are going to be buying a new mower.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 9:18AM
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CEFreeman(DC/MD Burbs 7B)

I'm not so wigged about the smoke coming out of it, but fascinated that it just stayed in one place & curled around itself.
After all, it had just been blowing out lots of black smoke before the clunk.

I've discovered that it threw a rod. Although I check the oil regularly, before I use it, my rings had loosened, dry rotted, or something that let the oil leak.

I have a friend who has been doing small engine repair for 140,000 years. He has found me another Kohler engine and is going to put it in for me. He's going to check it out thoroughly, replace and rebuild anything necessary, and off I'll go. A new one is about $1800. This is going to be roughly $300.

I hate mowing. I'd rather give the lawn away than mow.

If it's not one thing, it's another.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 10:23AM
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jtyrie(Z7+ DFW)

Hey Christine - That smoke was the spirit of your dead Kohler rolling around for a last look before going to that great junkyard in the sky. ;-)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 11:03AM
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rustyj14(W/PA)

Here's a tip to keep you from ruining a good engine, if you have it replaced!
To wit: When you go out to start the tngine of your machine--first open the hood, and/ or find the oil dip-stick. Pull it out, and using a clean paper towel or rag, wipe it clean. Then put the stick back in all the way, then pull it out and look at the oil level again. This will show the true oil level in the engine (or none/really low!) And will show whether you need to add oil, to bring it up to the required level.
Too many neophytes, in the newby lawn tractor/ power mower genre, don't know this fact on how to check the oil in the engine, resulting in lots of new engine sales!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 11:48AM
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CEFreeman(DC/MD Burbs 7B)

I believe I mentioned:

>>Although I check the oil regularly, before I use it, my rings had [evidently] loosened, dry rotted, or something that let the oil leak. Jtyrie!
I like that idea, frankly. [LOL] After all, since 2003, mowing from early April thru November, each week, for 3 hours or so at a time? This little puppy owes me nothing.

It just never happens at a good time...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 1:19PM
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rustyj14(W/PA)

Yeah, but--did you check the oil the way i said? That oil will stay on the dip-stick for weeks, above the full mark, and the uninitiated will buy more engines, than those who heed my advice! 'nuff said: Ruaty J. :

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 8:56PM
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CEFreeman(DC/MD Burbs 7B)

Rusty,
I know how to check the oil and I already said twice that I did it. I do it each time I go to mow. I mow far too long during the summer for far too many hours not to.
Thank you, though.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 9:33PM
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