Craftsman lawn tractor smoking badly

neladyJuly 8, 2008

After spending a ridiculous amount of time changing the drive belt on my lawn tractor(they should really make it easier to do this), I started it up and white smoke came pouring out of what I think is the muffler.I didn't dare use it, so I shut it off. I tried to start it today and the same thing happened. There is also oil around the bottom of the oil tube where you fill it. The cap was screwed on correctly, so it didn't come from the top, but I wiped everything down and I can't find a leak anywhere. I am just concerned that I might destroy the engine if I use it when it is smoking so badly. I checked the air filter and it is clean and dry. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

There is a clip on Utube of a Craftsman lawn tractor doing exactly what mine is, only mine is smoking a lot worse.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9qc_KIfxsA

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jagstang41

On older tractors, its fairly common for them to spew some white oil smoke after they've been sitting. This more likely when you have just topped off the oil. My old Tecumseh motor had could belch smoke when you first started it if the oil was fully filled and I had left it sitting. Check your oil level. If you have room to, top it off, start it and run it for a few, and see what happens.

Based on experience, even if you are leaking oil, it doesn't smoke much due to the fact the engine block does not get hot enough (especially on startup) for large amounts of oil to burn off at once. In the unlikely case it's winding up on the exhaust, it would often catch fire before too long. Also, if it was leaking, it would find your garage/shed floor, as a mower frame has plenty of holes for it to escape through.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 11:20PM
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bill_kapaun

I assume this is out of the ordinary.

My first guess would be that you have the belt routed wrong and it's rubbing somewhere. Examine the belt. There should be an obvious dark spot where it was rubbing, if that's the case.

Did you have the tractor tilted at a severe angle when you changed the belt?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 5:08AM
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johntommybob

You changed the belt and it started to smoke. I think you have the belt installed wrong.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 5:48AM
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jd108eric

hmmmm.. oil over-filled?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 4:14PM
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bushleague(MA)

When working under Craftsman and other tractors, a usually tilt the entire machine up on the two right side wheels, and support it with a jack stand under the rear fender. There is a drive belt routing diagram on the bottom of the Craftsman tractors. A simple mistake is to route the belt around a guide, which will heat the belt making it smoke. Tilting an engine will oftentimes produce smoke as the mufler can will fill with oil. A good 20 minute run outside will burn this out.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 7:27PM
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rcmoser

IMO Depends on the model you have, beleive it or not some models are fairly easy. usually the first time they are hard cause you are learning. if you positions the engine anyway up, down, or sideways it will usually smoke on start up. tiny amount of oil makes it pass the piston rings and creates alot of smoke in the comb chamber (usually BLUE smoke not white) I equate white smoke when an engine burns water.

IMO Usually when you install the belt wrong it makes a heck of a squealing sound, does nothing meaning the tractor won't move or the deck won't turn, or lugs the engine down. I would double check the belt installation as recommended above, verify the oil level, remove the plugs spray some carb cleaner down the spark plug holes motor the engine over for 30 sec. with the plugs out to wash out any oil that may have or suspect got pass the piston rings. clean and reinstall the plugs and fire it up and run it long enough to see if the smoke cleans, usually take 3 or 4 min. depending on how much oil is in the comb chamber and muffler. if enough was in there to get pushed into the muffler then it will take longer to clear.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 8:06PM
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nelady

Thanks all of you for your answers.
After taking the belt off five times and having the same thing happen,I bit the bullet and called the mechanic.He said a pully keeper was bent and the belt was rubbing on a bolt on the wheel. I insatlled another new belt, bent the keeper a little, WD40 on everything and fired it up. The smoke stopped after about 5 min. and I finally got the lawn mowed after three weeks. My neighbors are thrilled! So am I. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 8:53PM
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bushleague(MA)

There you go.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 6:41AM
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