Zero turn burning oil at high rate

macguy59August 13, 2014

Have a Toro Z5000 (74370) with a single cylinder Kohler Courage engine @ 21HP. Tractor has been running good until yesterday morning. I was mowing a neighbors yard and the engine all of sudden started stuttering, losing power and cutting out. Got it back to my garage to inspect. I eventually found that the carb had come loose which I;'m guessing was starving the engine of fuel. Tightened the carb back down. Tractor fired right up so I finished the neighbors yard. I thought I detected a whiff of exhuast that smelled like oil burn. Wrote it off as getting some oil on the muffler. So today I mow my own yard which is 2 acres. I smell the same odor as yesterday. I don't really see smoke coming from the exhaust but the smell is there. After I finish mowing I let the mower sit 60 min then I checked the oil level. It was down about a 1/4 of a quart. I see a small amount of oil on the frame just under the air filter housing but no oil is on the air filter itself. I cleaned that area and topped off the oil level. I ran back over my 2 acre yard again with the same result. I lost/burned about 1/4 quart of oil again and there was a small amount of oil again on the exact same spot on the frame. Anyone hazard a guess as to what the heck has happened to cause the tractor to be burning oil all of a sudden ?

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Next time BEFORE you start, check the dip stick level AND smell the oil for the presence of gasoline.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:54PM
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Will do

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:04PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

With carburetor loose engine run lean and super hot in combustion chamber this heat burn oil around piston rings cause stick then engine burn more oil. 4 oz. seafoam in with engine oil and run for long time like mow acre remove deposits release rings., First run engine burn oil until ring free up then check oil usage next run if stops burning 1/4 quart change out oil with seafoam and partial in oil. The detergent in motor just not amount needed.
Instruction are on seafoam can for use engine oil.

This post was edited by gator_rider2 on Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 9:52

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 9:49AM
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Check the Valve Cover for loose bolts..

Found this on 4 or 5 different makes of tractors in the past two to three years with Courage engines.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 12:11PM
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Update. Smelled oil . . . no gas. Changed oil anyway. Still burning oil. At first start up big cloud of blue smoke. There is some oil escaping from the engine but Ive yet to track down where it's coming from. Still oil the frame directly underneath the air filter housing, Odd spot for it. There is no oil on the air filter or the muffler. Blown head gasket maybe that's allowing some oil pass through ? I would have to remove the air filter and the housing to see if it's coming from that. I'm hesitant to run the engine with that off.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 11:45PM
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Is it safe to run Seafoam in a lawn tractor engine ?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 11:47PM
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Prior to the oil burning there was a tiny leak from the bottom of the valve cover. So I bought a new gasket and torqued the cover bolts to spec. No oil is coming from the valve cover now.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 11:49PM
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Well, the breather hose enters the back of the air filter housing. Remove the hose and do a test run looking for oil vapor. Typically when the top cover comes loose, the block cracks in a different spot. I would still pull the shroud and inspect for leaks above. How is it running?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 2:40AM
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