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So Then My Engine Started Smoking

cub cadet 125 kohler k301a

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#1 lbower OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2012 - 05:26 PM

It was a nice sunny day (yesterday), I had just put a new plug, air filter, fuel filter, battery, mower deck wheels and a shiny new black seat cushion on my 125. After tinkering to get it started after a winters nap, I revved it up and said "let's cut some grass." As I made one trip around the front yard and started on lap #2, smoke started billowing out of everywhere on the front of the tractor. I lifted the engine cover up to take a look and to my surprise I saw smoke coming out of everywhere imaginable on the engine. I quickly stopped the blades on the deck and returned to the garage to quickly shut it down. When I bought this tractor (used obviously) 2 summers ago, the previous owner admitted it took oil quite often but ran like a champ otherwise. True to his word, it did take oil every time I cut but it seemed to run pretty well. So I'm guessing it is 'rebuild' time, or at least replacing all of the gaskets? I have never torn an engine apart before and I guess I want to know what I'm getting myself into. Can I pick up a reprint of the owner's manual and start tearing it apart or do I let a pro take care of the dirty work? I'm up for a challenge; any thoughts from anyone who's done this before? Thanks in advance.

#2 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2012 - 05:42 PM

I think you first should try to find the source of the oil leakage. I don't think that all the gaskets would go at once. Check the crankcase vent to make sure it's not plugged and look the engine over carefully to see if you can find the source of the leak. Changing any of the external gaskets like the valve cover, points cover, carb etc is not hard. Even the head gasket is not that hard if you have some experience with mechanical repairs. Let us know what you can find out.

#3 Amigatec OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2012 - 06:46 PM

On my 129 the front seal behind the PTO was out of the block, that let it blow oil on the muffler and smoke a lot.

#4 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2012 - 07:02 PM

Just in case you decide you want to do it your self, here's a link to the service manual:
http://gardentractor...service-manual/
Download it and look it over, these engines aren't too hard to work on. Replacing seals might take a bit getting the pto clutch off. They can sometimes be a bear, other times rather easy.
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#5 lbower OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2012 - 07:46 PM

i'll give anything a try once. the harder part may be making space in the garage to work on it. if I decide to work on it, is it easier to pull the engine off or can it be left on the chassis to work on?

#6 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2012 - 08:06 PM

I hate to sound dumb or ask a stupid question, but I'm going to anyhow. Are you sure that it's oil smoke? Little critters seem to have a fondness for building nests in the cozy spaces inside of an engine shroud. You should be able to pull the blower housing fairly easily to see if there's anything in there.
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#7 lbower OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2012 - 08:17 PM

Not dumb and that is absolutely a possible cause. Field mice run rampant around my property. A few weeks ago the mechanic called laughing to tell me the mice made a nest out of the cabin air filter in my car and last year two mice died in my wife's truck trying to get to chocolate in the mcdonalds cups she left inside (they drowned). I did keep the tractor outside this last winter, only cause I ran out of room in the garage and the wife said the tractor had to go out. I guess before I order any gasket kits, I'll look into the housing like you said and see what I find. Thank you sir!

#8 Delmar OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2012 - 10:06 PM

I hate to sound dumb or ask a stupid question, but I'm going to anyhow. Are you sure that it's oil smoke? Little critters seem to have a fondness for building nests in the cozy spaces inside of an engine shroud. You should be able to pull the blower housing fairly easily to see if there's anything in there.


My current working riding mower is a '86 Ford YT16. it wasn't running when I brought it home, it had sat in the corner of the previous owner's shed for several years before i bought it. First thing I did to it when I got it home was to take the tin off the motor. Yep, biggest dang mouse nest under there you ever did see!

#9 bgkid2966 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2012 - 08:00 AM

Keep us posted and we can help you through. Oh, and welcome, glad to have you aboard.

Geno

#10 lbower OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2012 - 09:43 PM

I probably won't have a chance to work on it till this weekend, but if I manage to get to it before then i'll post my findings. I'll even take some pics if it turns out to be something good. I bought a dirt bike last Spring, when I got it home and started cleaning it up we found a Garter snake hitched a ride home with me. My kids started freaking out; got pics of that too. Thanks to everyone who posted back; I'll let you know what I find.

#11 HDWildBill ONLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2012 - 10:34 AM

Since you also state it is using oil, I think what I would do would be to clean the engine with a good de-greaser. Then make sure you have plenty of oil in the engine and start it up and see if you can see where the oil may be coming from. I have often found that all you have to do is tighten a plate or cover to stop the leak (caution do not over tighten).

#12 lbower OFFLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2012 - 07:42 PM

I hate to sound dumb or ask a stupid question, but I'm going to anyhow. Are you sure that it's oil smoke? Little critters seem to have a fondness for building nests in the cozy spaces inside of an engine shroud. You should be able to pull the blower housing fairly easily to see if there's anything in there.

So you hit the nail right on the head man! I came home from work and it was just too nice out to ignore the tractor, so I started pulling bolts off and finally pulled the top cover off only to reveal chewed up grass, paper and who knows what else. I gave everything a good cleaning, put it all back together and fired up the 125. It still smokes a little, but it's the same amount it always used to smoke before. It has burned oil since I bought it; I'll take your advice Bill and give it a good cleaning with a degreaser, and then try to figure out exactly where it's coming from. Ultimately I think the engine would benefit from either a replacement of the gaskets, or an entire rebuild. Thanks to everyone who contributed; I tried to upload pictures I took today but this site has been fighting me on uploading pics no matter which one I choose. I'll keep trying to upload pics to my gallery if anyone is interested. Thanks again to all.

Edited by lbower, March 28, 2012 - 07:43 PM.


#13 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted March 29, 2012 - 03:08 PM

So you hit the nail right on the head man! I came home from work and it was just too nice out to ignore the tractor, so I started pulling bolts off and finally pulled the top cover off only to reveal chewed up grass, paper and who knows what else.


That's great news! I'm glad that it was something simple!

I tried to upload pictures I took today but this site has been fighting me on uploading pics no matter which one I choose.


Is the image uploader telling you that the files (pics) are too large? If so, you can use an image resizer program to reduce the size of the file. The following link is a program for windows that you download and use from your computer. Click here There are also some that you can use from the internet where you upload the photo, run it through the program, then download the finished file. If you go to Google and search for "image resizer" you'll get a lot of things to choose from.

#14 lbower OFFLINE  

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Posted March 31, 2012 - 09:05 PM

Had to make the pic smaller; thanks for the help.

#15 HDWildBill ONLINE  

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Posted April 02, 2012 - 08:53 AM

Glad to hear you solved the problem's with both the tractor and the pic's.




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