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Shaft end play - from bad to worse


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#1 artbuc OFFLINE  

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Posted August 22, 2010 - 09:11 AM

I have a Gravely 18-H aka Ariens GT 18 with a Kohler M18S Magnum engine. I have been trying to check things out while I wait for my new mower deck. The engine starts and runs great. Compression is 100 and 105 psi. I have been trying to locate a noise which I thought was loose baffles in the muffler. It wasn't. The bearing on the electric clutch is going bad but that isn't the problem because I hear the sound with the clutch removed.

While checking out the clutch by directly applying 12v, I was dismayed to see the engine output shaft moving in/out. I put a dial indicator on it and got .025" vs the spec of .002/.014. You can grab the output shaft and move it in/out and hear the dull metallic clunk when it bottoms out. I don't know if this is my sound but I am worried about this excessive end play. I already bought the mower deck and probably need a new clutch ($250). Do I need a major engine overhaul?

According to the service manual, the standard thrust washer is .030" and the largest one available is .039", not nearly enough to take out this excessive end play.

Any ideas about how I should handle this end play? Thanks.

#2 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted August 22, 2010 - 12:17 PM

That is a lot of end play, and may need tended to. As to available thrust washers, you have to remember yours is likely worn thinner, so a new .030 washer may get it within specs, & surely a .039 would get it well below max clearance.

#3 artbuc OFFLINE  

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Posted August 22, 2010 - 01:24 PM

That is a lot of end play, and may need tended to. As to available thrust washers, you have to remember yours is likely worn thinner, so a new .030 washer may get it within specs, & surely a .039 would get it well below max clearance.


Yep. I wonder if I can split the crankcase in two without removing the cylinder barrels? I want to do the minimum tear down possible.

I think I know what caused the problem. The electric clutch was sticking on the output shaft. That is why the output shaft was moving when I applied voltage to the clutch. Now that everything is cleaned up, the clutch slides up and down the shaft freely when it is engaged/disengaged. I was really working that thrust washer hard. I'm not sure if my engine has a thrust bearing in addition to the thrust washer. Some Magnums do if they are for high thrust applications. I don't know what a high thrust application is but I doubt if mine is.

Olcowhand, did you ever tear down a Magnum? Any tips/ Thanks.

#4 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted August 22, 2010 - 01:43 PM

I split a Magnum MV20 years ago, but can't recall that much about it. You may be able to get a new thrust washer in without pulling a jug, but I can't say for sure. You wanna check the oil intake screen close. The one I took apart was a salvage deal. Silicone sealer had sealed off the oil pump intake screen & trashed the engine. It was a freebie already blown. That screen is way too small IMO, so you don't want any trash on it. Don't use average silicone sealer on the block. I use Permatex Ultra Gray. It doesn't shed off excess much like common silicone does to plug stuff up.




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