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Oil Sucking Briggs/sears 18 Hp


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#1 machinist OFFLINE  

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Posted April 23, 2013 - 07:11 PM

What I have is an 18 HP ELS500, one cyl. OHV engine on an American Yard Products tractor sold by Sears as an LT1000, made in 2003. It has an oil pump, oil pressure guage, and spin on filter. It still runs about 10 PSI oil pressure on start up like it always did. I did not overfill it with oil. It recently began to suck oil from the crankcase out the vent hose and into the carburetor. Smokes like crazy and used a lot of oil mowing for an hour. Plug is gunked up, etc.

I took off the shrouding and got down to the carb and crankcase vent, pulled the rubber hose from the crankcase vent and only see a baffle inside. Is there supposed to be some foam or steel wool like stuff in there? Looks like a good place to have a PCV valve, but none in sight. Something is allowing this thing to vacuum oil out. I have not removed the flywheel yet to look at the rest of the crankcase vent assembly, but from the outside it appears to have more to it under the flywheel not yet visible to me.

I got this thing at about a year old and know it has had proper oil changes, clean filters, and all. Plenty of power, so I'm pretty sure I don't have ring problem. MAJOR SMOKE when going downhill with the left side of the tractor leaning downhill = carburetor and crankcase vent side.   My yard has a lot of steep hillsides, so this has happened fairly regularly.  No problem when tilted to the driver's right, but it is still smoking some like it is burning a lot of oil and the dipstick proves that.   

I have not removed the flywheel yet to look at the rest of the crankcase vent assembly, but from the outside it appears to have more to it under the flywheel not yet visible to me.

 

I changed oil in it today using Rotella 15W40, and installed a new oil filter.   After one hour mowing, it had used 1/2 pint of oil.   I've been adding an ounce of Seafoam to a gallon of gas since non-ethanol isn't available here.


Edited by machinist, April 23, 2013 - 07:14 PM.


#2 Buck OFFLINE  

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Posted April 23, 2013 - 08:02 PM

I have a similar problem with a 14 hp Kohler. You have to make sure the air cleaner is clean and free of oil deposits. Park it on a slope in a non dust condition and take the air cleaner off. See if it still does it. If it does, could be a broken ring. 1/2 pint is a lot oil to get sucked into a breather. The carb will suck in oil and smoke. Thats what mine does. You can change the oil breather, pretty easy and I don't think its real expensive, put a new air filter on at the same time. To me you can eliminate this part of it.


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#3 machinist OFFLINE  

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Posted April 23, 2013 - 08:12 PM

Thanks!  I'll give that a try tomorrow.   The air cleaner element is new, but I forgot the pre-filter, which I just found is REALLY bad dirty.   I'll try running it without an air filter and watch to see if oil is getting sucked in.   A local mechanic friend of mine said it could be a blown head gasket.   Hope that isn't the case, but doable if necessary.  

 

Initially I thought the engine was toast.   I went looking and found a similar 2007 Poulan tractor for $400 locally and brought it home last weekend.   It's in fine shape, so this one is in the shop for as long as it takes.   I'll make it run and have a spare.   I just can't see buying a new one at today's prices.  :biting_nails:


Edited by machinist, April 23, 2013 - 08:14 PM.


#4 akretowicz OFFLINE  

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Posted April 23, 2013 - 08:22 PM

Sounds like excessive blowby to me.  I believe your compression ring are failing.  I may be wrong, but would be worth a look into.


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#5 machinist OFFLINE  

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Posted April 23, 2013 - 09:10 PM

I'll do a compression check, but it has LOTS of power, so I don't think I'll find it there.  I was cutting juicy grass that is 8" high and thick in 3rd gear, no problem.   42" deck.    No smoke when level except a trace.   I'll know more tomorrow and get back to you all on this.



#6 Buck OFFLINE  

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Posted April 23, 2013 - 09:11 PM

Not sure about the head gasket. I changed mine becase it was leaking out the top as well. But mine still does smoke so I am thinking rings like Akr. said. I agree with you on todays prices. I would love to have a new Deere but for the money and fun of tinkering, I will stick to my Jacobsens.



#7 EricFromPa OFFLINE  

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Posted April 26, 2013 - 05:48 PM

Sounds like a blown head gasket.All OHV briggs engines (including the single cylinder engines) have less than a 1/4 of an inch of material between the channel where the push rods are and the cylinder.It's the 1st place that the gasket blow out at.They will not smoke much at 1st but the more you run it the bigger the hole in the gasket will get and the more it will smoke.When going down hill Oil rushes to the front of the engine and fills the valve covers full of Oil.It also raises the compression up a bit with oil getting into the cylinder and it renders the breather pretty much useless as it will no longer have vacuum to keep the valve closed on compression and decompression stroke.

 

 

Head gaskets are easy to change once you remove the Carb and exhaust.Valve lash will need to be set to (Intake .004 Exhaust .006 +/-.001 Piston 1/4 PAST TDC (important)) Head bolt Torque specs are 210 to 230 inch pounds.

 

 

 

If 1 is blown replace Both of them as the other is going to fail soon.


Edited by EricFromPa, April 26, 2013 - 05:52 PM.





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