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18 Hp Vanguard Broken Connecting Rod Questions


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#1 19.9 gt OFFLINE  

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Posted April 02, 2014 - 12:21 PM

I have a 1999 snapper lx1848h 18 hp vanguard vertical shaft with a broken connecting rod (one piston does not move) that runs and mows (slowly) no noise and previous owner used this way for 2 years. Does anyone have experience with this failure? I think cooling fins got caked up due to valve cover leak causing to overheat and sticking piston.How likely is it a hone,piston, rings,rod and bearings would do or is it more apt to need another engine? Also anyone know if a Briggs 23 hp els from a snapper lt130 aws would be a reasonably straight forward swap or more trouble than it is worth.



#2 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted April 02, 2014 - 02:24 PM

Welcome to GTtalk.  I'm surprised the PO was able to use it for 2 years with a broken connecting rod.  What engine is currently installed?  It the crank, cam or block did sustain any damage then you could rebuild but you will need to check how much wear you have on the cylinder and journal's.


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#3 New.Canadian.DB.Owner OFFLINE  

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Posted April 02, 2014 - 02:58 PM

:ditto: and   :welcome: .  

 

 

I would be very skeptical about an engine running with a broken connecting rod and not making a noise.  I would want to physically check that the piston isn't moving.  Pull the plugs & use a screwdriver or something similar to check the depth-to-piston.  Rotate the engine by hand (remove battery first) and the depth should change.  You should know quickly if both are moving.  A dead cylinder on a Vanguard is more likely a coil gone bad on that cylinder.


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#4 New.Canadian.DB.Owner OFFLINE  

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Posted April 02, 2014 - 05:12 PM

Just in case you are wondering why we doubt the quiet broken connecting rod, here is what the one in my 8 hp snowblower looks like.  Notice the big gapping hole in the block.

 

DSCN3365.JPG DSCN3366.JPG


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#5 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted April 02, 2014 - 05:30 PM

Welcome to GTT. Take some clear pictures and download the Vangard Manual. We will get through this together. Good Luck, Rick


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#6 superaben OFFLINE  

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Posted April 02, 2014 - 07:57 PM

That's incredible that the owner can use a two cylinder engine as a one cylinder engine for 2 years.  Its almost impossible because of balancing.  The flywheel should have sheared a key. 

 

If he did manage to run it for 2 years, I would say chuck it and start over.  You have parts worn completely out of kilter since the engine was run out of balance for two years.  At the very least I would fret about what damage a broken rod has done with metal shards knocking around loose.  2 years is a long time to mix rod parts into your bearings.

 

Ben W.



#7 19.9 gt OFFLINE  

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Posted April 04, 2014 - 09:51 AM

I am a professional asian car technician so I understand engines. That is why I asked if anyone had seen anything like this before. I rode it home a half mile, engaged the deck and mowed a short way, actually fairly smooth for only one cylinder. First check fire, then pulled valve cover to look at push rods, rockers etc all good. Pulled plug to check compression and found none, piston does not move when cranking. Imagine my surprise. Oil looked clean, put plug back in started right up will run out at full speed just not enough power to mow at a normal speed. Went back and talked to previous owner and he thought it just got weak, did not know he was using it on one cylinder. I saw a small block ford in a sprint car break a rod at the big end and stick the piston at top due to the wrong gearswap between heats. He was leading till rod broke and still finished second three laps latter. Still ran, carried good oil pressure and no noise as rod was high enough to be out of the way of rotating assembly. We didn't know it broke a rod till we took it apart. I have no experience on this engine and obviously won't know till it comes apart what the damage is, just curious if anyone had seen this before. I have heard these are good engines and with new ones going for $1000  I will build it if possible. As a professional auto tech for over 30 years I have learned that sometimes the best tool you can have is the guy in the next bay that saw that problem last month. It may be a few weeks till it comes apart but I will but I will let everyone know the result then. All info or tips on this engine are greatly appriciated.   


Edited by 19.9 gt, April 04, 2014 - 10:55 AM.

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#8 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted April 29, 2014 - 11:24 AM

I am a professional asian car technician so I understand engines. That is why I asked if anyone had seen anything like this before. I rode it home a half mile, engaged the deck and mowed a short way, actually fairly smooth for only one cylinder. First check fire, then pulled valve cover to look at push rods, rockers etc all good. Pulled plug to check compression and found none, piston does not move when cranking. Imagine my surprise. Oil looked clean, put plug back in started right up will run out at full speed just not enough power to mow at a normal speed. Went back and talked to previous owner and he thought it just got weak, did not know he was using it on one cylinder. I saw a small block ford in a sprint car break a rod at the big end and stick the piston at top due to the wrong gearswap between heats. He was leading till rod broke and still finished second three laps latter. Still ran, carried good oil pressure and no noise as rod was high enough to be out of the way of rotating assembly. We didn't know it broke a rod till we took it apart. I have no experience on this engine and obviously won't know till it comes apart what the damage is, just curious if anyone had seen this before. I have heard these are good engines and with new ones going for $1000  I will build it if possible. As a professional auto tech for over 30 years I have learned that sometimes the best tool you can have is the guy in the next bay that saw that problem last month. It may be a few weeks till it comes apart but I will but I will let everyone know the result then. All info or tips on this engine are greatly appriciated.   

I bought a Snapper LT13 with a B&S 13 hp twin with a broken rod.  It ran and mowed, although I didn't use it that way for long--I knew the rod was broken--I replaced it with a B&S 18hp.  Same block--bolt up application.

 

The Vanguards are good engines.  I would pull it down and see what it needs to rebuild it.  Since you're an experienced mechanic, you already know what to look for.

 

BTW, the Vanguards are an Asian engine, too. B&S teamed up with Daihatsu to built the Vanguard series as well as some water cooled diesels that are used in lawn equipment, etc.

 

Smitty


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