Jump to content

Nominations for Tractor of the Month
Garden Tractors and Parts on eBay



Photo
- - - - -

Loss of Power and Black Smoke - Engine Rebuild cost?


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 mark843 OFFLINE  

mark843

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2905
  • 15 Thanks
  • 199 posts
  • Location: West Seneca, NY

Posted June 02, 2016 - 01:39 PM

I was mowing the lawn over the weekend with my JD LX288 and the grass was a bit long. I was going slow and maybe only doing a 50% - 60% pass to not put as much strain on the engine. About half way through The engine started to lose power and I could see it starting to emit some black smoke. There was also a slight bouncing with the RPMs and not that steady, constant sound with a normal running engine.

 

I stopped and let it sit for a few minutes, then did a partial oil change, not changing the oil filter but putting in fresh oil. First thing I noticed was that the oil was running like water. The engine was still hot but I thought it should be a bit thicker than it looked like. Not sure if this is normal with a hot engine or not. I drained about 1 quart of oil but only put in 1 quart to replace what was drained and it was in between the fill lines. I took apart the air filter, cleaned the per-filter and paper filter was clean, but it looked oily.

 

After some time I started it again and it still had the same issues with black smoke and under powered. I thought the issue might be the oil on the paper filter so i took of the air filter and I still had the same issue of the black smoke, under powered and RPMs bouncing. I decided to run the engine without the air filters to see if it might solve or reduce the issue but it didn't seem to help.

 

This lawn tractor has a B&S 18 HP vertical vanguard engine. I know I need to check the carb this weekend and also find out if this engine has a breather valve and check to see if that is stuck. Worst case scenario would be rings and maybe scoring on the cylinder wall I think.

 

If it is the cylinder and rings what would be a ball park cost to get this fixed or rebuilt? I am trying to figure out if it would be worth fixing if it needs a rebuild or if I should look for something new(er). I just don't have the time to learn how to rebuilt this myself. Is there something I might be overlooking or other options I am not thinking of?



#2 crittersf1 OFFLINE  

crittersf1

    GT Lunatic

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 26142
  • 4,167 Thanks
  • 5,759 posts
  • Location: Newport, N.C.

Posted June 02, 2016 - 01:52 PM

Sounds like a fuel issue to me



#3 boyscout862 ONLINE  

boyscout862
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 8923
  • 9,763 Thanks
  • 7,534 posts
  • Location: N.E. Connecticut

Posted June 02, 2016 - 01:54 PM

I would not suspect the rings yet. It sounds like it may be running rich or the vent is letting oil into the carb. Check the vent by the manual. The float may have sunk or it is stuck down so that you are getting too much fuel. Clean the spark plugs and the fuel system. Adjust the carb according to the manual and see how it goes. Good Luck, Rick

 

Once it is running right, add Marvel Mystery Oil to your gas to clean the piston and combustion chamber.


Edited by boyscout862, June 02, 2016 - 01:56 PM.

  • mark843 and dthomp17 have said thanks

#4 dthomp17 OFFLINE  

dthomp17

    Member

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2987
  • 494 Thanks
  • 411 posts
  • Location: Norcross Georgia

Posted June 02, 2016 - 02:27 PM

I agree with the previous comments. Sounds like it's running too rich rather than burning oil. Oil burners usually have blue or grey smoke.  Running too rich would also make it lose power.  Good luck and let us know what you find out.


  • boyscout862 said thank you

#5 mark843 OFFLINE  

mark843

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2905
  • 15 Thanks
  • 199 posts
  • Location: West Seneca, NY

Posted June 02, 2016 - 02:31 PM

Thanks for the replies. I do have the maintenance kit sitting on the shelf so I suppose I should just go ahead and do that while I am trying to find what the issue is. Is there an easy way to clean the carb on these engines and check the float without having to take the carb off and apart? I am not that familiar with the vanguard engine and the carb is hidden by the air cleaner.



#6 Auburn David OFFLINE  

Auburn David
  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 61865
  • 2,754 Thanks
  • 1,962 posts
  • Location: Alabama

Posted June 02, 2016 - 02:41 PM

Carb issue.



#7 boyscout862 ONLINE  

boyscout862
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 8923
  • 9,763 Thanks
  • 7,534 posts
  • Location: N.E. Connecticut

Posted June 02, 2016 - 02:45 PM

Thanks for the replies. I do have the maintenance kit sitting on the shelf so I suppose I should just go ahead and do that while I am trying to find what the issue is. Is there an easy way to clean the carb on these engines and check the float without having to take the carb off and apart? I am not that familiar with the vanguard engine and the carb is hidden by the air cleaner.

Download the Manual from our Manuals Section for instructions on how to clean the carb. Check the fuel filter and the choke too. Good Luck, Rick



#8 propane1 OFFLINE  

propane1
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 54307
  • 6,107 Thanks
  • 3,199 posts
  • Location: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Posted June 02, 2016 - 03:39 PM

Float sticking. Hole in float. Dirt in needle and seat.

Noel
  • retired1990 said thank you

#9 EricFromPa ONLINE  

EricFromPa

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2135
  • 2,295 Thanks
  • 2,331 posts
  • Location: Bedford County Pa.

Posted June 02, 2016 - 03:53 PM

Accually it sounds like the Fuel Solenoid is sticking shut or possibly burnt up.My mowing tractor has a 14hp vanguard twin on it and was just a chooch'in the black smoke.Acted like the choke was pulled.

 

I took the carb apart and sprayed carb/choke cleaner down all the fine holes and Some junk came out of the main jet but the solenoid was gummed up really good.Sprayed it down and grabbed the needle and pushed it in and out like 30 times and sprayed down it really good with carb cleaner several times.Works good now.

 

Quick and easy test for a sticking fuel solenoid is turn the key on and off and listen for a click.If it isn't a nice clean sharp Click of metal on metal sound then it's more than likely gummed up.

 

Those things Do go bad and I've had 2 tractors here that the wire had fallen off of the solenoid.1 broke off right at the solenoid and the other pulled out of the main wiring harness.That wire should have 12v as soon as you turn the key to the run position so it's easy to check to see if it's getting power. 


Edited by EricFromPa, June 02, 2016 - 03:54 PM.

  • mark843 and Auburn David have said thanks

#10 TimW OFFLINE  

TimW
  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Member No: 10778
  • 367 Thanks
  • 235 posts
  • Location: Kentucky

Posted June 02, 2016 - 09:00 PM

I had the same issue with a 18 Vanguard on a Simplicity.  Apparently there may have been an issue with the small or inappropriate air cleaner set up.  Try running it without a filter to see if that works.  Mine did the same thing, black smoke and low power.  It was running like new with a new filter.  If your filter is oily, it cant move good air, so it will act like it is choked.  If you do a little searching, you probably will find this problem discussed on the vertical Vanguards.


  • mark843 said thank you

#11 mark843 OFFLINE  

mark843

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2905
  • 15 Thanks
  • 199 posts
  • Location: West Seneca, NY

Posted June 03, 2016 - 11:56 AM

Thanks for all the replies. I tore into the tractor last night and cleaned the carb. I didn't see any dirt but there could have been an obstruction or something somewhere. I didn't hear or feel any fluid in the float and it did not appear to be stuck. After I got the carb back on I started the tractor with the air filter off. It still seemed to not run right and I saw some vaporized fuel coming back out of the intake of the carb every so often. I am not sure if this is normal.

 

I then put the old air filter on as I was going to quit for the night but after I did that it sounded normal. I drove it around for a few minutes and mowed a section of lawn that I was unable to finish this past weekend. Everything did seem OK, no black smoke even, which is a good sign. When I went to put the tractor away I heard a small backfire/afterfire, which I never had before. Not sure what caused this but will have to see if it happens again. I might have to just lower the RPMs before shutting it off.

 

As I didn't have time to do the maintenance kit I will do that this weekend and see how it runs. My grass has not grown much since when I was mowing this past weekend, as it has been dry, but I will still probably mow it anyways. I should also pull the deck of and clean it up from the long grass before I do mow so as not to stress the engine.

 

I hope just cleaning the carb out does the trick but time will tell. I am aware of the filter issues as I was reading up on them the other day. From what I was reading was that the black gasket ones were OK, but ones with a red gasket were too restrictive. In regards to the fuel solenoid I think I know what click you are talking about. i did listen for it last night and I think I heard two clicks. One by the instrument panel and the other on the engine. Does the fuel solenoid just depress the pin to allow fuel to flow?


Edited by mark843, June 03, 2016 - 11:57 AM.


#12 EricFromPa ONLINE  

EricFromPa

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2135
  • 2,295 Thanks
  • 2,331 posts
  • Location: Bedford County Pa.

Posted June 03, 2016 - 12:38 PM

Ya it just pulls the pin.They block off the Main jet when you turn the key off to prevent backfires when you shut it off when the engine is good and hot.

 

The main jet is removable.I like to pull them out when I service one and clean it with my little torch tip cleaning kit.






Top