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post #1 of 26 Old 08-13-2019, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Question Advice on removing engine mount bolts

I have a Craftsman Garden tractor model 917275021.
https://www.searspartsdirect.com/mod...7/1509200.html
I have to lift the engine in order to remove:



and this:



These keep leaking for me and are very hard to reach to turn. After years of dealing with them, I decided I needed a better way to drain oil so -
I plan to replace them with two 3/8 pipe nipples, 1 elbow and a cap so that I can making draining the oil a much easier task.
(These parts are located in such a position that it is extremely difficult to get my hand in there to turn the plastic sleeve to open the drain.)

I did manage to get the oil drain valve part off from underneath using vice grip pliers.
Unfortunately I cannot get a wrench or any kind of gripping tool in there to turn the brass oil drain elbow out of the engine.
Why I have to lift the engine to reach it. This is what others have done according to SearsPartsDirect.

Problem: I managed to get 3 of the 4 engine mount bolts out. The 4th is in a very hard to reach place. I tried using a 9/16 socket on a breaker bar with an extention. Not enough strength to get it loose. I am soaking the bolt with PB BLaster (so far 3 days). Still no luck. I can't get a wrench directly on the head of the bolt because I can't get up in there to work on it with my hands on the tool.

I ordered a Bernzomatic Torch to try heating.
Advice needed on how to safely use that torch on an engine.

Should I heat the bolt by the enginge block which is aluminum or try heat on the metal part that the bolt screws into to reach the engine block from underneath?

Any advice appreciated. Keep in mind I myself am a women that weigh 114 lbs. without much brute strength.
Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 26 Old 08-13-2019, 12:17 PM
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Re: Advice on removing engine mount bolts

Heating the eng mount around the bolt should do the trick


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post #3 of 26 Old 08-13-2019, 03:02 PM
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Re: Advice on removing engine mount bolts

use MAPP gas rather than propane. Gets a bit hotter.
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post #4 of 26 Old 08-13-2019, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Advice on removing engine mount bolts

Hi e.fisher26
I think so too. I watched a lot of youtube videos today where that is done.
Thanks for the reply.
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post #5 of 26 Old 08-13-2019, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Advice on removing engine mount bolts

Hello 38racing,
I will check that out.
Thanks for the suggestion.
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post #6 of 26 Old 08-14-2019, 11:31 AM
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Re: Advice on removing engine mount bolts

Be careful when using an open flame around a carburetor with a float bowl full of fuel. I don't know which bolt is where relative to the carburetor so make the comment blindly.
A tool(item?) that will increase your leverage when trying to loosen a bolt is a length of pipe that will fit over the handle of your ratchet wrench. If you are using a box/open wrench, you can entangle a box onto the 'open' end of the wrench, and position it to sit squarely and act as an extension. Generally, a size larger than the one on the fastener will work. Flip the box so it is over one of the open 'fingers', and it should grab. If not, flip the box over so the other angle is engaged.
The heat will expand the aluminum of the block more than the Fe of the fastener, though it will be transferred quickly to other parts of the block, and cool down quickly. Sometimes just the shock of a quick temperature change will loosen the bonds.
If the brass elbow is not leaking, you should be able to use it without changing out for an iron pipe elbow. I figure you plan in using a 'street elbow' or street ell screwed into the sump, and pipe screwed into that. I would use teflon tape, several turns, wrapped around the pipe threads clockwise when looking into the fitting/pipe. That way, when you turn and tighten the fitting, the tape will want to 'go along' with the motion rather than try to un-thread itself.
tom
added:
Please avoid the temptation to over-tighten when installing into the sump. The aluminum can crack more readily than the iron pipe, and so cannot handle being over-torqued. Thread it in by hand until you feel some resistance, hard to turn by hand, then tighten using a pipe wrench, with effort at the end of a 12" equivalent length handle in the 15-20 foot pound range. i.e., a 12" wrench pull at about 15-20 pounds, with a 24" wrench, pull at half that force. You can generally feel when the threads are starting to get 'metal tight' rather than 'tape tight', and you limit your turns after reaching that point, so you get the elbow pointing in the desired direction. That is one reason to use a straight length coming from the sump, and adding elbows further down the path, where you can be Fe-to-Fe, which will accept a lot more over-tightening, and if something breaks, cheap to replace. The straight length does not have to be tight AND lined up. The elbows do.
tom

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Last edited by tomw0; 08-14-2019 at 11:36 AM.
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post #7 of 26 Old 08-15-2019, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Re: Advice on removing engine mount bolts

Hi tomw0
That's a wealth of information.
Thanks for sharing. Much appreciated!

I was very concerned about this being an engine mount bolt and its right front above the tie rod. Kind of close to the carburator. I have to use an extender to reach it with the socket. Can't get any tools or my hands up in there to try anything else the way the bolt is situated.

I spent several hours yesterday cleaning off all the leaked oil everywhere I could reach it.
My torch arrived yesterday. But I was hesitant to just go out there and end up torching the whole gt tractor in case I set it on fire or cause gas vapors to explode.

I do have a breaker bar and I did try the cheater bar on it but to no effect (several days, several times). I have used that to remove mower spindle bolts and does work like a charm.
However, at the time, I was using a 12 point socket so decided to wait until the 6 point socket I ordered arrives ( today, yeah!)
Don't want to round off the bolt head.

Meanwhile while I was cleaning the oil and dirt, I decided to clean the air filter and discovered a breather tube had cracked too. Luckily I had a part replacement on hand. That cracket breather tube really added to the oil, dust, dirt mess on its own.
So today after the 6 point socket gets delivered I will give the breaker plus cheater bar socket another try.

If that does not work I will try the torch, very carefully.

I am wondering if I were to use my new Makita hammer, driver, drill with an impact socket if that would be okay to try.
If I can get it in there. Never had a nice drill like that before so I really do not know how safe that would be.
I suspect I could end up with a wrist injury of some sort as I am not very strong. I have to learn about using the correct settings on it yet.
All I had before was an old DeWalt corded electric drill.

Thanks again!
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post #8 of 26 Old 08-15-2019, 11:55 AM
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Re: Advice on removing engine mount bolts

You sound like one determined woman...that hammer driver is just the tool for this task if you can get it on there...get some extensions if you don't have them...far safer than using a torch...I know heat works, but I always try to avoid it...I have seen a lot of fires cause by using flame to try to loosen something...good luck
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post #9 of 26 Old 08-15-2019, 12:14 PM
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Heres how 2 wrenches get locked together...
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post #10 of 26 Old 08-15-2019, 01:18 PM
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Re: Advice on removing engine mount bolts

Last time I tried taking an engine off a newer push mower (A Briggs & Stratton),two out of three of the bolts snapped off in the engine block..

They were very hardened steel bolts,that had a slot cut into the threads,I assume so they cut their own threads like a tap,in the engine block hole,which is aluminum or some similar alloy..

I spent the better part of an afternoon trying to drill the remains of those bolts out--all my drills just screeched and whistled and refused to cut into them--I had to go buy some new cobalt drill bits and a masonry drill bit ,and that masonry bit was the one that finally started cutting away into the bolt...it was tough to keep the drill centered on the bolt,it kept wanting to drift off into the softer engine block...one hole ended up looking like a figure 8 when I was done,I still had part of the bolt stuck in there,with another hole right next to it..had to slot out the mower deck to get a new bolt to go in..and I broke off two of the three 3/16" cobalt bits trying to drill the bolt "on center"--they slid off and snagged on the bolt's area that had been slotted to make it self tapping..

I hope her tractor doesn't have that kind of bolts..they seem to be "one way bolts"--they screw in once and cut their own threads,but may never come back out again..another bright idea some Briggs "engineer" must have dreamed up to save 10 cents ..


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post #11 of 26 Old 08-15-2019, 11:09 PM
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Re: Advice on removing engine mount bolts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tractor-Holic View Post
Last time I tried taking an engine off a newer push mower (A Briggs & Stratton),two out of three of the bolts snapped off in the engine block..

They were very hardened steel bolts,that had a slot cut into the threads,I assume so they cut their own threads like a tap,in the engine block hole,which is aluminum or some similar alloy..

I spent the better part of an afternoon trying to drill the remains of those bolts out--all my drills just screeched and whistled and refused to cut into them--I had to go buy some new cobalt drill bits and a masonry drill bit ,and that masonry bit was the one that finally started cutting away into the bolt...it was tough to keep the drill centered on the bolt,it kept wanting to drift off into the softer engine block...one hole ended up looking like a figure 8 when I was done,I still had part of the bolt stuck in there,with another hole right next to it..had to slot out the mower deck to get a new bolt to go in..and I broke off two of the three 3/16" cobalt bits trying to drill the bolt "on center"--they slid off and snagged on the bolt's area that had been slotted to make it self tapping..

I hope her tractor doesn't have that kind of bolts..they seem to be "one way bolts"--they screw in once and cut their own threads,but may never come back out again..another bright idea some Briggs "engineer" must have dreamed up to save 10 cents ..
If you could suspend the engine so the broken bolt part of block is submerged in a pan then you put it so pan is on a camp stove. Fill the pan with a water alum mix and heat it with stove. Eventually the steel bolt will dissolve leaving aluminum unchanged. It did with a sump bolt broken the block of tecumseh vtwin. Unfortunately I had already messed the hole from trying to drill it out so after the alum got remainder of bolt I still drilled and tapped oversize. In hindsight maybe I should have tried a helicoil.
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post #12 of 26 Old 08-16-2019, 08:26 AM
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Re: Advice on removing engine mount bolts

You say you have three of them out. Like tractorholic says I've twisted them Briggs engine mounting bolts off also. I've tried severe heat on the stuck ones before and they still twisted off and no good, the steel and aluminum is usually galled together. I have a air chisel rigged with a blunt mushroom head attachment and a air regulator right at on the tool and set the blunt tool on the head of the bolts and set the air pressure so as the hammer impact just buzzes (lime a wood bee) and it break the thread corrosion and they come right out usually. I use the tool quite often on seized exhaust manifold bolts.

I go at them with a real good 6 point box end wrench or a 6 point socket so no rounding off of the head.

If only one twists off the engine (on a craftsman lawn tractor with a Briggs) I see your engine is the Kohler and those engines are balanced good and I would not sweat if only ONE twisted off. Appears the bolts threads are metric instead of standard. it will not vib if the other 3 bolts are bolted down snug. I usually use anti sieze when going back and sometimes I replace them (the ones that have room when they go all the way through and the ends of the threads exposed) with a grade 5 longer bolt with antisieze and a locknut on top. If you cannot get locknut on top just use a lockwasher on the bottom of a grade 5 bolt or a lockwasher on your existing bolts. You might have to get a big husky Bubba to apply torque with a real good 6 point.

They do twist off easily.

Last edited by Forest Gump; 08-16-2019 at 08:58 AM.
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post #13 of 26 Old 08-16-2019, 11:55 AM
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Re: Advice on removing engine mount bolts

I just noticed that I have a recent Craftsman GT5000 that has that Kohler engine and it has the same issue as yours, oil leaks out that oil drain and it's hard to get at is why I have not flogged it yet. Was dreading flogging it but the frame on the mower is getting nasty again. May just plug the drain fitting and use a 12v engine sump pump to change the oil in the future. No use in installing the same type plastic wimpy drain.
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post #14 of 26 Old 08-19-2019, 08:56 AM
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Re: Advice on removing engine mount bolts

I think the bolts in question are 'tri lobular', with a triangular shape. The tips of the triangles cut threads in the aluminum of the pan as they are installed. The bolts will generally not come out of their own volition. Similar bolts are used on some spindle housings to fasten them to the mower deck. It is a 'assembly' feature in that the threads don't need to be started, just insert the bolt, and pull the trigger.
If you get replacement spindle housings, IMO it is a good idea to get those that have already installed bolts or have threaded the housing rather than cut them as you install.
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post #15 of 26 Old 08-19-2019, 09:38 AM
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Re: Advice on removing engine mount bolts

I just left the motor in place,you just drain oil,pull that yellow thing (it pulls right off),then unscrew it and put in a 3/8 black pipe and elbow

use a deep well socket
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