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Discussion Starter #1
I fell off the wagon this morning and bought another old craftsman. There was a craftsman rider a Snapper frame and a push mower on Facebook close so I went and looked at them. I didn't like the looks of them so the guy said he had another craftsman with a good engine, maybe a Kohler. We walked around the house and looked at it but it was not a kohler (17.5 Intek) and the starter and flywheel cover were missing. I spun the engine through and could feel the compression stroke but am wondering why someone robed parts off a running engine. I told the guy I would give him $60 for it. He agreed and we loaded it on my trailer. When I got home I took the plug out and verified that the piston is going up and down but I believe this engine has a surprise in store for me somewhere.
Cannon
 

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I'd see how far out of spec the valves are, set them and see if the valve moves when it hits the decompression peg. If the valves are way out, some people may think it's a bad starter, it's also possible to toast a starter trying to crank it in that condition. If the decompression mechanism has detached it'll act the same way.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I aired 3 of the tires up, one rear had the valve stem ripped out. The next morning the rear was flat again so I removed the rear tires and put a spare set on. I put a starter on and and tried to boost it off the battery but the engine stops on the compression stroke. I checked and adjusted the valves but that made no difference. I think I have read on here that you should see a slight bump on the exhaust valve on the compression stroke if the compression release is working. Rotating the flywheel I don't see any movement until the valve starts to open. I'm guessing the release has come off the cam.
Cannon
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I removed the engine and took the cam out, it looked fine to me. I put it back together and removed the plug and and tried it again (on tailgate) and it spun through. It blew a little oil out the spark plug hole. I installed the plug and it cranked through fine. I don't know what changed unless one of the belts was dragging with it in the tractor. I only put 2 bolts back in the sump to try it, I need to take it back off and clean the sludge out then clean the old gasket off. I removed the gas tank and examined the wiring, most of them have been hacked on and the brake and PTO switches have been disconnected. The next step is to get it cleaned up, I hate working on nasty stuff.
Cannon
 

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Looks as if they did not waste a lot of money on oil changes. {chuckle} I'd be concerned that either the starter/battery are not strong enough(or the dragging belt) to crank it over even with a functional CR. The 'bump' the valve gets from the CR is pretty tiny by the time it gets to the valve. I think it might be hard to see, and better be felt with a finger on the rocker arm, just a slight bump on the compression stroke.
I suppose with the sump full of 'stuff', it could have made the CR not move too well as the spring is not very strong, and it could have been 'retracted' and stayed until you disturbed things by taking them apart.
Robbing parts all depends on the 'level' of the critter. This LT could have been lower on the totem pole to another brand that was more saleable, worth more $$ to the vendor, and it suffered the loss of shroud, etc as a result. Runner may be a runner, but if someone wants a Deere or Husqvarna rather than a Craftsman, you make the former work and run to meet the sale demand. I guess.
tom
 

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Discussion Starter #6
After getting a good look at the wiring I think it's possible they had it so hacked up that it wouldn't run. It definitely could not be cranked with the switch and the wire going to the fuel solenoid is dead. I ordered a new sump gasket and will see if I can get it running, if not I have a few Commands I can use. Either way I will need to run some wiring.
Cannon
 

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I aired 3 of the tires up, one rear had the valve stem ripped out. The next morning the rear was flat again so I removed the rear tires and put a spare set on. I put a starter on and and tried to boost it off the battery but the engine stops on the compression stroke. I checked and adjusted the valves but that made no difference. I think I have read on here that you should see a slight bump on the exhaust valve on the compression stroke if the compression release is working. Rotating the flywheel I don't see any movement until the valve starts to open. I'm guessing the release has come off the cam.
Cannon
It would be the intake on that 31 and 33 series but it you tighten them to no lash and turn by hand you will see the bump if the acr is not busted.
 

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I removed the engine and took the cam out, it looked fine to me. I put it back together and removed the plug and and tried it again (on tailgate) and it spun through. It blew a little oil out the spark plug hole. I installed the plug and it cranked through fine. I don't know what changed unless one of the belts was dragging with it in the tractor. I only put 2 bolts back in the sump to try it, I need to take it back off and clean the sludge out then clean the old gasket off. I removed the gas tank and examined the wiring, most of them have been hacked on and the brake and PTO switches have been disconnected. The next step is to get it cleaned up, I hate working on nasty stuff.
Cannon
That is probably the worst I have ever seen inside.
Geez!! I get many with black oil but not that much varnish in inside. What did they use NON detergent 30??

As another poster said, the bump is slight and can be hard to see. You can sometimes feel it better with finger on rocker arm. Always tighten to no gap to make it easier to feel.
Normally it would be a waste to take one off and tear it apart so early without being certain its a ACR but this one needs cleaned out anyway!!!
 

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Forgot to mention too that you can almost always get them to start with busted ACR if you pull air filter off and block off air intake with hand. No air in to compress makes it easier to spin past the compression stroke. Often turning them back away from the compression stroke so they get a running start at it works too but this with the hand over intake gets them going every time for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Forgot to mention too that you can almost always get them to start with busted ACR if you pull air filter off and block off air intake with hand. No air in to compress makes it easier to spin past the compression stroke. Often turning them back away from the compression stroke so they get a running start at it works too but this with the hand over intake gets them going every time for me.
Good information. I was going to pull the motor anyway, I don't have a shroud, filter or filter cover for this engine. I'll put something else on it at least for the short term. If I can get it running as is I might get a mower with a blown 31 series that all the parts are there. I could use this short block to fix it. To be honest I was mostly looking for the bump on the exhaust valve, I didn't figure out that it was on the intake until I took it apart.
Cannon
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yesterday after I got my pressure washer working I removed the fender pan and washed the frame, pan and wheels. There was only about 2 inches of ground wire left on the connection at the rear of the tractor so I ran another one to the switch. The pulley on top of the transmission was rusted pretty bad so I went over it with a cup brush on the drill and sprayed it with some rusty metal primer. I think the battery acid had started working on it. I'll spray some black on it tomorrow and put the seat pan back on.
Cannon
 

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Discussion Starter #12
In the last few days I've
Painted the transmission pulley,
Ran a new ground wire to the switch,
Repaired the start circuit from the switch to the solenoid keeping the PTO and
brake safeties functional.
The Chinese sump gasket came in a few days ago so today I cleaned the old gasket off, one of my favorite things to do.
I put the sump in a kitty litter pan and used some old gas to clean it up.
I think I'm ready to put the engine back together and see if it will run.
I'm moving slow on this project. With the temperature most days in the 90's I don't try to do much after lunch.
Cannon
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Any chance on your first cranks that it was hydrolocked? Maybe gas was as bad as oil and carb flooded.
It did pump a fair amount of oil out of the cylinder after I removed the plug. In retrospect I should have removed the plug and tried it to start with.
B440, I have a weakness for the LT1000/2000 tractors, especially the ones with Kohler engines. Parts are plentiful and they are easy to work on.
Cannon
 

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I have seen people use ball peen hammers, roundy end, to tap on gaskets. Once hammered/tapped, the gaskets seemed to come off more readily. I think the impact expands the black 'paper' gasket material, causing it to move on the gasket surface, breaking free, perhaps. Once freed, it is a lot easier to scrape off that which remains.
I tried it once, and it sort of worked, though the gasket area was not really as accessible as a pan gasket. There is also a 3M product called 'Roloc', I think, that can be used in a grinder or an air powered whirly cutoff grinder to remove gasket material. I think they are made of some sort of rubber, with rubber bristles that peel the gasket without removing metal. I just looked on bing, and it may be more expensive than I had thought.
You have that sump clean enough to cook in. Hope the previous owner didn't mess things up running with diluted lube or bent the connecting rod cranking with a hydro locked piston.
tom

Added: I am also a fan of the Kohler powered Craftsman/Husqvarna/Poulan/Weedeater machines. As time went on, the mechanisms for brake, deck engage, and lift became a bit less sturdy, IMO. They may have also made the deck stamping a bit less deep, but I haven't measured, they just look thinner. Compared to the competition, it seems they did not remove as much content, but the newer models appear less sturdy to me.
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Discussion Starter #18
Tom, I have seen the rubber/plastic gasket removal disk with fingers but haven't used one. I just use a razor blade tool then go over it with a fine wire wheel on a drill.
I got the engine back together and mounted on the mower. It is running but I still have some wiring work to do. I can't get the coil ground/kill to work. When I put the test light on the positive battery terminal and the kill wire I get a very dim light. It's like the ground is not coming through the switch to the kill circuit. This is one of the newer plastic switches and I have had trouble with them on My Husqvarna before.
Cannon
 

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Discussion Starter #19
This morning I tried to start it without priming with carb cleaner by using the choke. It did start but the choke will not go off without me moving the lever. The spring looks to be working but the carb is so nasty it can't push the choke off. I made a video of it starting and running but didn't use the choke. I sprayed it off with cleaner but it's still not freed up.
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Those Intek engines are noted for sticky chokes...I've taken the little spring and given a few an extra turn to get it to return......or just reach in and push the lever back
 
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