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Discussion Starter #1
Just finished mowing and almost back to the barn when, the Vanguard started emitting black smoke losing power, and backfiring through the carb.

Made it to the barn, let it cool down/had dinner. Checked the oil it was fine. Then pulled the plugs and they were covered with black soot, cleaned checked gap and reinstalled.

Removed air filter (not dirty, new) lots of gas and some oil in the filter housing.

Suspect Carb needs adjusting, really running rich. Removed the top of the carb, needle and seat, no water, trash or gum deposits.

Running out of time tonight, so put it back together, and started her up and she barely runs, with a slight tapping noise, so I shut her down.

I understand intake leaks can cause a rich condition, so I sprayed carb cleaner around the different mating surfaces while it was running and saw no difference, so now I' starting to think valves/guides/seats as well.

Am I getting ahead of myself? Guess I won't get a chance to look at it for a few days, so I thought I'd see what you guys thought.

Hours on tractor: 650
Tractor 4016
Engine Vanguard 350447-1244-E1
Code 98012711
 

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If it's been running fine and just started this then it has to be something rather simple IMO, by what you described. Electrical issue maybe?

MU
 

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I would check valve clearance and pushrods. Vanguards need periodic valve adjustment and bent pushrods happen once in a while. The tapping sound may be valve related.
 

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If you have black sooty plugs and smoke, that would be a fuel issue. I would pull the carburetor and do a good rebuild after boiling it out. Valves wouldn't change that rapidly, nor should oil issues.

Sounds like flooding, to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So this guy posts an add on Craigslist "For Sale" 1999 Ingersoll 4016 with mower, 600 hours, $1100.00, no longer need, bought a Zero Turn. Pictures were included, although I wasn't smart enough to download and save them, but suffice it to say it shined like a diamond in a gorilla's Butt. (for those uninitiated that's a good thing).

Now having seen a few less than honest deals, I say to myself, this can't be what it seems, but how could I not check it out?

So off I go to look at it, thinking something is wrong with this somehow, thinking the worst, I didn't even bother to take my trailer.
The gentleman was a nice enough guy and told me what had been replaced since new, and the unit overall was clean enough to have just come out of an autoclave.
He starts and runs the tractor for a few minutes (I notice that it's either cold natured at idle, or has a carb adjustment issue, doesn't stumble going to full RPM, or during Deck engagement.
So I'm still wondering what am I missing? I asked about any issues, and am told the unit is fine with no known problems.
Now my IQ may well be somewhere around 7/16th's but I figure even if I had to drop the cash for a new engine, **** I'd still be ahead.

So I go to pay him and he says "Now I'm firm on the price and don't want to haggle" and I reply I am only asking to ensure what I read was correct, to which he replies "well yeah $1100.00".

So I/we drive the unit up his ramps onto my truck, strap it down, say thanks and goodbye and the damned truck won't start. I'm thinking it's to far to be pushing it home and if I stay here will he change his mind.
A quick check finds the fuel pump (in the tank) not working, but the high pressure pump (on the frame rail) was trying to work.

So I call a friend and neighbor to the rescue (F350 & 22 ft trailer with 12K winch) yanked it up onto the trailer and home we go.
I've mowed the lawn (@1.5 acres) and the wood lot in the rear (@ an acres) a couple of times with no issues then......... (see beginning of thread)

What I found:
Missing Bolt

Bolt in Intake Valve


Nothing bent, scored, cut or otherwise trashed and it was due for the 500 hr de-carbon anyway.
All in All I'm as Happy as any character in a loony tunes script, except maybe Wiley.

Have to go get gaskets, finish the de-carbon job and put her back together, although it won't be today.

So the moral of the story is twofold....
1. Do your scheduled maintenance and you won't be giving away your fortune.
2. If you make a mistake, it's usually cheaper to fix it than to ignore it.

Having said all that I'm now down to 3/8ths level on the old IQ meter and must get some other things done.
Later, oh and yes I will include pictures eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The Bolt, that now looks more like a pin. Must have been in there for a while.



Very lucky not to have some major damage from that, either the valve, valve seat, or worse yet piston/head.
 

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Unreal! That little bolt must have bounced around on top of that valve for some time, then got lodged just right to hold that intake valve open. Thank goodness it wasn't any smaller. Could have been some metal to metal madness for sure.

Joel
 

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If that had gotten in the cylinder proper, you would have had a proper trashed cylinder. Seen that happen before on an old volvo. Learned how to rebuild a motor from that experience.
 
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