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Discussion Starter #1
Strange, just had one come in running on 1 lung, 125psi on one side, 30 on the other. I pulled the valve cover and the intake push rod was sitting loose. no damage, rocker was fine, lash adjuster was tight, rocker mount was tight..I snapped the push rod back under the rocker and set the lash on all 4 rockers, just to be sure, and also inspected all 4 guides for wear or moving...found nothing.

Cranked right up..runs fine, I ran it wide open about 45 minutes, no problems...about 150 hours on it.

Makes you wonder if it was ever installed at the factory...
 

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Proud Wheel Horse Owner
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I'm seeing this frequently, but usually it's also associated with the intake valve being glued in the guide by fuel varnish. Generally the pushrod is also bent on the ones I'm seeing. I've also seen these start pushing the guides out of the head, so when the rocker arm depresses the valve spring, the upper spring seat bottoms out on the guide, and then *pop* out comes the pushrod.

I never see any of this on the Kohler V-twins.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Push rod rolled true, guide and oil seal were in place and in t he proper location, no chance of varnish, this mower is used every week, and the deck is a testament to that...its about 20% missing.
 

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Proud Wheel Horse Owner
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Probably caused by some weird hang up of the lifter or the rocker, and for a split second, there was no pressure on the push-rod and *pop* out it came. Sometimes when this happens they'll bend the other pushrod because the cylinder is making a ton of compression and not dumping it. In your case, since it was the intake, that didn't happen.
 

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We gave my friend Bob a Craftsman with intek twin. It was sold with bad engine ,turned out the push rods fell off like yours RED? Think Bob got it running after putting in new push rods?! Not sure,think they were bent. What causes this with this engine? We are struggleing to put one on a Poulan Pro tractor. The old engine turned out to have a smaller crank nose, the new engine is older and has a bigger nose. I can't find the proper engine pulley. Now I see the push rod issues, might buy a old opposed twin Briggs for it!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I put another hours on it this afternoon, all full throttle, got it as hot as I could, hoping for some kind of valve or valve seat problem, but it never missed a beat. I even covered up the air intake with tape to get head temps up to where you would expect them on a summer day, laboring that 54" deck....couldnt get it to falter.

I dunno...Got to rebuild the deck shell and Ill send it back to the owner and see how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
And yes, I was monitoring head temps while the fan cover was taped up...i never let it get up to critical...just about 40* over normal.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Its a really well maintained unit, I couldnt find dirt anywhere, its spotless, oil is clean, good filter, the guy has babied this mower, but the deck is trashed from sand.

Also, it has the XRG or whatever canister filter, not the flat cartridge, and there was no detectable dirt in the intake passage.

I cant explain it, but he siad it has felt "weak" for a long time, like..years, and he took it to another shop this morning and they told him it needed a new 1500 dollar engine because this one was blown, that "Those inteks are no good, and blow all the time, this one is beat"...

I got 125psi on both jugs...its healthy as can be.
 

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Proud Wheel Horse Owner
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Isn't it funny what you hear from other shops?

I've had a couple of these recently, both fresh from the local professional. One customer was handed an extra qt. of oil along with the repair bill, and told, "It's going to use some oil from now on." Gave it back to the customer smoking like a train, running on 1 cylinder, and it would barely move under it's own power. I fired it up, touched both exhaust pipes to see which one was cold, and then pulled that v/c off to find a bent intake pushrod, and the lifter laying up near the rocker arm. 20min later, the thing was screaming along and I was mowing the yard for him.

2nd was was nearly the same scenario, and the guy was told it would take a new engine for a couple grand. Found the cold exhaust pipe, removed v/c to find bent intake pushrod, and an intake valve that was glued to the guide with varnish. 20min later, it was sitting there screaming in the guy's driveway.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
3 weeks ago a guy brought me 3 generators, 2 saws ,a power washer, a trimmer, and a couple honda engines that had been sitting at another shop for a month...they called him and told him the gens needed new carbs but were chinese (13hp) and not worth fixing, that the power washer needed a coil (lost spark), and that the trimmer and saws were not worth fixing.

I had it ALL going in 1 day, picked up the next day....

The gens had dirty carbs, all cleaned up great.
The power washer was low on oil...causing the low oil sentinel to kick in...
The trimmer needed a carb kit, and the saws needed fuel lines and primers...

Sent him packing with a bill for about 250 dollars...happy as he could be, he's bringing me more stuff to work on.
 

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Great story!

One of my best customers is a big landscape company that came to me a year ago after the local big shop had their equipment for so long (over 2 months) that the landscape Co. had to rent equipment in order to stay in business.

Just built a Kohler V-twin for a new customer who was told by this same shop that his $5,000 Craftsman TOL GT, fitted with ag tires, weights, electric 3 point hitch and all the other bells and whistles wasn't worth fixing, and that an engine with a snapped rod wasn't worth fixing. I just laughed when I saw that they'd taken half the engine apart and thrown it all loose into a cardboard box, just to determine No.1 rod was broken. Laughed all the way to the bank, and gave the guy back a great running machine a week-and-a-half later.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Guy drove about 150 miles round trip, twice, to let me build his honda for his UTV. He got it new, the air filter hose fell off at 12 hours and the engine ate dirt...had no compression, wouldnt do anything. He took it to a shop and they bare blocked it...told him he needed a new engine...at 950 dollars.

They refused to put it back together, just tossed it all int oa big box and gave it back to him. He brings me the box, it had gained an extra wrist pin, multiple bolts, a rod, and some head parts....somehow.

The bore looked good, honed it out, no wear. The piston showed no wear but i put in a new one anyways, new rings, new seals, i put in a thinner head gasket, and put on my modified GX390 head (port polish and cut short side radius on intake), and a new rod. I had it back running the same day, like a swiss watch...just flat purred.

I charged him 400 even, parts and labor...mostly because I got it as a basketcase...and had to sort out what parts went to that engine, what bolts, and in the end, it was missing some parts like the valve cover, breather hose, lash cap, but I had all that on hand..i used to build ALOT of custom GX-390 hondas. He was so happy he tipped me 100 dollars and brought me a murray rider to do an engine swap on, the motor had block failure...
 

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Proud Wheel Horse Owner
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I guess stripping stuff down and tossing it into a box is a way for these shops to shock-and-awe customers into buying new.

Ran into a guy the other day who was fresh from the big local shop. New Echo string trimmer in one hand, box of 10,000 parts in the other, and the matching echo straight shaft with string head under his arm. I gave him $20 for all of it and laughed when I read the repair order that was in the box.....especially when I turned the cylinder head over and saw the exhaust port was about 80% choked closed with carbon. A 15min repair, and these guys douched him into buying a brand new $300 trimmer.

I needed that straight shaft assembly for a customer's trimmer. He was stoked to get his trimmer back in less than a day.

We could probably go on and on all night!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Customer brought me a chipper, had a 5hp Briggs Industrial Plus engine on it, said he took it to another shop, they cleaned the carb 2-3 times but it wouldnt start, so they told him it needed a new carb..so they put on a new carb, still wouldnt start...so they said it was an internal problem and not worth fixing.

First thing I noticed as the oily film covering the gas tank and frame...air filter. I smelled the fuel....Diesel.

I drained the tank, drained the carb, put in some fresh GAS...fired right off, ran great. Charged him 35 dollars...

Its a great way to get new customers.
 

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WOW!! Glad to read your stories! We have only repaired two guys stuff, like to restore for resale more. There is no time deadlines for dad then! Glad we don't after reading your stories!!
 

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A chunk of carbon could have held an intake valve open just long enough to spit the pushrod out ....I've taken a few engines apart that had so much carbon build up under the head of the intake valves,that it couldnt shut completely...I suspect they were not run at high enough RPMS ,the owners let them putt along at fast idle instead of the reccomended speeds...todays gas gets gummy fast too,much worse than gasoline we had in the old days...the ethanol seems to turn to a spoiled grain type of glue that welds things together if neglected too long...makes getting valves out of guides difficult sometimes,and carbs get permanently gummed up by it...I notice usual carb cleaners dont seem to cut that stuff like it used too when gas was all petroleum...
 

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I notice the same thing about the carb cleaner not touching the corn based fuel residue/varnish. I tell folks up front that the carb may not respond to cleaning and I'll give it one attempt. After that, we buy a new carb.
 
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