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1986 Wheel Horse 417-A
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My Wheel Horse 417-A suddenly started blowing lots of burned oil out of the muffler. I suppose there is an obvious reason for this. Any initial suggestions? Rings? Gasket? broken block? I am prepared for bad news. What is my next step?

Background: I changed the Trans and Engine oil. I am "pretty sure" I put plenty of oil in the engine but didn't check the level right away (I could have be short of oil but more likely had too much). Immediately after changing the oil, I saw the neighbor widow struggling to rake her leaves so drove my tractor over to help her with my pull-behind lawn sweeper. After an hour or so of light duty, the engine slowed and started blowing the smoke. The engine did not freeze but I didn't give it much time. I shut it down.

Thanks.

-Mike
 

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92 Posts
Wouldn't push it, overhaul time. How many hours on the engine?
 

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1986 Wheel Horse 417-A
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Don't know how many hours. I have had it a year and got it well used and without a working hour meter. It is a 1986 model.
 

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1986 Wheel Horse 417-A
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Some updates (sorry for the delay just got back from Ohio - went for the OSU/Penn State game).

There is no gas smell in the oil/crank case. Just very clean oil.

The oil is way, way overfull now. Unfortunately, after I shut it down I immediately put more oil in it (found some in the widows garage). I am not sure what I was thinking but I was not happy. I did not run it again.

I think I am going to go on the assumption that I overfilled it. What are the next steps? Drain the oil to a reasonable level and clean out the carb and check the sparks?

Thanks guys.

-Mike
 

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Machinery enthusiast
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4,257 Posts
Drain the oil to the proper level. It'll probably still smoke for a little while until it burns all the excess oils thats probably acculilated in the cylinder on the crankcase side of the piston(s).

Hopefully it hasn't damaged any seals as the increased pressures & crankcase oil levels are the primary cause of these type failures. Don't run it again until you are sure the oil level is correct per the dip stick.

Good luck
Dave
 

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1986 Wheel Horse 417-A
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Guys, Drained the oil to the proper level and then pulled the sparks and cranked the engine. It looked like an old time Texas oil strike! I got two geysers of oil. Once the oil stopped spewing I put the sparks back in and the engine won't crank. Clearly oil is creating pressure in the cylinders. Then it got dark and started to sprinkle so I covered up and came inside to think.

Question: Is it oil in the exhaust manifold/muffler or in the carb causing the problem? I am betting the exhaust. There was actually oil running out of the exhaust when the problem first happened. Suggestions?
 

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1986 Wheel Horse 417-A
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks! Not sure there is anything in the cylinders any more. I am pretty sure I spit it all out when I cranked it without sparks, then with sparks and then without again. Nothing in there now that I can tell. Anyway, I will escape the in-laws tomorrow or the next day and start taking things apart.

-Mike
 

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1986 Wheel Horse 417-A
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Eureka! Disconnected the exhaust manifold/muffler and the engine would turn over. Emptied the oil out of muffler and rinsed it out with gas and now the tractor runs fine.

Thanks for all your help.

-Mike
 

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5,648 Posts
Whew! Thought we had another rebuild on our hands.

Good investigation, Mike. Best to look before you tear anything down. Wait for warmer weather to do that.
 

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Moderator
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16,615 Posts
Sounds like you got by lucky this time--and learned a couple valuable lessions---

Good for you!!:trink40:

I would also invest in a small hour meter (Sendac or some other brand)--and i it can be easily installed in an hour or two. That will give you a reference time table to future service needs. Normal oil change in those engines should be 25 hours, under regular use.
Check/clean air filter each time , also. Dirt/dust entering thru air filter is just as bad to a small engine as dirty motor oil.

glenn
 
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