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Went out this morning. There is still no carburetor hooked up. Gas tank is removed (attached to carb doing my own little test, which is showing no signs of leakage btw).

oil is almost 1/2" past full... yesterday it was perfect.

wiped it off, put it back down in. screwed it in slowly, waited a min, screwed it out slowly. Oil level had fallen almost 1/2" (still a little above 'full').

decided to see if spinning the dipstick fast to pull it out would increase the reading. still the same level.

running out of ideas here. I'm debating pulling off the dipstick tube and monitoring the oil level in the hole. if no one has any ideas, i'm just gonna wrap this up and chalk it up to something weird and i'm just getting false readings. Carb isn't leaking (i have the tank up real high and the carb sitting on someting where i can see any water leaking out. Unless it matters whether the engine is running or not, i don't know that much.
I wouldn't worry that much about it. It doesn't really matter what the oil level is after an engine has been running for 45 minutes and then shut off for 45 minutes or even two hours. All that really matters is that it's in the safe operating rangeand not too high above the full mark before you start it. I would assume oil expands a little bit when it gets warm but probably not over a couple of millimeters on the stick.
I am confused about the statement about the tank being high up where you can see any water leaking out. Don't know why that would be any water in this situation
 

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Just went thru all this, gas in the crank, hydrolock & a leaking carb. Naturally I thought can't be anything wrong, worked last time I used it. Cleaned carb & had same problem so I changed the needle, local store had the needle only, & that worked. When I check oil I always remove the dipstick 3 times to get a better reading.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
oil is almost 1/2" past full... yesterday it was perfect.

Is that by testing before a wipe and re-insert? If so it would attest to the concept of creep. I don't really look too close at stick on first pull for testing before use. I pull, wipe, insert , pull and look. On mowers I used the day before I'm usually wiping oil from way up on that first wipe.
thanks 38. that is good information. usually i just pull it out and look. I was thinking that checking on first pull would be something along the lines of the oil being as least disturbed as possible and reinserting / checking could possibly disturb the reading. i just checked hte manual and what you're saying is the prescribed method.

I will try it that way over the next few days and see if things remain consistent. Thanks for the (what should be obvious, but I'm an idiot) suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
just as an addition to 38's post. I did some searches for 'oil creep' and came across a thread (on MTF nonetheless). It's a pretty spot on description of what is happening. Larrybl's photos to the thread are also pretty similar to what is happening with mine. Never heard of such a thing (oil creep), then again, i'm no pro and learning as i go. I can switch a camshaft no prob but something as simple as this I guess is one of those things you learn from experience.

https://www.mytractorforum.com/44-small-engines-repair/785249-dumb-oil-level-question.html
 

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Oil does expand when it heats up..when your heating oil tank gets refilled,they stop filling when it still has at least a few inches of air space left so it wont overflow if the tank gets heated up by the sun..

An engine sitting in a shed that has had the sun beating on it all day might well show higher oil level on the dipstick than it would first thing the next morning after it had cooled off..some oils will "climb" the dipstick as noted also...this is why you should always wipe the dipstick off and check it again at least once to get an accurate level reading..
 

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I've seen few small engines that the dipstick could be moved up down in their cap. (kinda friction fit and not secure into the cap) Onan B43/B48 has this symptom plus I've seen some others.

Main thing is keep the oil level at a safe level.

I use a mityvac that does pressure when testing needle seats and it's quite common to see one hold 5 lbs of pressure when float inverted but intermittently seep when on a non-running engine. I gently move the float up and down and keep retesting and on a leaker you will usually see a leakage when the float's weight is let down gently on the needle. If it won't consistently hold 5 lbs of air it will seep and even then on gravity fed fuel systems it cannot be long term trusted. (use a fuel shutoff)

On the type that seep/leak most generally the engine will run ok and not run flooding because the engine vibration helps control the needle/seat fuel flow and any excess slight seepage get burned with no issues noticed.

Most generally I can take a q-tip and toothpaste and clean the existing seat good then replace the existing needle with a new one that has a vitron tip, leaving the old seat in place. You have to watch when replacing the needle and make sure that the float setting is correct because some needles are not the same length, close but no cigar. You also have to look close at the bottom of seats and make sure that they are not using or should use the little bitty vitron type o ring seat, usually green color but not always.. It may be completely gone from previous use of high pressure air.

I still install new fuel lines and a fuel cutoff and filter when doing needle seat repairs.
 

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Might check the method suggested. Some say remove the dipstick, wipe, and set on the filler tube. Others say remove, wipe, insert, and screw gently, remove, check. Be sure if it is to sit on top of the dipstick tube or to be screwed in when checking.
Some dipstick tubes extend into the sump, and can be 'sealed' if there end is lower than the oil level. In that case, it is possible heat can cause the air inside the sump to expand and push the oil up into the dipstick tube. Upon removing the dipstick, the oil would be higher than normal when examined. The oil would likely have fallen back into the sump when the seal was broken by loosening the dipstick cap.
Engines that have a dipstick that goes into the sump at an angle may have contradictory instructions. "Keep the oil at the bottom of the filler neck threads. OR, contrarily, Keep the oil on the hashmarks on the dipstick. Do not overfill"
You figure it out. In addition, some older engines have a cut or what looks like a saw kerf in the lower portion of the threads. Those instruct to keep the oil at the top of the saw kerf or notch. Others just say keep the oil up to the bottom of the threads.
We have a lot of engineers who have decided upon different methods to ascertain the proper condition of the oil level, and they all don't agree. I suggest reading the manual, and trying to figure out what they were trying to tell you to do.
If it has a dipstick with 'hashmarks', I remove, wipe, and insert. Pull out and inspect. If it is on the hash(hopefully kinda high up the hash) I just put the cap back in place and leave things where they are. Luckily, knock on formica, I have not had to figure out if the level is low on anything recently. They are old, but keep working beyond expectations. IMO. Even the old Clinton/Tecumseh flatty that I 'adjusted' without knowing anything about proper clearance.
tom
 

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just along these lines of dipsticks. I have 2 briggs dipsticks marked 28 (meaning 28 series). If you line up the caps the add and full marks are in different locations. Normally I would expect a stick numbered 28 would give me the right level in any model 28......, but apparently not.
 

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The most surefire way is to always replace needle and the seat but sometimes people do get away with just the needle or polishing the Sea by various methods with Q tips Etc.
Just don't be surprised or upset if you ever replace just a needle valve and in three or four days or three or four months it starts leaking again and fills the crankcase with oil. Same if you have polished the seat but not replaced it. Carbs are awfully cheap now and you can replace the whole carb quicker and easier then you can clean one out even though I usually clean them and like to keep the old stuff. Needle and seats are cheap unless it's a Kohler or Kawasaki which usually aren't available for Kawasaki but take a lot longer to install.
 

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The most surefire way is to always replace needle and the seat but sometimes people do get away with just the needle or polishing the Sea by various methods with Q tips Etc.
Just don't be surprised or upset if you ever replace just a needle valve and in three or four days or three or four months it starts leaking again and fills the crankcase with oil. Same if you have polished the seat but not replaced it. Carbs are awfully cheap now and you can replace the whole carb quicker and easier then you can clean one out even though I usually clean them and like to keep the old stuff. Needle and seats are cheap unless it's a Kohler or Kawasaki which usually aren't available for Kawasaki but take a lot longer to install.

I also see lots of NEW small engine carb kits that I buy online that are listed by part number, etc, as for the carb being kitted but the seat/seats in the kits are not even close to what is used in the carb, but the vitron type needles are same size so that is mainly why I try a new needle only, You are correct that now days rather than fooling around with a old carb just do a replacement that costs about same price as a kit, but when I'm fooling around with kitting a carb it's most often for myself, not a customer's carb.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
just wanted to check back in to give everyone an update and wrap this thread up.

It looks like the changes in oil level were in fact the oil creep. I left for this weekend and came back, pulled out the dipstick and it was way up, wiped the oil off, put it back in and oil level is where I saw it a few days ago. I tilted the gas tank on an angle so that the outlet wasn't at the very bottom. Well, the gasoline is lower than the outlet. If it were draining to somewhere, it would have stopped at hte outlet, but it is way below. It must just be evaporating.

Thanks to everyone for their interest in helping and for the oil creep suggestion. I've been doing this for a while (as a hobbyist) and never heard of it before. I'm looking forward to putting this mower to use, likely next year since it's almost the end of the mowing season here in NE PA and i'll just stick with my current rider. You guys are the best, thanks again.
 

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You shouldn't be getting that much of a fuel Disappearance in a day or two. Most of the tanks on riding mowers are clear plastic and I have often put a magic marker line at the level when I park it so I can repair it when I come back. Normally if the fuel is disappearing and you don't see an obvious drip or leak from the fuel line or tank it is bleeding into the carburetor which may just puddle in the intake or make it into the oil. The most common sign is when you go to start your mower after sitting all day long it does not need choke. Any of these after sitting all night long should require truck for them to start. But when all of a sudden they no longer start on choke and they don't start until you pull the lever off of Choke and then they smoke a slight little bit when they first fire up , that's the sign there was fuel puddled in the carb throat.
Just keep an eye on it. I forget which engine were talking about but on lots of them you can just remove the air filter and Look Down in the Hole to see if there is liquid fuel puddling after it's been sitting for a day or two. There should be no visual sign of liquid fuel in there.
 

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Also, oil creep is definitely a thing but it doesn't really make a difference as long as you wipe the stick off before you pay attention to the level. This is common practice anytime you check the oil in anything. Tecumseh's are bad about some version of oil creep. If you walk out to one that's been sitting all night long the level maybe 3 in above the full mark. I don't really know how or why it gets that high and doesn't run back down but it happens all the time. Pull it out wipe it off stick it back in and pull it out and read the level and it will be right on the full mark.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
You shouldn't be getting that much of a fuel Disappearance in a day or two.
I only put in just enough fuel so that it was slightly overtop of the drain hole. i didn't lose a tank overnight or anything.
 

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You seem to keep doing things the unexpected way so it's hard for me to go by my history of previous experiences as to what these mowers do. You mentioned earlier about the tank being removed or up or Tilted or something which I also didn't really understand.
Hard to diagnose or help if things are in the not typical conditions or configurations that others are used to seeing. Normally the tank is in its original location and most people are mowing with a decent amount of fuel because when it gets near the bottom it sloshes around and your mower can start to cut out. So the best way I have found is to park it and draw a line on the side of the fuel tank exactly where the level is so when you come back the next day or two you can see if it has leaked down some. The leakers will leak an inch or more of fuel so it is quite obvious.
People bring me mowers all the time that are either smoking or running rough or not running because the crankcase is full of gas and when I mention to them about having to turn the choke off to make it start or coming out and the gas tank being empty when they were certain there was fuel in it before the light bulb pops up and they say, oh yes. Now that you mention it I have noticed that several times.
It's very common for the riders to start leaking through the carb whereas the push mowers do it far less frequently.
Sounds like yours might be good to go now.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
yeah, sorry, about that. I've attached a photo about what i mean with the angled (tilted) tank. The gasoline level is lower than the hole, so it proves that gas might be evaporating out (maybe it's condensed around the inside of the tank, dunno). I was expecting that when i got back, the level would be just at the hole, meaning that if it were leaking of the carb, it'd have stopped since nothing else could trickle down.

from a while ago, i said i removed the tank + carb. I left the tank elevated above the carb sitting up somewhere. if it were leaking out of the carb, i would have had a puddle or something or gas dribbling out of the carb, but it remained dry over the course of many hours.

essentially i made a huge ordeal out of nothing. i've learned my lesson to wipe the stick before trying to get a reading...
 

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I never even check oil on anything untill its sat for at least half a day just to make sure all t he oil has dripped down from top of motor and about every small part or mechanism that will give any up.
Just my little tick I guess but I oft wondered how and why old cars needed so much work and gasket changes because when I was a kid when they actually had gas station attendants ( it kills me that youngsters cant imagine when they didnt actually put their own gas in their cars lol) but Dad would pull in to fuel up while on vacation and tell the guy "fill'er up w/hi test and check the oil would ya" and as soon as he shut it off the dip stick would come out & of course it hadnt possibly dripped down any and then "your'e about 2/3 a qt. low" and glug glug glug and after years of that who knows what it did to those cars.
 

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Not really that big of a deal. I would have no problem running any of the cars or engines I have at 3/4 to even an inch above the full mark. You get too excessive it will foam up but normally all it will do is low down the engine some as the crank tries to get through all the oil. I bought a 1990 Ford truck one time for $50 because scrap price was really low back then and they were only going to get that much if the junkyard came and towed it away. The brakes were going to the floor because of a leaky brake line and it would barely run 20 miles an hour even on the floor. A garage told him he needed a new engine. I decided to do an oil change straight up after I fixed the brake line and got my pan out and put it underneath and pulled the plug and crawled back out from under the car. In about 45 seconds I caught out of the corner of my eye that the pan and overflowed and there was oil touching both sides of my 9 foot wide driveway ... luckily it was asphalt so didn't look too terrible. I estimate the thing had 11 quarts of oil in it!
the guy who owned it wasn't very mechanically inclined and the dipstick was Rusty and sticky on the top so it wasn't going all the way in. He would check it but it was like two and a half to three inches from going all the way in the seated position. He did what he thought was right and added oil until I got to the full mark. But he had added about 4 to 5 quarts too many.
After I put the correct amount of oil in it it ran like a top it had tons of acceleration.
I highly doubt an extra half a quart to quart over is going to cause really any noticeable type of leaking or problems in an auto engine.
 

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I'd say your'e right and it was just a theory of mine but I cant count the times Iv'e heard " Dont put to much oil in it, its better to be a little low than over".
I do remember a guy I worked with took his Grand Prix w/a 4 cyl. in it to one of those quick-change places and they have a button on a dial in that contraption they hold and it was a new guy ( thats what he was told anyway) just changed oil in a V-8 and didnt switch it to 4 cyl. or smaller dose or whatever and he took off and car was acting crazy and he popped hood and the oil was comming out of his plug holes w/plugs in them of course.
Gotta change your'e own oil if possible.
I remember when I was a dumb kid ( as opposed to a dumb 59 yr. old ) and the first car I got I changed my oil in it and forgot to put drain plug back in and poured 5 qts. of oil straight thru it on the garage floor and down the floor drain lol!
Gotta go to work
Later
Oh P.S. And I always used Kendal oil, man I loved that stuff because my buddies dad was a "oil salesman'' and we asked him if there was really any diff tween any of it and he said " it just matters how much its refined and Kendal was refined more than most of it" and we were big MOPAR freaks anyway and always saw the "peace sign" ( or Victory) on MOPAR powered dragsters on TV so we all used it and I can say I never had a internal problem w/any engine I ever had using it, but cant hardly find it anymore. But dont bother to look anymore either really.
 

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I'd say your'e right and it was just a theory of mine but I cant count the times Iv'e heard " Dont put to much oil in it, its better to be a little low than over".
I do remember a guy I worked with took his Grand Prix w/a 4 cyl. in it to one of those quick-change places and they have a button on a dial in that contraption they hold and it was a new guy ( thats what he was told anyway) just changed oil in a V-8 and didnt switch it to 4 cyl. or smaller dose or whatever and he took off and car was acting crazy and he popped hood and the oil was comming out of his plug holes w/plugs in them of course.
Gotta change your'e own oil if possible.
I remember when I was a dumb kid ( as opposed to a dumb 59 yr. old ) and the first car I got I changed my oil in it and forgot to put drain plug back in and poured 5 qts. of oil straight thru it on the garage floor and down the floor drain lol!
Gotta go to work
Later
Oh P.S. And I always used Kendal oil, man I loved that stuff because my buddies dad was a "oil salesman'' and we asked him if there was really any diff tween any of it and he said " it just matters how much its refined and Kendal was refined more than most of it" and we were big MOPAR freaks anyway and always saw the "peace sign" ( or Victory) on MOPAR powered dragsters on TV so we all used it and I can say I never had a internal problem w/any engine I ever had using it, but cant hardly find it anymore. But dont bother to look anymore either really.
All of those old oil stories are just urban legends or personal preferences. There is no reason to have any loyalty to any brand of oil today over any other brand. It's more about synthetic vs conventional and the weight. There are plenty a great quality oils out there.
Everyone who claims they have figured it out or had an issue with this or never had a problem with that is basing their entire formed opinion on a very, very limited and fairly unscientific research an experience into their own personal conditions. Look at these race cars and top fuel dragsters and stuff. They all use about the same engines and same internal parts but one team uses one whole and one team uses another and so on Down the Line but they do tend to butcher the engines on every run.
I personally would rather any dipstick be a quarter inch over the full Mark than 1/4 inch under the full Mark or right at the add level.
But once again, it's just personal preference. Even if we were to scientifically research it and test engines at the two different levels on each side of the full Mark not every engine would respond the same way so any opinions we formed would not be accurate for everything.
 
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