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John Deere Mower Fanatic
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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought one of these mowers used for $40. It wouldn't start, when I got there. The guy said he change it with 5w-30 oil and it was burning a little oil too. I was thinking about replacing the rings and that it part number 13010-ZG9-003. I was wondering if I could go with part number 13011-zg9-004, and that is ".25 first oversize". Could I go with that instead?
 

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.250" is a lot to fit in a standard bore, even if it's worn. I would get it running first and make sure the crank ventilation system is ok, especially an oil cap that seals well. I'm not sure, but there may be valve stem seals that could be leaking. OHV/OHC engines can add a few more oil burning possibilities.
 

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I highly doubt the rings are bad on one of those Honda motors. There are other possibilities of why it could be burning oil. Those small single cylinder air cooled Honda motors will literally last a lifetime.
 

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John Deere Mower Fanatic
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Discussion Starter #5
Just got it running and the plug looks like crap and it is for sure burning oil. It has 5w30 in it. What should I check before I replace the rings?
It also has carb issues and I'm probably going to order a cheap aftermarket carb off ebay. I'll get a video up here soon to show you the problems.
 

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Proud Wheel Horse Owner
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They run on 10w/30, so put the correct weight of oil in it, replace the plug with an OE NGK plug, make sure the oil level is on the money and not over filled, and then go mow with it to get the engine and the oil nice and hot.

Base your final opinion/decision on how it does.

Remember that the compression rings don't control oil burning. So it can have good compression, pass a leak down test, pass a compression test, and run fine, and still burn oil......because the oil ring is either worn out, or gummed up and stuck to the piston. Of course it could also have scratches in either the piston or bore, that are allowing oil to pump passed the rings.

Personally, I wouldn't put over sized rings on a standard piston, in a worn bore. That's just a waste of time and money. If the deck and the rest of the mower are worth it, then yes, I would put a new standard piston and rings in it, and maybe a rod since I'm in there.

As has been stated, these don't EVER wear out and the only thing that'll kill them is running them extremely low on oil. Even then, you just put a rod and piston/rings in them and you're back in business.

Re; the carb, give it a cleaning attempt first. There's a main jet, then an emulsion tube w/ small holes, a passage up the side of the "tower" that the e-tube lives in, and then an idle jet up top, that pops out once the idle screw is removed. There's a tiny orifice at the bottom of that idle jet....run a veggie bag twist tie wire through it, as well as the e-tube and the main jet, and pump carb cleaner and compressed air downward, through the hole where the idle jet lives, until you have carb cleaner dribbling out of that "tower" where the e-tube lives. It should run after that, as long as the carb base gaskets aren't leaking air and the choke is set to swing completely closed when the choke is "on."
 

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John Deere Mower Fanatic
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Discussion Starter #7
They run on 10w/30, so put the correct weight of oil in it, replace the plug with an OE NGK plug, make sure the oil level is on the money and not over filled, and then go mow with it to get the engine and the oil nice and hot.



Base your final opinion/decision on how it does.



Remember that the compression rings don't control oil burning. So it can have good compression, pass a leak down test, pass a compression test, and run fine, and still burn oil......because the oil ring is either worn out, or gummed up and stuck to the piston. Of course it could also have scratches in either the piston or bore, that are allowing oil to pump passed the rings.



Personally, I wouldn't put over sized rings on a standard piston, in a worn bore. That's just a waste of time and money. If the deck and the rest of the mower are worth it, then yes, I would put a new standard piston and rings in it, and maybe a rod since I'm in there.



As has been stated, these don't EVER wear out and the only thing that'll kill them is running them extremely low on oil. Even then, you just put a rod and piston/rings in them and you're back in business.



Re; the carb, give it a cleaning attempt first. There's a main jet, then an emulsion tube w/ small holes, a passage up the side of the "tower" that the e-tube lives in, and then an idle jet up top, that pops out once the idle screw is removed. There's a tiny orifice at the bottom of that idle jet....run a veggie bag twist tie wire through it, as well as the e-tube and the main jet, and pump carb cleaner and compressed air downward, through the hole where the idle jet lives, until you have carb cleaner dribbling out of that "tower" where the e-tube lives. It should run after that, as long as the carb base gaskets aren't leaking air and the choke is set to swing completely closed when the choke is "on."

Ok. I'll take some 10w-30 and throw it in there and see how it does. If it continues to smoke, should I check the cylinder and rings, and replace the rings if needed?
 

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A blown head gasket will make them burn oil/smoke like mad, as cheap as they are I would try that first after the 10W30 and the NGK BPR6ES.

Joe
 

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Try the correct oil first. Try the correct oil first. I've had good luck with honing the cylinder and putting standard rings in these and the GXV120 engines. If you get to that point, a new head gasket, valve cover gasket and oil pan gasket are in order too.

There's an excellent video on cleaning the GX series carbs here. You might have to poke around under the Service tab to find it if it doesn't go right to the video.
http://honda-engines-eu.com/en/web/eec-public-site/service-movies?p_p_id=servicemovie_WAR_servicemovie&p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_state=normal&p_p_mode=view&p_p_col_id=column-4&p_p_col_pos=2&p_p_col_count=3&_servicemovie_WAR_servicemovie_movieIndex=7
 

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They run on 10w/30, so put the correct weight of oil in it, replace the plug with an OE NGK plug, make sure the oil level is on the money and not over filled, and then go mow with it to get the engine and the oil nice and hot.

Base your final opinion/decision on how it does.

Remember that the compression rings don't control oil burning. So it can have good compression, pass a leak down test, pass a compression test, and run fine, and still burn oil......because the oil ring is either worn out, or gummed up and stuck to the piston. Of course it could also have scratches in either the piston or bore, that are allowing oil to pump passed the rings.
Exactly what I was going to say. If it is still burning oil after it could be many things like mentioned before, could be worn valve seats. Does it burn enough oil you have to add oil? does it smoke only on start up or does it smoke the whole time? If it runs good the rings are good and I highly doubt one of those Honda motors is wore out. Those Hondas will run non stop for decades and for most people they last a life time or a few life times.
 

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John Deere Mower Fanatic
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Discussion Starter #11
Exactly what I was going to say. If it is still burning oil after it could be many things like mentioned before, could be worn valve seats. Does it burn enough oil you have to add oil? does it smoke only on start up or does it smoke the whole time? If it runs good the rings are good and I highly doubt one of those Honda motors is wore out. Those Hondas will run non stop for decades and for most people they last a life time or a few life times.

Just put some fresh oil in it, and mowed with it. It smokes mostly at low RPM's but still does at high RPM's too. So it always smokes. Yes it burns oil to the point where I would have to add oil. I think I'm going to check the head gasket first, then the cylinder for some scoring, then if none of that, then I'll do the rings. Do you have any different ideas on what to check, or what?
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Here's a video of it smoking. This is after I warmed it up.

Here's the video link above.

At the end of the vide where it speed up in the RPM's, is where I hit the choke and it speeds out of control. Any ideas? I tried adjusting the screw on the carb next to where it bolts on to the engine, and that didn't do anything?
 

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Proud Wheel Horse Owner
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There'd be no reason to engage the choke on a running, warmed up engine, so try to avoid creating a problem (and chasing a problem) that doesn't exist.

Certainly worth popping the cylinder head off and inspecting the head gasket. It'd be cool if that's all it was. If you find the HG is ok, and the cylinder looks good, yes, put rings in it and based on how the piston skirt looks, consider replacing the piston too. A piston really has to look good to me, otherwise, I replace it since I'm in there spending time and money. Same with the big end of the rod.
 

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Like Austinado16 said, no need to choke a warm engine. No need to go trying to fix something that isn't broke. Been there, done than myself.


These engines use an NGK BPR5ES spark plug, take .6 liter of oil, 10W-30 is recommended for all temperature use. Make sure the air filter and pre-filter are clean.

It would be nice if it was only the head gasket, but with that much smoke, I'd guess it's rings.

If you didn't get the owner's manual with it, you can download one free from Honda's site.

http://powerequipment.honda.com/support/owners-manuals/lawn-mowers/hr215
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I know this is a very stupid question, but will I have to drain the oil before I remover the head?
 

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As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a stupid question. No, you don't have to drain the oil first, but if you haven't already put the fresh 10W-30 in it, now would be a good time to do so. Also, there is an order to tightening the head bolts back up, and a specific torque for them too.

Here's a thread I did on a GXV120 rebuild over on mylawnmowerforum.com. The engines are pretty much the same, and share some parts. Main difference is that yours has a bigger bore.

http://www.mylawnmowerforum.com/forum/5-small-engine-repair-discussion/8313-honda-gxv120-rebuild.html
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Got it all apart, and then put it back together. I found out that it was not the head gasket or any scoring in the cylinder. Also most of the gaskets on this engine are bad too.
Found this in Australia eBay, would this work? It includes gaskets and piston and rings:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/140725298845?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

Or to save money:
2 separate:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/140629921798?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT
http://www.ebay.com/itm/291310014624?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

Would either of these sets work for my engine?
 

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i put 20 years of daily commercial use on my 215 using mobil 1 . it still wasnt using oil when i sold it. the valve guides go first in these.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
i put 20 years of daily commercial use on my 215 using mobil 1 . it still wasnt using oil when i sold it. the valve guides go first in these.

Would these cause the engine to smoke constantly??
How can I tell the valve guides are bad??

I was thinking since it smokes constantly, it must be the rings.
 
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