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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a mid 90's John Deere LX176. The plastic hood broke so I bought a new lower and replaced it.

After a few months, the newer one broke at the hinge mount. Upon further investigation, I realized that the muffler has failed and there are a few holes. The hot exhaust actually melted the plastic at the hinge point. Before I replace the hood again, I need to fix the muffler.

Looking online, used mufflers are about $70. Most of the pictures on Ebay show areas where the exhaust is leaking at the flange from the pipe to the muffler. I can buy a new one but a new muffler is $270. The engine runs good but has a slight and small oil leak; evidenced by the staining on the wood floor in my shed.

I'm looking online where I can get a B&S 17.5hp Intek from Small Engine Warehouse for $745 or an 18hp Vanguard from Jim's Tractors for $1500. Both apparently have wiring/installation kits but will probably have shipping costs.

I'm now a bit torn on whether to replace the muffler, which likely will require me to remove the motor to begin with in order to reach the bolts holding the muffler on or simply doing a repower. Tractor is in good shape and a repower would certainly be cheaper than a new mower. I've never pulled a complete motor but am good at cleaning the jets/fixing floats on the carb. So it doesn't seem to hard.

Just seems crazy to spend that much on a muffler. Thoughts?
 

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depending how exactly the exhaust tubing is bending, you might be able to
-put muffler tape over it
-clamp a slightly larger tube over the spot with holes
-weld the holes shut
-replace just the tube (cut the existing tube out, weld in new tubing)

I would consider doing the above before buying a new muffler (personally, I would likely weld in a new tube, assuming the muffler itself is still functioning ok), and buy a new muffler before a new engine. And first, I would clean the motor and running it for a short while, before removing it, to identify where it's leaking and fix that at the same time...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Appreciate the ideas. The muffler holes are a bit more than muffler tape may be effective with or a tack weld. Who knows how bad the i side has rusted away.







It’s probably had this opening for a year or two. Wondering if not having proper back pressure may have damaged the exhaust valves...

Here is the oil leak after I cleaned it up the other day with engine degreaser.

 

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I had to have my LX176 muffler welded up last year. There's no other visible damage but it's still loud.
Cannon
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I am pretty sure that valves are not damaged by lack of back pressure, nor by lack of an exhaust system. They really don't warp, having to go through a pretty wide temperature swing upon startup. Cooling down due to exposure would be significantly less 'traumatic' as far as how quickly the temperature changed than they undergo when you start them from cold.
tom
 
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