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Deere LT155
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The muffler on my LT155 completely snapped last year where the tailpipe meets the body of the muffler. I continued to use it thinking the only issue is that it is louder. Fast forward to this year, I was just about ready to order a new muffler after a couple of mowings.

Well, I was mowing yesterday and all of a sudden a lot of smoke started pouring out of the engine. I immediately shut it down. After a little research, it looks like it could be a head gasket issue. I actually ran it again today and the smoke wasn't as bad, but there is still more than before.

My question: is it possible that this issue could be solved with replacing just the muffler? I can't see how that would be the only issue but thought I would check. I'm thinking leaving the muffler broken for so long while using it might have caused compression issues. Anyway, should I start with the muffler or plan on doing that and the head gasket? Thanks.

Jim
 

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How long were you mowing before the smoke started? What color was the smoke? May have been water laying in the broken muffler or like you said may have been oil smoke from the engine.

Broken muffler normally means hot exhaust gas is free to roam around the engine compartment and melt things. So it could have been smoke from that.


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I don't know about the muffler causing the problem. I've had to change the head gasket on one Kohler CV single that had a mouse nest on the cylinder head. Remove the hose from the valve cover, with the engine running you should have smoke coming out if the head gasket is blown. See video in post #18 here. Another Craftsman Hydro with Kohler Command
Cannon
 

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We had a muffler bracket crack off. The shop we dealt with told us if we had to use the machine before the replacement came in, to cover the open pipe as soon as we shut it down. They said with the muffler on air had to go through the hot muffler and warm up before it hit the valve train. With the muffler off, cold are could rush in and warp hot valve stems. Causing more damage. Don’t know if this is a real issue, possible issue, or BS. We did as instructed and had no problem, Joe.
 
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