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Discussion Starter #1
hello, my first post, appreciate the help

so I go to mow my lawn after 2 months of neglecting my lawn, went into my shed to get the tractor, battery is dead. disengage the transmission, pull the tractor out to the car to jump start it. tractor starts fine. disconnect all the cables, close everything up and start to mow the law. Maybe 1 minute later the engine starts to die, I have no gas. as its stumbling I run to get the gas can, filler her up and she starts to run perfectly again. as the engine was stumbling white smoke started coming out of the exhaust, this tractor is 12 years old, I maintain this engine as I should every year, and I have never had any type of problem.

when I added gas, the engine seemed to run fine again, but maybe 10 seconds later it started to stumble again, with tons of white smoke, but she catches again and everything seems fine. 20 seconds later same thing. so I cut the engine and take a look around. I notice there is oil on the left side of the engine, near the oil drain area, but specifically where a rod or something throttle related goes into the engine. I then check the engine oil and she is low. So I go back to the shed and sure enough there is oil on the floor, which I didn't notice before because I had to pull the tractor out.

So I go back and fill her up with oil and give her another start. same cycle starts, with the stumbling and white smoke. so I shut her down before I did any more damage. should I have let it run longer after I filled her with oil?

here's a picture of where I think the oil is leaking from, can't tell if it is coming from the gasket or the shaft.
http://home.comcast.net/~walshja/simplicity.JPG


I appreciate any help and suggestions on what to look for.

thanks

joe
 

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Looking at your picture, the oil leakage is insignificant. Run it some more, and likely the white smoke will stop. Two months may have allowed condensation in the float bowl, which will turn to steam when it is 'heated' in the combustion chamber. If there is enough, it will stop the heating process -- and make the engine stop running, or run with a severe cough. Drop the float bowl, and check for condensation, add fresh fuel, and get 'er done.
tom
 

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Discussion Starter #3
hey Tom

it looks like an insignificant amount oil leakage because I cleaned things up before taking the picture. on the floor of my shed there was an oil spot. What part is that which is circled in my picture? it moves when I adjust the throttle.

I like your theory on water is the float bowl. If I had any water in the gas tank, it would have gotten sucked in when I ran out of gas.

will head out in a bit to start her up again.

thanks
 

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FWIW, I think Tom nailed it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
well how about that !! she lives !! just had her running for about 5 minutes, blew some white smoke, which eventually cleared up.

I honestly thought my tractor was dead last night, thank you both for responding and instructing me to keep with it !!!

do you think I can try and tighten the bolts to the head, see if that stops the oil leak? or should I just put a catch bin underneath and live with it? Not sure if the leak is coming from the head, or from the shaft where that part thingy goes into the engine.
 

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Might want to inspect the fuel carefully too---todays ethanol laced gas will allow a lot of water to be dispersed in it and not be too noticeable...also,some fuel has been found to have diesel fuel mixed with it around here,diesel will make a thick whitish smoke when its burned in a gas engine...
 

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Glad to be of some help, but Tom gets the gold star.
I think that shaft is part of the governor setup.
You could try tightening the head bolts, but they should really be torqued to specs and in the right order. If they are indeed loose, it might be worth the small expense and effort to replace the head gasket.
You might be able to find a manual for your engine online, which will give the torque specs and order of tightening.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
tractor-holic, awesome wagon !!!

I'm going to guess it is/was water in the gas tank, I will drain and clean. Someone recently gave me a push mower that wasn't running, and it was water in the tank. the tractor sat for over 2 months on an empty tank. we went through some pretty humid weeks during that time, and the tractor is outside in a shed, so it could easily be water in the tank.

is replacing the head gasket a pretty easy job? I'll tackle that over the winter if it is. What if oil is coming out the shaft of the governor? is that a bigger job?

I found the manual online, with torque settings, thanks

I have had this tractor for 11 or 12 years. I replace the oil and filters every year, and grease all the proper spots and nothing has ever gone wrong wrong with it, not even a belt !! (although I have gone through a few blades). (knocking on wood now) Is my experience typical of tractors? I always thought they are maintenance nightmares, but this machine has proven my assumption wrong !!
 

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Replacing a head gasket is not very difficult, you can probably do it with no problems.
We're here if you do hit a snag.
There is probably a seal around the governor shaft. If it's leaking, it can be replaced. I have no idea if you can get at it without taking things apart. Perhaps you can look at the diagram and tell, or read the shop manual.
Your trouble-free experience is typical of someone who actually takes care of his equipment and doesn't abuse it. The fact that you started with a good machine in the first place helps, too. This is a case where you helped create your own "good luck". :fing32:
 

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Might want to inspect the fuel carefully too---todays ethanol laced gas will allow a lot of water to be dispersed in it and not be too noticeable...also,some fuel has been found to have diesel fuel mixed with it around here,diesel will make a thick whitish smoke when its burned in a gas engine...
Hi TH,
Is that mixing in of diesel intentional? I would think that it would eat up catalytic converters and cause other problems.
 

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I just had a thought about the oil leakage. Is it coming from the breather? Sometimes head gasket leaks allow combustion pressure into the crankcase, resulting in oil being blown out the breather.
One way to find a tricky leak is to clean the engine, then sprinkle baby powder on it. That will show where the oil is coming from. You'll want to make sure none of the powder gets inhaled into the engine.
 

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Hi TH,
Is that mixing in of diesel intentional? I would think that it would eat up catalytic converters and cause other problems.
It might have been intentional,but more likely someone put diesel in the wrong tank ,either at the staion or maybe where the tanker trucks fill up (most likely because it wasn't isolated to just one station)...I doubt anyone would "cut" gas with diesel.as diesel costs more than gas does!...water in the fuel has been more prevalent since alcohol has been added to it..
 

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I see - thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
ok, so after I made my original post, I changed the oil, put dry gas in the tank, and everything started working just fine. Then I let the tractor sit again and I have the same problem.

but this time black oil leaked out the front of the engine this time, really black oil. It was dark outside so I couldn't determine where the black oil is coming from, but get this, if I check the oil with the dipstick, its clean new oil. How can black oil be leaking out of the engine, when the oil which touches the dipstick is clean?

what the heck is going on??? same problem as before, except where the oil was leaking before, it is not leaking.
 

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Maybe it's oil that was already leaked and was "hiding" under the engine or in some crevasses. I'd clean it up and see what happens. It might take a while for all of the old oil to come out of hiding.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
a LOT of oil came out, dirty black oil, I don't there is anywhere it could have been hiding.

could something be clogged in my oil circulation system? causing this problem? when it is running is sounds fine, but the white smoke is still there, then after a minute or so of running, it stops and a ton of white smoke comes out. this has something to do with letting the tractor sit without running for a period of time. my battery was bad, could that have anything to do with this problem? I replaced the battery this time, but the problem still exists.
 

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Which side of the engine is leaking? Cylinder head side? Got a picture?
The 'clean' oil on the dipstick will likely look a bit darker if you were to drain it, or put a few drops on a white paper towel. You are seeing such a thin sample it is difficult to have enough soot or carbon particles visible to look 'dark'.
Some of the OHV engines have a problem where the head gasket blows out, and causes or allows oil to be blown out of the engine. It still has compression, I think, but it no longer contains the oil in the crankcase.
Flat head engines, with fins across the whole head, don't have a problem with the head gasket causing oil leaks. If the valve stems allow oil to pass into the engine, it will get burned if it is coming from the intake, and will get pushed out the exhaust or burned if it is an exhaust valve.
When you store the tractor, you should drain the float bowl, and either drain the fuel tank or install a shutoff valve and close it, and close the vent on the filler cap if it has one. That will prevent fuel from sitting in the float bowl and turning into gel or gum.
You could still be generating condensation if the tank is exposed to humid air, and heating and cooling cycles. A full tank will generate very little condensation as there is little surface exposed to the temperature change and thus little area for condensation to form.
I read somewhere that the oil companies, or rather the pipeline companies, use the same pipe for regular, diesel and hi-octane fuels. They formerly used to use a 'pig' to separate the different fuels, but now use a 'slug' of mixed fuels, and in theory, dump the mixed into a holding tank before routing the pure regular or diesel or whatever to the proper storage tank. They depend on grabbing the 'mixed' fuels before allowing them into the consumer 'chain'.
Hi from a 32nd cousin Walsh 17 times removed or something like that..
tom
 

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Discussion Starter #20
ahaha !! another Walsh !!! helloooo

I will go take pictures later, but the oil that is leaking is like black sludge, while the oil in the dipstick tube is perfectly clean.

the oil is leaking from somewhere below where the spark plug is, so would that be the front of the engine?

it's weird that I had this problem, and it went completely away, and now it's back.

pictures to come . . . and thanks for your help !!!
 
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