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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a mid-80s Snapper RER Model No. 25066 over the weekend being sold for $200 with a bagger. It has a Tecumseh TVM140 6hp engine on it and is a 25" cut. I swapped out the old spark plug and changed the oil (Mobile 1 High Mileage 10W-30) and it seems to run hot (not red hot or anything but way beyond too hot to touch). A little oil seeps from the base gasket of the engine and it sizzles a bit once you shut it off. I'm not sure what is normal for this age of engine

I would plan on replacing the air filter and the blade as I think they have never been changed before. I also was going to swap out the fuel lines and add a fuel shut off and new fuel filter. Before I do all that I was curious about opinions. The seller said it ran well and he just checks the oil after every couple of mows. I don't know if I should take it back to him or not because of the oil seepage. I'm pretty disappointed because I thought I found the machine I was looking for at a decent price, but not I guess that it was too good to be true. :(
 

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I'm not entirely sure if it makes too much of a difference, but isn't Mobil1 Oil only synthetic these days? I haven't seen non-synthetic from M1 in the local stores.

I've heard stories where if you run synthetic in an older engine, you can develop leaks where there weren't any before. Could be myths though, but it might not hurt to try a non-synthetic oil.

Good luck!
 

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Not to upset you but I would say you over paid. $100 max would have been my buy on that. I'm assuming you had a chance to turn it on and off and it sounds as though he made you aware that it was using oil. It's it's running too hot it's probably running lean. You can try to richen up the mixture a little bit. Keep in mind that it is is a nearly 25 y/o machine or older. My techumseh does by the way run much hotter than the equivalent Briggs. I think it's the just the nature of them. The seepage is normal. It needs a new gasket. Both of my Tecumseh's seep there a little.

T.C.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm not entirely sure if it makes too much of a difference, but isn't Mobil1 Oil only synthetic these days? I haven't seen non-synthetic from M1 in the local stores.

I've heard stories where if you run synthetic in an older engine, you can develop leaks where there weren't any before. Could be myths though, but it might not hurt to try a non-synthetic oil.

Good luck!
I've read that too about the synthetics, not sure if its a myth or not, but it definitely didn't get better when I changed the oil. I will probably try to go back to a regular SAE 30 weight and see what happens.

Not to upset you but I would say you over paid. $100 max would have been my buy on that. I'm assuming you had a chance to turn it on and off and it sounds as though he made you aware that it was using oil. It's it's running too hot it's probably running lean. You can try to richen up the mixture a little bit. Keep in mind that it is is a nearly 25 y/o machine or older. My techumseh does by the way run much hotter than the equivalent Briggs. I think it's the just the nature of them. The seepage is normal. It needs a new gasket. Both of my Tecumseh's seep there a little.

T.C.
Maybe I did overpay a little, I guess its too late now. You are right that he made me aware of it using oil. I suppose I just have to make the best of it now that I have it. Is it difficult to replace the gasket you are talking about, probably more trouble than it is worth. I have an older Ariens snowblower with a Tecumseh in it and that runs pretty hot also.

I also put a new E3 spark plug it. The engine roars with the E3 compared to the very old Champion I pulled from it.

I guess if I get a couple years out of the mower I'll be satisified. Thanks!
 

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Most small engines require just a standard SAE30 oil. I wouldn't run anything besides that or 10W-30 standard oil if I was in a pinch. Oh yeah, don't use anything higher than 87 octane fuel too.

As for the new E3 spark plugs, I've seen them but I personally think, "why change technology that already works?" The champs work just fine as long as you have a blue spark, keep the chamber clean of carbon buildup and keep the mixture set right.

I don't know the worth of older RER rigs, but I would think that trying to locate a bagger in decent shape alone could easily run you perhaps half the price you paid for the tractor, so I wouldn't consider it a loss. Besides, you got yourself a fixer-upper!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'll definitely drain the oil and put SAE30 back in it. Saturday when I used it I left the throttle up halfway and then turned if off by the key not thinking. Gas dripped down and out the air filter. Good thing a new filter is on the way.

It runs, so its definitely not a total loss, just could be better. I should have paid closer attention. No ones fault but my own. Lesson learned.

Most small engines require just a standard SAE30 oil. I wouldn't run anything besides that or 10W-30 standard oil if I was in a pinch. Oh yeah, don't use anything higher than 87 octane fuel too.

As for the new E3 spark plugs, I've seen them but I personally think, "why change technology that already works?" The champs work just fine as long as you have a blue spark, keep the chamber clean of carbon buildup and keep the mixture set right.

I don't know the worth of older RER rigs, but I would think that trying to locate a bagger in decent shape alone could easily run you perhaps half the price you paid for the tractor, so I wouldn't consider it a loss. Besides, you got yourself a fixer-upper!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't know how to do a full carb breakdown/rebuild, but I ran some Seafoam through the engine when I replaced the fuel lines & filter this weekend and it seems to be better. It smoked and chugged pretty good when I put the Seafoam in so hopefully it cleaned some of the gunk out of the carb. It didn't run as hot afterwards. I am waiting for the new air filter and blade to arrive (hopefully Wednesday), then I should be pretty well set. I also leveled the mowing deck over the weekend too, it was very uneven.
 

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If you have a briggs engine (or really any small engine), a carburetor rebuild is fairly straight forward. They aren't very complicated to disassemble and reassemble as most carburetors have maybe 10-12 parts that come in a rebuild kit. The hard part can be replacing the needle seats as they are small and in recessed locations.

If you go to a local small engine shop, they may be able to print out a diagram illustrating how to disassemble and reassemble the carburetor. Also, you can most likely find the same at www.partstree.com

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's an old Tecumseh engine. I'll see how things are running this week and decide if a better cleaning needs to be done. Thanks for the link.
 

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Have I missed something?
Where is the discussion about cleaning every surface within the forced air cooling system?
Are all air entrance screen openings obstruction free? A bristle brush applied to both sides sometimes releases a lot of debris that isn't apparent but still impedes air flow.
Are the fan blades clean so they induce as much air flow as that engine's designers and factory testers determined to provide adequate air flow?
Are all the air passage ways into, through and from fin passageways clean? I don't mean just clean enough to pass a wire between them. When air cooled engines overheat, you should force a thin brush through those passageways or pull a thick abrasive pad strip between them to scour out any attached debris which may be acting as a thermal barrier.

Only then would I start looking at issues like excessively lean fuel-to-air ratios.

I would NOT start by assuming that excessive heating is somehow related to oil someone chose to run. If the engine has way more internal friction than is normally observed, that would increase internal heating. But that higher friction would be obvious when spinning the engine by hand.

I suggest going back to basics first rather than starting with some unlikely hypothesis and trying to make it fit.

As to price, we can't make an informed comment about that without knowing how fresh the machine appears. How's the paint? If it was always garaged out of direct sunlight when not in use, the number of hours the paint has been exposed sunlight is low. Ultraviolet light within sunlight degrades paints, especially red paints. I've read that red paint pigment molecules are among the least stable when exposed to ultraviolet sunlight micro-hammering. For that very reason, red painted tin roofs begin looking badly much more quickly than other paint colors. I doubt that Snapper red paint endures a full year of direct sun exposure without showing it, even if it is stored behind UV transmissive glass. It's not the rain nor snow nor wind nor heat nor cold. It's sunlight's UV spectrum micro-hammering that goes after those red paint molecules. If I intended to repaint a Snapper red, I'd probably use an automotive-grade paint. That's because the engineering teams within the paint industry have worked hard trying to bring their red paint's durability up closer to the performance of their more naturally-stable colors. It's not reasonable to expect inexpensive aerosol can red paints to perform nearly as well.

A fresh-appearing mower that is performing well should command a MUCH higher price than one that appears tired and has performance problems. Whether you're acting as a buyer or a seller, there's no reason to be shy about pointing out to the other party how rational market participants should price items.
John
 

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How was leveling the deck? That process really ****** me off! I have one that always finds it spot very quickly and the other is almost impossible. I've done it 4 times and I can never get the freaking thing right! Both are series 6 33" too. The worst part is it's the crappiest looking mower that levels out perfect. Go figure right? In the manual it states to use a piece of angle iron in the back. Not sure if you used those instructions or not.

Thanks

T.C.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Have I missed something?
Where is the discussion about cleaning every surface within the forced air cooling system?
Are all air entrance screen openings obstruction free? A bristle brush applied to both sides sometimes releases a lot of debris that isn't apparent but still impedes air flow.
Are the fan blades clean so they induce as much air flow as that engine's designers and factory testers determined to provide adequate air flow?
Are all the air passage ways into, through and from fin passageways clean? I don't mean just clean enough to pass a wire between them. When air cooled engines overheat, you should force a thin brush through those passageways or pull a thick abrasive pad strip between them to scour out any attached debris which may be acting as a thermal barrier.

Only then would I start looking at issues like excessively lean fuel-to-air ratios.

I would NOT start by assuming that excessive heating is somehow related to oil someone chose to run. If the engine has way more internal friction than is normally observed, that would increase internal heating. But that higher friction would be obvious when spinning the engine by hand.

I suggest going back to basics first rather than starting with some unlikely hypothesis and trying to make it fit.

As to price, we can't make an informed comment about that without knowing how fresh the machine appears. How's the paint? If it was always garaged out of direct sunlight when not in use, the number of hours the paint has been exposed sunlight is low. Ultraviolet light within sunlight degrades paints, especially red paints. I've read that red paint pigment molecules are among the least stable when exposed to ultraviolet sunlight micro-hammering. For that very reason, red painted tin roofs begin looking badly much more quickly than other paint colors. I doubt that Snapper red paint endures a full year of direct sun exposure without showing it, even if it is stored behind UV transmissive glass. It's not the rain nor snow nor wind nor heat nor cold. It's sunlight's UV spectrum micro-hammering that goes after those red paint molecules. If I intended to repaint a Snapper red, I'd probably use an automotive-grade paint. That's because the engineering teams within the paint industry have worked hard trying to bring their red paint's durability up closer to the performance of their more naturally-stable colors. It's not reasonable to expect inexpensive aerosol can red paints to perform nearly as well.

A fresh-appearing mower that is performing well should command a MUCH higher price than one that appears tired and has performance problems. Whether you're acting as a buyer or a seller, there's no reason to be shy about pointing out to the other party how rational market participants should price items.
John
Thanks for the suggestions about cleaning the air cooling system. I will definitely take a look at that and make sure everything is clean. The paint on the mower looks pretty good. It is not faded or worn/rusted away, still very much Snapper red. I'll get around to posting a picture at some point.

How was leveling the deck? That process really ****** me off! I have one that always finds it spot very quickly and the other is almost impossible. I've done it 4 times and I can never get the freaking thing right! Both are series 6 33" too. The worst part is it's the crappiest looking mower that levels out perfect. Go figure right? In the manual it states to use a piece of angle iron in the back. Not sure if you used those instructions or not.

Thanks

T.C.
Leveling the deck went pretty well. The chains were pretty twisted so I put a 2x4 under the deck and lowered it to release the slack. Once the chains were straightened, it leveled pretty quickly. It's not perfect but it is much, much better than how it was before.
 
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