B&S 17HP - serious problem

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  #1  
Old 01-09-04, 11:42 AM
Brannon
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B&S 17HP - serious problem

I just removed the valve cover and I have bits of metal and one bigger peice floating around that looks like a cheese grater. It's been many years since I worked on an engine of any kind. I'm wondering if I should try repairing this myself.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-09-04, 01:32 PM
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Do you have the cofidence to tear down the engine, layout all the parts and make an evaluation of what is needed to repair it? That is the first thing that is required. There are also a few parts that may need special tools to remove. Flywheels and pulleys can be somewhere between difficult and impossible to remove without the right tools. I just finished working on an overhead valve engine. I spent a lot of time trying to remove the valve springs without the proper tool. I failed and finally bought the special tool for the job. Within 5 minutes of obtaining the right tool the springs were on the bench and the valves were out. The main point is that with the proper tools tearing down an engine is quick & easy. Without them you are in for lots of frustration, busted knuckles, broken an/or damaged parts & tools and most likely failure. Having said all that, there is a trade off between the time & expense of obtaining all that you need and just taking the engine to someone else to do the job. You might even find it less expensive to just purchase a new replacment engine if the piece of equipment that the engine was used on is critical for your operation.

Everyone's situation is different. If you think that working on this engine is a one-shot deal then you probably can't justify the expense of getting all you need. Some of the guys on here work on small engines for a living. I do it for a hobby and because between myself and the neighbors there are over a dozen small engines in service in many different applicatiions. It seems like something is always broken or not running right. I've paid for all the tools I own many times over with all the repairs I've done over the years. If you don't get along well with things mechanical then trying to do it yourself will most likely end in failure & frustration. If you are a gearhead then there is nothing like the sight of an engine belching to life after a difficult rebuild job.
 
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Old 01-09-04, 02:14 PM
Brannon
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The engine in question is on a mower with less than 10 hours run time. It kills me to think I may have to spend half the cost of the mower just to get it running again. The warranty, even though the hours are low, has long since expired so I have few options.
 
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Old 01-09-04, 04:22 PM
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Hello Brannon!

Does the engine still run? What prompted you to remove the valve cover? It may not be terribly expensive to repair, depending on what kind of damage you have, or then again, it could be ruined and not rebuildable. You'll get a better idea once you get it apart. New engines are cheap enough, you might look into that too. Let's find out more info so we can get a better idea of what happened and be able to help you better.
 
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Old 01-09-04, 04:39 PM
Brannon
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It doesn't run. The story I got was that someone put bad gas in it and in an effort to get it started they used starter fluid and berrimans. The final run was a hot Texas afternoon in tall grass. I'm told there was a knocking noise from the engine when the mower was stressed in thick grasses until finally it died in one particularly thick patch.
I tried to rule out everything before I started digging to deep. When I saw the shrapnell unde the valve cover I knew that knocking was a real issue. So here I am - looking for encouragement or fortitude . . . or even brutal honesty.
 
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Old 01-09-04, 04:51 PM
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Well, its simple to take it off and pull the sup cover to see what went wrong. I can't, for the life of me, think of anything that would look like a cheese grater in there. Is the head obviously broken anywhere? Pushrods bent?
 
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Old 01-09-04, 07:35 PM
Brannon
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Thanks so much for the help so far
I pulled the head and the stuff I was trying to describe is part of the gasket. The metal part of the head gasket is sort of textured like a grater. Maybe a garlic grater <shrug> . . . anyway there was a large peice missing between the cylinder and the other chamber (I forget the terms - as I said it's been a while). So the head gasket is the only obvious problem I see. Push rods are visibly ok.
I'm assuming that I was loosing compression through the hole in the gasket. However, I'm left wondering how it got there.
 
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Old 01-09-04, 08:13 PM
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You are doing good on your trouble shooting. It could be just a carb and bad seal problem. Therefor it will be a easy fix. However in any case, Cheese will help you get that engine going in no time.
 
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Old 01-09-04, 08:31 PM
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Maybe you are lucky. Sounds like the problems aren't too bad! The gasket piece that you see under the valve cover probably got there through the intake or exhaust valve. If the valves aren't bent and the valve & seats are OK you may be in business after replacing the head gasket. Inspect the valves and the valve seats to make sure that you don't see any nasty gouges or deep scratches anywhere. If the engine turns freely by hand without any expensive grinding noises you may be in good shape after you get a new head gasket. It would be a good idea to have a torque wrench (or a well calibrated arm) when you replace the head bolts.
 
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Old 01-09-04, 10:56 PM
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Ok...you're right, the head gasket, when it comes apart, looks like a cheese grater. I just can't understand how it got in the valve cover. Anyway...if the section between the cylinder and the pushrod opening, then it would definitely cause a loss of compression, oil consumption, low power, etc... Look at the cylinder walls to be sure they aren't gouged or scratched deeply. If not, and the piston moves as it should when you turn the engine over, then I would replace the head gasket, torque the head bolts properly, and try it out.

I made a typo in my previous reply. I meant sump cover, not "sup" cover. Got to slow down my typing a bit I guess, lol.
 
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Old 01-10-04, 11:44 AM
Brannon
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I have it back together. However, I'm not able to get it to start and say running without pouring gas directly into the carb. I've checked the fuel pump to see that its putting out and it does.
Does the fuel pump make a oil and gas mixture or is that line running to the oil do something else, like vent or overflow? I was ready to rule out the bad gas senerio when I saw the gasket, but now I'm thinking the fuel may be bad or the pump may be malfuctioning in a less obvious way. Berrymans has been added to the gas, so it's pretty potent.

any ideas?
 
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Old 01-10-04, 12:09 PM
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You probably have an air line going from the crank case to the fuel pump. The fuel pump uses crankcase air pressure to operate a diaphram pump and doesn't mix oil with the fuel. If you've confirmed that the fuel pump is working and delivering fuel to the carb you may have bad gas, a stuck float, or maybe the float bowl just hasn't quite filled with gas yet. Try choking the engine while engaging the starter.
 
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Old 01-10-04, 01:41 PM
Brannon
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I did it. The fuel filter and new gas with a little stabilizer did the trick. RUNS LIKE NEW!! Needless to say I feel very good about this. My wife says I look like a goofball riding this thing in front of the house with a big grin.
I want to thank Cheese, Jughead and Terminator for the support. No telling how much money I have just saved.
 
  #14  
Old 01-10-04, 01:52 PM
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Saving money & gaining lots of satisfaction is what DIY is all about!! Your initial description shreaded metal parts inside the engine sounded grim. I didn't think you were going to get that engine running so cheap & easy. Bet you had fun.
 
  #15  
Old 01-11-04, 01:08 AM
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Great! Glad you got it going! I agree, the cheese grater sounded pretty bad at first, lol . Nothing like fixing something yourself!
 
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