riding mower - Engine problems

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  #1  
Old 04-14-04, 11:09 AM
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Poulan riding mower -Engine problems

I have a 1990 Poulan 12 HP (6 speed) riding mower that was originally purchased in 1990. It was given to me last year and looked to be in great condition. I noticed this winter that there was all kinds of oil on my garage floor under the engine. I can't see exactly where the oil came from so I cleaned it up, put in frsh oil and gas, checked the spark plug and tried to start it. I am quite handy, but never really worked on engines. The engine will turn over, run for up to a minute but then dies out. There is also white smoke and gas misting out of the muffler. I took off the air filter and cleaned it. It seems like the carb is getting excessive gas. I tried to find a small engine repair shop, but there is nothing within 25 miles of my house and I really have no way to transport the mower to one. Can anyone give a novice some things to try. Please remember I am not a pro with engines.

Thanks for your time.
 
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Old 04-14-04, 11:27 AM
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Usually when a engine burns white smoke, it means that you have water in the gas tank or there is water in the carb. As far as all the oil on the floor under the engine, has it done it again aftor you replaced with more oil? I think the reason your engine stoped is because your spark plug are getting fouled because of the smoke. You could be burning some oil too. But usually when it is oil burning it will burn black or blue smoke. Give us some more info so we can help you more.
 
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Old 04-14-04, 11:27 AM
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You have a classic case of crankcase flooding. What is happening here is that your carburetor is not shutting off the fuel supply as it should. If you were to check the "oil" level on the dipstick chances are you noticed it was overfilled. Well, it's not overfilled with oil, it's gasoline. You will need to remove the carburetor in order to service it. The exact source of trouble is the inlet needle & seat and/or the float. I would highly recommend soaking the carburetor in NAPA Carb. Cleaner, part# 6401 and reconditioning the carburetor with a Briggs kit. To know if the float is no longer floating do this: once removed from the carb., take the float between your finger and shake it back and forth. If you feel or hear a sloshing, then it is bad - replace it! This will not be included in a rebuid kit. Give us your engines' ID #'s and we'll help you with part numbers needed.
 
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Old 04-14-04, 04:19 PM
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Your id numbers would definetly help so we can help you better. Please post back what you decide to do.
 
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Old 04-14-04, 11:50 PM
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Hello Alidar!

Once again, puey61 hit the nail on the head. Your crankcase is flooded with gas. Don't try to run it this way, or engine damage and fire could result. You can probably just remove the fuel bowl, remove the float, replace the needle, and soak a Q-tip with carburetor cleaner and swab out the hole that the needle goes in. If the needle is rubber-tipped, that may be all that is required. If it has a metal needle, with no rubber tip, then you'll need to replace the seat as well.
 
  #6  
Old 04-19-04, 11:29 AM
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Smile Thank you - you were right

Gentlemen:

I just wanted to say thank you for your diagnoses and help. You were correct, my Poluan riding mower had gas mixed in with the oil. I actually found a guy that does small engine repair in your own garage. He came over, drained the oil and gas, replaced the spark plug, adjusted the carb and installed a shut off valve becuase gas was still slightly filling the carb even with the throttle off. He also replaced the blades all for $60.00.

Thnaks again.
 
  #7  
Old 04-19-04, 02:57 PM
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You got yourself a good deal on the service, however, the fuel shut-off is only a band-aid. You really should have the carburetor reconditioned. If for some chance you forget to shut off the fuel supply, via the newly installed valve, you will have to change the oil again. May I suggest allowing us to talk you into removing the carburetor and taking it to the same guy (or another if you choose) and have it recon'd. If needed, we can help you out with removal procedure of the carb. Let us know!
 
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