Help! Mower Loosing Power

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  #1  
Old 05-28-04, 03:47 PM
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Help! Mower Loosing Power

I have an old tractor I bought off a buddy but have no idea what make it is. The name on the side says Mark Master but I think that it is possibly a MTD with a B&S 16HP engine. Recently I have been having a lot of power loss going up hills. It practically stops if I shift much past neutral going up steep grades. As soon as I go downhill again the engine revs right back up. I cleaned out the carb and changed all the seals and readjusted the float. Still have the same problem. Could it be the hydrostatic? It's a peerless model #1314. Any help would be greatly appreciated. It really stinks mowing 1 1/2 acres with a push mower!


Thanks,
Dave
 
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  #2  
Old 05-28-04, 04:25 PM
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The next obvious thing to check is the air cleaner. If you have an intake air restriction the engine will lack power because it can't breathe. Also do some checking on the fuel line for any inline fuel filter. That's another biggie. If you can't deliver sufficient fuel flow to the engine it will bogg down under load way before it should. Assuming that you find good air and fuel flow to the engine I would then proceed to check the spark plug and then the cylinder compression. Check all the easy & obvious stuff first before you dig deeper. How about the gas? Is it fresh or has it been in there since last summer? What about the gas can...was if filled last 6 months ago?? Just asking...every spring there's a lot of mowers that are dragging because of old gas.
 
  #3  
Old 05-28-04, 05:35 PM
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Thanks for the tips. I did most of the things that you suggested. Replaced the air filter, checked for an in-line fuel filter (none), checked both plugs (it's a twin cylinder) and they spark fine and are in good condition, and have a fresh tank of gas. I haven't worked on engines very much so I don't know how to check compression. I'm sure I'd have no problem with a little coaching. In the meantime, I'm going to replace the fuel line and install an in-line filter. Thanks again for the quick reply.


Dave
 
  #4  
Old 05-29-04, 08:38 AM
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One other obvious (not) thing that could bite you....Check the vent on the gas tank. If the vent is clogged your engine won't get enough fuel. Usually the tank is vented at the gas cap itself with a small hole and filter. If there's no hole on the gas cap check for the vent somewhere else. Maybe a bug made a nest inside the tube and it's plugged.
 
  #5  
Old 06-02-04, 02:53 PM
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Still losing power

Well I installed new fuel lines, a fuel filter, and checked the gas cap vent which looked ok. It's still losing a lot of power and seems to be running really rough. It's also pumping out some greyish smoke. Do you think that the jet needs to be adjusted. This thing is driving me nuts! I can't go more than a crawl uphill or it stalls. Any ideas?


Dave,
Frustrated Mower
 
  #6  
Old 06-03-04, 12:16 AM
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The greyish smoke is oil burning (if it is coming out the muffler)...if not, then it might be a belt burning. Check the oil level. Is it overfull? Is it thin?

Have you replaced the spark plugs? Sounds like it is running on one cylinder.
 
  #7  
Old 06-03-04, 06:14 PM
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Yes, it's definitely coming out of the muffler. Will check the level and replace plugs this weekend. Hopefully I can reply with good news. Thanks for the help.
 
  #8  
Old 06-07-04, 07:30 PM
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Making progress!

Thanks for the tips cheese. I drained and replaced the oil and also put new plugs in. When I fired it up today there was no smoke and the power has definitely improved. There's still a noticable lag when going uphill though. Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
 
  #9  
Old 06-07-04, 11:32 PM
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Did the oil smell like gas? It sounds like you may have a flooding carburetor leaking fuel into the engine and thinning the oil.
 
  #10  
Old 06-08-04, 04:25 PM
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Yes, I checked the oil and it definitely smelled like gas. What now?
 
  #11  
Old 06-08-04, 04:36 PM
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Fuel smell in the oil

What is in order in this case is a carburetor reconditioning. The carb is not shutting off the fuel supply to it at the proper level and is allowing it (gasoline) to seep into the crankcase. Pull the carb, soak it in a good quality bath-type cleaner and recondition it with a carb kit. Give us the engine ID#'s and we'll supply the part numbers you will likely need. Carburetor service is usually not for a first timer, you may want a shop to do this. If so, simply take the carb and your ID#'s to the shop and have them do it for you.

PS. Another oil change is needed if in fact this is what has been going on. You do not want to run the engine with gas in the oil.
 
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Old 06-08-04, 11:41 PM
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The fuel pump on these engines can also cause gas leakage into the crankcase. Fix the problem before you run it anymore, and the change the oil again as suggested. Gas thinned oil makes a terrible lubricant and has ruined many engines.
 
  #13  
Old 06-10-04, 02:15 PM
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Ok a few more questions before I proceed. I bought a carb overhaul kit (B&S #694056) and replaced all the seals, bladders, screws, etc. I'm not quite sure if I have the right engine model numbers but the information under the seat says serial 41-012-4385 & model 130-780-C65. It's a twin cylinder, 16 HP Briggs. I can't find a fuel pump but it does have a valve attached to the carb which my buddy called a 'power valve.' It has a bladder and a spring inside with one fuel line coming in from the tank and the other leading to the engine. I adjusted the float using a method a friend told me by inserting a tube and blowing while simultaneously moving the float up. When I felt the air stop the float was parallel to the bowl and that's where I set it. Is this method right. Could I have set it too high and therefor flooding the carb?
 
  #14  
Old 06-10-04, 03:37 PM
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The kit you bought is for an opposed twin cylinder engine with a 3-screw fuel pump. The model numbers you gave are not familiar with anything I'm aware of. Anyhow, the numbers you will need to look for will be on the engine (not the frame) and are generally located on the flywheel blower shroud. As for the fuel pump, if it is in fact an opposed twin, the pump is a integral part of the carburetor. The two fittings you referred to are a part of the pump cover. As for the float adjustment: Remove the four screws which hold the top half of the carb to the lower. Pull the top half off and turn upside down (this is the half that the float attaches to). Correct float level will be when the float is parallel to the carb body.
 
  #15  
Old 06-15-04, 09:18 PM
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I did the carb overhaul and re-adjusted the float to parallel. Still having the same problem. It runs perfectly fine on a downslope but uphill is still a crawl. It was even slow on a flat area too when going through thick grass. A good week passed before I got it running again and the grass got pretty long. I still need to check the oil again to make sure that the gas smell is gone. This may be a dumb question but do you think that I need to set the float a little higher than parallel because I have such a steep slope or will that just cause me other problems? As always, thanks for the help.
 
  #16  
Old 06-16-04, 12:52 AM
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Are you sure it's the engine? Is the engine slowing down, or just the mower itself? If the engine is running fine, but the mower goes slow uphill, then you have a belt problem.
 
  #17  
Old 06-17-04, 04:59 AM
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Yes, I'm sure it's the engine. The belt on the mower deck is pretty worn so I'll replace that but all the others have good tension and are in decent condition.
 
  #18  
Old 06-18-04, 01:13 AM
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I'm not sure which tranny you have, but it may be low on oil. Look for a fill plug, possibly under the fan on top of the tranny. An oil change might do the trick (in the tranny).
 
  #19  
Old 06-24-04, 04:16 AM
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What kind of oil should I use to replace the tranny fluid? It's a peerless model #1314.
 
  #20  
Old 06-24-04, 09:50 AM
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This model has a capacity of 44oz. of 80W/90 oil.
 
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