Troy-Bilt Pony tiller problem with pull cord

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  #1  
Old 01-14-07, 05:00 PM
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Troy-Bilt Pony tiller problem with pull cord

Hi, I have a Troy-Bilt Pony tiller with Briggs & Stratton engine, only a couple of years old. It occurred to me that with between vacation and holidays, I'd forgotten to prepare it for winter. So I drained the oil, added new oil (it was hard to tell how much I was adding, less than half a bottle I think, but I didn't want to add too much and the dipstick seemed to be ok), and then added a little gas stabilizer, started it up, and left it to run 5 minutes. After about that amount of time, it died on its own. I removed the spark plug, poured in a glug of oil, replaced the plug, and then attempted to pull the cord to crank the engine and distribute the oil, as the manual said. The cord will go out about 4-5 inches, but will not pull out any further. It was suggested to me to remove the spark plug and see if it would pull, but it made no difference. I'm worried that there may be a serious problem connected to the fact that it died on its own before. Thanks for any advice you can give me!
 
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  #2  
Old 01-14-07, 05:29 PM
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I would take the starter housing off, only 3 bolts or so hold it on, and check the pull cord to see if it is free, and try to turn the crank manually from the starter end or the pulley end to see if it freed up.

Adding oil to the cylinder will raise the compression way up, possibly enough to stop it turning over with the plug in but it should turn freely with the plug out.

You don't say how big the engine is but if it is possibly a 5 hp, it should take possibly 5/8th of a quart of oil or a bit more. Bigger engines take more.

Worst case scenario would be not enough oil and the engine seized, specifically, the aluminum rod to the steel crank. Only cure for that is a new rod and having the crank cleaned up at an automotive machine shop.

Other possiblity is a stuck valve. You would need to take the head off and check the action of the valves while rotating the crank, (if it will rotate).
 
  #3  
Old 01-14-07, 06:43 PM
Azis
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Oil will NOT compress and therefore will lock up any attempt to turn the piston with the spark plug installed and all else functioning normally.
A good bet is that you did bind the pull starter before removing the spark plug and attempting to turn it over.
Determine if the starter assy is bound and if so free it, remove the spark plug and turn the engine over several times until it no longer spues oil...then in the future, and this is only a suggestion of course, DON'T DO THAT AGAIN!
 
  #4  
Old 01-17-07, 01:02 AM
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Unhappy Tiller engine problem...

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm not going to do anything with the tiller now as it's on an unheated porch and the temp's fallen to about 10 degrees now. Hopefully it is only the cord, but I'm beginning to suspect the worst. I finally found in the manual the oil capacity...it should take at least 20oz., depending on the exact model, which isn't clear, and I'd only added less than half of a bottle of that size, until the dipstick seemed ok (why can't they have a separate metal dipstick like cars, instead of a hard-to-read plastic one in the same place you pour the oil?). So I'm bracing myself for some possible major repair bills. Live and learn, I guess...
 
  #5  
Old 01-17-07, 06:16 AM
Azis
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Relyin only on your description of events, I find it unlikely the engine siezed running only 5 mins and under no load even with half full of oil. As long as the engine did not fire after pouring a "glug" in the cylinder, I would not suspect major damage.
If you can access the output pulley/shaft, use that to attempt to rotate the engine (with the spark plug removed) Even if it did seize, and now that there is liberal amounts of oil in the cylinder, you may be able to free it up this way, or at least confirm its not seized.
 
  #6  
Old 01-17-07, 12:18 PM
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I'm sure you have a hydro-lock issue. Simply remove the spark plug and then pull the engine over in order to distribute the oil (from on top of the piston). It sounds as though your "glug" of oil was more than what the combustion chamber could handle. As Az indicated, you cannot compress fluid. Generally, only about one teaspoon is required and then always turn the engine over before reinstalling the spark plug.
 
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