Antique sears Craftsman Tiller

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  #1  
Old 05-09-08, 09:24 AM
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Antique sears Craftsman Tiller

Hello,

I inherited my Dad's old 70-s vintage(?) Sears Craftsman 5HP front-time garden tiller. It has a BS 5HP motor, and I have used it occasionally for the past few years.

Now, it will run only when pouring gas down the carb - so I replaced the carb, but same result. I noticed that the gas tank had a lot of rust inside - could that be the problem?

Finally, before I throw more good $$ after bad, I want to test the engine compression - can anyone tell me the compression range?

It's a model 130202 Type 3166-01 Code 87111407

Aprec any info!
 
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  #2  
Old 05-09-08, 11:56 AM
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The rust most certainly has something to do with the problem, you need to replace the tank as they are near impossible to clean out well. Did you install a new carburetor or a used carburetor? You can get by with a minimum of 70 or 80 psi on the compression before you need to worry although 100 or better is ideal.
 
  #3  
Old 05-09-08, 02:59 PM
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The engine on your mower is a 1987 engine. If you are sure your tiller is from the 70’s possibly the original engine was replaced. A new fuel tank retails for about $50.00. These engines are quite common and a used tank should be an option.

Fuel tank corrosion, rust particles, could very well be your problem. The pick-up tubes on the carburetor have fine mesh screens on the ends that serve as filters. Rust particles could be blocking the filter not allowing fuel to be drawn into the well at the top of the fuel tank.

My favorite tiller I own is a Sears model 785.291040. If yours happens to be the same model, I have a parts list and part number cross reference file I will share with you. Mine was manufactured by General Power (Magna America Corp.) and parts are still available but now manufactured by MTD.

Mine also had a corroded fuel tank. I removed the carburetor, placed about a cup of BB’s in the tank and sealed openings. I took it to a local paint store and they put it in their paint shaker for a few minutes. I removed the BB’s and cleaned the tank with solvent. You must exercise a lot of care to prevent the corrosion from coming back. I do that by always keeping the fuel tank full when it is not in use. I cleaned the tank about eight years ago and it has held up well.

If your engine has compression release, which I think it, you will only get compression readings around 45 PSI. A leakdown test is a better method of determining engine integrity and where the compression is being lost.

If you want to know if your engine has compression release, observe the exhaust valve while turning the flywheel. If it has compression release you can clearly see the exhaust valve jump up about 0.100 inch or so just as the piston comes up on the compression stroke.
 
  #4  
Old 05-11-08, 05:08 AM
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Antique Sears Craftsman Tiller

Many thanks, puey61 & Airman!

I guess my antique is not as old as I thought ... sure that my Dad had not replaced the engine.

I found the original Owner's Manual -- says it's a Model 247.298611. Says engine is Model 130202 Type 3113-01 (but diff type no. showing on engine: 3166-01).

Local Sears Parts has the replacement fuel tank ass'y for ~$55.

But bad new is, I did a compression check, and can get no higher reading than 30 psi - is it a dead soldier? (Airman, no idea if it has a compression release - how to see exhaust valve?)
 
  #5  
Old 05-11-08, 07:30 AM
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I would not be too concerned with the 30 PSI at this point. The 45 PSI I mentioned is what I normally see on engines with compression release but not all. Briggs to my knowledge never published any compression specifications.

Older Briggs manuals and maybe new ones had a compression testing procedure similar to this: Spin the engine backwards by hand. It should bounce back again at the point of compression. If it does, compression is not the starting problem. The engine's compression release mechanism is not functioning when turning backwards.

Nowadays most shops use a leakdown tester to evaluate the status of the engines cylinder and valve. These cost too much for occasional use although you can make on for about half the cost of a new one. Do a search for “leakdown tester” if it interests you.

I suggest you clean up the fuel tank to the point of where you can see if the engine will start and run. If it does and you want a new tank, check your local shops for new or used.
 
  #6  
Old 05-11-08, 08:15 AM
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OK, thanks again, Airman

I Googled for 'leakdown tester', and building my own is not an option. But interesting!

Also, I think trying to clean that old rusted tank would be a wasted effort. So, I'll have to think about dropping another $55 on a new one (which at my local store, is on backorder til 5/19).

BTW, puey61, that was a NEW carb I installed.

I'll let you guys know how it shakes out ... this all will be about $250 invested, but it's a sentimental thing, if you know what I mean.
 
  #7  
Old 05-11-08, 08:30 AM
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Hey just a note to you small engine guys. Most motorcycle shops have sealer kits for tanks....Kreem (?) I think its called?

You can just put phosphoric acid in the tank to clean it up and etch the metal a bit, clean it out with solvent after (I've used acetone and MEK) then put in the sealer and swirl it around coating the inside. You can do multiple coats to make sure its completely covered. Completely eliminates any chance of rust particles.

Just thought it might be helpful if you had an old engine with no parts available anymore.
 
  #8  
Old 05-12-08, 02:29 PM
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Thanks, Gunguy45 - yes, I have tried that stuff, years ago, on an old ATV tank - works pretty well but a tedious process (takes 2-3 days).

I think I even have some of the chemicals left ... but I believe my old tiller tank is too far gone for that.
 
  #9  
Old 05-20-08, 03:27 PM
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Does your tiller have a power reverse? i have a tiller made by MTD with an engine code of 77 and it was probably a late 70's or 80 model year. I am looking for the way to rout the reverse drive belt . the belt is reversed to run in the opposite direction do drive the reverse. As of thisd last week MTD does not go back past 1985 so I am hoping someone out there can help
Thanks
Chipper man,
 
  #10  
Old 05-21-08, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by chipper man View Post
Does your tiller have a power reverse? i have a tiller made by MTD with an engine code of 77 and it was probably a late 70's or 80 model year. I am looking for the way to rout the reverse drive belt . the belt is reversed to run in the opposite direction do drive the reverse. As of thisd last week MTD does not go back past 1985 so I am hoping someone out there can help
Thanks
Chipper man,
I'm presently in the process of restoring a 1975 MTD tractor and was for longest time looking for the manual and couldn't find anything on the internet including at the MTD website. But if you goto their website and follow the prompts to the manual download section. You will see a link to e-mail tech support for older unsupported products.

I e-mailed tech support and within two days I had the manual for the tractor. They were very supportive.

Give it try, ya never know.

Cheers
Wayne.
 
  #11  
Old 05-21-08, 04:40 PM
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wayne
thanks I also restored a 1980 10HP MTD and was able to get the manual and parts through a local jobber for parts. will give it a try
thanks!!!
 
  #12  
Old 04-20-11, 01:52 PM
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Hi Airman, I also have this same tiller that my dad sold me many years ago. I am trying to rebuild it and need parts. I would very much like the Sears to MTD cross-parts number list you site in your posting. Could I get a copy from you .

Thanks, Steve in Indy
 
  #13  
Old 06-10-11, 07:14 PM
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785.291040 in the garage in many pieces

I've disassembled the tiller to discover it needs the belt, clutch lining, the bearing adjacent to the clutch, and a good cleaning. I put a drop of fuel into the spark plug port and it fired right off so I have only the carb to clean to make the engine good.

Airman, could I talk you out of a copy of that manual and parts listing you have. I've been looking at lots of posts on this and other threads thus worry that getting parts will be a challenge. Any ideas folks?

If I can't get the parts, I'll probably go ahead and part it out.

Thanks in advance,
Ron
 
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