Craftsman LT1000 won't start and oil leak

Reply

  #1  
Old 08-22-09, 03:58 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: usa
Posts: 58
Craftsman LT1000 won't start and oil leak

I have a 2003 Craftsman LT1000 with a Briggs & Stratton 18 HP OHV motor, model 31H777, and type 0202E1.

I began to mow the lawn today and the grass condition was rather high and wet from rainfall we had and I was attemping to mow what I could before the next shower. I was mowing for about 5 minutes when the motor stopped suddenly. I disengaged the deck, locked it in gear, and tried to start it. It turned but didn't catch after about 5 times. I opened the hood and saw that there was a lot of oil at the front of the motor and actually a couple drops dripped and smoked when it hit the hot exhaust pipe. I then put it in neutral and pushed it back to my garage. I tried starting it again and it turned over but fluttered for about 30 seconds before it died out again. I then began to unscrew the four bolts on the cover on the front of the engine and as soon as it was loose oil began to drip rapiddly and the exhaust made it smoke so I tightened it right back up. I checked the oil and I am about a quarter full.

I stopped there and now depend on you expects to steer me in the right direction. I don't want to make a move before I get some direction of what the potential problem may be and how to fix it. The tractor has given me trouble before when I run it for awhile and put it down on low idle. It'll stop running and then I ccan't get it started again until the engine cools down or until I crank it a few times while pulling out the air filter. This has happened intermitently for the past couple of years. Not sure if it is relevant but want to give all the info I can.

I'd like to fix and mow the lawn tomorrow so any and all help will be much appreciated.

This picture shows the botls I was removing and the cover from where the oil is coming out.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 08-22-09, 06:40 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa!!!!!
Posts: 3,728
That picture is of the valve cover. It may just need a new gasket or the bolts snugged up.
 
  #3  
Old 08-22-09, 07:07 PM
31YTech's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: EveryWhere
Posts: 1,263
Sounds like you need to remove that valve cover and check the push-rods making sure neither is bent/warped, Then adjust them to spec as below and replace the gasket marbobj mentioned to solve the oil leak.

One other thing, It doesn't take but seconds to check the oil level every time before you start to mow.






Good Luck
 
  #4  
Old 08-23-09, 06:16 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: usa
Posts: 58
marbobj mentioned just tightening the bolts but should oil be leaking out of the valve cover even if the bolts were loose?

How do I go about replacing the gasket and where would I be able to get a new gasket?

Also, would this be the reason for it to quit running and flutter when it was running.

Thanks again guys!
 
  #5  
Old 08-23-09, 06:42 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa!!!!!
Posts: 3,728
About any small engine parts place should have the gasket.

The running of the engine - yes if the valve train is out of adjustment or damaged you can have running problems like you're describing. It could be something else, but you should take care of those things first.

Setting the valves is pretty easy - just follow the instructions 31yeartech has provided for you.
 
  #6  
Old 08-23-09, 11:59 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: usa
Posts: 58
If I adjust the valves wrong, would that be bad for the motor? Reason I say this is, I thought I adjusted correctly but there seemed to be what appeared to be oil popping out of the air hole by the air filter when I turned it over. I adjusted again and on the first turn there was a big backfire out of the exhaust. There doesn't seem to be fluid popping out of the air hole now but it does sound like mini backfires coming out of it.

I'm lost here. Please help!
 
  #7  
Old 08-23-09, 12:57 PM
31YTech's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: EveryWhere
Posts: 1,263
OK,

Most common mistakes when adjusting valves;

Piston not positioned properly.

Rotate the engine by hand (pushing down on the flywheel grass screen) with the plug installed clockwise until it starts getting harder to turn. This is the beginning of compression stroke, Now remove the plug and insert the rod/screwdriver. Continue to rotate clockwise until the piston is all the way up, Then watch the rod/screwdriver go back down 1/4". Now your at 1/4" past top dead center.


Valves mixed up.

The top valve is the exhaust and the bottom valve is the intake, Adjust to specs above and recheck after tightening the adjuster lock screw......
 
  #8  
Old 09-03-09, 06:08 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: usa
Posts: 58
Alright so after adjusting the valves but cracking and replacing one of the nuts, the lower push rod appears to not be moving. When I turn the engine the upper valve goes in and out but the bottom doesn't move. Any ideas how to fix this? I am so frustrated and tired of borrowing my father-in-laws mower for the past two weeks. If I had the money to bring it to a repair shop I would but I don't so I need your help. Thank you in advance!
 
  #9  
Old 09-03-09, 07:22 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa!!!!!
Posts: 3,728
That could be in the cam (often is) or a bent/broken pushrod. On the bottom rocker, loosen the adjustment completely and pull out the push rod and see what you have. If it's still good you almost certainly have a bad cam.
 
  #10  
Old 09-03-09, 07:30 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: usa
Posts: 58
What if it is a bad cam? What would I need to do to fix it?
 
  #11  
Old 09-03-09, 07:59 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa!!!!!
Posts: 3,728
It would have to be replaced. How comfortable are you with going deeper into an engine than what you have just done with the valve adjustments?
 
  #12  
Old 09-04-09, 12:10 AM
cheese's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 16,815
Make sure the rocker arm isn't really loose, then get a flashlight and look at where the pushrod goes. Make sure the pushrod is going into the socket on the lifter, not just bottomed out on the block.
 
  #13  
Old 09-04-09, 04:04 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: usa
Posts: 58
I am comfortable as long as I have a schematic or diagram to follow. Is there an online diagram of this engine I can download?

Also, I will pull the rocker off and see what position the rod is in. I'll let you know what I find out.

THANK YOU!
 
  #14  
Old 09-04-09, 05:52 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: usa
Posts: 58
Ok, I checked the rod and it was not sitting in place. It has a very slight bend in it but I put it back together anyway and guaged the valves. It started on the first click of the key! But the muffler/exhaust started smoking 10 seconds later and there sounds to be a miss in the firing. The exhaust was instantly hot. This can't be right. I am thinking that maybe it's burning off the oil residue that got on it from having the valve cover off. I'll be trying again in about an hour but anyone have any clues to what may be happening?

So far the help here is spot-on and priceless. Thanks again!
 
  #15  
Old 09-04-09, 06:16 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa!!!!!
Posts: 3,728
It's probably what you're thinking about the oil getting on it from your work with the valves.

However, you need to replace the bent push rod and reset the valve clearances.

Also use a good grade of penetrating oil on both valve stems. The reason a push rod comes out of the lifter socket is normally because of a valve sticking. Lube up the valve stems, then get a motor flush at an auto parts store, change oil, and use an oil additive like Sea Foam or Mystery Oil to clean up the sludge in the engine.
 
  #16  
Old 09-04-09, 07:05 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: usa
Posts: 58
I tried starting it again and it had the same cycle but this time I tired letting it run to see if it would just burn off the residue. It began to cough after 30 seconds and then stopped running. Immediate tries to restart failed. Still think it is the oil in the system?
 
  #17  
Old 09-04-09, 08:55 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa!!!!!
Posts: 3,728
No, the oil could be behind a sticking valve = dislodged pushrod= valve inoperative. But the coughing and dieing may be valve related (go back and check the inoperative valve again) or it could be fuel = flooding carburetor or something else.
 
  #18  
Old 09-04-09, 09:15 AM
BFHFixit's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA.
Posts: 1,836
If you installed a slightly bent push rod and ran the engine and now have problems again, I will wager the bent push rod is now more of an issue. Likely it has bent further, changing the clearance or come completely out of its seat thereby not operating the valve at all.
Those pushrods aint even good for a soda straw once they have been bent.

The oil smoke is not likely an issue, it is probably residue burning off as suspected and mentioned. Once the other issues are addressed it should subside after a few minutes, if not then it can be addressed.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes