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Someone please try and explain this - very strange


jl66redcpe's Avatar
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04-28-10, 04:52 AM   #1  
Someone please try and explain this - very strange

I resurrected a fairly new craftsman push mower with a tecumseh 4 HP engine. I then passed it on to a neighbor who needed a mower. The neighbor brought it back a couple days ago and said oil was pouring out of it. I filled it back with oil and started it. It ran fine with no leaks for about five minutes and then oil started pouring out. Now I am thinking cracked block as the oil was just running out. I filled it with oil and started it again yesterday morning and let it run again for ten minutes to take a closer look and lo and behold it did not leak a drop. I had a doctors appointment in the afternoon and then came home and started it again and it did not leak. I cut grass with it for a good 45 minutes and still no leaks -- not even a drop. Could someone please try and explain what is happening here. I have been tinkering with small engines since I was kid and I am now 63 and have never seen anything like this. I am hesitant to return the mower to the neighbor because I dont know what happened. Please help. Thank you.

 
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04-28-10, 05:07 AM   #2  
Sounds like it was overfilled and when the oil got hot it expanded. What area of the engine was the oil coming out of?

 
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04-28-10, 05:08 AM   #3  
Where was it leaking from?
How much oil did you put in it?
They hold 21 ozs.
????

 
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04-28-10, 05:10 AM   #4  
I would suspect the crankshaft seal.

 
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04-28-10, 05:50 AM   #5  
Thank you all for your replies. I double checked that it was not overfilled when I re-filled it both times.

It seemed to be pouring out the carb side just rear of the carb.

Giles - you mean crank seal top side -- right ??

The big question is why did it stop leaking on its own.

 
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04-28-10, 05:53 AM   #6  
I forgot to mention that I just cut grass with it again and it did not leak. I cut for a half an hour just before I made the previous post.

 
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04-28-10, 06:06 AM   #7  
Sounds like oil was coming out the breather, the rectangular piece screwed onto block behind carb.
possibly running it got the flutter valve loosened up and working.

 
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04-28-10, 06:07 AM   #8  
Giles - you mean crank seal top side -- right ??

It could be either seal, but most likely, bottom.
I would check for crankshaft "end play" but it doesn't sound like a seal from your recent post.
You might be able to locate the leak by warming the engine and placing the machine on it side. Just be carful of leaking gas and the engine might be hard to start once it is uprighted due to flooding.

 
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04-28-10, 07:55 AM   #9  
can you post the engine numbers?

 
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04-28-10, 01:16 PM   #10  
it sounds like the crankcase breather to me

 
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04-28-10, 02:58 PM   #11  
Someone please try and explain this - very strange

This happened with a neighbors mower. After going through a lot of other things, his son confessed that he had filled the oil filler tube with gasoline. It kept flowing out until his son fessed up.

 
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04-28-10, 03:16 PM   #12  
This story gets stranger and stranger. I was at the doctors most of the day. I went to the garage to get the numbers. I moved the mower into the light and gas poured out of the muffler. I removed the muffler and emptied the remaining gas from it. -- Now What -- maybe hole inb the float ?? Could the two problems be related ??? The craftsman engine numbers are -- 143 974036.
The tecumseh numbers are TVS 90-48029B

 
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04-28-10, 03:23 PM   #13  
The carb float and float needle did not shut off the flow of fuel as it should.
A new needle and seat should fix it.
assuming float is good, i.e., doesn't have a pin hole in it allowing fuel to enter float.
hth

 
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04-28-10, 04:16 PM   #14  
Posted By: jl66redcpe This story gets stranger and stranger. I was at the doctors most of the day. I went to the garage to get the numbers. I moved the mower into the light and gas poured out of the muffler. I removed the muffler and emptied the remaining gas from it. -- Now What -- maybe hole inb the float ?? Could the two problems be related ??? The craftsman engine numbers are -- 143 974036.
The tecumseh numbers are TVS 90-48029B
Yes. both problems could be the same problem. Tecumsehs are nortoriuos for having floats leak and fill up with gas.
If the carb leaks, the gas will go into the crankcase over filling it and as gas continues to leak, it can also go into the muffler.
Take a part the carb and replace the float, needle & seat. All 3 parts shouold run around $10.

 
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04-28-10, 05:03 PM   #15  
Thanks to everyone for their responses. I will get new parts in the morning and report back.

 
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04-30-10, 04:47 AM   #16  
I changed out the needle, seat and float. The float was empty however I changed it out anyway. Got everything wrapped back up and went to change the oil. Tilted the mower back to remove the drain plug and oil started pouring out the back at the sump. Looks like another sump gasket change coming up. What is funny is that I started the mower and nothing leaked out the back. The engine was not overfilled with oil. Additional comments are appreciated.

 
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05-05-10, 05:32 AM   #17  
Final Chapter -- replaced the sump gasket -- everything back ot normal.

 
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