Craftsman LT2000 losing power and blowing white smoke

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  #1  
Old 07-03-16, 02:01 PM
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Craftsman LT2000 losing power and blowing white smoke

A few days ago, my lawn tractor started blowing white smoke and losing power at idle, and it got worse with the drive and mower blades engaged. I thought maybe it was a bad fuel issue so I drained the tank, put new gas in it as well as a shot of "mechanic-in-a-bottle" to clean out any gunk that might be left behind. I checked the oil level and it was clean and filled. After running the tractor for about five minutes, the power seemed to return and the smoke stopped. Or so I thought.

Yesterday, I went out and ran the tractor and it was fine for about ten minutes and the same problem started again. Here is video of idling: https://youtu.be/R4Glx25w28A

I tried adding some more of that "mechanic-in-a-bottle" and it seemed to clear the problem up and, while it may be just in my head, it feels a little sluggish to me.

Any ideas on what the problem may be?
 
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  #2  
Old 07-03-16, 02:36 PM
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Whens the last time the carb. was pulled apart and rebuilt?
Using ethenal fuel?
Is there a fuel filter in the line or tank?
 
  #3  
Old 07-03-16, 02:41 PM
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White smoke is oil. What engine? Could be a head gasket acting like that.
Unless your oil is over full, I doubt it is a carb issue.
 
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Old 07-03-16, 04:18 PM
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It's been about a year since the carb has been cleaned. The engine is a replacement engine (threw a rod in the last one, a 17.5 hp B&S Intek and blew the engine) and it's a 16.5 Kohler Pro. The oil levels look good and I'm running regular unleaded in it.

Like I said, it seems like when I throw the additive in, the issue clears up. I went out today and ran it and it seems to be running fine again.

...and to answer another question that I previously missed, the fuel filter is in the line, not the tank.
 

Last edited by Franken30; 07-03-16 at 05:04 PM.
  #5  
Old 07-03-16, 04:23 PM
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Any time I've seen white smoke is from water in the system or a sticking float causing to much fuel into the carb.
Black smoke would be from an oil issue.
 
  #6  
Old 07-03-16, 04:26 PM
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If this is a head gasket issue, would using some stop-leak added to the oil potentially fix the issue? Or would that do more harm than good?

I ask because I'm not exactly mechanically inclined. I could probably figure it out, but the time put into it for a tractor I'm probably going to upgrade in a year or two might not be worth it.
 
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Old 07-03-16, 04:42 PM
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Is the air cleaner nice and clean - not plugged up or restricted?
 
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Old 07-03-16, 05:02 PM
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The air cleaner could stand to be replaced.
 
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Old 07-04-16, 09:26 AM
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Any time I've seen white smoke is from water in the system or a sticking float causing to much fuel into the carb.
Black smoke would be from an oil issue
Since this is an air cooled engine, water is not likely the culprit.
Try this simple test, start any engine and leave the choke on...see what color the smoke is...
Pour some oil in the carb...see what color the smoke is....

 
  #10  
Old 07-04-16, 11:24 AM
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As BFHfixit's test above will prove, white smoke from a small air cooled gas engine is oil. Black smoke is gas.
Does your oil smell like gas? If so, you have a carb problem. If not, you may have a head gasket problem but that's not very common on those engines.

Mechanic in a bottle/stop leak will not do anything to fix it. It's not a hard fix.
 
  #11  
Old 07-04-16, 06:28 PM
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Sounds like a political mower, no power and blowing smoke...couldn't help myself. Have a good one. Geo
 
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