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Troy Bilt LTX-1842 18.5 Briggs Intek engine problem


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03-04-18, 06:58 PM   #1  
Troy Bilt LTX-1842 18.5 Briggs Intek engine problem

I have a riding mower made back in 2002...Troy Bilt LTX 1842 with a B&S 18.5 Intek engine (engine model number is 31D777 0233E1) with around 530 hours on it...

last season a symptom surfaced...cranks without a problem, ideals fine at the rabbit speed, but when I engaged the blades, the engine immediately sputtered and struggled to stay running...I would immediately dis engage the blades, and it would begin idling fine...I would then engage blades and same problem happened...I would do this about 8 times until finally, it would spin blades and run fine, so I mowed yard...it did this everytime...also, I could drive it around without a problem with engine sputtering...only does it when blades engage...

Fast forward to this season: tried to start it yesterday and it started fine...engage blades and sputter and struggled...I did this again several times, but this year I could never get it to finally run with blades engaged...I pulled the deck thinking a problem might be with spindles or pulleys not moving freely...all pulleys are moving freely and quietly...

Noticed belts are a little rough looking this year...they were bad last year, but they never broke or stretched enough to come off...

So,!donany of you on the forum have a suggestion of where I should start trouble shooting? No am at a loss and don't want to give up on the lower completely yet...

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03-05-18, 08:34 AM   #2  
I would still bet the problem is in the deck somewhere, something is changing with pressure on the pulleys. If the spindles are free and have no play, I would suspect the idler pulley or the bracket mounting. ANY noise at all in that pulley denotes a bad bearing. The shoulder spacer and bolt on that bracket tend to wear out also.


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03-05-18, 09:05 AM   #3  
Sounds like there's an accumulation of grass clippings inside the deck that the blades have to struggle to clear before they can rotate at full speed . . . . meanwhile they're putting an increased drag on the engine.

Has the inside of the Deck been cleaned of debris ?

 
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03-05-18, 11:06 AM   #4  
Will the engine idle fine at low idle speed too? What if you run it at idle and quickly rev it to full speed? Does it respond quickly and smoothly?


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03-05-18, 06:58 PM   #5  
Clippings

the deck is clear...

also, it will not idle at the turtle speed...it does, but it has done that for as long I remember...I've never been able to cut throttle down to turtle speed...

ill have to to check the idler pulley tomorrow or next day...thanks for all the suggestions...

 
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03-05-18, 07:34 PM   #6  
When the engine messes up with the blades on, is it popping out the intake where the air filter goes?


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03-06-18, 03:41 AM   #7  
Air intake

what is the best way to check for popping at the intake? Would it simply be remove air filter?

I do notice a backfire sometimes when the engine is struggling...

 
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03-06-18, 10:31 AM   #8  
Yes, just open the air filter cover and take out the filter and listen to the engine with it off to see if it's popping through there.


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03-06-18, 10:36 AM   #9  
Head gasket ?


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03-06-18, 11:18 AM   #10  
I think it needs a strong dose of SeaFoam. Have a good one. Geo

 
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03-06-18, 04:49 PM   #11  
I'm thinking lobe wiped out on the camshaft if it's popping in the intake on every revolution.


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03-07-18, 03:19 PM   #12  
Pulleys

I checked the 2 pulleys on the deck again...both deck pulleys are freely turning with no noise...

2 pulleys that put tension on deck belt when blades engage both freely turn as well...

charging battery now to check for popping sound...battery is low...however, when it did try to turn over before battery became too weak to crank, I did notice a small puff of smoke come out of the intake hole from where the air filter is...it is a dark hole I assume goes into carb...

 
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03-07-18, 04:02 PM   #13  
Engine

I believe I hear some popping when air filter is removed...I took a video of it, but not sure how to share it...

 
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03-07-18, 05:12 PM   #14  
I'd suggest removing the valve cover and turn the engine to see if one valve moves much less in comparison to the other.


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03-07-18, 06:55 PM   #15  
I'll check the valves out this weekend...after some googling, I figure out that it indeed seems to have trouble getting past the compression stroke on start...I was thinking it was a weak battery, but i am wondering if something is wrong with valves...when I try to start, the flywheel turns a couple of times and stops...I am having to try to turn the flywheel by hand (without key on)...it turns fine and then stops...I have to apply quite a bit of rotational force to get it past what I think is the compression stroke...once it gets past that, it turns fine again until that stroke again...
M

 
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03-10-18, 10:11 AM   #16  
New symptom

i came home today to check the valves to see if they are moving the same amount...I tried to crank the mower...it cranked right up without a problem...I engaged the blades, they engaged and the engine didn't bog down...

the problem was I didn't have enough gas in it to mow...I turned it off to put gas in it...when I tried to crank it back, it wouldn't turn over...it barely could get the flywheel to turn a couple of turns and then it would stop...thought the battery is low...charged it up, and tried it again...now it won't turn the engine at all...I heard clicking from under seat (battery and solenoid is there)...it seems as if the starter wouldn't turn either...

i am am thinking I could begin to throw quite a bit of money toward this 16 year old mower with over 500 hours on it...i feel I could fix it, but can't diagnose it...

thanks for for all the tips and suggestions you have given me...I think the time has come to replace it...

 
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03-10-18, 10:39 AM   #17  
Sounds like it could be a connection problem and or weak battery. You can try to spin the engine just past the compression point by hand then try the starter again.

You can try jumping the battery instead of just charging it. You can jump it from an auto just turn the engine off.


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03-10-18, 12:25 PM   #18  
Could just be some trash int he carburetor letting gas flow into the engine while you have it shut off. That would hydro-lock the piston and make it not able to turn over. That could also be making it run too rich which could make it shut down when you turn the blades on too, might all be related to the one problem.


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