Deere 14SC 21" mower - several questions


Old 06-30-18, 03:21 PM
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Deere 14SC 21" mower - several questions

I acquired this mower for nothing. Just a long leisurely drive. It does have a number of issues. First it was not well cared for toward the end its stay with the previous owner. It was left outside and has some aluminum corrosion that ate through the deck in one spot. Some of the steel brackets that were added to that particular mower suffered similar corrosion. The drive belt was gone. And, the mower sat and would not start. Fuel line was left open. The last time it did run it looks like it was used to attack huge piles of fall material - leaves, twigs, and a few heavy branches. The blade has seen better days. During the cleanup process I noted a lot of wet looking oil on the block around the head.

What I have done so far besides the major cleanup is to check the oil. It was in decent shape but will get changed anyway. I put a compression gauge - its a reasonably good one - on the motor, and got just shy of 90psi and it did not leak down from its peak reading. I poured a little gas down the air intake and it started up. After around 15 seconds or running it started to RPM hunt and finally died after maybe a minute of running. The condition of the transmission is not known at this time as there was no belt.

Questions: How readily do these old Mikuni carburetor's respond to cleaning? If I buy one of the cheap Chinese replacements all over the internet, how well do they run compared to the original? Should I replace the head gasket now or just clean it up and see if in the future it still leaks? I am guessing that the head gasket may be good - no leak down during the compression test but is that a valid conclusion? Perhaps the valve cover gasket is leaking?

Oh and I forgot to mention that the engine is a Kawasaki FC150V - FS06.

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Old 06-30-18, 05:37 PM
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Hello Steve, thanks for well written and detailed post.

If it's that corroded, I wonder if the integrity of the frame is even good enough to rate fixing it?
The compression sounds reasonable. Reading the "leak down" isn't done by watching the compression gauge after getting a reading from cranking it though... it won't leak down because it has a valve to keep the pressure in. The engine can't hold 90 psi, even if it was brand new, for longer than a portion of a second. A leak down test would be required to actually find out what kind of pressure loss the engine has and where.

Personally, I would first clean the carb (yes, mikuni carbs usually respond well to cleaning) and I wouldn't be too concerned about a small amount of dirty buildup at the head unless it was an active leak. You might pop the valve cover off and re=torque the head bolts and stop any more seepage. I almost never replace a carburetor unless it's a 2-stroke. Cleaning them is too simple and OEM carbs are expensive, not to mention the energy and materials expended to make a replacement. I've only tried a few of the cheap chinese carbs. So far they have worked. *So Far*...
Old 06-30-18, 06:57 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: SE PA
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Thanks for the info. The deck seems structurally sound but only time will tell for certain. For the fifteen or so seconds that the engine ran on the small amount of poured in fuel, it sounded pretty good. I actually have a spare deere aluminum deck in my loft. Years ago I scrapped a 14PZ. The original briggs engine had a cracked block, so if I have to I can transfer everything to a replacement deck that is in good condition. This will be a fun project.

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