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Thread: WHY You Want To Check The OIL Before You Mow!!

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

    DougGuy's Avatar
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    WHY You Want To Check The OIL Before You Mow!!

    I tried to mow yesterday but the needle valve in the carb let all the fuel in the tank fill up the whole engine with gasoline! was fine when I ran it last, ran great, put it away, and now this.. Drained the oil, it was FULL of gasoline! About 5 or 6 quarts of it in the crankcase, pulled the plugs and rolled it over by hand, both cylinders full of gas, pumping it out the spark plug holes, muffler full of gas, GLAD I never cranked the engine! 21hp Briggs v twin would have been TOAST in about 4 minutes!

    I checked the oil, and noticed it was about 2" above the full mark on the stick, and I thought well, I might have overfilled it last time, but it didn't look right. And the dipstick made a squeaking sound when I wiped it off with a shop towel, then I dipped it in the motor again, and smelled it, sure enough smelled like gas. Rubbing it between my fingers it was really thin feeling, not like oil should feel. And I was ALMOST ready to assume I had overfilled the crankcase, and run it anyway....



    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Yep, saved yourself a lot of money and aggravation.

    A gravity feed fuel system is great for reliability, no fuel pump needed. The down side is gravity always works, even when the needle valve is struck open or the engine is on fire !

    Anytime I have something with a gravity feed fuel system, I like to have a fuel shut off valve near the tank.

    Good thing you caught that before it cost you more money.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master bdicki's Avatar
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    Plus one on the shutoff.

  4. #4
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    My vintage troybilt tiller has done that during tranporting it. It has a fuel shutoff valve, but it doesn't totally shut off. I've been meaning to replace it. Til then, I just empty the fuel tank after every use.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
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    It would not have turned over had you tried to start it.

    Years ago my girlfriend's VW did the same thing. Would not start, engine was frozen almost. Gas filled the crankcase and cylinders and gas won't compress so the engine would not turn.

    She had parked facing up hill, tank in front, engine in back …..

    Nice Oil Adapter. You'd think with all the Laws there would be one preventing engineers from putting drain plugs where you can't possibly catch all the oil.
    Last edited by Mal Paso; 06-10-2018 at 10:35 AM.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Liquid in all the cylinders will generally result in the engine being hydraulically locked (liquids will not compress) BUT the danger is some liquid in some of the cylinders. That condition can result in the liquid being pushed out through the open exhaust valve (and igniting if it's gasoline) OR the non-compressible liquid in some of the cylinders results in bending connecting rods or blowing cylinders off crankcases.

    It's the danger of a hydraulically locked engine that is only partially locked that poses the real threat. That's why you see people pushing the props around on radial aircraft engines that have been sitting for some time. A lot of oil in the cylinder will lock it up, a little bit of oil in the cylinder can do bad things if it does try to start.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Moleman-'s Avatar
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    The kids gocart did that last year. They came an got me saying the engine was smoking. Smoke screen machine was more like it. Dumped the oil, and told them to remember to use the fuel shut off. Had the same thing happen to our old IHC682. Always checked the oil before mowing and found the oil level way above the hash marked area. Put a new float and needle valve in the carb.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Had the same stuck float problem in my Ercoupe. Fortunately, the Stromberg carburetor is an updraft type, mounted below the engine. Gas just ran out onto the pavement. Took the carb apart, cleaned it, and it works fine.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    dragon813gt's Avatar
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    Check the oil? Why would I do that when I know it doesnít have any in it. When I bought my house in 2006 the previous owner left a beat up Craftsman push mower. Iíve been experimenting to see how long it can run w/out oil. Itís still going to this day. I know if I were to add oil it would stop working. One day it will seize and I will have to buy a new mower.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moleman- View Post
    Put a new float and needle valve in the carb.
    Yeah it is hard to figure out if the float got gas inside it and is too heavy to seal, or if ethanol gas messed up the needle, so I found a rebuild kit on fleabay for $7.35 free shipping. Briggs marked parts are STUPID expensive, and it's the same made in China parts that are on ebay. Nikki makes all the carbs, and a whole new Nikki carb is only $17.

    Briggs & Stratton:

    Needle = $13
    Float=$22
    Transfer Tube=$34
    Gasket=$7

    Briggs & Stratton carb rebuild kit=$56 and does not come with a float or transfer tube..

    Briggs & Stratton carb=$113 for the same Nikki carb that ebay has for $17....
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    farmerjim's Avatar
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    I have that same mower. My needle valve leaks. I put a shutoff valve in the fuel line 2 years ago. The only problem I have is when I forget to turn it on it starts and only goes about 25 feet before the engine kills. Fuel shutoff was the cheep ($4) easy (4 min) fix.
    There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialismóby vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide. Ayn Rand

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    I'm gonna put a shutoff in the line as well, but hey I got a free (almost) crankcase cleaning!!
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  13. #13
    Boolit Master



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    been there dougguy.

    i enjoyed reading your post, mostly because you can fix it all yourself.
    these days not many people want to learn how to fix things that aren't part of their job description.

    i've never been employed as a mechanic and don't really enjoy it but i work on everything I'm capable of here at the homestead.

    like you said, branded part and labor = too much.
    my time + unbranded part = mo' betta.

    WebMonkey
    Retired 19D
    Psalm 91:9
    Honda 919

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Paso View Post
    It would not have turned over had you tried to start it.

    Years ago my girlfriend's VW did the same thing. Would not start, engine was frozen almost. Gas filled the crankcase and cylinders and gas won't compress so the engine would not turn.

    She had parked facing up hill, tank in front, engine in back …..

    Nice Oil Adapter. You'd think with all the Laws there would be one preventing engineers from putting drain plugs where you can't possibly catch all the oil.
    Shhhhhh! They will hear you!
    Micah 6:8
    He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

    "I don't have hobbies - I'm developing a robust post-apocalyptic skill set"
    I may be discharged and retired but I'm sure I did not renounce the oath that I solemnly swore!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master



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    Yep, put a manual shut off in line then close the shut off and leave it running till it dies when you are finished to empty the bowl. you will save yourself a lot of headaches.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Years ago I had an old VW - the valve inside the top of the left carb. unscrewed itself while crossing an intersection, that didn't run well with it flooding solidly. Opened the air cleaner to look and the vent line was spewing gas back up into the carb's top! Easy to fix, but annoying. Glad your mower is going to recover

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    As for the cost of parts for small engines - They are insanely inflated !

    One good effect of the internet is the ability to rapidly compare prices from different sources. Competition is a good thing. A replacement carburetor is often available via the internet for close to the same cost as a rebuild kit.

    We all know the problems that ethanol causes, particularly with small engines. I will not beat that dead horse here. While I will still rebuild a carburetor, it is almost as cost effective now to simply replace the carburetor to get the engine back in service first; and then rebuild the original one to keep as a spare.

    And of course using non-ethanol fuel in engines that sit a lot or storing them dry will help to avoid problems caused by ethanol.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


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    Now for the $100,000 question. Wife know you have her pot?
    Pro Patria-Ne Desit Virtus

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I have seen gasoline contamination and also diesel contamination of crankcase oil (with Diesel engines). They are both bad.

    A bad carb can do this but mechanical fuel pumps can also be a culprit, either gas or diesel. Besides a mechanical lift pump, diesel injector pumps can lose a seal and dump raw fuel as well.

    When I pull a oil stick I generally sniff to check for a leak besides watching for a telltale overfilled oil level.

    Three44s

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    Now for the $100,000 question. Wife know you have her pot?
    Actually she threw it at him a while back and he figured it was just her way of donating it for such uses.

    Three44s

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check