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Repair lawn mower motor or replace mower? #4464509
07/20/17 01:26 AM
07/20/17 01:26 AM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 5
Toronto ON, Canada
smayer97 Offline OP
smayer97  Offline OP
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 5
Toronto ON, Canada
Here is my dilemma. I bought a mower in 2011 that is pretty much like this one for this year (specs and all) here:
http://www.sears.ca/en/mowers/21-3-in-1-push-lawn-mower-148376_I.html?cgid=wh3_outdoor_mowers
A 21" Craftsman mower with a Briggs & Stratton 163cc 675EXi Gold Engine for $230 +tx.

(if you are interested, you can see my analysis on "How to compare mowers rated in HP vs ft-lb?", here:
https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/2274273/1

The problem is it died. It worked only a week or so ago. The history is that last year my son refilled the oil reservoir with car engine oil (5W30) instead of mower oil. shocked I did not know how to remove it confused so we tipped the machine over to get what we could out (not much) and re-topped it with lawn mower oil since then. So I chose to live with it as is confused, with all the heavy billowing smoke in first few minutes of operation. crazy This year, my wife thought the smoke meant there was not enough oil so she overfilled it with lawn mower oil. frown

This week, tried to use it and the cord won't budge. Not exactly sure the problem but the pull cord is seized, so not sure if it is the mechanism or the engine being seized. Called some lawn mower guys and they said they would service it for $120-150 + tx. The question is, is it worth trying to repair it or buy a new one as listed above for $300+tx?

Any feedback is welcomed.

Re: Repair lawn mower motor or replace mower? [Re: smayer97] #4464514
07/20/17 01:49 AM
07/20/17 01:49 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 78
Maryland
chemman Offline
chemman  Offline
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 78
Maryland
The first thing you should do is take the spark plug out and make sure the mower is not hydro-locked. If the carburetor was dirty, gas could have flowed into the cylinder filling it and not let your starter (and cord) budge. If gasoline flows out of the spark plug hole after removing the spark plug, then you have a carburetor needle and seat issue, and you should be able to pull on the starter cord with success.

Also, filling the mower with a 5W30 automotive motor oil instead of a more expensive (and not necessarily better) lawn mower oil would not have hurt anything at all. The heavy billowing smoke you got after tipping the mower over to drain the oil out is completely normal.

You can also seek some advice from http://www.lawnmowerforum.com. There are several B&S Master engine mechanics over there.

I am not familiar with that particular B&S engine, but in general & in my experience, they are pretty decent engines. Heck, I have a 20+ year old Toro self propelled Super Recycler mower with a 5.5 HP B&S engine that runs as well today as it did when I purchased it over 20 years ago, and it does not burn any oil despite being used hard!

Good luck!


92 Olds 88 Hav 5w30 PL/L24011
99 Buick Century Hav 5w30 PL/L24011
99 Silverado 5.3L Hav 5w30 PL/L25288
04 TrailBlazer 4.2L Hav 5w30 PL/L25288
Re: Repair lawn mower motor or replace mower? [Re: smayer97] #4464519
07/20/17 03:07 AM
07/20/17 03:07 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
Clovis, CA
Merkava_4 Offline
Merkava_4  Offline
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
Clovis, CA
What you probably have is engine oil in the carburetor. The oil probably ran in there when you tipped the mower on its side to drain the oil out. The oil won't hurt the carburetor permanently, but it needs to be cleaned out. Also check the air filter for oil. Pull the spark plug out and get the oil off of it too. Next time you tip the mower, tip it back by pulling the mower handle to the ground and putting a weight on the handle to hold the mower in the tipped position. Tipping it that way will keep the oil out of the carburetor.

Re: Repair lawn mower motor or replace mower? [Re: Merkava_4] #4464525
07/20/17 03:29 AM
07/20/17 03:29 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 30,441
NY
demarpaint Offline
demarpaint  Offline
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 30,441
NY
+1 In addition to with Merkava said, I'd take the bowl off the carburetor and clean the carburetor with the bowl off. Then remove the plug and either clean or replace it. Put it back together, make sure you have spark, and try starting it again with fresh fuel. The 5W30 oil didn't hurt the machine.

Re: Repair lawn mower motor or replace mower? [Re: smayer97] #4464554
07/20/17 05:21 AM
07/20/17 05:21 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,972
Guilford, CT
exranger06 Offline
exranger06  Offline
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,972
Guilford, CT
There is no such thing as "lawn mower oil." Lawn mowers use the same oil as cars do. Lawn mowers use "motor oil" and cars use "motor oil." Your son did not hurt a darn thing by putting 5w30 in the mower.


2006 Ford Ranger Sport
1992 Honda Accord EX
2004 Honda CR-V LX
1994 Ford Bronco XLT (project)
2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV (wife's)
Re: Repair lawn mower motor or replace mower? [Re: smayer97] #4464578
07/20/17 06:22 AM
07/20/17 06:22 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,427
Jupiter, Florida
Cujet Offline
Cujet  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,427
Jupiter, Florida
1) clean the air filter, there is probably tons of oil in there, clean it out. Reinstall.

2) Pull the spark plug, spray a bit of carb/throttle body/some form of solvent in there, yank start cord through a few times to clean and dry it out. Reinstall (consider a new sparkplug)

3) Ensure oil level is correct.

I'll bet a dollar it works perfectly after that.

Last edited by Cujet; 07/20/17 06:23 AM.

People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence.
Re: Repair lawn mower motor or replace mower? [Re: smayer97] #4464581
07/20/17 06:25 AM
07/20/17 06:25 AM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,976
Chicago, IL
Brybo86 Offline
Brybo86  Offline
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,976
Chicago, IL
Yup , combustion chamber is full of oil. As said remove spark plug.

Buy a $50 mower off Craigslist

You said old mower broke before someone told you about it....? You not mowing your own grass? Bruh

Also did you forget the mower in the kitchen? Jk

Last edited by Brybo86; 07/20/17 06:33 AM.

08 Honda Accord EX-L 2.4L M1 EP 0w20 145k
01 Kymco People 50
95 Lexus LS400 M1 AFE 0w30 193k
95 Yamaha Jog
Re: Repair lawn mower motor or replace mower? [Re: smayer97] #4464583
07/20/17 06:28 AM
07/20/17 06:28 AM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 156
MN
Tman220 Offline
Tman220  Offline
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 156
MN
First of all. get it out of your head that automotive oil caused this problem because it is 100% incorrect.

Second. It only smoked after firing it up because you had it on its side which is normal.

Third. It's very unlikely the engine is seized. It's probably Hydro locked due to either Oil from being severely over-filled, or by fuel. Either way pull the spark plug and try pulling on the recoil. I'm sure it will be fine after getting whatever fluid out of the cylinder.


2012 Regal GS Turbo PP 5w30
1994 Camaro Z28 LT1 355 CI, 430 RWHP PP 5W30
Re: Repair lawn mower motor or replace mower? [Re: smayer97] #4464611
07/20/17 07:22 AM
07/20/17 07:22 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,841
South Florida
bubbatime Offline
bubbatime  Offline
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,841
South Florida
Pull the spark plug and flip it over and drain all the oil out. When you flip it over, you always do it so the carburetor stays upright. If you drain the oil with the carb on the bottom it will fill up with engine oil and ruin your airfilter.

If the engine is still seized after draining all oil and removing the spark plug, then your engine is toast.


17 Chrysler Pacifica Mobil 1 5W30
13 Yamaha XT250 Valv MC 10W40
12 Suzuki S40 Rotella 15W40
10 Acura TSX 2.4 PZL Plat 5W30
06 GMC Sierra Nextgen 10W30


Re: Repair lawn mower motor or replace mower? [Re: Tman220] #4464613
07/20/17 07:24 AM
07/20/17 07:24 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,158
n.c.
gman2304 Offline
gman2304  Offline
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,158
n.c.
Originally Posted By: Tman220
First of all. get it out of your head that automotive oil caused this problem because it is 100% incorrect.

Second. It only smoked after firing it up because you had it on its side which is normal.

Third. It's very unlikely the engine is seized. It's probably Hydro locked due to either Oil from being severely over-filled, or by fuel. Either way pull the spark plug and try pulling on the recoil. I'm sure it will be fine after getting whatever fluid out of the cylinder.


^ x2 ^

Re: Repair lawn mower motor or replace mower? [Re: smayer97] #4464614
07/20/17 07:25 AM
07/20/17 07:25 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 20,758
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 20,758
Upstate NY
What are the first 3 digits of the model? Either 247 or 917?


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Repair lawn mower motor or replace mower? [Re: smayer97] #4464645
07/20/17 08:14 AM
07/20/17 08:14 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,841
South Florida
bubbatime Offline
bubbatime  Offline
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,841
South Florida
Sorry OP, have to laugh at the draining "auto" oil from the mower to refill it with "lawnmower" oil.

4 cycle oil IS 4 cycle oil. Basically, when the oil bottler puts "lawn mower" oil on the label, they mark it up 250% from "automotive oil" and you pay for that via ignorance.

When you read your engine manual, it says to use detergent motor oil with a rating of SJ, SL or higher. Since today's automotive oils are rated SN, which is higher than SJ or SL, clearly "automotive" oil is recommended by the engine manufacturer, and approved for warranty purposes..

Also, Briggs and Stratton's own oil recommendation prefers a 5W30 (synthetic) engine oil. They say it offers the best performance. Considering your location and climate, it would be hard not to recommend synthetic 5W30 (auto oil) for your engine.

If you found your engine's cylinder and crank case completely full of gas (which hydro-locked the engine), then the needle and seat needs replaced in the carburetor. The cheapest fix is to cut the gas line and install a fuel cutoff switch. The best fix is to install a fuel cutoff switch AND replace the carburetor ($20-30) if the needle and seat has failed.


17 Chrysler Pacifica Mobil 1 5W30
13 Yamaha XT250 Valv MC 10W40
12 Suzuki S40 Rotella 15W40
10 Acura TSX 2.4 PZL Plat 5W30
06 GMC Sierra Nextgen 10W30


Re: Repair lawn mower motor or replace mower? [Re: smayer97] #4464656
07/20/17 08:27 AM
07/20/17 08:27 AM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,132
Austin, Texas
Brons2 Offline
Brons2  Offline
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,132
Austin, Texas
Yeah I use Rotella T5 10w30 in my lawn mower personally. Diesel truck oil, OMG! I'm sure it's going to throw a rod through the side of the block any time now.

wink


2012 Hyundai Sonata GLS 6MT 2.4GDI, ProDS 10w30, XG9688 filter, 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL 2.4 CVT, Factory fill still.
Re: Repair lawn mower motor or replace mower? [Re: Brybo86] #4464661
07/20/17 08:30 AM
07/20/17 08:30 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 161
Lake County, Ohio
ls973800 Offline
ls973800  Offline
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 161
Lake County, Ohio
Originally Posted By: Brybo86
Yup , combustion chamber is full of oil. As said remove spark plug.

Buy a $50 mower off Craigslist

You said old mower broke before someone told you about it....? You not mowing your own grass? Bruh

Also did you forget the mower in the kitchen? Jk


That's exactly what I did last month. Had a Craftsman Platinum mower with a seized engine that I got from a neighbor. The deck and everything else was like new. Found an ad on Craigslist for an identical Craftsman with a bad deck and drive system. Bought it for $50.00 and swapped the engine. Runs fantastic

Only problem with Craigslist is every time I buy or sell something, the buyer/seller is always on the other side of town! I don't think I have ever had a transaction with a drive of less than 45 minutes. LOL!

Re: Repair lawn mower motor or replace mower? [Re: smayer97] #4464676
07/20/17 08:47 AM
07/20/17 08:47 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 8,776
Texas
440Magnum Offline
440Magnum  Offline
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 8,776
Texas
I didn't read all the comments, but the ones I did are spot on. My summary:

1) "car oil" is fine for the mower unless its convenience-store garbage without any API ratings

2) The billowing smoke was from tipping the mower on its side. B&S engines have a crankcase breather on one side of the engine which evacuates the crankcase through a reed valve and spits the vapor into the carb. When you tip it on its side, liquid oil can enter the carb through that breather.

3) Over-filling the oil probably just submerged half of the cylinder, allowing oil to creep past the rings and fill the combustion chamber, forming a hydraulic lock.


So what you should do is:

1) Drain the oil out the bottom-mounted drain plug. Tip the mower over, locate the square-socket drain plug, and remove it with a 3/8" socket driver extension. Place a pan under the mower and tip the mower back on top of the pan. Tip the mower back up when its drained, and re-install the plug. Then set it back on its wheels.

Here's what you should see on the bottom of the engine under the mower. Be aware it will all be coated with grass guts and will be a uniform greenish/brown, so you may have to poke around:



2) Pull the spark plug and spin the engine with the pull-cord a dozen times or so to blow the oil out of the combustion chamber. Clean up the mess.

3) Fill with the correct amount of quality oil of the right grade (usually 5w30- you can use "mower" oil if you want, but you can also use Rotella, Delo, or any ordinary passenger car oil like Pennzoil yellow bottle).

4) Start engine, wait for the inevitable smoke cloud to clear as all the oil burns out of the combustion chamber and muffler, then mow.



Last edited by 440Magnum; 07/20/17 08:50 AM.

'66 Dodge Polara & '69 Dodge Coronet R/T both 440/727
'08 Ram 1500 4.7/545RFE
'12 Challenger SRT8 392/6-speed
'99 XJ 4x4 4.0/AX15, '14 WK2 4x4 3.6/8HP
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