Blown Head Gasket.....

Blown Head Gasket.....

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:36 am

My Craftsman 15.5 HP (Briggs and Stratton) lawn tractor (Circa 1993) has a blown head gasket. Anyone with experience on these things know if it's difficult to replace? I've never worked on a lawn tractor before and am debating on replacing it myself or just loading it up into the back of my truck and taking it somewhere to have fixed. What am I going to need? I'm assuming head gasket, valve cover, intake and exhaust gaskets but I'm not sure.

Also, this thing is rusted up pretty good so I'm probably going to have some busted bolts and what not. What annoys me is that I just replaced the magneto and starter gear on it then went to mow the lawn and boom...blue smoke out the engine. Nice.

It would seem all of my tools with engines are falling apart, my snow blower still leaks gas out of the carb and hasn't been used in two winters.
I'm On Fire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machines DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator

Re: Blown Head Gasket.....

PostBy: mozz On: Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:05 pm

If it is a OHV (over head valve), and you have no experience working on lawn mowers, i would take it some where for repairs. Also, may cost somewhat the same as buying a used lawn tractor....$300-500. If it is a flathead, i would say take it apart and go at it.
mozz
 
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Re: Blown Head Gasket.....

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:47 pm

mozz wrote:If it is a OHV (over head valve), and you have no experience working on lawn mowers, i would take it some where for repairs. Also, may cost somewhat the same as buying a used lawn tractor....$300-500. If it is a flathead, i would say take it apart and go at it.


I hope its not that much. I watched a YouTube video and it doesn't look too difficult. But I loaded it on my truck this evening to take it someplace. I'll start calling around though.
I'm On Fire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machines DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator


Re: Blown Head Gasket.....

PostBy: 009to090 On: Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:09 pm

Did you try tightening the head bolts first? It may be just loose bolts?
009to090
 
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Re: Blown Head Gasket.....

PostBy: dcrane On: Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:53 pm

Briggs is an easier motor to work on for sure and parts are readily available... order the gasket, get your sockets out and start turning bro ;) You can even get that sheet crap and it cuts pretty easy (the carb gasket is tough because of so many small circular holes whos placement leave very little room for error so just buy that one if your going to do a rebuild).
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Blown Head Gasket.....

PostBy: SMITTY On: Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:12 pm

Flat heads are the easiest engines on the planet to work on. Just unbolt the head, and remove head - that's it! Slap sealer all over what's left of the gasket, bolt it down & go.

Smoking wouldn't be caused by a head gasket though. That would be valve seals (on a OHV) or piston rings. Or, it could just be overfilled with oil. If it sat some time over the winter, sometimes the float will stick and fill the crankcase with fuel, pushing the oil level way above where it should be causing it to burn & smoke like hell. Usually when that happens the cylinder will fill up as well and hydrolock the engine - you wouldn't be pulling it over in that case. Fluids do not compress. ;)

If it runs and doesn't use too much oil, just run it. ;)
SMITTY
 
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Re: Blown Head Gasket.....

PostBy: crazy4coal On: Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:17 pm

Get some pictures man! Pictures.pictures
crazy4coal
 
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Re: Blown Head Gasket.....

PostBy: Cap On: Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:20 pm

Scrape out the carbon while you have it apart. Use a stiff brush to finish cleaning after scraping.
Cap
 
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Re: Blown Head Gasket.....

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:40 am

I watched a few YouTube videos of tractors doing the same thing as mine, they all said the head basket was blown. Dunno. If its more than that and it doesn't seem worth fixing I'll just get rid of it.
I'm On Fire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machines DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator

Re: Blown Head Gasket.....

PostBy: McGiever On: Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:57 am

What caused the starter gear and flywheel/magneto to go???

:idea: That might of been your first clue to what's the * root* problem. :idea:


Someone already mentioned checking level of crankcase oil for excess...don't just replace parts...find the *cause* :!:

Next, get after that snow blower :idea:
McGiever
 
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Re: Blown Head Gasket.....

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:17 am

Old age I'd suspect. The starter gear broke apart when I tried to start it one morning and the magneto's wire was dry rotted and frayed and was shorting out against the frame.

It's not over filled. Oil level is good. The tractor is old. Things don't last forever. It was my wife's father's. I'm guessing he didn't really take too good care of it. I've done all the oil changes on it, replaced all of these other parts and now I'm having a oil leak and smoking issue and the oil is coming from the head and blowing all over the exhaust pipe.
I'm On Fire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machines DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator

Re: Blown Head Gasket.....

PostBy: McGiever On: Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:38 am

How can oil get on top of piston to spray out head...it is supposed to stay below the rings and remain in the crankcase. :?: :?:

There is a bigger problem here. :o
Don't just replace parts...find the * CAUSE* :!:
McGiever
 
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Re: Blown Head Gasket.....

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:16 am

McGiever wrote:How can oil get on top of piston to spray out head...it is supposed to stay below the rings and remain in the crankcase. :?: :?:

There is a bigger problem here. :o
Don't just replace parts...find the * CAUSE* :!:


OK then, what do you suggest I look for? I don't know anything about tractors and when I see oil coming from a head gasket I'm immediately going to think head gasket.

Ring perhaps?

I mean if it's going to mean a complete engine build I'll just junk the damn thing or I'll just go back to my original plan and drop it off somewhere to be fixed as I don't have the patience for it.
Last edited by I'm On Fire on Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
I'm On Fire
 
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Re: Blown Head Gasket.....

PostBy: steamup On: Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:18 am

I had an older Bowens tractor once. I was putting $2-300.00 per year into it for parts towards the end. It was burning a lot of oil near the end. Finally, not enough compression to start and run good. I could have replaced the motor cheaper than rebuilding it but decided to cut the stings and dump the thing. It was nothing but a headach and a money pit plus part were getting hard to find.
I had another briggs single cylinder horizontal shaft engine that was well used when I bought it. Got several more years out of it but finally after pricing repair parts, I ditched it and bought a new engine. It was going to cost a couple of hundred buck in parts to rebuild the engine and I could buy a new engine to replace it for under $500.00.

There is a point that it just isn't worth keeping it alive. You just have to figure out what you time is worth and what that point is.
steamup
 
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Re: Blown Head Gasket.....

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:25 am

steamup wrote:I had an older Bowens tractor once. I was putting $2-300.00 per year into it for parts towards the end. It was burning a lot of oil near the end. Finally, not enough compression to start and run good. I could have replaced the motor cheaper than rebuilding it but decided to cut the stings and dump the thing. It was nothing but a headach and a money pit plus part were getting hard to find.
I had another briggs single cylinder horizontal shaft engine that was well used when I bought it. Got several more years out of it but finally after pricing repair parts, I ditched it and bought a new engine. It was going to cost a couple of hundred buck in parts to rebuild the engine and I could buy a new engine to replace it for under $500.00.

There is a point that it just isn't worth keeping it alive. You just have to figure out what you time is worth and what that point is.


Well, the only real reason I'm even considering repairing it is because like I said, it was my wife's father's. He had two. This Craftsman from 1993 and a Cub Cadet 127 from 1972. I really liked the Cub but it had some major issues and was going to cost a lot of money to fix. I gave it away a few years back to someone I know very well and gave it a good home. My wife does not want me to do the same with this tractor. I'm really thinking it's just a head gasket but you guys are saying no but I'm not getting any other possibilities of what the problem is. At some point I'll just get annoyed from going back and fourth on it and I'll junk it. I asked here for other possible problems it could be before I go ordering parts.

"Find the cause" doesn't really help if there is no starting point. Do I just tear it down and hope I discover the problem or is there a specific part I can start with? Like I said, I know nothing about this engine or tractor. I mean there has to be a set of common causes of problems with these engines.

Just called Sears just to get an idea of what I'd be looking at if I just wanted to replace the engine. Good news it's in stock and still available as is all of the parts for it. Bad news is that a brand spanking new engine is $1,280.13. I'm pretty sure a new tractor could be had for that price. Maybe I'll dick around with it a little and end up telling my wife it's going to the scrap yard.
I'm On Fire
 
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