Michigan Sportsman Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,470 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy all!

You may remember about a month ago I started a thread asking if anyone here worked on small engines. Well after I'd already got the parts ordered I found that Ferg06 does that for a living. I talked to him several times and it looked like I was going to be able to solve my problem myself.

A brief history is that one day my tractor just would not start no matter what I did. After screwing around for about a half hour I pulled the valve cover off and discovered that the head had broken and needed to be replaced. To make a long story short, I waited almost a month for the parts which finally came in last Wed. afternoon. I put the new head on and got the engine ready to fire. After a final check I turned the key and she fired right up. It was running pretty well but needed a little tweek but it was late so I put it off until morning. The next morning I made the tweek and turned the key and she was purring like a kitten. I figured at that point I'd put the rest of the gear back on and get the grass cut. So I put the electric PTO clutch back together and my neighbor stopped by and gave me a hand remounting the mower. We buttoned it up and I gave it a quick test cut and it worked fine although there seemed to be a small vibration. I thought maybe something on the mower was loose so I shut down and checked it out. Everything seemed to be in order so I started it up again and it ran fine for about 10 seconds and then all of a sudden the vibration got much worse. Before I even knew what hit me the whole machine was shaking wildly and all of a sudden there was a huge puddle of oil all over the driveway! :rant::rant::rant: I shut it down immediately and Paul and I stood there scratching our heads trying to figure out just what the heck could have happened. Well after just spending about $150 on parts for a 3 year old tractor I was completely disgusted and had to walk away or else I was just going to go ballistic. I threw some sand on the oil puddle and let the tractor sit there and finish draining for a couple hours before pushing it back into the garage.

The next morning I decided to do a post-mortem on my now useless pile of scrap. It turns out that I'm sure the problem was my doing. Apparently I didn't have the clutch installed completely and tightened sufficiently. (That's why it pays to double and triple check things before you decide you're finished with a job) The clutch started spinning around and hit something which bent the mounting coupler and it in turn hit something else that was forced into the bottom of the engine punching about a half inch hole in it. :(

Well I again was disgusted with myself and decided I was going to get rid of this thing either free or very cheap and buy a new tractor. But yesterday morning I decided to pull the engine off and take a closer look. I really believe that the only problem with the engine is the hole in the sump section of the block. After looking up the part I found that I could get a new one for only about $89. I decided that I may risk a few more bucks and try to repair this thing as opposed to dropping another $1500 or more on a new one. I remembered that my step father told me a while ago that he bought some of those Dura-Fix aluminum brazing rods. I gave him a call and decided to give it a shot. He brought some over this morning and I got to work. I just cleaned up the hole with a wire brush and some sandpaper. They say you can use a propane torch with these rods but that's for thinner material. I have an acetylene torch so I decided to use it. After stripping everything out of the casting I got to work and it only took me about 10-15 minutes and I was able to fill the hole! A quick hit with a grinding wheel on the outside of the repair and I think I'm good to go. I'm going to put it back together after getting a new gasket and lower shaft seal. Once that's done I'll remount the engine to the chassis and see how she runs. If she does, I'll order a new clutch and it looks like I'll be back in business.

There are always people asking about getting aluminum welded and from what I just experienced, Dura-Fix is the way to go! Here are some pictures of the casting before and post repair.













No it's not pretty. But I think it's going to hold. I probably could but I'm not going to bother to grind down the excess on the outside. It was a pretty good size hole and I did the repair from the inside and once the rod started to melt and flow it built up in a puddle and I'm fairly certain that I have a good repair. If however sometime down the road it does leak, the engine has a low oil shutoff so at that point I could either do the repair again or spend $89 for a new sump. Just thought I'd share my story with you folks so that if there's someone else in the same situation they may be able to save a few bucks like I did and get whatever it is working again.

Take care

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,904 Posts
If you end up needing the sump don't forget I got one. It'll be alot cheaper than $89.

Also if you need the clutch, I can give a big discount below retail and I could get it drop shipped (unless you want to drive across town and BS about our knee problems :lol:).
Just need either the Crapsman mod. #, or the # off the clutch.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,470 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Ferg,
that's what I figured I'd do. It looks like this repair is probably going to work. I think I'll put it back together and then mount it back on the chassis. Once it's all buttoned up I'll see how well she runs. If she does, I'll let it run for a little while to be sure. Once I'm sure the engine is OK, I'll contact you about the clutch. I've got the number but don't have it in front of me at the moment. I figured that because the engine has a low oil shut off I should be OK. If it ever leaks down the road sometime and I don't notice it, the thing will shut down before it's out. If that happens, it's not that bad of a job to pull the engine again and replace the sump.

Thanks again. I'll be in touch once I prove the engine is OK. Boy I wish I'd checked that clutch again before I fired it up! :bash:

Oh well, live and learn.

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,904 Posts
If you get a little leakage, "Seal-all" works wonders. I've sealed up gas tanks as well as oil pans on cars before.

Not sure where you went wrong on the clutch. Just bolt it down, other than making sure the pin that keeps it from spinning is in the slot on clutch. Of course I use a impact wrench.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,631 Posts
Good job John, I use to know how to work on them small engines back in the 80's work on them with my eye's closed.. Not anymore:lol: I think I have to do it with my eye's wide open and a camera to take pictures so I would not forget how to put it back togeather again:lol:.. Nice patch job by the way worked like a charm, let us know how it goes when you get it back togeather.. Cya Slick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
If that repair doesn't work try this web site smallenginewarehouse.com they sell new motors and have some pretty good deals and great shipping, 2-3 days. They got a 18 hp Briggs for $469.00 and free shipping, I have bought a couple motors for them, last one was a 6.5 hp B&S last month.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,470 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Laketrotter! I bookmarked that site. Good one to have available when needed. But it looks like the repair is successful so far. I decided that even though the brazing looked good and would probably have worked fine I put a good layer of JB Weld over the inside and outside of the repair yesterday morning. Last evening I reassembled the engine and reinstalled it. Because you need to wait at least overnight before putting the repair into service I stopped just short putting oil in it and hooking up the battery. This evening after it had been over 24 hours since I put the JB on there I installed the oil filter and filled her up. Then hooked up the battery cables and did one final double check. Everything looked good so I turned the key and after just a few seconds of cranking to fill the bowl she sprang to life. I shut it down and restarted it several times and it's working fine. I then let it run for about twenty minutes and I'm sure that all is good. Now I just need to order a new electric PTO clutch and I can put her back into service. I saved myself a good chunk of change by being able to braze that hole. Yes I still need to get a new clutch, but the hole repair cost me less than $20 including a new gasket and seal.

If any of you out there have a broken aluminum casting, check into this stuff. It just may save you a few bucks.

CYA

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,922 Posts
John, if you ever need aluminum welded, call me. Repaired many engines with no problems. Al :chillin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,046 Posts
John, if you ever need aluminum welded, call me. Repaired many engines with no problems. Al :chillin:
I second Al.D's Work, there is no one better when it comes to Stainless and Alum.......;)

Speaking of CRAPSMAN junk, My second piece of crap just took a **** on me. I have a leaf blower and a Weedwhipper that are both down now. didnt get a 1 1/2 out of either......Sears will not stand behind them, are they worth getting fixed or should i just trash-em?????


Mushy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,904 Posts
I second Al.D's Work, there is no one better when it comes to Stainless and Alum.......;)

Speaking of CRAPSMAN junk, My second piece of crap just took a **** on me. I have a leaf blower and a Weedwhipper that are both down now. didnt get a 1 1/2 out of either......Sears will not stand behind them, are they worth getting fixed or should i just trash-em?????


Mushy
Trash 'em.
Haven't seen a "homeowners" type trimmer or blower come through my shop thats worth buying.
You either got to take your chances hoping you'll get some time out of them or figure on just throwing them out when they crap out.

If you have a decent amount of trimming or blowing to do it's worth buying a commercial unit. I've always told my customers that if we could get 5-6 yrs out of a unit using them daily, a homeowner should get a life time of use out of it (if it's taken care of).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,470 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'd trash the trimmers as Ferg said.

I've got an Echo straight shaft trimmer that I bought about twelve years ago. I used it quite a bit the first year but then just occasionally. Now I don't use it much at all because I can cut pretty close with my tractor and just do a little clean up now and then with the trimmer. But it's still going strong and starts and runs like a champ even after twelve years. I paid a little over $200 for it when I bought it at Rochester Lawn Equipment and it was well worth the investment. You can get the updated and very similar models now at Home Depot. Every piece of Echo gear I've ever owned has been very good to me.

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,904 Posts
You come over to my garage and you'll see alot of Echo stuff hanging around, left over from my lawn cutting days.
Right know got 4 blowers hanging on hooks. Backpack blower in the shed that I bought in about '94, hedge trimmer and a couple of trimmmers.
Had nothing but Echo on my crew. Good stuff. Bought a new trimmer a few years ago figuring it should last me a long time. Don't like the non-adjustable, plastic carbs on them but everyone using them know (thank you government regulations).

Been slowly selling off the equipment since I decided the health situation wouldn't let me do that kind of work anymore.

Oops, not suppose to talk about that stuff here,:tsk::nono::shhh: better take it to the "Misfits" forum. :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,046 Posts
Thanks for the advise Ferg, thats what another small engine guy said.....And that really sucks.......I took the blower into Sears and spoke with "The Manager" of the store, and he said they would not do anything for me. I said "What about a gift certificate for the effort, and he said NO.....So I through the blower on the floor of his store and left......:evil::yikes::rant: And told everyone I saw going out, not to buy JUNK CRAPSMAN anymore.......Im a HotHead Polock, what can I say....

Mushy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,904 Posts
Well their tools are still good but since they closed all the hardware stores around here I haven't been to one other then to exchange a couple of broken tools. Too far of a drive.

Don't know what model of blower you had but there is one of their models (made by Poulan) that when it comes in the door the first thing I do is check the cylinder for scoring. It's not worth writing a work order for something I can confirm is junk in 2 mins.

Go to a Echo dealer or Homie Depot and get a blower for about $150. Pay 50% more but get alot better chance in it lasting a whole lot longer.
Use a 10% off coupon from HD and save even more.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,470 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I agree. I've got an Echo blower and it works great. But a couple years ago I was in HD and looking at the backpack blowers. They had a really nice one that I had my eye on for a while but just didn't want to spend that much since I already had a nice hand held unit. But then I found the same unit but it was an open box item and marked at half price! I looked it over and everything appeared to be in order so I bought it. Haven't looked back since. It's a great unit and performs very well.

John
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top