Think I just had one of those "Eureka!" moments... This is a little 3hp briggs engine on an OLD Ryan aerator. They have the gear reduction deal bolted onto the side of the engine. Engine has always used oil/burned oil, but never to the point of smoking much, runs great. I bought this unit very used and cheap... Duh, I finally checked the gear box for lube, had to add a lot, was basically dry I guess. Also had changed the oil at the time. Let a guy borrow it the next day and he complained of SMOKE, like a fog, bad... I checked the oil when I got it back and it was WAY over full... WTF??? I had filled it just right with it level, WHY is it over full? Ran it more that season, oil mysteriously never gets low like it used too... This year, add MORE gear lube, oil is fine. Run it on a few lawns oil is way over full again Finally dawns on me tonight... the gear box and the engine are connected in such a way that if the shaft seal on the engine goes OUT the gear box drains into the engine! Yeah, checked the gear box with a small screwdriver as far as I could stick it in there, DRY. Just filled it a week ago... Am I screwed here? I don't know how much a new engine would be with the gear reduction on it to replace this one... I KNEW I should have just junked this thing, but noooo, I had to lay out $125.00 for new shafts and bushings this year and I "thought" that's all that was wrong with it other than burning a little oil. PLUGR is looking better and better... wish the hydro drive model wasn't so insanely expensive!