This Can't Be Good!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOturkey, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,742

    Went to the garage today, taking advantage of the 70 degree weather, with plans to pull out my Walker, wash it off and sharpen the blades, about the last thing I need to do before starting up the mowing season.

    Well, I started cranking the engine (19 horse Kohler), it fired and started momentarily (cold natured) and something made a noise similar to something hitting a fan blade. I tried again, and the same noise after the engine fired up. I shut it down and opened the body shell, seeing if anything obvious was amiss. Couildn't find anything stuck in a fan blade or belt, so closed the hatch and started it again. No problem. I backed the mower out into the driveway and raised the body again, leaving the engine running. I still couldn't figure out what made the noise, but it seemed to have corrected itself, so I went on about my business, leaving the engine running for about 15 minutes, so the battery would charge completely. Engine ran smoothly, no odd noises.

    I might note that I changed the oil on the engine just before parking it for the winter, so I was now thinking perhaps the oil took a few seconds to pump up, causing the engine to knock momentarily.

    The mower set for a couple of hours while I changed the blades and washed it off, and did a few other things in the garage. Closed the shell, and started the engine to pull it in the garage. Same noise. This time, I left it running and lifted the body. The noise was the dipstick, which is vertical on this engine, being blown up against the underside of the body in time with the rpm's.

    First thing that comes to mind is a broken ring, and/or piston, but if this is the case, why did it not do this for the time it was sitting there running, plus, with my limited experience, I would have thought the engine would have run roughly, which it didn't.

    Any thoughts by you guys who are mechanics, which I am not? Just for your information, the engine only has about 400 hours on it. I'm just curious what to expect when I take it to the shop. Thanks.
     
  2. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    Maybe a mouse went for a ride on the fan:)
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  3. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,647

    Maybe a stuck ring from sitting over the winter? Run it a while and see if it clears up.
     
  4. Lugnut

    Lugnut LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 551

    So the dipstick is being blown out and is there oil splattering out all over? If this is the case, and seeing that you just changed the oil i would guess that there was simply too much oil in there, causing way too high oil pressure. If this was the case be thankful the dipstick blew out and not an engine seal.
     
  5. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,742

    No, oil level is correct. No oil was blowing out, just gasses.
     
  6. Lugnut

    Lugnut LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 551

    Hmm, I was having trouble visualizing what the dipstick was doing... hope its an easy fix once you get it to the dealer. Let us know what it turned out to be
     
  7. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,742

    Called the mechanic at the dealer this morning, and explained the symptoms to him. He said it was most likely a broken valve that controls the crankcase pressure, which, to me, makes sense, because of it being intermittent in nature.

    Hopefully, he's right, because this would be a whole lot better than either a new engine or engine overhaul. I'm taking it to the shop probably today or tomorrow. Will let everyone know how it turns out.
     
  8. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,742

    Had this happen not to an engine, but an automatic transmission in my old Jeep Cherokee once. Took it in for service and the idiots in the shop added too much transmission fluid. Went to pick up a boat I'd bought about 200 miles from home the next day. It was a cold day, so drove almost all the way there before it started blowing fluid. I, of course, thought I'd blown a seal, so stopped at a C-store and bought about 5 quarts of fluid, hoping that would get me home. Finally figured out what had happened when it kept leaking, but the dipstick still said it was full. :) Man, was I ticked.
     
  9. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    Humm, that's odd. But I know the results of firing up an engine like that without putting the cap back on the dipstick opening. Yep, oil sprayed on the ceiling! So yours MAY be simpler than what you think. You have the older style push-on dipstick I take it? Is it fitting tight like it should? There should be an o-ring on the tube itself to seal it and make it fit tight. I've also never heard of a 19 hp Kohler. And to my knowledge walker has never had a 19 hp option. Just curious if that's original or a replacement?
     
  10. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,742

    Jason, I THINK it is a 19. Will check to be sure. Now you've got me wondering if I am wrong. :) The mower is a 2002 model C. Belonged to a homeowner previously, and I don't use it much, hence the low hours. I'm sure it is the original engine.
     

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