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Clean those engine fins

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by dfor, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. dfor

    dfor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 828

    Took my engine shroud off to clean under there, and wow it was messy. Hadn't cleaned it since I bought the mower. I'm embarrassed to show the pictures, but it was bad under there.

    I don't want a bashing for non-maintenance. Trying to remind others to clean under there who may have put it off.

    Anyone know if this would cause excessive oil consumption??


  2. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,588

    it might not directly cause oil consumption but it will make the machine run hotter and that might lead to oil consumption
  3. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    wow, talk about lack of maintenance! LOL, sorry had to say it. :D

    How many hours are on the mower with that kind of build up? I'll remember to clean under there now. thanks for the reminder.
  4. nosparkplugs

    nosparkplugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,444

    At least you now understand the importance of blowing off the engine, and or engine compartment. The only true mistake is one you repeat, great photo's
  5. Genlandscape

    Genlandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    That is part of my regular service; oil, filter, check air cleaner, pull shrouds/ cleanout cooling fins. I got a set of aquarium brushes at wallyworld for a few bucks, they work great for those tight spots. You will save fuel and add many hours to the life of that engine if you keep it clean.
  6. prizeprop

    prizeprop LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    I have a stander and my dealer has been having alot of people come in with engine damage to the standers and this is the culprit.
  7. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    I will admit, I'm really good with all the other maintenance of a machine, but cleaning under the shroud isn't one that I ever do... I tried ONCE with a 23ho vert. shaft Kohler, I took bolts out and took bolts out and took bolts out and the damn thing would NOT give up and come off. I spent half an hour fighting it and finally gave up! I know the Walkers should be cleaned too, they advise every 100 hours, but getting the shroud off in that tight space has to be near impossible. The 27hp. on my Grasshopper is the same way.

    I blow everything I can get too off with good air pressure, and try to work into all the cooling fins I can get to. Once they start seeping oil like the one in the pic. it's really hard to keep them cleaned out.
  8. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,270

    I just took the shroud off the 15hp kaw the other day for the first time in 1,000 hours. Low and behold there was nothing to clean. No debris at all in there.

    Our 1998 or 99 lazer has 18hp kohler with 2,200 hours and the engine cover has never been off of it. Same with all of our engines over the last 24 years. Never once cleaned the fins out and never once had any kind of problem associated with it either.
  9. Two Seasons

    Two Seasons LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    I could be very wrong about this assumption, but most fin debris is airborne right? If it's airborne, that means it is light and easily deposited on the fins. That said, my assumption is that you wash your mower and deposit water onto those fins and it mixes with the dust and fine grass that get into those tight spots and then forms a "mud hut brick" process with the heat generated by the engine.
  10. Phil G

    Phil G LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 844

    Nice pictures. Looking at them there do not seem to be excess oil about. If there were a leak in that area you'd see fresh oil. As said on previous post, most of this crud is air born. Don't forget engines can evaporate air moisture at the same rate as fuel consumption ie one gallon of petrol to one gallon of moisture. Best to get an air line with a blow-off gun fitted with a long nozzle for future use. When the fins are clear they dissipate heat much better.
    If it has been running over normal temperature it can use more oil.
    Just remember 'keep it clean, me lad'

    Good luck Phil :drinkup:

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