Engine Experts: What could have happened?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tiedeman, Oct 16, 2004.

  1. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    In regards to a 15HP Kawasaki.

    Ok, so on Thursday I am mowing a lawn and the next thing I know oil is shooting out of my oil filler tube. ( I think that it got loose from mowing beside some pine trees) I quickly stop the mower and tighten down the oil filler cap, check the oil level, and then continue to mow.

    Well, I noticed that it was kind of bogging down and it seemed like it didn't have that much horsepower. It was coming and going. I also noticed that I was burning oil. I finished up my work and went home.

    I charged the spark plugs in it, put some dry gas in the tank on Friday and fired it up, seemed ok, but not all there in regards to horsepower and it was stuttering. I figure I didn't want to mess with it anymore because I was sick.

    So today after running it we pull the plugs and they are blacker than heck. We check the plugs to make sure they are firing, clean the new plugs, check the coils, drain the oil in the mower, and put some new in and also adjusted the carbator. Thought that would solve the problem.

    We start it back up and we noticed though that one of the cylinders didn't seem like it was firing that great. So we take off the rocker case cover and notice that one of the rods (don't know the exact name of it) was out of place and not connected properly also noticed a metal shaving there, but thought that it could just be wear from running. We connect it up to the rocker put everything back together and fire it up. Still the horsepower is lacking. Even when I engaged the mowerdeck the engine almost stalls. So we shut it down, open up the rocker case again and now both of the rods in there are not hooked up. In fact now one of them is bent.

    So tell me fellows. What is wrong here and how can I fix it? Better to just get a new engine.
  2. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    Sounds terminal
  3. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    Doesnt sound good at all. I had a brigs vanguard do what u describe after the oil seal blew. That turned out to be the connecting rod was broke and took a chunk out of the block. At first I thought it was repairable but couldnt figure out why push rods didnt stay in place. Then I opened her up and saw the bad news. I found a brand new complete motor on e-bay for $455.00. Hope yours is better than mine and repairable, good luck. Let us know what u find or if u have any questions
  4. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    Oh yea, my cam was broke in two as well which is why push rods wouldnt stay in place :dizzy:
  5. Travis Followell

    Travis Followell LawnSite Silver Member
    from KY
    Messages: 2,206

    I'm not bragging or anything but i know quite a bit about small engines. When your filler cap came loose and you lost some oil it must have starved a part(s) for oil and damaged it and yes it can happen in that short of a time before you cut it off. My suggestion to you would be to take it to the dealer and see what they say.
  6. beransfixitinc

    beransfixitinc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    Hmm.. since you keep referring to everything in the plural, i will assume you have a twin cylinder engine and that you probably broke something in the engine to the point you are only running on one cylinder. Metal shavings, and all does not sound good. My advice (besides throwing in the towel and finding a new engine) would be to get it to a dealer, and get an estimate on what it would cost to fix it vs a new engine. Also.. how old is the engine? Warranty? I'm not sure if the oil fill tube blowing out and causing you to drop a cylinder would be covered under warranty or not. I also would not go telling them that you've already been opening it up (if it's still under warranty that is). If it's out of warranty, give them your findings so far and they may not even bother opening it up to estimate the cost for you.
  7. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    Charged the spark plugs? Dry gas? What the heck are you talking about? What kind of motor is it? How many hours are on it. Do you clean the air filter often? How much oil was in it after the filler cap came loose?

    Sounds bad to me. Sounds like you are describing a bent push rod. Push rods go between the cam shaft and the rockerarms/valves. Cam is driven off the crankshaft. Crank turned by the piston(s). Sound to me like the motor went out of time. But what do I know.
  8. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    There are some magnetic guides for the pushrods and they probably went bad. You can get a kit for that engine with everything, the guides, pushrods, and rocker arms. Thats why you didnt have power, the bent pushrod. And something in the top part of the motor will never cause it to be junk, unless its real old.

    JPLAWNSERVICE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    It would be nice to know how many hours was on your engine. If it had more than 300 hours or so I would think that the valve clearance could have been out of adjustment. Kawasaki recommends checking valve clearance every 300 hours. If the valves gain to much clearance which they will from normal wear, and are not adjusted the pushrods could get loose and come out of the pocket in the rocker arm which could bend the pushrods when they get in a bind. Also the rocker arm nut could have come loose causing the same situation.
  10. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    the mower was on a routine maintenance schedule every 5 days. I was just trying to figure out if it was something simple, that is why the changing of spark plugs and using dry gas. Yes the air filter was cleaned all the time. Sometimes the simple things can help that is why I did all that. Approx 490 Hours on it

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