Stupid Mistake.... Maybe blown head?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by SouthernCutter, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. SouthernCutter

    SouthernCutter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    This is on a 04 Turf Tracer with 1270 Hours w. Kawasaki 17hp electric start.

    Made an expensive mistake today. I was in a hurry and didnt check the oil yesterday or today and as i was mowing today at full RPM with blades engaged the the engine suddenly dropped down to what seemed to be about half throttle (going by sound). I quickly turned blades off throttled down and shut the mower off. I cranked it back on and it seemed to be really hot. I throttled up and it seemed to have a miss about full throttle. so i shut it down checked the oil and to no surprise, no reading on the dipstick unless it was screwed down tight. I walked up to the truck and got a quart of oil and added it to it and limped it back to the trailer. on the way to the trailer i messed with the throttle a little and it no longer has a miss at full throttle but it does not sound right.... seems too quiet.
    Any information about what all could be messed up is greatly appreciated. I'd like to know what im looking at before i take it in. Or if i should start lookin at new mowers.
  2. 04TurfT

    04TurfT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    someone help us out!
  3. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,533

    Did you try the blades while on the way to the trailer? It may just be a blown head gasket. That would be nice if that was the only damage, and it would explain the weak running when under load.

    A good synthetic oil shines in just this type of situation. It allows cooler running and protects better in high heat conditions, like present when low on oil. You seem to have a high rate of consumption if you're low after one or two days. In a case like that, you might see higher consumption or loss with a synthetic.
  4. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    first two days where did 1 qt of oil go?

    does that kawi had full pressure lube? if so then even on low oil it will still maintain pressure. have you been cutting on hills a lot?

    second. never check check oil right after shutting down. a lot of oil is still up around the heads, valves, ect. needs time to drain back..

    see what happens tomorrow. could have been a bad spark plug wire causing a miss...

    drain the oil and check for any metal frags. change filter refill with mobil 1 or your favorite synthetic I think you'll be ok...
  5. SouthernCutter

    SouthernCutter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    it has a leak that i have been having to watch. and just add oil until i have time to fix it. I was out of town for a while and it just sat and i forgot to add/check.

    I know its not a bad plug wire.
    I cut on hills a lot, but i know that isnt the culprit right now.
    I know not to check immediatley, but i didnt really have a choice, i wasnt going to let it sit in the yard while i wondered if i was going to be working tomorrow.
    What synthetic weight do you reccomend? I have never used synthetics.
  6. dutch1

    dutch1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Jayhawk
    Messages: 2,248

    In addition to a possible blown head gasket, you may want to pull the valve covers to check if you've dropped a push rod as the result of a stuck valve. You will experience a loss of power with a valve stuck in either the open or closed position. Observe the heights of the valve guides as well as they can moved in an overheated condition.
  7. A Leaf Above

    A Leaf Above LawnSite Member
    Messages: 223

    This what i was going to suggest ...Had same issue with my 19 hp Kawi and it was a snapped bolt in the head that holds the rocker arm and push rod in place ...Take the sparkplug wire off of motor 1 side at a time and see if one side doesnt start ..if thats the case you can rule out head gasket problem ..then take the valve cover off that side that didnt fire and you will see the culprit more than likely :)

Share This Page