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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I'm a newbie here and a novice at this sort of thing. I've had the worst luck with mowers. I had a push mower that caught on fire and died in the front yard. My brother-in-law gave me this riding mower (which is now like a 5th hand mower). I've used it for three seasons now but this year it's giving me trouble. It has a Briggs and Stratton 287707-1255-E1 engine that is puffing white smoke. I changed the oil twice (because after running for a little bit the oil turns black and burnt). I cleaned the whole engine area I could get to. I changed the spark plug, new battery, blades, and things that spin the blades. It was making a tapping sound and I ran Seafoam through it and after smoking the neighborhood out it sounds much better. It did spew oil and/or gas out the exhaust for awhile but seems to have stopped now. Now it puffs white smoke for a few seconds, stops for a few seconds, continues. It smells burnt (almost kinda sweet burnt) and seems to get really hot. When I started it last it started right up and began its smoking pattern but when I took the brake off and tried to accelerate it wouldn't go. I had to fiddle with it a bit. I mowed the backyard to see if it would quit smoking (burn the rest of the seafoam out?) but when I turned the mower deck off the whole thing shut down. I know there is a crack in the exhaust but that has never affected it before. It also seems to not have as much power as usual when going. Any advice as to how to fix this, or should I just be looking for a new used mower? :^:
 

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Welcome first off. Does the oil smell of gas? Might be carb issue. Possible blown head gasket too.
 

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Is the gas tank higher than the carburetor..? You may have a worn or dirty needle /seat on fuel entry to carb...causing minor flooding..and oil dilution...Does the oil level rise ? The cooling fins under the shroud may also be clogged with dirt and grass...causing it to run Hot ! And, like Eric said...could be blown headgasket
 

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sounds like it may be running rich or flooding into the oil. when oil is mixed with gas it becomes thin and will get past the rings much easier causing your symptoms. to check for gas in the oil, start the engine and run it for about 5 minutes and check the oil after you shut it off. if the oil is grey or milky looking, rebuild the carburetor and then change the oil
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses! The gas tank does set higher than anything else but I don't think that gas is getting into the actual oil. After running it for about 45 minutes on a fresh oil change the oil is dark but still see through. If anything I think I'm burning oil because the level seems to drop quickly. I have a can of carb clean, should I try that? Is a blown head gasket a major repair, or doable for a novice like me?
 

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Depends on how good at wrenching you are?
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the video that was really helpful! I think that seems doable :ThumbUp: I did find manuals for the motor online so as long as I can remember how to put it back together (always my biggest problem) I should be able to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Opinions on best place to buy parts online? Partstree.com lets me look up my model (and they actually have the exact match!) and shows what is compatible.
 

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Partstree is good. You could also try ereplacementparts.com. Like Eric's video shows, head gaskets are pretty simple. You should be fine; any questions you might have, feel free to shoot away! :)
 

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Yep, if oil is getting low and doesn't smel really strong of gasoline then you have a blow head gasket.
I usually find that they will smoke if you drive them around in tight circles one way then the other....mosquito fogger!

NEw gasket should get it going properly.
 
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