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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Or, actually, keep the grass off. This is a public service announcement kids. Watch and pay attention to what happens when you don't stay off the grass!

Found a Craftsman mower in the paper the other day. Other than the really heavy cover of oil all over it, there didn't seem to be much wear and tear on the mower at all. I figured the PO had generously overfilled the oil. It didn't even look like the bag had been used. $10 bucks, what the heck.



I pulled the cover off of the Briggs and Stratton Quantum engine, and this is what I found. It was an OMG moment for sure. I've never seen this much debris and grass packed under a shroud before. It actually had signs of nearly catching fire!



After cleaning it up, cleaning the carb and putting things back together, something just didn't feel right when I pulled the starter rope. Hmmm...good spark, getting gas, but still...

Took the muffler off so I could see the exhaust valve stem and pulled the spark plug out so I could turn it over easily, and I could see the valve wasn't moving at all. Removed the breather so I could see both valve stems and not even quiver of movement of either of them.

Next I removed the engine of the mower deck and pulled the pan off the bottom of the engine. Now I'm no expert mind you, but if I had to guess, I'd say that's the problem right there....



Yep, grass and stuff crammed under the shroud, gooey black oil in the crank case. Looks like it over heated to the point of causing catastrophic failure of the plastic cam shaft gear. I wonder what kind of noise it made as it died? Even that fellow pictured in the newspaper seems disturbed by this.



The crankshaft, connecting rod, and everything else inside seems to have survived without damage. No scoring on the cylinder, and the valves move as they should and look okie dokie. I was lucky to find a cam shaft on ebay for a song, and the few gaskets that get messed up when you take things apart like this are on order.

So remember, keep your equipment clean kids. Take care of it, and it will take care of you.
 

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Man, that's nuts!

Talk about a fire waiting to happen, for sure, with all that grass piled above the muffler.

Maybe what happened was actually beneficial and prevented a fire! Who knows!
 

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What a mess.

Hope you get it working properly. Most anyone else would have heaved it to the scrap pile. :bag:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, a lot of folks wouldn't think it was worth the effort and expense. Like I said, overall it didn't look like the mower had much use, and it's actually a pretty decent mower. How it got that much debris under the shroud is a mystery, unless some critter helped it along, then decided to move along when things got hot.

I checked the prices of new Quantum engines and Craftsman mowers, and what they're going for on CL used. Had I not found a replacement cam for a good price, I might have just scraped it too, but I hate doing that. Besides, I've never gotten into a Briggs engine, so this will be fun to work on.
 

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Yes, you have a adventure right there. I never seen one fill up like that before. Do you think the PO was mowing down some really tall grass?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm really not sure of what had been used for. The guy I got it from pretty much acted like it had come with the house when he bought it, and he had a second mower that did run.

I got the pan cleaned up and a new seal installed in it. Head, breather and pan gaskets are all on order. The cam should be here some time next week. In the mean time, I'll just be cleaning it up.

Sort of like what your signature says, Don't junk it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Rainy Sunday here in N/W Illinois, so I spent the morning working on cleaning up the Craftsman. The deck really is in fine shape, and other than the oily film, cleaned up pretty easily. I'm actually impressed with the quality of some of the parts in this AYP mower.

 

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No way that's the same mower!


:cool
 

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wow , looks brand fired new! you put me in the mood to go pull the trans axle out of my little JD.:cool:ThumbUp:
 

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Looks like you just got it out of the box and you're not quite done with the assembly! Nice work B!
 

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Looking good B, watch out for those keyways on the cranks, I understand they can be very sharp. ;)
 
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