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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


My Toro seems to have developed a big time oil leak. It has been showing signs of a small leak since last year, not a big deal as it would only collect in front of the engine on top of the deck and it was very minor. Hey, its a 12 year old mower so I could live with wiping it down once a month. The oil level is checked before every use and it never really needed much if at all.

Well all that changed after a recent oil change. I let it drain out for a good long while as I was servicing a few pieces of equipment at the same time.
Afterwards I slowly added the oil and was rather surprised at how much I was putting in. I must have checked the dipstick 10 times. Even let it set for an hour and checked it, needed a bit more. I did a small cut and put it away.
The next week i went to the barn and there was an 18 inch circle of oil underneath it. Ok, so I check the dip stick and put in the required amount and start it up, like always it starts on the first pull and runs strong.
Cut the grass, Jump on the tractor to do its share and when I finish, the Toro has a big pool of oil on top of the deck.
I wipe it down, shove it in the barn and check it again the next day. Same thing. oil all over the floor and on top of the deck.

I took the top shrouding off and there is no visible signs of a leak. I check the tightness on every bolt I can see and nothing is loose. It seems to be coming out right around the area of the plastic cover for the belt and that seems to be its escape route to the floor.
Any ideas?
 

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First, tell me that's a picture you took of it the day you took it out of the box 12 years ago. If it's recent, then you take really good care of your equipment.

As clean as it is, seems it would be fairly easy to spot where the oil was coming from. Would it be possible to take that belt cover off, wipe everything down and then run it just a couple of minutes to check it out after it warmed up? You might be able to see where the oil trail is coming from.

I just picked up a mower the other day that the owner said had a leak which he thought was from the lower seal. He had it so cleaned up that when I got it home, a few minutes later I found the oil coming from the oil pan seal under the cylinder.

Trick I saw them use in a factory that built farm tractors at the end of the assembly line was to shine a black light on areas of potential oil leaks. Yeah, we've all got a black light laying around from the old days, right? Anyway, oil showed up like it was one of those black light poster things you used to buy at Spencer's and they could tell right away where it was coming from.

Hope that helps.
 

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Trick I saw them use in a factory that built farm tractors at the end of the assembly line was to shine a black light on areas of potential oil leaks. Yeah, we've all got a black light laying around from the old days, right? Anyway, oil showed up like it was one of those black light poster things you used to buy at Spencer's and they could tell right away where it was coming from.

Hope that helps.
sounds like they were putting dye in the oil at the factory as thats the only way you could see where the leak was coming from with a uv light. we use the stuff at work when ever someone brings a truck in with an oil leak and we have a hard time telling where its coming from. they make dye for that purpose for use in cooling and a/c systems too. usually has a green tint to it with the naked eye, and shows up a flourescent orange or yellow under the uv light
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
First, tell me that's a picture you took of it the day you took it out of the box 12 years ago. If it's recent, then you take really good care of your equipment.

As clean as it is, seems it would be fairly easy to spot where the oil was coming from. Would it be possible to take that belt cover off, wipe everything down and then run it just a couple of minutes to check it out after it warmed up? You might be able to see where the oil trail is coming from.

I just picked up a mower the other day that the owner said had a leak which he thought was from the lower seal. He had it so cleaned up that when I got it home, a few minutes later I found the oil coming from the oil pan seal under the cylinder.

Trick I saw them use in a factory that built farm tractors at the end of the assembly line was to shine a black light on areas of potential oil leaks. Yeah, we've all got a black light laying around from the old days, right? Anyway, oil showed up like it was one of those black light poster things you used to buy at Spencer's and they could tell right away where it was coming from.

Hope that helps.
Well, its a current pic. I tend to take care of my stuff.
One of the reasons is for the easy identification of oil leaks. Go figure.

Actually since I tightened up things, it has not leaked a drop. I have yet to run it but will this weekend.
There was some sort of access panel (?) right behind the intake manifild on the left side of the engine. Starting to think (and hope) that this is the source. I loosened a bolt on it and watched the oil run exactly where it has been appearing.

:ditto: Sounds like a lower main seal or oil pan seal. The seal's probably old and dried out after 12 years.
thats my guess.
If this is the case, would the oil show up on top of the mower deck?
 

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...There was some sort of access panel (?) right behind the intake manifild on the left side of the engine. Starting to think (and hope) that this is the source. I loosened a bolt on it and watched the oil run exactly where it has been appearing...
Sounds like the valve cover you found there.

You might check for any wire or rope wound up on the shaft above the blade. I had some real fine like twine get up in there on my old Toro once in the seal. It made it leak a small amount of oil through and after I was able to pull it out the seal reset and is still ok doing it's job years later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Mark. Valve cover was it. Not a drip for days so I lucked out.
But it was a reminder that the machine was getting old and I was using it for more than it was up to so it went to someone with a really small yard and I picked up a Honda.
 
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