Random small engine repair question...

  1. charleswrivers

    charleswrivers Senior Member

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    So I had an issue with my mower a couple weeks back, right before I left town on vacation and looked into it today. Here's what happened:
    Mowing my neighbors yard after mine... he throws me some $$$ and I try to be neighborly. I went over a spot that has a few roots at the same height I've been but I managed to catch one (fun). Engine slows down but doesn't stall. Mower immediately runs rough with a miss. I figured I bent one of the blades... so I shut off the blades. Nope... engine still runs poorly. I ran it back over to the house and finished that last couple square yards with a weed eater and called it good for the moment.

    After doing a little reading, I saw that most mowers have a shear key between the flywheel and crank. Today... I popped off the flywheel and...IMG_20190729_170301202.jpg
    flywheel key looks perfect. Put it all back together and there's zero play between the flywheel and crank. On the bottom of the engine, the engine is mated to the blades through a belt and a pulley set. I figured the crank/rod would have been fine but... meh... now I'm starting to wonder. Any ideas? It's a light duty Craftsman Riding mower that's seen some pretty hard use over the 3 years I've owned it, and was bought a couple years old. Any suggestions are appreciated however.
     
  2. aighead

    aighead Senior Member

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    Maybe you've already figured it out? Rereading your post after writing mine makes it sound like below isn't the problem...

    I run over a lot of stuff, sometimes big chunks of wood and I've had one jam up all the works. I've got a 3 blade setup and I think the 2 blades that weren't jammed up with a chunk of wood still spun, or tried to... Any chance it's that? Maybe a chunk of wood is hanging onto the blade and slowing down the works? I was amazed at what it took to get the wood out. Pulley/belt isn't slipping?

    Ooh! How about a loose spark plug wire? I'm just taking guesses, sometimes coincidences happen at weird times. Maybe the chunk of wood rattled the whole thing just enough to knock the wire off?
     
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    charleswrivers

    charleswrivers Senior Member

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    Ha! So I had started it immediately before I tore it down just to make sure it wasn't a one-off the day I'd hit the root. Ran bad... constant miss. Popped the flywheel off and saw nothing. Shear key looked fine. Put it back together... ran like a champ. I don't know. It makes no sense to me. There wasn't any play I saw in the slot the key went. I've ran it a couple hours since then on a few different mowing ventures and it was fine. 1 of the 2 blades was bent that I since replaced... but it was running badly with the blades disengaged. I'm just happy it's running fine and am just just to chock it up to it needing to be touched in ways it had never been touched. Maybe something was a little bit off somehow and removing and reinstalling the flywheel did something, but I sure don't see how.
    download (8).jpeg
    Thanks for checking and trying to throw something at me. I did check the plug when I pulled it to hold the piston in place when I took the flywheel bolt on/off. I was about sure I'd bent the crankshaft and was rotating it slowly but couldn't see anything. Decided I'd put it back together to see what was up and to decide to find a donor motor/fix the existing one/take it to an old fella across town and see what he though and it fired up and ran perfect. I'll take it... even if I can't explain it!
     
  4. aighead

    aighead Senior Member

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    Ghosts in the machine! Glad to hear it's running well!
     
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