Jump to content

Unofficial Home of Old Simplicity & Allis-Chalmers Garden Tractors

Sign in to follow this  
hufhouse

Heavy Oil Usage - 7117 KT-17 Series II

Recommended Posts

hufhouse
My 7117 has suddenly begun using a lot of oil. It's a KT-17 Series II. Here is what happened. Last week, I decided to change the oil over to synthetic after reading several posts here. I couldn't find SAE-30 synthetic, so I bought 5W-30, which was all the store sold. I noticed it was pretty thin, but I figured that I would watch it and I could just change it out if it gave me a problem. I have always had to "top off" the oil with every mowing. I mow for about 2-1/2 hours each time I mow. I add a couple of ounces each time. I used the tractor to move some gravel around at my office on Saturday, which was the first time I used the tractor for more than a few minutes since I changed the oil. I worked for about three hours moving gravel around. When I got home, I noticed a small puddle (a couple of spoonfuls) of oil under the tractor on my truck bed. That has never happened before. I checked the oil and it didn't even register on the dipstick. I had to add most of a quart to get it back up to full. There was oil all over the dozer blade hitch and on the plate the engine is bolted to. Since the only change was to a different oil, I'm pretty sure that I need to go back to straight 30-weight oil before I mow again. If I can find synthetic 30-weight, I might try it. However, this heavy use of oil worries me. I tried to see where it was coming from, and it MIGHT be coming from around the shaft that sticks out the front of the engine. I noticed a few drops lingering around that area. Also, I can move that shaft about a millimeter if I give it a good hard shake. And, there are a few drops of oil on the barn floor right under that area, too. I know this engine has a lot of hours on it. The tractor was previously owned by a Simplicity dealer who mowed five acres with it. He maintained it well, though. It's in beautiful shape. Other than going back to 30-weight oil, what would you all recommend for me? Is there something a real beginner like me could do to reduce the oil usage? I don't know anything about pistons and rings and tear-downs, but I could probably put on a new gasket or replace a breather filter if I needed to. My EVENTUAL plan is to replace this engine with an 18 horse using one of the kits from Repower Engineering. However, that will cost almost $2000, so I'm not ready to do that until the tractor crawls over to the side of the yard and dies. This tractor is too good to get rid of, so I will eventually replace the engine when I have to. Right now, I just want to keep the current engine running as well as I can until it just can't run anymore. I appreciate any comments, explanations or suggestions you can give me. I always learn a lot from everyone here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dogboy
Try going to a heavier oil and see how it does,5-w-30 is likely just to thin for that motor,my wifes sister "accidently" filled the crank case of her hi-mile toyota with straight 5 wt.- it leaked out of every point ,real mess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kent
quote:
Originally posted by UCD
Always heard the best way to fix a leaky seal was to use thicker oil, 90w works good.
Maynard, I have a question for you... When you put your tongue in your cheek that far, doesn't it hurt your jaw? Kent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hufhouse
Before I mow again, I will go back to standard 30 wt. oil. I will watch closely for leaks. Three questions, though: 1. Would replacing the bearings and seals be something that a guy with average mechanical skills and basic tools could accomplish? I looked at the service manual for my engine online and it talked about needing a special tool to put the seals in. Also, it appears that Kohler refers to the FRONT of my engine as the part that faces the BACK of the tractor. Is that possible? The service manual is a little hard to understand for a novice. 2. Maynard and Kent: How about molasses? If I use molasses, should I use the dark or light molasses? Also, is Brer Rabbit the best brand to use? 3. Along the same lines, but all joking aside, would it be bad to use one of those additive products at the auto parts store (I think one is called "Motor Honey") that is supposed to prevent or seal oil leaks? It seems to me that would be just about the same as Maynard's facetious recommendation of 90 weight oil. I was wondering what you guys thought about adding a small amount of something like that to try to prevent leaks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PatRarick
I would first check the engine seal. I've had 2 KT-17's and one KT-19 which had seals that popped out of the engine. One was partially out and cocked, while the other two were completely out of the engine cover and just spinning on the crankshaft. Seal replacement on that end of the engine is pretty easy. If the seal has popped out completely, just slip it off. Partially, you can generally pop it out with a screwdriver. If it's in properly, but leaking, I drill a 1/16" hole in the seal, screw in a drywall screw and pull it out. I wipe out the recess, and clean with carb or brake cleaner to remove any oil film from the recess. I grease the inside of the seal and put a thin film of silicone on the outside of the seal. Slide it over the crankshaft tap the seal in place. You have to tap evenly around the diameter of the seal, or drive it in with a piece of pipe to get it in squarely. Pat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hufhouse
Pat: That's the seal around the shaft sticking out toward the front of the tractor, right? I assume you are saying that if it is leaking, all I need to do is take it off and replace it, which essentially means banging a new one back on in a very careful manner? If I could get the tool recommended in the service manual, I would imagine that would really help in getting the seal seated correctly. My concern is that the service manual said that the seal had to be seated to something like .394 inches below the cover. Is it really THAT exact? Hmmm. Maybe I COULD do this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PatRarick
quote:
Originally posted by hufhouse
Pat: That's the seal around the shaft sticking out toward the front of the tractor, right? I assume you are saying that if it is leaking, all I need to do is take it off and replace it, which essentially means banging a new one back on in a very careful manner? If I could get the tool recommended in the service manual, I would imagine that would really help in getting the seal seated correctly. My concern is that the service manual said that the seal had to be seated to something like .394 inches below the cover. Is it really THAT exact? Hmmm. Maybe I COULD do this.
That's right. I don't believe it has to be that exact. If the casting is not machined so a seal can bottom out in the recess, I feel the shaft to see if there is a groove worn in the crankshaft from the old seal. If so, I will install the new seal just to one side or the other from that groove so it is on a "fresh" sealing surface. Never had a problem with it failing. The proper tool would be the way to go if you are not real comfortable with your abilities, but it's not really necessary. Pat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UCD
Synthetic oil does not cause good seals to leak. I have a 35 year old 12hp engine with Synthetic oil in it and it does not leak oil. If gaskets or seals start leaking after putting in synthetic oil they were on the verge of leaking before the oil change. High crankcase pressures cause gaskets and seals to leak, also a bearing going bad will cause a seal to leak. Incorrectly installed seals and gaskets will eventually fail and leak. Heat will also cause failures. Oil additives have some rubber softeners in them but mostly are just oil thickeners. They can be a stop gap fix but not the correct long term fix. It is the same as my shade tree, mud hole mechanic answer above. You should be able to install this seal your self it is an easy job. Remove the seal as pat described Use a section of pipe to drive the seal home that is larger inside than the outside of the crank shaft and smaller than the outside diameter of the seal. You can grind down the outside of the pipe if necessary. Put a mark on the pipe at 25/64" You can also make your self a cardboard gauge to set the depth .394 is 4 thousands over 25/64" = 0.390625 this should be close enough. Before you slide the seal on the shaft wrap the end of the shaft with some saran wrap. Lube the inside of the seal with some light grease or oil This will prevent a sharp edge on keyway from damaging the seal and it will slide easier. Remove saran wrap before seating seal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
andy gartner
Hey, thanks all! For the tutorial and good humor, this is helpful advise. Guy, if all else fails you, and things get worse, and we can find Dave in Cleveland, maybe you could buy Ron's tractor. a

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hufhouse
Maynard: Regarding a bad bearing, I just noticed something while I was looking at the seal with the tractor running. There is a "hissing" sound (that's the best I can describe it) coming from the front of the tractor when the engine is running. I don't hear it when I'm in the seat, so I don't know if it has always been there. Could that be a bad bearing? If so, how difficult is it to replace a bearing? Also, is there a similar seal in the front of the engine (toward the rear of the tractor) behind the flywheel? I realize that would be more difficult to replace, because I would have to detach the drive shaft and remove the flywheel and all that garbage, but I am just wondering. I am going to change back to 30 weight oil this evening, and I am going to thoroughly clean and dry the engine so that I can see where the oil is leaking. If I am getting a leak from both sides (front and rear) of the engine, then I can probably assume that both seals are bad, right? Wouldn't that be pretty typical of an engine with a lot of hours on it? Like I said, this is a beautiful tractor that has been well taken care of. However, the previous owner was very up-front in saying that the engine had a lot of hours on it, but was well-maintained.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ronald Hribar
I was thinking possibly the oil pan loosened up, I would lean more toward a gasket leaking than a seal. And as to my tractor in Cleveland, There is a fellow from my company in Cleveland this week. He said if he got bored he might check on it for me . And then there is a 7116 parts tractor on e-bay in PA. I would like that instead of my 3416H.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
powerking_one
Maynard is on the mark here: Synthetic oils will not make an engine/gearcase leak oil if all sealing areas' integrity is good to begin with. After you switch to synthetic oil and: Your engine was a weeper, it'll soon thereafter be a seeper. Your engine was a seeper, it'll soon thereafter be a dripper. Your engine was a dripper, it'll soon thereafter be a gusher. Sounds like something from Dr. Suess? I wrote it myself (LOL). Tom (PK)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UCD
The reasoning behind why an engine with synthetic oil might have more of a tendency to leak is in the molecular structure of the oil's. Synthetic oil is no thinner or thicker than regular oil. It can be compared to water and wet water. Put a duck in water and he will float put in a wetting agent which changes the molecular structure of the water and he will sink. It is also like Gas will pass though a fine copper screen but water will not. I don't know if this makes sense, just my way of trying to explaining it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hufhouse
Tonight, I tore into the engine and took the shrouds off. Under the shrouds, I found a thick coating of oil and grass. I probably got a small bucket of gunk out of the engine. I realize that was causing the engine to overheat and probably causing it to use a lot of oil. I had no idea that stuff was in there. I would really recommend that anyone who hasn't taken off the engine shrouds recently do so ASAP. I used "Gunk" engine cleaner/degreaser after I got everything out that I could with my hands. The engine is now squeaky clean. I ran out of time (why can't they put the screws for the shrouds where you can actually reach them?) and was not able to change the oil over to 30 weight tonight. I have to get up really early (for me anyway) tomorrow to take my son to a special choir practice at school. I think I will change the oil before I go to work tomorrow. I will probably have time tomorrow night to mow the lawn, and I can inspect the engine for oil leaks after that. I'll let you know what I find. By the way, I posted quite a while ago that my starter was making a "barking" noise every time I started the engine. Now I know why! The starter was pretty much buried under a thick pile of greasy grass. After I degreased everything, I sprayed a good blast of WD-40 all over the starter. After I replaced the shrouds, I started the engine and NO BARK!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gretsch
Sorry, but I have to disagree (at least partially) to some of this thread. It is not a rare occurance for an engine to begin leaking oil if switched to synthetic at high mileage. The reasoning behind this (at least from past research on the topic) is that conventional motor oil and associated additives in the oil can create gunk inside the motor, especially where a seal or gasket is beginning to leak which will plug the leak. If switched to synthetic oil which has superior cleaning and stability properties, the gunk will relatively quickly be cleaned off by the synthetic oil and its additives thus unplugging the leak. It is correct to assume however, that an engine that has no leaks (plugged or unplugged) will not leak oil if switched to synthetic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hufhouse
Quick Update: This morning, I changed back to 30-weight oil. While I was down there in the vicinity, I took a closer look at the seal. Pat wins the prize on this one...the seal was nearly flush with the outside surface of the engine (it's supposed to be almost 1/2" back) and loose enough that I could push it back where it was supposed to be with my fingers. I assume it is supposed to be tighter than that, so I probably need a new seal. I let the tractor run for about 1/2 hour while I cleaned the garage floor and put away my tools. I could see no signs of leaking, even around the loose seal. It was good and hot after 1/2 hour, so that's a good sign. Unfortunately, the weather forecast for Northeast Ohio doesn't look good for mowing anytime soon. As soon as I can, I'm going to get out and run the mower good for 2-1/2 hours like I do each time I mow, then tear into it with a flashlight and see if I have any leaks. For now, thanks to everyone for giving me the confidence to work through this. I thought "oil seals" were one of those things that required you to have "feeler guages" and stuff to work on. I thought it was really precise, and I was hesitant to mess with it. Now, I feel pretty confident that I could whip off that old seal and replace it with a new one if I see that it is leaking. I'll keep you updated next time I use the tractor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hufhouse
One more update: Went out and mowed for about 20 minutes until it started to rain. It's a good thing it started to rain, though. I checked the engine over for oil leaks and found that the rear seal (front of the tractor) is definitely bad. It was almost completely out of the engine and there was oil all over the front of the tractor. :( I ordered a new seal at the local Simplicity shop, and it won't be in until Monday. Oh well. At least I now have the confidence to try and fix this. I'll let you know how it goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hufhouse
I replaced the seal today and I'm embarassed that I was so hesitant before. :I I thought an oil seal was a solid thin piece of metal that had to be driven into the engine to a very precise tolerance. I didn't realize it was made mostly of rubber! The old seal showed no signs that anyone ever used any sealant on it. Is that normal? I went an bought the product recommended in the service manual for the engine, and put a 1/8" bead around the outside of the oil seal as recommended. However, the old oil seal that came out (and the recess it goes into) didn't show any signs of sealant. I'm going to let the tractor sit for a day before starting to let the sealant dry. I'll post the results tomorrow. ^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hufhouse
Last post... Thanks to high wet grass, I mowed for about three hours today. No oil leaks and oil use was back to normal or maybe less than before. Thanks everybody for your help!8D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×