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PM for head gasket, valves, etc. (Update)

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Last night I pulled some headbolts on my old Briggs 10 HP cast-iron single. I noticed a couple seemed sightly wet with oil or gasoline. Is this normal? This motor seems to run pretty good, but would it be good preventative maintenance to pull the head? Check for carbon buildup, valve condition, etc? Does the gasget need replaced eventually anyways? I have no idea on the history of my tractor, but it's new (to me), and it appears to have sat outdoors for an extended time. Tacey UPDATE- I changed the gasket last night. Overall, the combustion chamber looked pretty good. Cylinder wall smooth, only a little carbon buildup around the valves. As a bonus, I got to clean out behind the upper shroud. Some of the cooling fins on the head were packed with this fine, saw-dust lookng stuff, all dry and powdery. So, I'm good to go. Seems to run well, and soon I'll be plowing snow. Tacey

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I tend to see this happen more on the engines that have leaky headgaskets and consume oil. It couldn't hurt to clean out the combustion chamber, I know that kohler recommends that it be done every 500 hours, I don't know what briggs recommends.

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Tacey, I always like to pull the head on a new to me motor if I am going to put it to use, just to see what is going on. It is a pretty cheap and easy way to tell the condition of the valves and bore. Good opportunity to clean off any carbon deposits too. Just my two Abes, take it as such.

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I just replaced the head gasket in my 7016 a couple weeks ago. It was blown since I got it,I guess. It was always hard to start and one day Conrad was over when I was starting it. It had made a strange sound and I never thought anything of it. Well,he ask if my muffler was losse. It wasn't and he told he I had a blown head gasket. Starts right up now. Not that that has anything to do with this post really,I just wanted to tell my story.

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Tacey, I see a lot of this and it's relatively normal. Since the valves and such look good and you have a slight oil residue around the upper cylinder area I'd suggest pulling the valve cover and cleaning the PCV valve. You may not be burning much oil but you may be passing more compression than the PCV valve can handle witch would help push thinner, hotter, oil vapor out of the crankcase around the valve guides. Cleaning the PCV valve should help it be more efficient and vent off as much of this as possible.

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