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JohnFornaro

Oil smoke cloud suddenly out of Triad

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JohnFornaro

Well, last weekend my Soveriegn started up just like always, and worked hard for a couple of hours. Today, there were clouds and clouds of white oil smoke streaming from the exhaust, and it ran ragged. Seemed like fresh oil was squirted from what, the engine head seal? over the left hand portion of the exhaust shroud.

I only ran it for thirty seconds or so. Added a bit of oil, and started it up again about five minutes later with the same effect.

I've heard about the Triads, so repeating stuff like "It's a turd", won't be helpful. This tractor has run flawlessly for twelve or more years. Some time ago, it began smoking oil, but I was able to repair this by disassembling the carb and air inlets, cleaning, and reassembling with some gasket sealant.

Like I said, last weekend, it was flawless. This weekend, suddenly, a total glob of oil smoke.

Al Eden? What could suddenly go wrong with this engine? Anybody else?

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BLT

Sounds like breather failed. Tho not familiar with Triad, I am taking a stab that vent system is the same as the Command and the the symtoms are similar to what you are up against.

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JohnFornaro

Thanks Al.

I got it apart yesterday afternoon.

First, there was a puddle of oil in the antechamber to the carbureator. When I got down to the valley, there was a puddle of oil all over the area. At the rubber donut, it looked like the RTV sealant might have failed. This is hard to troubleshoot, since you have to really work to get the plastic valley cover off of the aluminum engine block.

It looked like the lefthand engine valve cover was exceptionally oily; there was more oil spewed on the left hand side of the exhaust cover than the right hand side.

Perhaps the breather reed failed? There's a little hole for the splashed oil to drain back into the engine block. Somehow I guess the flow of oil in is greater than the outflow. The vacuum pulls the oil up the breather tube? Which is why it's pooling in the carb? Which is why I have so much oil smoke?

I'm trying to understand the mechanism of the failure.

Last time I took this apart, I put it all back together with RTV sealant. This time, I'll purchase all new parts, and see what happens.

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JohnFornaro

Well, Al Eden's post up there has to be one of his last. He will be missed.Back on the terrestrial plane, I got the Sovereign back together. Part Tree took three weeks to deliver. The carb linkage was agony to put back together, particularly with cold hands.The tractor started right up... with huge billowing clouds of oil smoke. Seems to be leaking mostly around the left head gasket. See the photos.Could this be the problem? Is it worth the attempt to replace the head gaskets? does it even have head gaskets?http://www.smallenginewarehouse.com/Repower-Old-Equipment/Simplicity-Sovereign-Category/The Command is $1655. The Honda is $1450.This is a major disappointment. The Sovereign has been my "go to" tractor for more than a decade. This Triad engine was 20 years old.What to do, what to do?

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Ronald Hribar

if you did not have that quantity of oil before.

some thing may not have been reassembled correctly.

clean engine and watch carefully when you restart.

you may be able to tell where oil is coming from.

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JohnFornaro

Ron:

That quantity of oil was what started me down this path of attempted repairs. I did re-assemble everything correctly.

I did add a half pint of oil before starting this thread. That couldn't be the problem, could it?

I watched as closely as I could, thinking that the oil was coming from the valve cover gasket, which "always" had been leaky.

From looking at the pix online, it doesn't seem like there is a head gasket, correct?

It's hard to see in my photos, but there is plenty of oil in the carb, which means that plenty of oil is coming up the brand new breather tube.

But where is the oil coming from which is splattering the muffler?

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RayS
quote:Originally posted by stevenj

Could it be the rear main crankshaft seal is leaking and the flywheel fan is blowing the oil across cooling fins of each cylinder?


id="quote">
id="quote">That is what I was thinking. It would blow the oil all over the place.

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DanD
quote:Originally posted by PhanDad

I remember Al stating in a post that the Triad is a solid casting, heads included. Hopefully someone else will confirm that.


id="quote">
id="quote">I can confirm that the cylinder and head is one casting. There is no head gasket to go bad!

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JohnFornaro

Great! It would have been a beach to saw off the "heads", machine 'em smooth, drill some threaded holes, fabricate a gasket, and put it back together again!

So, to test the theory of the leaking rear crankshaft, I must start tearing up the back of the engine, correct?

But here's something else. Oil is being sucked up the breather tube , into the combustion end of the pistons. That's why, even on first, cold start, the dern thing blows smoke. Well before the fins have heated to the point where they would cause it.

could I have possibly overfilled it? I put about 8 ounces of oil into it the last time I started it,; the time the oil smoke problem started, at the head of the thread.

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RayS

It is possible that you over filled it. Also believe it can be a breather issue. Look at the back of engine and see if oil is coming from behind the fan shroud as well. You may need to clean with brake cleaner and start it up and see where it starts from.

Could just drain oil until it shows the correct amount on dipstick.

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JohnFornaro

Ron: The oil is very clean. I changed it in September or so. Actually kinda hard to see on the dipstick. Probably only has twenty to thirty hours on it.

Ray, if it's a breather issue, what could it be? down in the valley, when I had it apart, you could see the crankshaft (camshaft?) Everything down there looked clean, considering that I was only looking thru the 3/4" donut hole in the engine block. The oil that's in the carb is clean too.

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PGL

Is the splatter because it's coming out under pressure or is the oil being flung by rotating parts? See if you can figure out the trajectory of the oil and trace back to the source. Like CSI/NCIS.

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JohnFornaro

Ray: I replaced everything from the rubber donut, up to the breather tube, including the reed valve.

This weekend, I'll be draining the oil and measuring it. If the problem turns out to have been that I overfilled, I will be sheepish, but happy.

PGL: Bit of a struggle with the oil trajectory. Will try the measure and refill strategy first.

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JohnFornaro

It is a far, far better thing to be embarrased as all getout rather than be $1600 in the hole. I just drained out a quart of oil, and the dipstick shows that it is maybe less than a pint low.

In trying to reconstruct the recent history, I vaguely remember needing to put a pint in some time ago. Not a long time, but some time. I must have forgotten when, because it appears that I put in two additional pints, I guess.

It started right up, but took two to three minutes for the residual oil to burn off. Looked down the air intake on the carb, not a drop coming in.

So I think that the problem had more to do with seniority than anything else. I don't keep oil records for the tractors like I do for the cars. I just check it every so often, and refill when a pint low.

I literally couldn't read the level correctly with the clean oil. Now I'm going to change it. Five quarts, right?

Many thanks to the various attempts to assist.

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