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thedaddycat

Ohh No! Help!

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carter
I'd pull some of the sheet metal on the engine and make sure that there isn't critter nests in there. Doesn't take much around the exhaust valve area to create a real hot spot in the cylinder. My $.02 Ron

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thedaddycat
I bought a clean 1997 Regent used last year and because of the drought only ran it 5 or 6 times on my half-acre lot. It was awesome! I had it out for the second time this year yesterday and after about 15 minutes of cutting the engine starting missing badly so I stopped cutting and lowered the throttle. It would barely stay running and I saw saw intermittent puffs of white smoke so I shut her down. The grass was a little higher than usual and moist so the clippings were clumping a little but nothing to indicate she was straining. I had to fire up the old Craftsman push mower and at the same height setting had no problem finishing the job. I tried starting the tractor again when I finished mowing about an hour and a half later and but first checked the oil level (freshly changed) and it was OK and also the spark plug wire & cap which looked normal. She started right up but sounded like she didn't have a muffler. Real loud and again breaking up badly so I just shut her down again. Ohh Nooooooooo! I have lots of high grass and have I done serious damage? Please help! Thanks in Advance! Mike L.

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Dutch
First, check the engine cooling fins. During the winter, mice like to make nests way in the back where you can't see them. Sounds like you might have a blown head gasket or hung up valve. Check for stale fuel or water in the fuel. Replace the spark plug. Keep your fingers crossed that the engine didn't overheat and do serious damage.

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Al
Hi, If this is one with the BRS 28XXXXX OHV family of engines, If it smokes a lot I would suspect that there is a leak in the head gasket into the push rod or the oil drain back passage in the head. We have seen a lot of these engines that smoked badly, intermittantly, Compression will check good. If the engines are in warranty, we use a straight edge and if the distortion on the block or head surface is in the .003 area, we replace the head or block or both. If the engine is out of warranty, we resurface the head on a flat plate using a abrasive paper and the flat plate. Once the head is flat and the block is flat enough we replace the head gasket. What is happening is that the engine is leaking enough compression from the cylinder into the crankcase that the crankcase vacuum is reduced and the result is that the oil from the crankcase goes through the breather into the carb. When it is sucked into the carb and burned and lots of smoke. I never thought I would say this, but Tecumseh was smart enough to put a 5 th head bolt in the push rod area and address this problem. With 4 headbolts the 28 family is a little weak in keeping the head gaskets from leaking into the crankcase. A crankcase vacuum check will tell you if this is the problem. If your fins are clean, this is where I would look. Let up know what you find and we will give free advice, and probably worth that. Good Luck, Al Edem

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thedaddycat
I agree with Dutch, drain the gas and use fresh. Check the air filter. Try your idle mixture and high speed jets on the carb. It's usually something simple if it was running fine and then acted up.

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MDD
Thanks to you guys for all your advice on this problem with my Regent. I called the dealer and can't get her in the shop for 3 weeks because they're so busy. Because it was making so much noise and breaking up so badly I'm thinking the head gasket is blown. If there's even a chance that's what happened I shouldn't be trying to start it without doing more damage, right? By the way, what's the going rate to replace the head gasket? I backed down the throttle and shut her down pretty quickly which hopefully prevented serious engine damage. This was a big surprise because it ran fine a week ago when I spent an hour using it to pull a 150 pound roller which eliminates some of the possibilites mentioned. I'll think you guys informed of the diagnosis and thanks again for your help! Mike L.

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PatRarick
Mike, If it is the Briggs OHV engine, you may want to remove the valve cover and check the valve clearance. Just had one in the shop with the same symptoms. It was a 28XXXX OHV like Al described above. Had the same problem with a Vanguard V-twin about four years ago. The stud for the exhaust rocker arm had partially unscrewed from the head. If that's the case, it's a simple fix. Remove the rocker arm and the stud. Clean the threads on the stud and in the head to remove all traces of oil. I use spray carb or brake cleaner for this. Reinstall the stud, using blue loc-tite. Reinstall the rocker arm, adjust valves, reinstall valve cover and you should be ready to go. Pat.

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