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Offline deadeye

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Mower motor issue
« on: July 09, 2018, 07:30:01 PM »
So yesterday I'm mowing my sons yard (he lives about 4 long blocks from me) and the mower lost major power and almost choked out until I turned off the blades.  I though something may be in the belt etc but everything was free.  Started mower and same thing when I tried to engage the blades.  I drove it home and starting looking for the problem.  Discovered that one cylinder was not firing. Got spark, swapped plugs (they are old), sprayed starting fluid in cylinder, swapped coils, same problem.  I could leave one plug wire off and it seemed to run ok after putting in new plugs but still one cylinder was not working.  Removed valve cover to discover a bent push rod laying there.  Problem now is there are two rocker arms and only one push rod???  I guess it went through the oil drain hole and lodged in the crankcase some place.  I apparently was this way when I drove home and all while working on it. No noise or signs of issues with a metal rod in the crankcase.  The rod was bent because the valve guide has moved out of the cylinder a bit preventing the valve from opening fully thus the bent rod.  I reseated the valve guides and order new push rods.  Now the big question..... what to do about the missing push rod.  It looks like major work to pull the motor on this mower (must remove deck and electric blade clutch etc) then remove the crankcase and hope no pieces fall out because they are built as a unit.  My feeling is that I have been running it this way and nothing came crashing out the sides yet so maybe I will just take a chance that the push rod found a good home somewhere and hop for the best.  Picture shows the one bent push rod.  What do you think A. Rip it all apart and remove the way word push rod or
B. Put in new rods and cross your fingers for a while. 


***I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.***

Offline mike89

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Re: Mower motor issue
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2018, 07:41:31 PM »
was the other push rod even in there???  did ya buy it used I guess???
a bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work!!

Offline deadeye

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Re: Mower motor issue
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2018, 07:49:04 PM »
I bought it new from Sears 11 years ago. It's a ZTR 7500 (zero turn).  I was thinking the same thing but the plug looks about the same as the other one so it must have been firing.  Really odd for sure.  Runs and sounds normal with the plug wire off (then again there are not push rods either).  I didn't try to run the blades after changing plugs. 
***I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.***

Offline Rebel SS

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Re: Mower motor issue
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2018, 07:59:50 AM »
Wow! Is that funky, or what?! If yer pretty sure it's hopefully laying flat in the pan, I'd leave it. Wouldn't have damaged the oil sump pump or laying crossed up on that, is it? Then maybe.... :censored:
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 08:06:02 AM by Rebel SS »
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Offline dew2

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Re: Mower motor issue
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2018, 12:00:02 PM »
What a delema! Do it right or hope for the best.Is the lifter working? Think I' go the short route seein the engine is older and I'd guess lots a hours.install,turn by hand plugs removed an listen close,then if OK fire it up.Or maybe use a cheap scope to view in the CCase?
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Offline Rebel SS

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Re: Mower motor issue
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2018, 02:37:20 PM »
If ya have a flex scope,  first thing I'd do is give the crank case a kaepernoscopy. ;)
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Offline deadeye

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Re: Mower motor issue
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2018, 08:19:50 AM »
I got the new push rods yesterday (I ordered two sets in case there was an issue with the other cylinder).  Checked the other cylinder and had to adjust the exhaust valve clearance.  Put in new rods and was somewhat surprised that they were that far out of adjustment, probably 1/8 inch.  Also, while adjusting I noticed the rocker arm would rotate to the point it almost didn't hit the valve stem.  Turns out the bolts that the rocker arms pivot on were backed out a bit which probably was the original problem.  After tightening these bolts, I had to again adjust the valve clearance which basically set the adjustment screws back to where they were.  Fired it up and drove around for a while.  Lots of pep and power.  Runs like a new motor.  I just hope the way word push rod stays where it is for the next 10 years.  :confused:
***I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.***