Push Lawnmower Repair Question??? HELP!!!

Hello everyone,
I am new to the group, and hoping that somebody can help me out ASAP??? I have a 2 year old Sears Craftsman 3-in-1 ( side discharge/mulching/bagging ) push lawnmower.
Last summer I noticed that the lawnmower started leaking gasoline through the air filter, when I would turn the mower on its side, to clean the underneath, after mowing my lawn.
Anyway, I took the lawnmower to Sears, because it was still under a 2 year factory warranty, and told them of the problem.
After a few weeks, they got back to me, and told me that the reason it was leaking gas through the air filter was because I "must have run over something, because the crankshaft was bent".
They told me that I would have to pay $160 dollars, because a crankshaft is NOT part of the 2 year factory warranty!?
Anyway, I went to Google and Yahoo and did a search on bent crankshafts, and I DIDN'T see not even ONE thing that stated that a "bent crankshaft" will cause gas to leaking through the air filter???
I saw a bunch of stuff that said that when gas leaks through the air filter, its usually a carberator problem with the float and needle being stuck???
So, what I would like to know, is Sears ripping me off $160 bucks??? I did read that it is possible for oil to leak out of the lawnmower from a "bent crankshaft", but will a "bent crankshaft" cause GAS to leak out through the air filter???
Any info. will greatly be appreciated!!
Thanks!
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MICHELLE H. wrote:

The crankshaft has nothing to do with it. Lawnmowers are not designed to be on their sides or upside down for that matter. Oil goes where is shouldn't and gas goes where it shouldn't. If you want to tip it over, drain the gas and oil out first.
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MICHELLE H. wrote:

It's not unusual for fuel to leak when tipping a mower. That's not an indication of a problem. When tipping it, find the spark plug and always tip it such the the spark plug is on the highest side. That should lessen the chance of oil or gas leaking. Don't tip it any higher than necessary or longer than necessary. Technically the fuel and oil should be drained before tipping, but that's not very realistic.
Tell Sears that you don't want the crankshaft fixed, just put it back together so it runs and then pick it up asap. I would not suggest dealing with Sears repair dept. Find a local power equipment shop and use them for your mower maintenance and repairs. Forget about getting anything covered warranty. Since it made it through the first season without problems it's very likely that any problems you encounter now will not be a result of any defects.
If the crankshaft really is bent you would probably have noticed that it vibrates a lot. Warranty never covers bent crankshafts. Using the mower as intended, to cut grass, it's just not possible to bend one. It has to strike something solid that it was not designed to cut.
--
Art

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First off, the gasoline through the air filter washed out the oil that's supposed to be in it. That needs correction. See the mower's manual.
The tank side up on side, washing done quickly, can usually suffice in most cases. If unable, purchase or make a ramp of low incline putting chocks/stops in front of the front wheels. Back side of lawnmower will be high. Remove spark plug wire while washing. Replace when dry.
Lawnmower crankshafts seldom bend. More likely, torque twisted by hitting an immovable object with blade, or, run up the engine housing. Neither will strictly make the gas go out the air filter as you seem to indicate. I worked at a Sears lawnmower maintenance center many decades ago. It was an assembly line of simple maintenance. The more difficult stuff was mostly misdiagnosis and overkill to cover their butts. Apparently, that has not changed.
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Dave

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See what I usually do, is when I am done mowing the lawn, I usually just tilt the lawnmower up on its side, so that I can give the underneath a quick scraping with a metal scraper to remove any debris, sense I have a jerky neighbor whose a HUGE litterbug, and he likes to let his trash blow all over the place. And while I try to avoid it and pick up all his stuff that blows into my yard, sometimes I accidently run over rope, string, empty bread bags, etc, etc, that he left in his yard, that blew over to mine.
Anyway, if you were standing behind the mower at the handlebars, the gas tank would be on the right side of the mower, and the oil tank would be on the left side of the mower.
I would turn the mower up onto its left side, so that the oil tank would be closest to the ground, and the gas tank would be higher up on the top. The air filter would be facing straight up toward the sky.
This is when the mower would leak the gas through the air filter!!!!! The mower would be up on its left side, the oil and gas tanks would be facing the ground, and the air filter would be facing straight upwards, but gas would leak out into the air filter and through it, getting all over the mower and the ground!!!!
This is what I couldn't understand?? HOW can gas leak into, and through the air filter, if the gas in the tank is toward the ground, and the air filter right above it is toward the sky??? How can the gas LEAK UPWARDS?????
So when I dropped it off at Sears, they told me that the crankshaft was bent, and this IS what was causing the gas to leak through the air filter, and that if I spent the $160 to have them replace the bent crankshaft, then the gas leak would stop.
I figured that they were telling the truth, and with gas prices at almost $5 dollars a gallon, I don't want to waste a drop of gas, so I already told them to go ahead and do it, and make the repair!!!!
So now it looks like I am going to be out $160 dollars, and end up bringing the thing home, and have it still leak gas!?
I know that when I told my father that they wanted $160 dollars to fix the mower, he said "for a $160 dollars, you should just buy a NEW mower!!!". I guess I should have listened to him, RIGHT???
The funny thing is, the mower is only 2 years old, and none of this happened during the 1st year when I bought it brand new in 2006?? I would always do the same thing and turn it up on its left side, so that I could clean off any debris underneath. Then last summer, it started leaking the gas UPWARDS through the air filter when turned on its left side?????
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MICHELLE H. wrote:

wah, wah, only cut your grass when it is dry and you won't have to do that. end of story..
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I DO ONLY MOW MY GRASS WHEN IT IS DRY!!!!! I NEVER MOW MY GRASS WHEN IT IS WET, BECAUSE #1, IT CLOGS UP THE MOWER, AND #2 ITS BAD FOR THE GRASS!!!!!
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Well, to begin with: Sears uses Briggs and Stratton engines. As viewed from the rear of the mower, the gas tank is and always was on the left for push mowers.
Yep, the $160.00 gotcha. Things never change. One can buy a new mower for what they are charging to "fix" it. Listen to your "pops", if not me.
Either way, never leave the mower on its side for any appreciable amount of time.
You might do a cleanup of the yard of appreciable trash that clings to the mowers underside crankshaft end and blade before mowing.
As for another reply, he/she has the right idea. Never mow while the grass is wet. The only exception is to please the local homeowners association as the grass is too long due to extended rainy periods. Sounds doubtful due to your neighbor's trash accumulating on your yard. In addition, you should allow the grass to grow at least 2" in height or more before mowing to decrease the irrigation/watering needed. If you have alot of weeds, attack immediately before flowering begins.
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Dave

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"Dioclese" <NONE> wrote in message

My bust. The gas tank is on the right hand side of the Briggs and Stratton engine.
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Dave



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My Craftsman push mower does have the Briggs and Stratton engine, but if you are standing behind it where the handlebars are, the gas tank is on the right side of the engine, and the oil tank is on the left side of the engine.
But what I still don't get is, how is it that when I turn the gas tank up on its left side, and the gas in the tank is facing down towards the ground, then why does gas leak UP and out and through the air filter which is facing upwards towards the sky?????
Before I bought this craftsman mower 2 years ago, I was using an old 22 inch Murray push mower that was like 20-30 years old. It also had a Briggs and Stratton engine. I would always tilt that lawnmower up on its left side as well, to scrape the underneath, when I was done mowing the lawn. That mower NEVER leaked not even one drop of gas or oil, when it was tipped up on its side, or even tipped completely over!!!!
Even though they both have Briggs and Stratton engines, is Murray a better brand mower than Craftsman??? Or is it simply just because stuff was made better back then??? 20 or 30 years ago, they made better quality items, that were built to last?????
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MICHELLE H. wrote:

then when you set the mower down it all rushes back through the carb and into the air filter.
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Art

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Not sure about the why on the gas leaking by now, but not then. I have a 1 year old Bohlen push mower with a Briggs and Stratton engine. I have leaned it opposite the side of the gas tank for cleaning the bottom of the shroud deck with a garden hose a few times. Its never been more than a couple of minutes as I'm prepared with a pressurized water hose near the mower before I tilt the mower. Buildup of clay mud underneath the deck is most likely the problem in your case is my guess.
The much older mowers had the oil fill port at the base of the engine. They were not as likely to leak as the fill cap was oil-tight. Older such mowers had a manually operated choke lever, and speed control lever as well.
--
Dave



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Yes, my older Murray push mower had the "speed control" handle, in which you could control how fast the engine was running. It had the handle with the bunny picture for slow, and the rabbit picture for fast. My 2 year old Craftsman push mower, does not have this feature, and so the engine always runs at the same speed.
With my older Murray push mower, if you were standing at the back where the handlebars were, the gas tank was also located on the right side of the engine, but much lower down than where the Craftsman one is located, and the oil filler tank was on the right side of the engine.
And I would turn the Murray mower up on its left side after every mowing, to scrape or use the hose to clean out the underneath, and this one never leaked gas or oil.
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Isn't "progress" wonderful?
In another reply, if you missed it, I made the correction to the opposite side for the location of the gas tank. Agreeing with what you're stating.
Am of opinion, if you missed it on another reply, you seem subject to clay mud. Don't mow if its wet or damp.
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Dave

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tilt with carb up ,may have less problems
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On May 17, 11:51 am, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (MICHELLE H.) wrote:

Oh, that's easy. Yes, they are ripping you off. You are one of many these days; apparently Sears and its employees are colluding to run the company into bankruptcy for some reason.
If you'd bent your crankshaft enough to make a difference you'd know; it's not impossible that it is bent but that has nothing to do with the gas problem and if you can't notice it then it's not a problem.
But to bend the crankshaft you really need to hit a boulder or something; mowers usually have a slippy plastic thing holding the blade to the crank so that on such occasions it takes the brunt.
Anyway, the solution to the gas dripping problem is not to tip the mower over. unlike chainsaws and the like, the mower has a floatbowl carb instead of a diaphragm carb, and will spill gas when tilted. might make oil come out the breather too. if you want to clean out the bottom of the mower you need to either put it up on something like two sawhorses, or get an electric.
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it finally hit me.engines werent made to be put on their side,, unless maybe a 2 stroke.
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