garden tractor smokes on starting

Got a guy who's trying to give me a 12hp riding mower. He says it mows great and runs good. Smokes a little on startup.
What am I likely facing here? Seems I recall dimly that smoking on startup can mean rings worn and/or valve guides. Chances are I can mow quite some time with it before I have to do anything. Just curious.
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What color smoke? What brand of engine? Black smoke is fuel, and white/blue is oil.
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Sounds like you got good deal and you should get the most out of it as long as it runs reliably.. If it's burning oil, just keep it full, cheaper than a rebuild..
Steve
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Sounds more like guides than rings. Tony D.

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It's oil (white)---and I agree that just feeding it oil periodically and running it is the way to go.
Thanks for the replies.
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The best indicator of 'too' much oil burning is frequent fouling of the spark plug.. If it starts getting hard to start, pull the plug, clean it, then make a mental note of how long before you have to do it again (irregardless of how much oil you have added).
Another cause of oil burning in a one cylinder engine the crankcase breather.. The single cylinder will cause air to be expelled on each down stroke and the oil breather my bring oil out and into the carborator intake (PVC). Two cylinder engines don't have this problem because one cylinder is up while the other is down, hence no crankcase pressure pulses.
Steve
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if it's a techumseh OHV engine there were service bulletins on this. Chip
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Try draining the oil, and filling it with "two stroke" oil. If it's got to burn, at least let it burn oil that's designed to burn.
--

Christopher A. Young
Jesus: The Reason for the Season
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what kind of dipshit would give advice like that???? Holy Christ!! tow stroke is way too thin to provide bearing protection in a four stroke... fix it right or just don't fix it. and don't listen to stormin mormon.... hey they name says itall. Chip
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Stormin, 2-stroke oil is the worst thing you can put in a crankcase, its designed as a combustion product and will cause him to consume more oil as its viscosity is less then crankcase oil. It also has totaly different ratings and parameters for protection. Which could ruin his motor He should try a tune up . A compression test without and with adding oil to the cilinder , to determine if its valves or rings, and how low it truely is. Thicker oil, one designed to expand valve seals. And a hotter spark plug. ,may cure the problem. What grade oil and heat range of plug only experimentation will decide. Actualy OP said smoke on startup. That indicates valve guides , and in itself is not a bad thing, as it gives instant lubricaton on startup , when it is needed most. Some new oils are advertised to swell seals. Another person recomended the breather, another interesting idea to be considered. 2 stroke in a crankcase, well when I was 10 yrs old I did something dumb , put vegetable oil in the mower.
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If you take two cycle oil and mix it 32:1 with gasoline, it does lubricate air cooled "twostroke" engines.
The major difference is that two stroke doesn't have the detergents and multiviscosity chemicals like multi weight oils.
I have less confidence, generally, in the advice of people who call names instead of giving substantial advice.
--

Christopher A. Young
Jesus: The Reason for the Season
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Call Names , Grow up Stormin you Wimp, I have No confidence in people that give Wrong information , thats you Stormy. No manufacturer will endorse a warranty if you state you used 2 stroke in a 4 stroke. Call around if you dont beleive me. Yes 2 stroke doesnt have the Viscosity, detergents, Additives, and viscosity stabilisers, you admit its different but say its OK. Dumb. As i said diagnosis is first, and valve seals seem relavent here, and there are Oils made to swell seals. Your way does not address the problem , you avoid a diagnosis and recomend a hack way that will lead to premature engine failure. Fouled plugs and carbon buildup due to a lower viscosity increasing Blowby, are also going to occur. Try it in your van and let us know how it works bozo.
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote in message

if it's the engine i'm thinking of, then there was a bulletin to put a washer with a weep hole on the exhaust pushrod. at least be informed. don't be a hack all your life. Chip
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i am afraid chip is right go back to school and learn some oil knowledge..

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Got a website or URL to send me to?
--

Christopher A. Young
Jesus: The Reason for the Season
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